Washington Naval Conference 1921 – Definition, History, UPSC

Washington Naval Conference 1921 | Washington Conference Definition | Washington Naval Conference Us History Definition | What did the Washington naval conference result in |

Washington Naval Conference

The role of the then US President Wilson was particularly important in ending the First World War and forming the League of Nations. But the US Congress did not ratify the Treaty of Vers Washington Naval Conference, so it was not possible for the US to join the League. The United States has relinquished its traditional position in European politics. However, in the case of East Asia, he could not remain a disinterested spectator.

Washington Naval Conference 1921
Washington Naval Conference 1921

Washington Conference Definition

At the end of World War I, Japan became a major power in the Pacific, although its military might was not as great as that of the European nations. As a result of the Treaty of Versailles, it gained the two German colonies of China, Kiao Chow, and Shantung, as leasehold territories. In the process, angry China refused to sign the Treaty of Versailles. At the same time, Japan gained control of the islands once occupied by Germany in the North Pacific.

After the Bolshevik Revolution, Russia became less important as a military power and Japan became the main power in Asia. Similarly, after the German and Russian navies were wrecked in the war, it emerged as the leading naval power in Asia and the third-largest in the world. The United States is particularly concerned about Japan’s growing power. Towards the end of 1921, the United States convened a conference in Washington to determine the military balance in the Pacific.

The Washington meeting was aimed at controlling warships in the deep sea and expanding maritime trade. In the world of that time, naval power was the first indicator of the military strength of the corner state. So no state was ready to easily reduce its naval power. As the dominance of the United States continued to expand in Asia in the early 1920s, Japan emerged as its main adversary. Already, economists have been following the advice of Bertil Ohlin and Gunner Myrdal, respectively.

They increased spending at the government level and as a result increased the purchasing power of the common people, which proved that industrial Japan was the glory of its military power by beating China and Russia. In the aftermath of the First World War, he sought to establish his own power overseas. That is the reason for the conflict with America and China has been identified as the area of ​​that conflict. Although the Republic was established in China, the government was very weak. It was rumored that the conflict of the major powers in Asia was centered around China. A conference was convened in Washington to try to escalate the conflict and keep Asia’s waters relatively calm.

Concerned powers in the United States and Europe agreed that Japan was a major power in Asia — both financially and militarily. Japan controlled all sea routes from north to south. The right to Sakhalin Island in the north, the right to the Kurile Islands, and Hokkaido helped Japan establish its dominance over the Sea of ​​Okhotsk. With access to the islands of Sakhalin, Hokkaido, Japan, Korea, and Tokushima, it was impossible for foreigners to enter the Sea of ​​Japan. Japan had absolute control over the Loochoo Islands and Pescadores from Japan to the south, as far as Taiwan, and over the Yellow Sea due to its military domination over Taiwan.

As a result, Japan controlled all the waterways to enter China and Siberia. He was also in control of the Meghna on the Amur River, as Japan dominated the northern part of Sakhalin. As Korea and Kwantung were in their hands, Japan also occupied the entrance to Maria. With the province of Shandong in mainland China and the northern part of the Great Wall of China in hand, Japan could have occupied Beijing as soon as it had the chance. Japan also had control over the railways, so it had the power to isolate Central China from the rest of the world.

Before the outbreak of World War I, Japan established its financial and military dominance within Korea, Maria, Shantung, and Mongolia. China’s economy was then virtually controlled by Japan. Britain was the main European power in Asia at that time. But Britain pursued a policy of maintaining a friendship with Japan in the interests of its own colonies, as well as its larger commercial interests.

Washington Naval Conference

Russia’s influence was greatly diminished by the defeat of Japan. Three treaties in 1906, 1910, and 1917 forced the Tsar to compromise on his sovereignty in North Maria and Outer Mongolia. Thus Japan gradually became a major power in Asia. Japan’s aggressive attitude was then manifested in many ways. America took the responsibility to suppress that aggressive attitude. His attitude towards Japan became even tougher as all US efforts to thwart Japan’s progress in Maria failed.

