The Twenty-One Demands
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In a classic act of opportunism, the Japanese government used the distraction of the World War I in Europe to press China secretly for a series of concessions. It was made clear that if China were to refuse these demands, war with Japan would be the result.
The demands, originally 21 in number, included such matters as the following:
China also managed to get in the last word by directing its legislature to refuse to ratify the agreements formally incorporating the demands; Japan chose to ignore this inaction.
The revised Twenty-One Demands enabled Japan to establish a position in China similar to that enjoyed by the other great powers. However, by threatening China with war, the Japanese provoked the Chinese people's continued hatred and the other Allies' growing suspicion.
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