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China What-if

Marek_Gutkowski

Well-known member
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The "First" Sino-Japanese War is a little know conflict that was the first Japanese imperial victory in the modern age.
A naval history fan would know it mostly because Battle of Yalu River was the first large naval engagement since the Battle of Lissa some 18 years prior.

Outnumbered but better equipped Japanese won this war both on land and on the sea.

So the what if is;
What would have happened if the Chinese won that war?

This is an interesting what if becease without the Japanese victory Imperial Japan of the early XX century would not have existed.
They would be in no position to start the Russo-Japanese War, they would not annex Korea 1910 and are unlikely to try to bomb a cruiser with a float plane launched from a Seaplane tender in 1914.


Thing is I like this what-if because it is not replacing one Imperial Power with another.

But anyway, what effect would stronger more prosperous China have on the region?
Other that keep the Japanese on their piss poor island honest, that is.


And before you cannot hand wave the Taiping Rebellion. Without it this war would not have happened.
 
One potential result is an intermittent state of conflict between Japan and a stronger China. Not only is China able to throw off much of Western domination, but other concerns, both military and economic, divert Japan from trying to conquer the Pacific. WWII in the Pacific, as we know it, never happens.
 
Maybe....
But, IMHO, if the Chinese Forces had won, we may see a upsurge of Chinese Nationalism.
TBH, i wouldn´t be surprised if encouraged by this Victory, the Chinese may try to "regain" all their former Territories and Client States, and maybe, just maybe, a bit more.
 
Maybe....
But, IMHO, if the Chinese Forces had won, we may see a upsurge of Chinese Nationalism.
TBH, i wouldn´t be surprised if encouraged by this Victory, the Chinese may try to "regain" all their former Territories and Client States, and maybe, just maybe, a bit more.
That is one of the things I wondered about.
If China continues the modernization it started after Taiping Rebellion, we are looking at country with decent economical and industrial power. Certainly by 1930s they would be bigger than Japan was IRL.
They may not be interested in opportunistic moves like Japan was. As in they would be unlikely to start wars. Because that is a gamble with little to win.
Winning the peace sort of deal.

So instead of invading half of pacific like Japan did they would fund anti-colonial movements.
 
Uhhh..

Yet Li had a remarkably myopic view of naval strategy and power projection. Writing in 1872, he surmised that because China has "more land than water; it is more urgent to train an army than a navy"

...

The Qing government acted only in response to crises. "When the heat was off, the effort at reform cooled down." Such shortsightedness assumed its most shameful manifestation with the pillaging of the naval budget by the Empress Dowager Cixi to reconstruct the Summer Palace. But the financial problems caused by such blatant misdirection of funds were only a function of the general financial malaise of late l9th-century China. Corruption was epidemic, and the lack of sophisticated accounting methods severely hampered long-term commitments to and assessments of projects.

Source: https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/1997/april/navy-almost-was

Though well drilled, the Chinese had not engaged in sufficient gunnery practice beforehand. This lack of training was the direct result of a serious lack of ammunition. Corruption seems to have played a major role; many Chinese shells appear to have been filled with cement or porcelain, or were the wrong caliber and could not be fired. Philo McGiffin noted that many of the gunpowder charges were "thirteen years old and condemned."

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Yalu_River_(1894)#Fleet_composition

Honestly. This is just delaying the inevitable. China in the late 19th century is just sleepwalking into disaster one after another. It would only reinvigorate the Japanese desire for conquest, now with the Japanese making even more preparations and strategic plays all across Asia, and the Chinese would've basked in the glory of their victory only to most likely get their ass handed by the Russians or the Japanese or the British with their ignorance and lack of tact in world affairs.
 
Honestly. This is just delaying the inevitable. China in the late 19th century is just sleepwalking into disaster one after another. It would only reinvigorate the Japanese desire for conquest, now with the Japanese making even more preparations and strategic plays all across Asia, and the Chinese would've basked in the glory of their victory only to most likely get their ass handed by the Russians or the Japanese or the British with their ignorance and lack of tact in world affairs.
I can certainly understand the reasoning.
But at the same time. A victory at sea will both illustrate the need for a strong navy and give prestige to the people running it so they have a, for lack of a better term, pull to maneuver in the court to keep the funding up.

How long will that last? Donno. It could last a decade.

As you mentioned the British, If Royal Navy comes out and play, there is very little China no matter how well funded or equipped can do to contest them.
Because it you are thinking of keeping the RN honest the only thing you can buy are mine layers and coastal guns.
 
Downstream from this.... no Communist takeover in China?
 
Downstream from this.... no Communist takeover in China?
Some form of Government change is actually expected.
I doubt China could function till this day by reforming the existing system.

I hover very much doubt Mao will get in power in this AH. You really needed a perfect storm of Japanese occupation Warlord Era and infigthing for the CCP to be the dominate the country.
 
The "First" Sino-Japanese War is a little know conflict that was the first Japanese imperial victory in the modern age.
A naval history fan would know it mostly because Battle of Yalu River was the first large naval engagement since the Battle of Lissa some 18 years prior.

Outnumbered but better equipped Japanese won this war both on land and on the sea.

So the what if is;
What would have happened if the Chinese won that war?

This is an interesting what if becease without the Japanese victory Imperial Japan of the early XX century would not have existed.
They would be in no position to start the Russo-Japanese War, they would not annex Korea 1910 and are unlikely to try to bomb a cruiser with a float plane launched from a Seaplane tender in 1914.


Thing is I like this what-if because it is not replacing one Imperial Power with another.

But anyway, what effect would stronger more prosperous China have on the region?
Other that keep the Japanese on their piss poor island honest, that is.


And before you cannot hand wave the Taiping Rebellion. Without it this war would not have happened.
Let the Chinese sleep, becouse when they wake up there will be a great proble for the world, said Napoleon Bonaparte . . .
 
Downstream from this.... no Communist takeover in China?
Probably not, but the Imperial system certainly will not survive.
 
Probably not, but the Imperial system certainly will not survive.

It was already gone by the time the Japanese came knocking.
 
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