My interest is always in the why a certain resource (asset) is used the way it is--the political decision to risk whatever.
Thus the Wanxian Incident (well discribed on HMS Falcon website) from British point of view to me seems to have an all Chinese component with the event forming a three way dialogue with Wu Peifu, Yang Sen, and Jiang Jieshi. On August 19th Jiang opens assault on Wu's Milo River defense positions and by 22 August cracks same. Wu would have called on Yang for assistance. On August 27th and 29th Yang has run in with British flagged ships. One event on the 29th involves the swamping of junks (not really so distinct an event on the Yangzi) and another has Yang seizing two British ships. Talks go nowhere up to Sept.4th and on the 5th the British mount a rescue operation leading to the bombardment of Wanxian. Meantime Jiangs troops are pushing Wu, out of Yueyang (When) along rail road, August 26,27 &30 and arrive at Wuchang on August 31st, By first week in Sept, Wu forces are being forced to regroup and he has left thousands stranded in Wuchang besieged by Jiang. Clearly Yang can't help Wu as he is confronting the British. Yang releases the British ships on Sept 22nd, apparently out of the goodness of his heart. By then Wu is in full retreat and has been pushed almost all the way out of Hubei Province. Wuchang falls to Jiang on October 10th, (A very symbolic day). Two weeks later Yang is welcomed to Jiang's big tent. Is this coincidence or collusion?