Asia Pacific 1926: Anti-Fengtian War

Despite their cooperation in seizing the Chinese government in 1924, amity between the Guominjun and the Fengtian clique was short-lived. The Guominjun encouraged the defection of a Fengtian commander who almost took Mukden, the Fengtian capital, only to be pushed back when Japan stepped in. With Japanese and Zhili support, the Fengtian clique struck back, defeating the Guominjun and seizing Beijing.


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

22 Nov–24 Dec 1925 Guo Songling’s rebellion against Fengtian clique

Guo Songling’s rebellion against Fengtian cliquein wikipedia

16 Mar 1926 Powers push China to dismantle Dagu forts

The 8 signatory nations of the Boxer Protocols demanded that the Chinese government dismantle defensive works in Dagu Harbor, wikipedia

18 Mar 1926 March 18 Massacre in Beijing

Duan Qirui orders police to fire on protesters demonstrating against foreign influence in Chinain wikipedia

18 Apr 1926 Fengtian clique captures Beijing

Fengtian clique captures Beijingin wikipedia