A tale of betrayal

By Tom Clifford | China Daily | Updated: 2017-02-10 07:18

A tale of betrayal

Betrayed Ally (China in the Great War) is coauthored by Frances Wood and Christopher Arnander. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The joint Anglo-Japanese force took Qingdao on Nov 7, 1914.

At face value the Versailles peace conference should have made an inspirational example of China's situation, with pockets of foreign occupation dotted down its coast.

The betrayal concerns China's dashed hopes.

Point 5 of US President Woodrow Wilson's 14 Points as principles for peace called for settling colonial claims such that ... the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined.

This was interpreted, rightly by China, as covering their claim to Qingdao and even the other treaty ports. So, the Chinese delegation to Versailles claimed that secret agreements and arrangements were an insult to Wilson's 14 Points.

But Wilson was deeply compromised.

To make his League of Nations work, he needed Japan. This was the fatal design flaw.

The irony of course was that it was the US senate, in November 1919, that voted against joining the league.

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349