America’s commercial and diplomatic interests in Asia have been centered around China since the late nineteenth century. The United States has always demanded trade opportunities from China. But he never planned to use military force to seize that opportunity. But it was important to keep the Pacific Ocean calm and stable in order to ensure the security of the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific, as well as the California coast of the United States as a whole.

The United States wanted to maintain Hawaii’s independence, and the aggressive Japanese were the main obstacle. In the late nineteenth century, the then US Secretary of State Sword and later Marcy were proponents of an aggressive Pacific policy. The idea was that the Pacific islands should be annexed by the United States before they were taken over by foreign powers. However, in 181 the United States adopted a policy of maintaining close ties with the Hawaiian Islands and refrained from consuming them.

But since 1795, the United States has been increasingly aggressive in defending its interests in China and the Pacific. As a result of the war with Spain and the subsequent conquest of the Hawaiian Islands, American interests expanded to the depths of the Pacific Ocean. The Japanese living in the Hawaiian Islands are being affected by this incident. Japan even protested to the United States by making such allegations. According to Hawaii, the Philippine Islands were the second most important place in America’s eyes.

After losing to Spain, the United States was able to establish a naval base at Guam in the Philippine Islands. In 1900, the United States acquired the right to rule the Philippine Islands through a treaty. In this way, America got the opportunity to build a permanent base in Asia. The Philippine Islands played a key role in strengthening not only the military but also the growing trade relations with China. By 1900, the American idea that America’s future prosperity depended on expanding and preserving its trade with China had taken root.

The United States wanted to make China a viable market for its manufactured goods and investment in industrial production. To that end, it was important to ensure America’s dominance in the entire Pacific, including the Philippines.

A fierce rivalry for economic and commercial advantage in the weak and vast China was then in full swing. Due to a large number of European countries and Japan’s excessive activities since the late nineteenth century, there have been doubts about China’s future. America’s China policy took shape much later than others. The United States urges China to treat all foreigners equally, in order to maintain its trade interests with China. But by 1904, it became clear that the United States was unable to take effective action against Russia’s progress in Maria.

As a result, following the path of England, America started patronizing Japan to do that. Theodore Roosevelt, then President of the United States, was convinced that Japan’s military might could thwart Russia’s dream of expanding its empire to the east. It was not too late for America’s dream to succeed. By 1905, Japan’s dominance was confirmed by Russia’s defeat in Manchuria. The United States became particularly interested in financing the expansion of the Maria Railroad at this time.

Britain had a similar purpose. This led to the US antagonism with Japan and Japan actively blocked the flow of US capital. After the defeat of Japan in this way, the rivalry between the two countries became heated as the United States continued to use its partisanship against the Japanese living in its own country. A kind of wartime situation also arose in 1911. But with the outbreak of World War I in 1914 and Japan siding with Britain, the crisis lingered for a moment.

At the end of the war, the situation changed drastically. The Tsar fell in Russia, and the revolutionary government sought to temporarily distance itself from world politics. The situation in China has not changed. Seeing that Japan’s influence in China, including the Pacific, was about to wane after the end of the war, the US Senate passed a resolution on May 26, 1921, urging the President to take steps to resolve the Far East and the Pacific and to reduce naval spending.

Although the main purpose of the Senate proposal was to reduce the cost of the Navy, some of the surrounding conditions had to be met to meet that goal. At the time, it was clear from the water that the United States did not like Japan’s growing power in China. Therefore, everyone knew that the main obstacle was the problem of China. The resolution also called for coordination among other issues in the Pacific.

That is to say, the interests of other states besides America and Japan could not be forgotten. Other interests include China. Because the debate centered on China. The dominance of foreigners over China was enough and China was forced to compromise in all cases. China wanted to regain some of its lost power. In this case, the interests of Britain and its two dominions, Australia and Canada, were more or less involved.

Britain has been dominating Asia for more than a century. In a treaty after the Chinese War in 1842, the Nanking Treaty granted the British annexation of Hong Kong, just as Britain had gained inside China. Hong Kong quickly became a major trading center in the Far East. Although there have been differences with China since then, Britain has not tried to occupy Chinese territory. His only goal was to expand trade and in that case, America was becoming his main rival.

