Sino-Japanese Relations from 1898-1919.
The relationship between China and Japan is an important aspect of these two countries' history. From ancient times, China had long been admired, respected, emulated by Japan. However, during the first twenty years of the twentieth century, the world had witnessed a dramatic change of Sino-Japanese relations due to the shift of global balance of power. After the Meiji Restoration, Japan gradually emerged as a first-class nation in the world and wielded considerable political, economic, and military power. On the contrary, China failed to modernize and fell into a semi-colony after signing a series of unequal treaties with Western powers. From 1898-1919, the Sino-Japanese relations changed from relatively peaceful commercial activities and cultural exchange to antagonistic conflicts and rivalry. There were mainly three stages during this transition period, illustrating the gradual change of Japan's attitude towards China and the resultant China's reactions. Analysing the relationship between China and Japan in this period is not only crucial to study the modern East Asian history, and also necessary to understand the current relations between these two major Asian countries.
II. Three stages of deteriorating Sino-Japanese relations during 1898-1919.
1898-1906: the Golden Decade. .
Between the end of Sino-Japanese War and the outbreak of a series of Chinese Republican uprisings, the relationship between China and Japan was relatively peaceful and friendly. Historian Reynolds even describes this time as a "Golden Decade" . Both countries felt that it was mutually beneficial to maintain a harmonious relationship. From China's point of view, Japan had demonstrated a successful modernization model that an Asian country could, and had to, take necessary reforms to keep up with the West. In Japan, there were three major concerns contributed to its reconciliation policy towards China.