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Mukden Incident,1931, confrontation that gave Japan the impetus to set up a puppet government in Manchuria. After the Russo-Japanese War (1904–5), Japan replaced Russia as the dominant foreign power in S Manchuria. By the late 1920s the Japanese feared that unification of China under the Kuomintang party would imperil Japanese interests in Manchuria. This view was confirmed when the Manchurian general Chang Hsüeh-liangChang Hsüeh-liang
or Zhang Xueliang
, 1898–2001, Chinese warlord, son of Chang Tso-lin. On the death (1928) of his father, he succeeded as military governor of Manchuria. He was then known as Chang Hsiao-liang but later changed his name.
..... Click the link for more information. , a recent convert to the Kuomintang, refused to halt construction of railway and harbor facilities in competition with the South Manchurian RailwaySouth Manchurian Railway,
Japanese-developed enterprise, with a trackage of 701 mi (1128 km). The line from Changchun to Lüshun (Port Arthur), originally belonging to the Russian-built Chinese Eastern Railway, was part of Japan's indemnity in the Russo-Japanese War
..... Click the link for more information. , referring Japan to the Nationalist central government. When a bomb of unknown origin ripped the Japanese railway near Shenyang (then known as Mukden), the Japanese Kwantung army guarding the railway used the incident as a pretext to occupy S Manchuria (Sept., 1931). Despite Japanese cabinet opposition and a pledge before the League of Nations to withdraw to the railway zone, the army completed the occupation of Manchuria and proclaimed the puppet state of ManchukuoManchukuo
, former country, comprising the three provinces of NE China, traditionally called Manchuria. The Japanese invaded Manchuria in 1931 and founded Manchukuo in 1932. Changchun, the capital, was renamed Xinjing [Chinese,=new capital].
..... Click the link for more information. (Feb., 1932). See Sino-Japanese War, SecondSino-Japanese War, Second,
1937–45, conflict between Japanese and Chinese forces for control of the Chinese mainland. The war sapped the Nationalist government's strength while allowing the Communists to gain control over large areas through organization of guerrilla units.
..... Click the link for more information. .
See T. Yoshihashi, Conspiracy at Mukden (1963); S. N. Ogata, Defiance in Manchuria (1964).