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World War II Re-explored

Some New Millenium Studies in the History of the Global Conflict

Edited By Jarosław Suchoples, Stephanie James and Barbara Törnquist-Plewa

This volume is a collection of thirty papers written by authors from around the world. The writers focus on topics related to their own research interests. As a result, readers obtain a worldwide perspective on World War II from academics working on nearly every continent, proving that World War II was, probably, the first ever truly global experience for humanity. Present are many and different perspectives on the war. Eighty years after the end of World War II, these academics share their knowledge and reflections about a gruesome, but still not very remote time. In the new millennium, their studies should remind readers that the ‘end of history’ has been an impossible illusion and warn that peace and stability in international relations are not a given.

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France and Japan in Tianjin, 1937–1940

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Abstract: This article aims to reevaluate the place of the French concession in Tianjin in the imperial history of the city and in the history of the Second Sino-Japanese War; to evaluate the position of France during the war: between neutrality, cooperation (traditional between foreigners in the treaty ports in China and particularly strong in Tianjin where there was an important military occupation on the part of several nations) and collaboration. The author attempts to show that, despite a sometimes objective, sometimes implicit, alliance binding France and Japan in Tianjin before 1937 in the frame of the complex and hybrid system which was foreign imperialism in China, France, first holding a strictly neutral position, then one of compromise by using the screen of the late imperial, finally needed to capitulate after an ‘arm-wrestling contest’ between the French and British concessions on one part and Japan on the other. In conclusion, the chapter provides an analysis of the British-French rendition and of the collaboration agreement which followed in July 1940.

Keywords: China, concessions, Tianjin, imperialism, collaboration

Tianjin in 1937

In China’s modern history, Tianjin was a major treaty port from many perspectives – economic, strategic, and geopolitical. The city operated as the commercial platform of Northern China – in the region of Tianjin, there were salt mines, cotton was produced and exported, and import and export levels passing through the city rivaled Shanghai trade. Tianjin was the lock of Beijing, situated at approximately half distance...

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