Boycotts and bombs: The failure of economic sanctions in the Sino-Japanese conflict, Tianjin China, 1928–1932

China's use of tariffs and boycotts as non-violent tools in its conflict with Japan in the years between 1928 and 1932 did not prove completely effective in achieving the goals of reducing Japanese imports or discouraging further Japanese aggression. Poor implementation and enforcement hampered both.When Chinese political activists turned to bomb throwing as a means of enforcement, they succeeded only in showing deep cleavages in Chinese society. In the end, the Japanese invasion of China in 1937 aborted attempts by the Chinese government to encourage economic development and put an end to any idea that non-violent economic sanctions could resolve China's conflict with Japan.Tariffs were tools of the strong while boycotts and bombs were tools of the weak.The Nationalist government was not strong enough to use tariffs effectively or prohibit Japanese investment, but also not weak enough to tolerate, or acquiesce, to the chaotic fallout from boycotts and bombing.