'L'Asse Tripartito Italia-Germania- Giappone e la Cina' (The Axis Power and China)

Aglaia De Angeli

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Germany, Italy and Japan were engaged in China from the turn of the 20th century to WWII. However, they formed an anti-Chinese alliance only at the final stage of their presence there, when Japan assumed an undisputed role of leader in the region. Despite its alliance with the Axis powers, Japan never implemented racial laws against the Jews in China. All of them took part in the Boxer Upraising suppression and received as a consequence extraterritorial rights and concessions. Moreover, Japan won the war against China in 1895 and transformed itself from a tributary country of China into an imperialistic power. It took possession of Taiwan and in the 1930s established a puppet government in Manchuria.Germany followed different route obtaining as indemnity for the murders of two missionaries the control of the Shandong province, which was later expanded thanks to the anti-Boxer coalition's victory. However, Germany lost all possessions when China entered WWI. The issue of Shandong was finally resolved at the Conference for Disarmament hold in Washington in 1921-2. Japan failed to gain ex-Germany territories. Finally, Italy arrived in the Far East at the turn of the century but was not very interested in the oriental colonialism to the same extent it was interested in Africa. Tianjin was its only concession in China, and it took almost a decade before a subvention to arrive from the Italian government for its development.In the 1920s and 1930s Germany and Italy engaged in successful diplomatic, commercial and military relationships with China. In fact, both were considered China's partners thanks to their experts at the service of the Chinese government. On the other hand, Japan position was opposite to them, because of its plans of aggression towards China which was to be transformed into “the natural extension” of the mainland. In 1935 Italy declared war on Ethiopia and abandoned the seat at the League of Nations. China interpreted the Italian aggression as the endorsement of Japan's politics towards China in Manchuria, and the relations between the two countries were broken off. After that Italy supported Wang Jingwei's puppet government during the Japanese occupation of China. Germany followed the same path in 1937, when it was evident that the Japanese were playing the leading role in the region, and decided to ally with Wang Jingwei too. Both Italy and Germany decided also to recognise the Manzhuguo and established diplomatic relations, definitively turning their backs on the old Chinese ally.The Rome-Berlin-Tokyo Axis sealed the alliance among the three countries, and it confirmed Japan as the leading power in the region. Nevertheless Japan did not apply the racial law against the Jews in China.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEbrei, Ebraismo, Cina e il Caso di “Tien Tsin”. Esempi di Convivenza e Ebrei nella Cina moderna. 1900-1945. (Life, Toleration, and Jews in Modern China.1900-1945.)
    Place of PublicationLivorno
    PublisherBelforte Editore
    ISBN (Print)978-88-7467-054-3
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2012

    Bibliographical note

    written in Italian with Chinese and English abstract


    • Axis Power
    • China
    • Italy
    • Germany
    • Japan
    • WW2


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