This article accompanies the fable
Oz is China
Is it a coincidence that in 1900, when most of the earth’s peoples were under foreign domination, and disease wiped out more indigenous populations than at any other time in history, that European and American writers produced some of the finest fantasy and science fictions?
The China of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz belongs in the same tradition that produced Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, H. Rider Haggard’s Africa, Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books, James Barrie’s Neverland and so on. Baum himself subscribed to all this nostalgic daydreaming, holding seances at the family table in the hope of communicating with the dead and even discovering a ghost in an upstairs room. The illustration below is not Dorothy and the Wicked Witch of the West although it could be; it's from Andrew Lang's Yellow Fairy Book (1894).
In the United States, views on China and Asia generally continued to be hostile. Jack London , who briefly was a war correspondent in the Russo-Japanese War in 1904, published his own essay on The Yellow Peril in June of that year. It is sympathetic to Japanese expansionism (he refers to them as the "brown people"), viciously dismissive of the Koreans and ambivalent about the Chinese (the "yellow people"):
London resumed this ugly theme in the 1910 short story The Unparalleled Invasion, which is set in 1976. After initially being under Japanese control, China's population grows rapidly and outward migration overwhelms other countries. This is all part of a strategy and is followed by conquest. Feeling threatened, the United States and the other Western powers use plague germs against China, destroying its population.