The Long War, 1929–1949
China is a civilization pretending to be a state. Its population was reduced from approximately 410 million in 1850 to 350 million in 1873, because of rebellions and civil wars in the middle of the nineteenth century: Taiping, Nien, Muslim, and others. China suffered all the penalties of colonialism without any of the benefits. The contrast between a burgeoning Japan, with the might and prestige of its booming industries and modern armed forces, and a decrepit China, economically backward and militarily feeble, astounded and humiliated a whole generation of young Chinese. By 1900, debts and indemnities to foreign states consumed between one-quarter and one-third of Chinese government revenues.
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