The United States has been working to gain commercial advantage in China for nearly 40 years since the 180s. In this way, Japan, Russia, Britain, and America put pressure on China for various purposes. Britain’s interests were more profound than others. India was the foundation of the British colonial empire. India and China are close neighbors due to geographical reasons. So Britain never wanted to see a weak China that would bow to foreign powers. In this case, Britain was blaming Russia for being a foreigner.

Initially, the main goal of British diplomacy was to help China fight Russian aggression. But gradually it ended up helping Japan. By 1900, Britain had panicked when Russia expressed its desire to assert its sovereignty over Maria. The agreement that Britain made with Germany against Russia could not be implemented because, in the sense of open China, the idea of ​​a weaker China became more and more apparent. Britain then signed an agreement with Japan against Russia in 1902.

But Britain’s position against the United States and Japan became more complicated. His relations with America have been good for a long time. That relationship became bitter as Britain sided with Japan on Maria’s question. In addition, the British were convinced that Britain’s trade would suffer if Japan declared war on the United States over trade interests. Britain’s relationship with Japan on the question of China’s trade could also cast a shadow over Canada and Australia. Canada did not support Britain’s Japanese policy in any way.

It was in this context that the Washington Conference was convened. Other states called for were France, Holland, Belgium, and Portugal. France and Holland were colonies in Asia, and their interests in the waters of Asia were fixed. The island of Macau was under Portuguese rule. Naturally, these three states are associated with the problem of Asia. The colonial interest in the corner of Belgium was his commercial interest.

But Russia was not invited to the conference. The argument goes that Russia has no vested interest in the Far East and therefore cannot be recognized as a force in this part of Asia. In November 1921, representatives of the invited states met in Washington and signed three treaties. The first agreement is described as the Four Powers Agreement. The agreement was signed by the United States, Britain, France, and Japan. The signatory states pledged to work together to safeguard each other’s interests in the Pacific and to negotiate a settlement in the event of a conflict.

The four states also pledged to work out a joint solution if one of the signing states was attacked by another power. By signing this treaty, the United States became a part of world politics again, which was not the case for the next two years after 1919. This resulted in the termination of the previously signed Anglo-Japanese Treaty.

The second treaty was signed by five states. They are Britain, America, Japan, France, and Italy. The treaty determines the number of Japanese ships in proportion to Britain and America. The ratio of the number of ships under the signatory states was determined through negotiations, with Britain 10, America 10, Japan 8, France 3.5, and Italy 3.5. This means that Japan will be able to keep 60% of the number of British or American ships and Italy and France 35%. However, submarines, light cruisers, and destroyers were not numbered. At the same time, the signatories pledged to maintain their respective military bases and naval bases in the Pacific.

Washington Naval Conference No Power Deals

One of the main topics of discussion at the conference was determining the future of China and Siberia. No specific proposal was made in the case of Siberia. Japan has promised to withdraw its troops from Siberia in due course. This is where the Siberian context ends.

Washington Naval Conference

The issue of China has been the talk of the town most of the time. The nine states jointly discuss the following issues given to China:

(1) The signatory states will pledge to safeguard China’s geographical integrity and its political sovereignty. China will not give up its territory or coast to any country.

(2) China will give all foreign countries the opportunity to trade in its territory without discrimination.

(3) The States present at the present Conference shall refrain from signing any agreement which is detrimental to the interests of China. If there is a need for an agreement, China will have to be informed and China will be invited to discuss the agreement.

(4) Foreign countries must be publicly informed of all opportunities available in China. If they are published, their rationality, legal validity, etc. will be examined.

(5) All obstacles to China’s sovereignty must be removed.

(6) All agreements already signed with the foreign state must be specified within the time limit.

(6) If China provides special concessions to foreign countries, then the number of benefits must be comparatively in China’s favor.

(6) In the future, China’s neutrality must be adhered to.

(9) All disputes in the Pacific and Asia will be resolved through future negotiations.

