Why did China never invade Japan?

Sep 2016
609
天下
Both Goguryeo and Silla built forces to match Tang in battle as well. Goguryeo in particular held loyalties to the tributary chiefdom to the Mohe tribes above the Yalu river and held a complex network of fortresses just to defend against Chinese aggression. Sillans also fought against the Tang in 670-676. Wouldn't the protocols be more diplomatic in nature?
By the time of Uyghur Khaghanate and the apogeum of Tibetan power Goguryeo was already destroyed, while Silla was happily relegated to a vassal state status. Uyghurs on the other hand, while accepting nominal suzerainty of Tang, were extorting huge amounts of money and silk in exchange for military support or ceasation of raiding. Keeping them happy was paramount for Tang. Tibetans also were able to invade as far as the capital of Tang.

It also has to be remembered that Tang of 8th century and Tang of 7th century are two different beast. The latter was still an expansionist power, while the former was mostly focused on keeping the borders protected.
 

heavenlykaghan

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
4,486
Both Goguryeo and Silla built forces to match Tang in battle as well. Goguryeo in particular held loyalties to the tributary chiefdom to the Mohe tribes above the Yalu river and held a complex network of fortresses just to defend against Chinese aggression. Sillans also fought against the Tang in 670-676. Wouldn't the protocols be more diplomatic in nature?
Goguryeo or Silla were only able to "match" the Tang in a defensive war and never posed a strategic threat the way the Tibetan or Uighur empires did. I don't know what you mean by diplomatic in nature. Vassal state protocol is the standard diplomatic protocol of the Tang Empire. Rival state protocol of equality is what the Tang considered abnormal (in fact equality is what is considered abnormal in the Confucian international order, for there can only be one legitimate suzerain under heaven). Silla never challenged Tang suzerainty even during its war against the Tang. The Tibetans tried to use rival state protocol with the Tang in the 710s and the Tang went to war with them over it, resulting in the Tibetans reverting back to a more subservient protocol in letters of the 720s (even though its not technically a vassal). Only after Anlushan's rebellion in 755 did the Tang start using a more equal protocol with Uighurs and Tibetans, and later with Nanzhao too. The only state which the Tang accepted as a rival state prior to 755 was the early Eastern Turuks before 627.
 
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Jul 2019
28
Victoria
By the time of Uyghur Khaghanate and the apogeum of Tibetan power Goguryeo was already destroyed, while Silla was happily relegated to a vassal state status. Uyghurs on the other hand, while accepting nominal suzerainty of Tang, were extorting huge amounts of money and silk in exchange for military support or ceasation of raiding. Keeping them happy was paramount for Tang. Tibetans also were able to invade as far as the capital of Tang.

It also has to be remembered that Tang of 8th century and Tang of 7th century are two different beast. The latter was still an expansionist power, while the former was mostly focused on keeping the borders protected.
You were saying that the Uighurs and Tibetians both adopted an equal status and proved it by forming a military forces able to match Tang in battle hence why i said Goguryeo and Silla also both built up forces to defend them in pitched battles.

Now i learnt that the Uighurs were demanding extortion during the 8th century which makes sense but wasn't Tibet's success in invading the Tang capital facilitated by the Anshi rebellion? I don't think they would be able to during a period of relative peace.
 

heavenlykaghan

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
4,486
There is a difference between repulsing an invasion or two and long term stalemate, or even gaining the strategic upperhand against the Tang. While Silla was able to gain the Korean peninsula, it took advantage of Tang wars against the Tibetans in the west (where most Tang forces were deployed), the threat Tang posed to Silla's existence was never eliminated and adopting a rival state protocol is openly challenging Tang power. It's the modern equivalent of not recognizing a state in the UN as legitimate; there can be no normal diplomacy after that.
 
