How Taiwan became Japanese
Qing Sino-Japanese War 清日甲午戰爭 (1894-5)
By: H.M. Cheng ( EyeDoc): http://danshuihistory.blogspot.com/2009/11/1884-5.html
How did Taiwan and the Pescadores Islands (漁翁島, i.e., 澎湖), both of which Chinese territories since the early 1600s, end up becoming ceded to Japan? In an era of the Sleeping Lion exposed to be a Paper Tiger, the inept Qing Court lost many wars to foreign powers and was forced to sign humiliating treaties.
In mid-1894, Japan invaded Korea, then a client state of China. The map above [source: here] shows the Japanese Army [red arrows], based in Hiroshima, landed in Pusan and advanced through Seoul and Pyongyang to reach Liaodong Peninsula where the battle of 旅順 (Port Arthur) took place - among many other skirmishes that one of the defenders of Danshui (in the Battle of Fisherman's Wharf) 章高元總兵 had also participated. The Japanese finally crossed the 膠州Bay and attacked 威海衛 (Port Edward) in Shantung Peninsula in Feb, 1895.
This painting depicts the battle of 旅順, a major harbor city coveted also by Russia, Germany, and France. These three nations had objected to and ultimately denied the Japanese demand for the Liaotung Peninsula in the Shimonoseki Peace Treaty (detailed below). 旅順, however, eventually became a battle ground in the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-5.
The Japanese Navy [blue arrows in the map above], in coordination with the Army, had launched from Nagasaki and sailed steadily north along the west coast of Korea. In July, 1894, it dueled with the Qing Navy in the 豐島 Sea. And in the Battle of the Yellow Sea (Sep, 1894) had annihilated the Qing 北洋Beiyang Fleet. In this diagram on the left, the Japanese battleships are shown in black. Togo Heihachiro commanded the 浪速Naniwa. He had come to observe the Battle of Fisherman's Wharf in 1884.
The commander-in-chief of the Qing Fleet, the British-trained Admiral 丁汝昌Ting Lu-Chang was on board his flagship, the Battleship 定遠TingYuan. Both Ting and the ship were wounded. Unfortunately, Adm Ting did not designate a second-in-command and the chain of command was lost. With the fleet now in poor formation, the ships became easy targets for the faster and more powerful Japanese fleet. All together, 5 Qing warships were sunk. After the loss at the Battle of the Yellow Sea, the Qing fleet regrouped to defend 威海衛. This mission had also failed. And on Feb 11, 1895, Adm Ting committed suicide refusing to yield to the Japanese. The Qing Court did not honor his death citing dereliction of duty. It actually disallowed a proper burial for Adm Ting until 1910 when he was somehow exonerated for losing both the battle and the fleet.
To end the war, a peace treaty must be agreed upon by both sides. On March 23, 1895, Japan attacked the Pescadores Islands [with Togo Heihachiro playing a crucial role] to put pressure on the negotiation. The meetings took place in a restaurant 春帆楼 in下関, also known as 馬關, in 山口Yamaguchi Prefecture. And the first part of the treaty reads as follows: