In the 16th century, western colonial powers came to the remote eastern land to seek destinations for markets and overseas colonies. In 1514, the Portuguese landed on Chineseland. Afterwards, the Spanish, Dutch and British came to China in succession. In 1793, a British delegation led by Mc-Cartney required the Qing imperial courts to open trading ports, establish firms, and even provide Zhoushan Islands for "dry goods." The Qing imperial court determinedly refused.
Britain, which was in a deficit in trade with China, started to smuggle opium and seduced Chinese civilians and soldiers to get addicted to opium in order to overturn the condition of trade deficit. The quantity of opium imported had reached more than 40,000 boxes per year by 1840.
The Chinese people suffered a lot from imported opium. If the import had continued without any restriction, China would "have no troops to resist invasion and have no money to afford the army." Lin Zexu, the government inspector, organized the destruction of captured opium in Humen, Guangzhou, in June 1839. Britain outrageously invaded China in June 1840, launching the Opium War. China had backward military equipment and was weak in military operations. Moreover, the Emperor of the Qing Dynasty was anxious to win at the beginning and quickly turned to compromise and surrender after failing to win within a short time. Therefore, China lost the war. In August 1842, the imperial court of the Qing Dynasty signed The Sino-LK Treaty of Nanking, remising land and paying silver to Britain. Thetreaty humiliated the nation and forfeited its sovereignty.
In the six decades between the Opium War and the early1900s, China was invaded and humiliated by superpowers several times. The Second Opium War, Sino-French War, Sino-Japanese War and the invasion of the Eight-Power Allied Forces, forced the imperial court of the Qing Dynasty to sign a series of unequal treaties, which affected Chinese political, economic and cultural fields and infringed Chinese sovereignty of territory, jurisdiction and administration. Since then, China ceased the approach of independent development and was involved in the western capitalist system, and gradually reduced to being a colony or semi-colony.
When western powers invaded China, they violently destroyed China's situation of remaining separated from the outside world, and destroyed the country's traditional economy of natural self-sufficiency. They directly established factories and built railways in China to exploit the cheap labor, dump commodities and plunder resources. At the same time, they spread new social factors, acted as an unconscious historical tool and initiated China's modernization to some extent. As western powers attacked China, national bourgeoisie and the proletariat came into being in the country. With the bankruptcy of a large quantity of farmers, a semi-proletariat class was created.
After World War I, Japan consolidated its power in China. In 1931, Japan instigated the Mukden Incident and invaded Northeast China, and instigated the Marco Polo Bridge Incident in 1937, extending its invasion scope to northern China and even the whole Chinese territory. During the 14 years while Japan invaded China, it turned occupied areas into military and industrial bases to raven economic resources in. "military management" and "consignment operation" manners. Japanese invaders made the extremely cruel Nanking Massacre, and carried out brutal germ wars and chemical wars. According to statistics, the number of people killed by Japanese invaders was 35 million, the direct economic loss was $100 billion, and indirect economic loss reached $500 billion.