Jul 2019
28
Victoria
Goguryeo or Silla were only able to "match" the Tang in a defensive war and never posed a strategic threat the way the Tibetan or Uighur empires did. I don't know what you mean by diplomatic in nature. Vassal state protocol is the standard diplomatic protocol of the Tang Empire. Rival state protocol of equality is what the Tang considered abnormal (in fact equality is what is considered abnormal in the Confucian international order, for there can only be one legitimate suzerain under heaven). Silla never challenged Tang suzerainty even during its war against the Tang. The Tibetans tried to use rival state protocol with the Tang in the 710s and the Tang went to war with them over it, resulting in the Tibetans reverting back to a more subservient protocol in letters of the 720s (even though its not technically a vassal). Only after Anlushan's rebellion in 755 did the Tang start using a more equal protocol with Uighurs and Tibetans, and later with Nanzhao too. The only state which the Tang accepted as a rival state prior to 755 was the early Eastern Turuks before 627.
Whats up with the quotations on match? Was Goguryeo not a threat to China at the time of Emperor Taizong? Did Goguryeo and Silla not both meet their objectives in the war? Why on earth would they invade Korea if it wasn't a threat? The Korean administration was already plotting with the Turkics starting the Sui war which allowed them to cross largely unhindered whilst the Sui were dedicated in pacifying the east. It's not as Tibetans and Uighur themselves alone went on a great offensive defeating Chinese armies. I can understand if you are implying the 8th century states have a greater offensive capabilities then the Korean states but the original comment was me asking what the Uighurs did differently to treat the Chinese not how they prepared an army which all nations did.

Furthermore you provided the answer contextualising the diplomatic situation of the 8th even after stating that you were confused by my query which was what i asked in the first place.
 
Jul 2019
28
Victoria
There is a difference between repulsing an invasion or two and long term stalemate, or even gaining the strategic upperhand against the Tang. While Silla was able to gain the Korean peninsula, it took advantage of Tang wars against the Tibetans in the west (where most Tang forces were deployed), the threat Tang posed to Silla's existence was never eliminated and adopting a rival state protocol is openly challenging Tang power. It's the modern equivalent of not recognizing a state in the UN as legitimate; there can be no normal diplomacy after that.
Alright this is what i wanted to know thank you. There is almost no english information regarding the Tibetians and Uighurs that i can get hold of so it was my incentive to ask. So both the Tibetans and Uighur threatened Tang without the need of a coalition? Silla also had the help of rebellions in the protectorates in the east asides from the Tibet-Tang conflicts just to add, and i think that would have created a greater disadvantage.
 

heavenlykaghan

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
4,486
Whats up with the quotations on match? Was Goguryeo not a threat to China at the time of Emperor Taizong? Did Goguryeo and Silla not both meet their objectives in the war? Why on earth would they invade Korea if it wasn't a threat? The Korean administration was already plotting with the Turkics starting the Sui war which allowed them to cross largely unhindered whilst the Sui were dedicated in pacifying the east.
The quotation is an emphasis on the fact that Goguryeo didn't in fact match Tang military power. Taizong's first invasion, although failing to destroy Goguryeo, wrestled a string of cities from the state, and annihilated Goguryeo's core field army near Anshi city. Goguryeo's existence was threatened and fought a complete defensive war, eventually falling to the Tang in 668, while the Tang's existence wasn't threatened. Saying it matched the Tang militarily is like saying Vietnam matched the Mongol Yuan in power because it repulsed three Mongol invasions. As for why invading a state if it wasn't a threat, I don't know why you think that's the only option for invasion. The United States invaded North Korea in 1953 or Iraq recently not because they are actual threats, but because they did not conform to American interests. The Tang was rather content in leaving Goguryeo alone before Goguryeo attacked Silla in 643 and refused to back off after the Tang warning. That was the immediate reason for the Tang campaign. Goguryeo was only a potential thorn to the Sui because of a possible alliance with the Turks, which the Tang already eliminated in 630 AD, and the Sir-Tardu Khanate followed in 646.


It's not as Tibetans and Uighur themselves alone went on a great offensive defeating Chinese armies. I can understand if you are implying the 8th century states have a greater offensive capabilities then the Korean states but the original comment was me asking what the Uighurs did differently to treat the Chinese not how they prepared an army which all nations did.
The Tibetans did just that in the late 8th century, conquering the entire Longyou circuit from the Tang, followed by the Tarim Basin, and even marching to Chang An in 762. The Tibetans again temporarily occupied the Ordos in 787, threatening Chang An again. The Uighurs on the other hand were instrumental as allies against the Tibetans (as well as against other Tang rebel military commissioners) and hence the Tang had no choice but to accept them as equals in protocol because they did affect Tang's survival.

