China Declares War on Austria-Hungary

On August 14th China formally joined the Allies and declared war on Austria and Germany.

She took no great part in the war, except to invade the German and Austrian settlements in Tientsin and Hankow, which were taken over by the Chinese authorities. The Chinese officials also seized the Deutsche Asiatische Bank which had been financing agent in China for the German Government, and fourteen German vessels which had been interned in Chinese ports. Thousands of Chinese coolies were sent to Europe to work in the Allied interests behind the battle lines, and China has in all respects been faithful to her pledges.

After Yuan Shikai's death in 1916, China was politically fragmented, with an internationally recognized but virtually powerless national government seated in Peking (Beijing). Warlords in various regions exercised actual control over their respective territories. In the late 1920s, the Kuomintang, under Chiang Kai-shek, was able to reunify the country under its own control, moving the nation's capital to Nanking (Nanjing) and implementing "political tutelage", an intermediate stage of political development outlined in Sun Yat-sen's program for transforming China into a modern, democratic state. Effectively, political tutelage meant one-party rule by the Kuomintang.