China and Japan Reaction

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The responses of China and Japan towards western penetration in the nineteenth century were completely different. The Chinese were absolutely against it and became an isolated nation. This was different that the Japanese who viewed it as somewhat of a challenge and accepted it.

The initial response from the Chinese towards western penetration was the practice of isolationism. The country resisted the West and it’s modern concepts and cut off contact with them completely. This hurt the economy nations that conducted trade with them such as Britain. After the British could no longer afford to lose revenue through the Chinese’s isolation, they snuck opium into the nation. The Chinese responded by burning it and sparked the Opium War. The defeat the Chinese took by hands of the British and their much more advanced weaponry changed the Chinese’s response to the Western penetration. The British forced the Chinese into changing their entire philosophies and to modernize in order to keep up and survive against western societies.

The Japanese response to the western penetration was totally different than China’s. Japan modernized when the fear was inflicted into them of falling behind the West technologically. Japan and China both were isolated from Asia when western penetration began however, Japan pulled away for a short period of time and used to focus into catching up with the West. Unlike China, Japan made major changes to it’s political and military system. Japan did this by ending Feudalism, having its own Industrial Revolution, abolishing the samurai class, and expanding the power of the state. Japan embraced the western penetration unlike China who bitterly rejected it.

China and Japan had two completely different responses to western penetration in the nineteenth century. The Japan were in favor of it while the Chinese rejected and moved away from it completely.
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