After the Paris peace conference, the Far East and the Pacific had not had time to establish a new post-war order according to the changes in the balance of imperialist power.
Therefore, the United States, Japan and Britain launched a fierce ship building competition.
In view of this, initiated by the United States, the “conference” was held from November 12, 1921 to February 6, 1922.
After defeating Germany, the imperialist powers’ struggle for hegemony is mainly the struggle between Britain and the United States in the world.
In the Far East and Pacific region, the contradiction between Japan and the United States is growing and becoming acute.
The Treaty of alliance between Britain and Japan signed in 1902 will be renewed again after 10 years of renewal in 1911.
Japan sent the crown prince to visit Britain in May, hoping to extend the covenant.
The United States believes that the British Japanese Alliance was mainly against Russia and Germany before World War I and will be mainly against the United States after the war, which is conducive to Japan’s expansion.
Therefore, it tried its best to prevent Britain and Japan from renewing the alliance.
US Senator rocky said: the Anglo Japanese Alliance is one of the most dangerous factors in our relations with the Far East and in the Pacific.
It is encouraging Japan to be militaristic and ready to provoke new conflicts at sea and on land.
If the United States wants to change its disadvantage after the Paris peace conference, it must first seize the hegemony of the Far East and the Pacific region, especially the expansion of China.
The main obstacle comes from Japan.
After the end of the first World War, Japan’s investment in China has been close to that of Britain, and almost controls half of China’s foreign trade, surpassing Britain and the United States and ranking first.
The Treaty of Versailles confirmed that Japan obtained all the rights and interests of Germany in China and the colonies of Pacific island countries north of the equator, which strengthened Japan’s position in the Far East.
The United States and Japan are competing to expand their navies.
On July 10, 1921, the United States proposed to Britain, Japan, China, France, Italy and other countries to hold an international conference in Washington to discuss arms limitation and the Pacific and Far East issues.
The Netherlands, Belgium and Portugal have territories in the Far East or the Pacific and are required to attend the meeting.
The Washington conference was attended by representatives of the above-mentioned nine countries, four British dominions and India.
The treaty between the United States, Britain, France and Japan on the dependencies and territories of islands in the Pacific region, signed on December 13, 1921, is commonly known as the four nation treaty, which is valid for 10 years.
The treaty stipulates that they shall respect each other’s rights of island possessions and island territories in the Pacific region, and a meeting of States parties shall be convened to resolve disputes between States parties on a certain issue in the Pacific.
When the rights of States parties in the Pacific region are threatened by any country, they shall consult and take effective measures.
The four nation treaty is a new group with the United States as the protagonist to replace the British Japanese Alliance.
Although the four countries issued a joint statement on the same day of signing the contract, pointing out that it cannot be considered that the contracting party indicates that the United States agrees to the terms of appointment, it is tantamount to recognizing the fait accompli of dividing up colonies and spheres of influence in the Pacific region after the war and the rights and interests seized by Japan, which has temporarily delayed the conflict between the United States, Britain and Japan.
The Treaty of the United States, Britain, France, Italy and Japan on the limitation of naval armaments, signed on February 6, 1922, is commonly known as the Treaty of the five navies.
This treaty forced Britain to recognize the principle of equal naval strength between Britain and the United States, which means that the British naval advantage began to lose.
The treaty imposes certain restrictions on Japan, but the United States waives the right to establish naval bases in the Philippines, Guam and Aleutian Islands, and Britain waives the right to establish naval bases in Hong Kong and the eastern Pacific Islands.
As compensation to Japan, it is still beneficial to Japan.
The treaty has no restrictions on the armaments of other types of ships and land and air forces other than capital ships and aircraft carriers, so it can not really ease the maritime competition and arms race of the great powers.
The nine Nation Convention signed on February 6, 1922, fully known as the nine nation Treaty on the principles and policies applicable to China’s events, is the main document of the Washington conference to discuss the Far East and Pacific issues.
The full text of the Convention consists of nine articles, the first of which is the four point draft resolution drafted by the representative of the United States, which is also the core of the treaty.
It formally claims to “respect China’s sovereignty and independence and territorial and administrative integrity”, but there is no guarantee.
The representative of the United States explained that this is only applicable to China’s 18 provinces, excluding “Southern Manchuria”, Inner Mongolia and Tibet, and still upholds the privileges of Japan and Britain in their aggression and expansion against China.
The essence of the nine Nation Convention is to affirm the so-called principle of “open doors and equal opportunities” put forward by the United States, and create favorable conditions for the United States to exclude the forces of various countries in China, expand and seize hegemony.
The nine Nation Convention completely ignores China’s wishes.
The “Ten Principles” on the China issue put forward by the Chinese representative to the meeting listed the abolition of all privileges granted by China to all countries in China in the past.
Abolish various political, judicial and administrative restrictions imposed by various countries on China.
The existing treaty on China should have a time limit.
Any interpretation involving the right of assignment should be conducive to the claims of the transferring state and so on.
In the subsequent discussion, it was clearly proposed to return all the rights of Germany in China to China.
Japan has abandoned the “Article 21”, abolished all foreign privileges in China, abolished foreign leasehold and “sphere of influence” in China, revoked the consular jurisdiction of foreigners, withdrew foreign military and police forces in China, and demanded tariff autonomy.
The imperialist powers rejected the proposal of the Chinese representative under various pretexts.
Only on the Shandong issue, Britain and the United States mediated to promote direct negotiations between China and Japan, and the representatives of Britain and the United States participated as observers.
On February 4, 1922, the representatives of China and Japan signed the Treaty on the settlement of outstanding cases in Shandong and its supplementary agreement.
The treaty stipulates that Japan will return the old German leased land Jiaozhou Bay to China, withdraw the Japanese army, and China will open all the old German leased land in Jiaozhou Bay as commercial ports.
The right of way of Jiaoji Railway belongs to China.
China has paid Japan 32 million silver yuan of railway output value.
The positions of former vehicle chief and chief accountant are still held by the Japanese.
Japan still retains considerable economic and political power in Shandong.
This treaty amended the resolution on Shandong in the Treaty of Versailles and paved the way for the signing of the nine Nation Convention.
At this point, the imperialist powers completed the final sharing of the spoils in World War I.
The Washington conference is essentially a continuation of the Paris Peace Conference.
Its direct purpose is to solve the power balance of the navies of the imperialist powers that cannot be solved by the Treaty of Versailles, adjust their conflicts of interest in the Far East and the Pacific region, especially in China, and improve the first World WarPost imperialist peace system.
It can be said that during the Paris peace conference, Britain and France seized the best interests of the victorious countries and controlled the League of nations.
During the Washington Conference, the United States gained the upper hand.
After the Paris Peace Conference and the Washington Conference, the balance of power among the imperialist powers after the first World War constituted a new overall pattern of international relations.
Generally speaking, the Washington Conference temporarily eased the relationship between the imperialist powers to a certain extent, while hiding new conflicts.