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“They Are a Little Afraid of the British Admiral”

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The China Station of the Royal Navy during the First Sino-Japanese War, 1894–1895

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This article looks at the role of the British Royal Navy during the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895. Although the British government decided to stay neutral and work with Russia to mediate between Japan and China, the presence of the China Station of the Royal Navy played a subtle role in influencing the strategies adopted by China and Japan. However, as the British government underestimated its own naval power and possibly overestimated that of its potential opponents, the China Station played only a limited role to protect British interest. As a result, Russia used a much weaker fleet to achieve its territorial and political goals, while Britain was forced to increase its military and naval investment in East Asia. The result of the war was the opposite of the intention of the British government, namely to maintain stability in the area and check the spread of Russian influence.

Affiliations: 1: Hong Kong Baptist University,


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