Note: many of these articles are behind a paywall that the New York Times continues to enforce for archives between 1923 and 1987. Because they’re dumb like that. And dumb like hiring Kristol.
Dec 30, 1881: NEWS FROM CHINA AND JAPAN.; THE RUSSO-CHINESE DISPUTE–OPENING OF AN AMERICAN RAILWAY IN JAPAN.
General Zuo Zongtang, he of General Tso’s Chicken fame, is reported “halted on his way to the capital somewhere in the Province of Shensi, where he will remain until after the Chinese new year.” Zuo was returning from quashing the rebellion of Yakub Beg in Southern Xinjiang, and that year retired for good.
Dec 31, 1894: THE BATTLE OF KUNG-WA-SAI.; How the Japanese Retrieved the Day After a Repulse.
During the first Sino-Japanese War, reports from the battlefield: “The villagers of Juaining drove away the Chinese soldiers who sought refuge there. They said they preferred to be governed by the Japanese, who had captured the village previously.” It then goes on to say that Japanese administration is opening markets and “working well”.
Dec 30, 1905: HIGH CHINESE MISSION OFF TO STUDY AMERICA; Secretary Root Notified of Sailing of Distinguished Party. THREE WEEKS FOR THE TASK Chinese Minister Says His Government Desires to Emulate the Example of Japan.
Dec 31, 1911: WHAT ARE THE FIVE GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS OF 1911?; WHAT WERE THE FIVE GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS OF 1911?
Governor Hadley of Missouri, Senator Williams of Mississippi, France’s Ex-Minister of Finance Yves Guyot, Admirial Peary (of the North Pole Expedition), playwright Haddon Chambers, President Wheeler of the University of California, and others all include the end of the Qing Dynasty on their list of greatest achievements (not personal ones, obviously). Others mention Carnegie’s peace endowment, the discovery of radium, and the Panama Canal.
Dec 31, 1920: EX-PRESIDENT FENG OF CHINA IS DEAD; Sent Telegram from Deathbed Urging Warring Governors to Caase Civil Strife. WON FAME AS GENERAL His Successes in Suppressing Two Revolutions Gained Him Rank of Field Marshal.
Feng Guozhang, Beiyang general and former president of the Republic, sends a telegram from his deathbed urging an end to “civil strife”. Feng Guozhang served only a year, finishing Yuan Shikai’s term in 1918. Feng was bookended by two presidents who were named as successors by would-be Emperor Yuan, Li Yuanhong and Xu Shichang, as well Duan Qirui.
Dec 30, 1925: Gen. Hsu of China Is Slain by Victim’s Son, Who Waited Seven Years to Get Revenge
Xu Shuzheng, right-hand man of Duan Qirui and the man who briefly conquered Mongolia, is assassinated on a train platform by Feng Yuxiang, who belong to the Zhili warlord clique founded by Feng Guozhang.
Dec 31, 1931: CHANG GIVES UP CHINCHOW TO AVERT ATTACK ON CHINA; JAPANESE ARE PUSHING ON; CHINESE BEGIN RETREAT Ex-Chief of Manchuria as Withdrawing Forces Within Great Wall. JAPANESE SEIZE PANSHAN Kaopangtze Is Now Threatened by Invaders in Great Drive to Wipe Out Bandits. PLANES TERRIFY CHINCHOW Aircraft and Artillery Are Again Used by Tokyo’s Forces to Clear Way From Tienchangtai. Troop Trains Leave Chinchow. Forces Converge on Kaopangtze. Japanese Capture Panshan. CHINESE EVACUATE CHINCHOW REGION Planes Rout Chinese Forces. Rear Attack Is Thwarted.
HOLD GREAT WALL JAPAN’S OBJECTIVE; Observers at Chinchow Believe Tokyo Troops Will Not Go Into China Proper. PRESSURE BY US EXPECTED Naval Manoeuvres in Pacific in February Held Likely to Give Pause to Japan.
China loses Jinzhou to Japanese forces. The conquest of Manchuria is finished days later.
Dec 31, 1933: FUKIEN WAR SHOWS GROWING INTENSITY; But Hangchow Is Unconcerned as American-Trained Air Force Is Centred There. SPEEDY PLANES BOUGHT Nanking Asks All Foreigners at Amoy and Foochow to Take Refuge on Islands.
The Fujian War lasted about a month and a half. The Fujian People’s Government was a collection of disillusioned Republican in truce with Communist rebels. They did manage to have a flag:
Dec 30, 1936: GEN. CHIANG QUITS FOR SECOND TIME; Nanking Is Expected to Reject This Resignation as It Did Generalissimo’s First One. MERCY FOR CHANG ASKED Dictator Urges China to Deal Leniently With Captor — He Is Likely to Take a Long Rest.
Jan 1, 1956: REVOLT ON MAINLAND PREDICTED BY CHIANG
TAIPEI, Formosa, Dec. 31– President Chiang Kai-shek of Nationalist China predicted today a “mighty revolution” would break out soon across the breadth of the Communist-held Chinese mainland.