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Victories over China in 1895 and Russia in 1905 and the invasion of Korea in 1910 left Japan the strongest player and a new world power. Taiwan also was under the control of Japan, having been ceded to the Land of the Rising Sun by China after it lost the Sino-Japanese War. Would the twentieth century continue to be an era of outside influence, regional fighting, and neighbors conquering neighbors, as was the pattern in earlier centuries? Would democracy find its way into this region, where it had achieved very limited success in the A 41 42 East Asia past?

He used military force to suppress the rebellion, however, thereby strengthening his grip on the government. Sun Yat-sen was forced to flee to Japan. As China’s president, Yuan had difficulty receiving international recognition. To help persuade the international community to recognize his dictatorial government and to placate Russian interests, Yuan allowed Outer Mongolia to become independent in 1915. Later in 1915, Yuan tried to make himself China’s monarch. This resulted in further rebellion, A Century of Transition and Change which included resistance from many of his military officers.

The Soviets had turned their interests elsewhere during the war, but China maintained a strong military presence in North Korea until 1958. The United States has kept troops in South Korea ever since the war. Today, the 38th parallel is designated as a demilitarized zone (DMZ), where no troops from North Korea or South Korea can trespass. The DMZ was established by the armistice agreement that ended the war. 5 miles (4 kilometers) wide. According to the agreement, incursions by air, land, and sea are forbidden.

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