(10) In the future, the signatory states will necessarily participate in the negotiations to monitor the situation. At the beginning of the in-depth discussions on these issues, the US envoy made a new proposal.

In this case, too, the importance of defending China’s sovereignty is emphasized, and the surveillance of the international community is called for so that no corner state can take advantage of China’s weakness. American diplomacy was then revolving around an unknown threat. He was of the opinion that some powerful foreign interests were taking advantage of the situation in China at that time to seek additional benefits from China.

This is because, in the past, it has been observed that in various parts of China, foreign powers have expanded their trade by establishing colonies of their choice. Therefore, in the eyes of the United States, free China means refraining from providing any additional opportunities to it. The benefits also included exemptions from duties and taxes for special interests.

Eventually, a nine-power agreement was signed. Undoubtedly, under intense pressure, Japan lost some of its additional opportunities in China. But historians believe that the commercial damage was not so great. Because, in order to take away the commercial benefits of Japan, it was necessary to deprive all the foreign countries and institutions of those benefits. That could not be done. However, at the end of the Sino-Japanese War, Japan had to give up the Japanese leasehold areas that had developed in various parts of China. All foreign radio systems have to be destroyed. Similarly, China has the right to impose tariffs at the same rate for all states.

But foreign leased areas did not return to China. The only exception was the Weihaiwei area of ​​Britain. This area was not used in any particular corner of Britain. In the leased area, the foreign radio stations were handed over to China. The railways in Maria were not returned to China, nor were the railway stations under Japanese rule. Foreign troops also remained in the leased area, according to the former. Most importantly, China’s tariff-setting powers, which were acknowledged in the agreement, were not respected at all. In other words, the agreement that the nine states signed did not benefit China. But China is convinced that in the future, it will no longer be oppressed by foreigners.

The question now is whether the terms of the agreement are being complied with properly and how it will be determined. It was decided that a Board of Reference would be formed and that would be the case. But that board only got the right to search and report. He did not have the right to hear or punish the case.

Resolving The Shantung Question

At the end of World War I, China was treated unfairly at the Paris Peace Conference. At the international level, China was interested in resolving its dispute with Japan over Shantong’s question.

Japan has said that since it is a bilateral issue, its discussions in the international arena are unnecessary. America believed in moderation. He offers talks between China and Japan, where Britain and the United States will be present as observers. An agreement was signed after a long debate. By this time, Japan had agreed to give up the whole of Shandong China, including the former German leased territory in Shantung.

However, China was asked to compensate for the amount of money Japan invested in the development of Shantung during its occupation. Japan also pledged to withdraw all troops guarding the Tsingtao-Tsianan railway, including the leased territory. The railway is proposed to be handed over to China. In return, China agreed to return the money spent by the former German administration and Japan on the construction and development of the railway. The payment is said to be completed in the next 15 years. June 26 regarding the return of the Shantung Leased Railway. From 5th December to 1922 there was a detailed discussion in Tokyo.

what did the washington naval conference result in

Apart from these three agreements, another agreement was signed. Mainly under pressure from Britain and the United States, Japan forced China to give up the Kiao Chao province, which it had acquired from Germany.

The key to the Washington Conference is to restore balance in the pre-World War II Pacific. Again, Japan’s zeal for empire expansion was somewhat appeased. In this way, it was possible to protect the mainland of China from Japanese aggression. Japan, Britain, and the United States have demanded 70% of the size of the cargo ship, but this has not been met. America’s main goal was to rein in Japan’s progress in the Pacific, and there it succeeded.

Japan, however, could not support the decisions of the Washington Conference. The major problems in East Asia between the two world wars were due to the rivalry between Japan and Britain and America. Attempts were made to stop Japan in 1921 and Japan did not approve of this. He was waiting for the opportunity. In other words, this conference only called for a future crisis.

Washington Naval Conference Us History Definition

FAQs

Why was Russia not invited to the US-sponsored Washington Naval Conference in 1921?

Russia was not invited to the U.S. – sponsored Washington Naval Conference in 1921 because it did not have a navy.

What was the 5 5 3 ratio?

For every five capital ships, the Americans and British had the Japanese were allowed to have three.

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