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The Most Convincing Approach Of Japan And China

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Tyler Olsen
Dr. Kishida
HIST 110-02
21 October 2015
The Most Convincing Approach For many years Western nations in Europe and North America had wanted to expand their trade with Japan and China; however, the people of the two Asian countries believed that the Westerners were barbarians with useless goods and religious beliefs that would challenge their traditions. Up until the 1800s, Japan and China had successfully restricted the influence of Western nations within their countries. Their ability to remain isolated from Westerners, however, quickly faded throughout the 1800s when the modernized Western nations grew more powerful and demanding. Due to trying to stay isolated from Western ideas and religious beliefs, Japan and China fell
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Feng Guifen’s first good idea in his plan was to learn how to build better ships and guns from the Westerners, or barbarians as he liked to call them. He realized that China was turning into a weak country from being isolated from Western ideas. In the beginning of his article, Feng said that the Chinese were “inferior to the barbarians” (Feng 357). By this time, China had already been humiliatingly defeated by the British in the Opium War, which showed that China lacked a strong military and advanced technology (“Plotting East Asia’s Future” 352). To remedy this, he proposed hiring Westerners to teach intelligent Chinese how to build strong ships and effective guns (Feng 357). Without having the military force or advanced weaponry and ships, China would be crushed again and again like it was in the Opium War and the later Sino-Japanese War, which is known as another humiliating Chinese defeat (Tignor 659). To have a powerful nation at that time, a strong military with weapons was needed. Feng knew that in order to gain the needed military strength, the Chinese were going to have to learn from Westerners on how to build better ships and guns.
Two other authors also proposed reforming the military. For example, Ii Naosuke, one of the Japanese writers, had the similar idea of learning from foreigners. In his case, he wanted to employ Dutchmen as masters and mariners and put Japanese on board to study their guns, ships, and how they navigate
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