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Full Access Western Imperialism and Military Reform in Japan and China

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Western Imperialism and Military Reform in Japan and China

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This paper compares the initial efforts at military reform in China and Japan in the late nineteenth century. Changes in military organization and training are situated within a global process of military transformation represented by changes in the structure of the Prussian army. The Prussian staff system and planning program were imported into both Japan and China, but with quite different results. The paper contrasts centralization and standardization as typified by the new Japanese army with the decentered approaches in China. The paper argues that although there was substantive change in China, the Qing state was unable to impose a uniform plan for military Westernization. As a result, the new armies were never integrated into a common organization capable of defending the state from external aggression.


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