Fought between 1904 and 1905 between Russia and Japan, both seeking to increasing their power in East Asia, the Russo-Japanese War resulted in a decisive victory for Japan. It was culturally significant as the first defeat of an European military force by an Asian one. Conditions for ending the war were agreed in the Treaty of Portsmouth, mediated by Theodore Roosevelt.
The outcome of the war strengthened the position of reformers within and outside the government of Qing-dynasty China. At the beginning of the war they had argued that Japan, having adopted modernizing and democratizing reforms, would prove stronger, because of its reformed political system, than Russia, whose Tsarist regime (like China's, they argued) was autocratic and out of date.