Port Arthur

Port Arthur
   Port Arthur is the former name of the port city of Lüshun at the tip of China’s Liaodong Peninsula in Liaoning Province, approximately 30 kilometers south of the city of Dalian. Port Arthur takes its name from Royal Navy Lieutenant William C. Arthur, who briefly occupied the harbor in 1858. Port Arthur’s natural harbor and strategic position, commanding the northern Yellow and Bohai Seas, resulted in its fortification in the 1880s by Qing China and its choice as headquarters for the developing Beiyang Fleet. The port played a major role in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894 when it was captured by Japanese troops after a short siege. On the strength of its peace settlement with China in 1895, Japan briefly occupied the city along with the Liaodong Peninsula yet was forced to withdraw in response to the Triple Intervention of Russia, France, and Germany.
   In 1898, Russia occupied Port Arthur as part of its lease of railroad rights in Manchuria. It soon extended a spur of the Trans-Siberian Railway to the port, increasing the location’s strategic and commercial value. During the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, the port was again occupied by Japan after a prolonged siege and, with the defeat of Russia, became the headquarters of the Japanese Guandong (Kwantung) Leased Territories, taking on a major role in Japan’s occupation and development of Manchuria.
   See also <>; <>; <>; <>.
    Matsusaka, Yoshihisa Tak. The Making of Japanese Manchuria, 1904–1932. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center, 2001;
    Stephen, John J. The Russian Far East. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1994.

Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914. 2014.

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