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World War I China


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#1 shuxiang

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 06:36 PM

German Qingdao was captured by Japan during early World War I. Besides that, China was not very related to World War I. Did the military of China under Yuan Shikai participate in any battles or events of that time?

#2 General_Zhaoyun

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Posted 26 August 2009 - 10:48 PM

I once watched a documentary series about many Chinese soldiers being drafted into the "Allies" in France and then were sent to the battlegrounds in Europe during WWI.

So, effectively Chinese soldiers had fought in battles in Europe during WWI and "won" the battle. Thus, Chinese rejected to sign the Versaille treaty.
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#3 ahxiang

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Posted 27 August 2009 - 11:49 AM

I once watched a documentary series about many Chinese soldiers being drafted into the "Allies" in France and then were sent to the battlegrounds in Europe during WWI.

So, effectively Chinese soldiers had fought in battles in Europe during WWI and "won" the battle. Thus, Chinese rejected to sign the Versaille treaty.


100000-20000 Chinese were hired for WWI to do trench digging, corpse' tarnsport etc. They were called some "service corps". There were public cemeteries in France and Belgium in honor of those killed in battles. After the end of WWI, some of those guys stayed on. At least half a dozen joined the French communists and 2-3 went to the Spanish Civil War, and two returned to Yenan to be some cadres but did not ascend anywhere in power due to lack of education.

Similarly, Chinese coolies were hired by the Soviets. When Bolsheviks staged the coup, the Chinese joined the Red Army, similar to other mercenaries, to fight the White Army. The Russian Bolsheviks, Jews mostly, trusted non-Russians, and used Chinese as executioners and bodyguards. Some of the Chinese were selected for subversion in CHina. Since they were uneducated, they did not gain too much influence. One guy called Yang Mingzhai escorted the Soviet spies to China for launching the CCP.

Now, did China send armies overseas for WWI? Yes and no. When Bolsheviks came to power in Russia, ROC sent a contingent of army, as part of the multi-national force, to the Russia Siberian frontiers to participate in the "intervention" wars, under the command of the Japanese who had the largest army personnel in Siberia. Japanese last withdrew from Siberia after the 1922 Washington Conference. Chinese army probably withdrew in 1921 or earlier. Communist leaders, like Liu Shaoqi, had to evade the Chinese border army and sneak across the Siberia frontline for Moscow during that timeframe.

Edited by ahxiang, 01 September 2009 - 01:50 AM.


#4 liuyu

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Posted 01 October 2009 - 10:38 AM

Im in china maintain, so maybe I could give somemore resource about how people of PRC today think about the role of mercenary troops from China in ww1. Not long ago, cctv made a series of documentary about just the same event, it's called 华工军团huá gōng jūn tuán, the troops consist of workerman from china, and the documentary say there are many decendants of 华工 in Europe, especially in France, I don't know whether it's true or just another YY(意淫psycholagny) of our people.
click this华工军团




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