Asia Pacific 1932: Creation of Manchukuo
The Japanese Army, moving without orders from the government in Tokyo, used the Mukden Incident as an excuse to invade Manchuria. Chiang Kaishek was preoccupied with fighting the Communists and unable to stop them. In February, with the Japanese conquest all but complete, Manchuria was declared independent as the puppet state of Manchukuo.
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.
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.
18 Sep 1931–27 Feb 1932 Japanese invasion of Manchuria▲
Following the Mukden Incident, the Kwantung Army of the Empire of Japan invaded Manchuria—the semi-independent northeast provinces of the Republic of China under the governorship of Zhang Xueliang. After occupying the southern provinces of Liaoning and Kirin, the Japanese advanced north into Heilongjiang, completing its conquest in February 1932.
28 Jan–5 May 1932 January 28 Incident▲
The Japanese launched an attack on Shanghai 28 January 1932, under the guise of protecting Japanese citizens in the city. The ensuing battle lasted 98 days, and ended in the demilitarization of Shanghai.
18 Feb 1932 Japanese back independence of Manchuria as Manchukuo▲
Japanese back independence of Manchuria as Manchukuo