View Full Version : Shandong: A German Enclave That Brought on the May Fourth Movement

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008, 09:37 PM
Tsingtao (Qingdao) Beer is my favourite. It is a good beer based on German know-how. Not surprising, as in the imperialistic days of the 19th Century, it was a German manufacture in Shandong.

In fact, after China joined the side of the Allies against Germany, it naturally expected robbed properties by Germany returned to the Chinese.

Instead, the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 awarded German possessions in Shandong to the Japanese, only three years after Japan's infamous 21 demands.

This so infuriated the whole of China.

It resulted in more than 3000 students from Beijing University (Beida) taking to the streets, joined by traders and representative of all walks of Chinese society.

A boycott of Japanese goods followed.

From that patriotic demonstration, we have what we now know as May Fourth Movement of 1919.

One magazine that took off here was New Youth, and Lu Xun was the pioneering writer that wrote in the vernacular.

Chen Duxiu felt China must do away with old ideas and old ways of doing things. In fact, Confucianism was regarded as the cause, and was it not Lu Xun who blamed it for making China the sick man of Asia?

Around this time, a young librarian in Beijing University began his formative years from the fervour of the patriotic movement. Mao Zedong was to surface as the future leader of China years later.

Most importantly, May Fourth Movement was the catalyst that sped up the founding of the Chinese Communist Party.

The lesson here is whereas the CCP’s ascendancy was due to a mass movement such as the May Fourth Movement, it has to deliver. Otherwise it may also take another mass movement to topple it.

In China, a regime has a dynastic lifespan.

I found it here:

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008, 10:09 PM
That's very interesting. One of my current university papers is about the politics of the Asia-Pacific and we have covered a great deal about the fall of Imperial China all the way up until modern times.

I had wondered what had happened to the 'colonies' or spheres of influence of the Western powers in China.

Does anyone know what happened to the German populace? Were they evacuated before war broke out or were they all murdered?