Furthermore you provided the answer contextualising the diplomatic situation of the 8th even after stating that you were confused by my query which was what i asked in the first place.
I still don't understand your question, I merely explained the diplomatic situation in the hope that it covered your question and assumed that you equated diplomacy as equality when the Tang international diplomacy functioned very differently from the international system which originated from the Westphalian ideas of equal sovereign states.
 

heavenlykaghan

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
4,486
Alright this is what i wanted to know thank you. There is almost no english information regarding the Tibetians and Uighurs that i can get hold of so it was my incentive to ask. So both the Tibetans and Uighur threatened Tang without the need of a coalition? Silla also had the help of rebellions in the protectorates in the east asides from the Tibet-Tang conflicts just to add, and i think that would have created a greater disadvantage.
There are lots of books written on Tibetans and Uighurs in English. Christopher Beckwith's Tibetan Empire in Central Asia is the most representative, although many parts of it are outdated. The Tang after 756 is essentially a de-centralized feudal state with the military commissioners having almost complete autonomy. Tibet alone is enough to threaten the Tang without a coalition. It is the Tang which allied with the Uighurs and tried to contain Tibetan expansion outside of the plateau.
 
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VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,739
Florania
As Japanese, myself, I think China simply didn't have to invade such a small island, Japan. It was more like Japan wanted to invade China. As the purpose of invasion is to get resources or land that the other side of the nation owns, the one who is geographically disadvantaged would invade the one who is advantaged. So as Toyotomi Hideyoshi tried to invade Korea and China and failed. China is huge enough, whereas Japan is just a little isolated island. Probably the UK, Russia, the US are the ones who wanted as a territory but they first invaded China and China has become worn out by the Opium war by England, so Japan was so scared of them. When Japan saw 黒船(so-called black ship in Japan), USS Mississippi in 1853 was a big matter. All the samurai trembled with fear.
What do you think of the Second Sino-Japanese War? It was disastrous for both the invader and the invaded.
 
Jul 2019
28
Victoria
The quotation is an emphasis on the fact that Goguryeo didn't in fact match Tang military power. Taizong's first invasion, although failing to destroy Goguryeo, wrestled a string of cities from the state, and annihilated Goguryeo's core field army near Anshi city. Goguryeo's existence was threatened and fought a complete defensive war, eventually falling to the Tang in 668, while the Tang's existence wasn't threatened. Saying it matched the Tang militarily is like saying Vietnam matched the Mongol Yuan in power because it repulsed three Mongol invasions. As for why invading a state if it wasn't a threat, I don't know why you think that's the only option for invasion. The United States invaded North Korea in 1953 or Iraq recently not because they are actual threats, but because they did not conform to American interests. The Tang was rather content in leaving Goguryeo alone before Goguryeo attacked Silla in 643 and refused to back off after the Tang warning. That was the immediate reason for the Tang campaign. Goguryeo was only a potential thorn to the Sui because of a possible alliance with the Turks, which the Tang already eliminated in 630 AD, and the Sir-Tardu Khanate followed in 646.



The Tibetans did just that in the late 8th century, conquering the entire Longyou circuit from the Tang, followed by the Tarim Basin, and even marching to Chang An in 762. The Tibetans again temporarily occupied the Ordos in 787, threatening Chang An again. The Uighurs on the other hand were instrumental as allies against the Tibetans (as well as against other Tang rebel military commissioners) and hence the Tang had no choice but to accept them as equals in protocol because they did affect Tang's survival.



I still don't understand your question, I merely explained the diplomatic situation in the hope that it covered your question and assumed that you equated diplomacy as equality when the Tang international diplomacy functioned very differently from the international system which originated from the Westphalian ideas of equal sovereign states.
1. Right ok. But i think we are arguing for semantics considering that the original statement i made was that Goguryeo matched Tang in battle. Hence why i followed up with saying that Goguryeo built a series of hundreds of fortifications because my intention was to outline that the Koreans were considering the Chinese offensive a possible scenario to successfully fight against not that they would roll back and ask for forgiveness. Also i don't think the analogy between the North Koreans and the U.S Invasion is fair because the North Koreans had no chance of even a successful defence.

2. Alright i will read up on Christopher Beckwith's books, although the actual problem is requesting an issue. Most of the Korean annuals are completely free, translated online whilst it may not be so for the english editions hence the problem. But it's still a good recommendation thank you.

3. I don't understand why you think i assumed that diplomacy as equality. I just asked how the Chinese were treating the Uighurs because i wasn't convinced that Uighurs were THAT much strong and you answered. I'm not arguing about anything, i agree with you.