Tuesday, August 4

Friday, May 19

Today, a bombing at a crowded railway station in Tientsin, China killed more than 100 people. So far I haven’t learned anything more about this incident, but I have discovered that the city had a large and well-established foreign business “presence”. Portions of the city had been conceded to Britain, Germany, France, Russia, Italy and Japan, and they had been made to resemble their home countries. Working there was a pretty sweet gig for the foreigners. Not sure how the USA missed out on the deal.
Was the bombing a random act of terror? There were Japanese troops nearby in Manchuria, and the Japanese had been sending planes over major Chinese cities with impunity, dropping- not bombs- but loads of pamphlets telling the people “these could be bombs if we wanted them to be” and “resistance is futile”. State terrorism. The actual railway station bombing was probably too explicit to have been done by the Japanese, but who knows. Had the Japanese in Tientsin been warned not to start any journeys that morning?
The reality of Chinese politics meant that there was no need for conspiracy theories. There were plenty of actual conspiracies to go around.

A nice map on today’s post about 1933.

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