The Japan vs. China Sino-Japan war was a starting point of pitting Japan as a significant power holder in the world while the weakness of the Chinese empire were laid bare. This conflict started in 1894 to 1895.
The two countries were always fighting for supremacy in Korea and that became the causative agent for the war.
For a long time, Korea had been a trusted client for China. However, its natural resources and strategic position close to Japan drew the attention of the former.
Japan started to take in the Western technology and in 1875, it forced Korea to open itself to foreign trade. That was particularly aimed at benefiting Japan. Korea was also required to declare that it was no longer dependent on China.
In 1884, some Japan reformers attempted a coup against the Korea government but Chinese troops countered the attempts. The Li-lto Convention was signed so as to avoid any war between Japan and China. In the agreement, th two countries agreed to pull out their troops from Korea.
In 1894, Japan got full of national pride while at the same time its technology was on the rise. Its influence on the Korean youths was also significant and thus they were not ready to compromise. In the same year, Kim who had led the coup attempt was lured to Shanghai from where he was assassinated by the Yuan Shikai agents.
His body was put on a Chinese warship and taken to Korea. It was displayed to act as a warning to any other rebel.
Japan did not take this lightly and the Japanese public outcry was evident. The tension between Japan and China grew in the next year after the break out of the Tonghak rebellion. Korean government requested the Chinese government to send troops which they did. Japan viewed this as a violation of the convention. They equally sent eight thousand troops to Korea. China tried to reinforce but their British steamer that carried the troops was sank by Japan. The situation became tense.
On the 1st of Aug 1894, Sino-Japan war between the two started. Foreign observers predicted that the massive Chinese troops would win but Japan utilized modernization in the war which game them victory. They had more equipment and were well prepared. Both on land and sea, the Japanese forces got quick victories. By March 1895, Japan had taken over major parts of China and was on the way to Beijing. That made China to seek for peace.
The Shimonoseki Treaty ended the conflict. The treaty required that China to recognize Korea is independent and that it cedes from Taiwan as well as adjoining Pescadores.
Also, Japan was given more trading privileges in the Chinese territory.
Within China, the outcome of the conflict made it necessary for the government to be renovated. Revolutionary actions against Qing dynasty rulers also started.