Asia Pacific 1922: Japanese Withdrawal

The Washington Treaties were welcomed by reformists in Japan who saw danger both in a policy of continuous intervention in China and Russia and the distrust it provoked in America and Britain. Over the course of 1922, Japan brought its troops home and began improving its relations with its neighbors.


Treaty Ports

Treaty ports were towns opened to foreign trade by unequal treaties in China. Foreigners operating within treaty ports enjoyed extraterritoriality, being subject to their home country’s laws. Unlike concessions such as Hong Kong, these territories were not directly leased by the foreign powers and did not have sizable foreign garrisons.

Treaty ports are not shown in the maps after the 1911 Chinese Revolution in order to give a clearer picture of the chaos in China itself and as by that point their numbers had stabilized. After the revolution, some of the smaller ports were phased out while the others became less important as the situation in China meant that only the concessions could provide foreigners with security. Most, however, still continued on into the 1940s when the Japanese entry into World War II and foreign agreements with China brought them to an end.

See this map for treaty ports in 1907, when the system was at its peak.

Warlord China

From the Zhili-Anhui War (1920) to the Nationalist recapture of Beijing (1928), control over China fluctuated as various warlords fought for power. The foreign powers handled this situation by regarding whichever warlords controlled Beijing as the legitimate government of China, even though these warlords often had no influence outside the city.

To depict this situation, this atlas shows the recognized government of China as warlord-controlled rather than as an independent entity, with its size changing depending on how much authority the government had outside of Beijing. However the actual recognized borders of China itself did not change during this period.

Yangtze River

By the terms of the Treaty of Tientsin (1858), foreign vessels including warships had the right to free navigation on the Yangtze River. In practical terms, this right extended only as far as Yichang until 1900, when advances in steam navigation allowed access as far inland as Chongqing.

Main Events

29 Apr–18 Jun 1922 First Zhili-Fengtian War

First Zhili-Fengtian Warin wikipedia

9 Aug 1922 Sun Yatsen flees Guangdong after Chen Jiongming turns against him

Sun Yatsen flees Guangdong after Chen Jiongming turns against wikipedia

25 Oct 1922 Japanese troops withdraw from Vladivostok.

Japanese troops withdraw from wikipedia

26 Oct–1 Nov 1922 Japanese troops withdraw from Manchuria.

Japanese troops withdraw from wikipedia

14 Nov 1922 Soviet Russia annexes Far Eastern Republic.

Soviet Russia annexes Far Eastern wikipedia

10 Dec 1922 Japanese withdraw from Kiautschou Bay/Qingdao

Japanese withdraw from Kiautschou Bay/Qingdaoin wikipedia