China is no longer a country, but a region occupied by dozens of splinter states all warring with each other. Four of the larger states (the Canton Confederation, Henan, Shaanxi, and Sichuan) are vying to reunify China under their respective banners, while the other lesser states serve as political wildcards.
Arguably China's demise could be said to originate in the market reforms by Deng Xiaoping into the Chinese Communist economy. As the Chinese economy grew and expanded through the 80s and 90s and into the Resource Rush, several of the southeastern Chinese provinces, close to Hong Kong and Macao and with emigrant connections to southeast Asia and the United States, began making individual deals directly with their trading partners. In 2006, the provinces of Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan and Zhejiang banded together to form the Greater Canton Economic Development Council, a trade alliance to coordinate economic deals with the provinces. The central government gave tacit approval, as the Council was bringing in money and saying all the right words about Party loyalty. On the other hand, the move also alienated a number of western provinces, most notably Sichuan, which resented all the attention the eastern provinces was getting from Beijing.
The unraveling of China, however, didn't begin until 2011, when a magical barrier known as the Veil fell over most of Tibet, as well as other portions of Qinghai and the Himalayas, cutting off that region from Chinese control. Attempts to penetrate the Veil and re-exert control by the PLA failed.
Emboldened by this failure, the western province of Xinjiang, which consisted mostly of Islamic Uighurs rather than Chinese Han declared its independence from China in 2013. Already plagued by post-Awakening problems and their failure to resolve Tibet, Beijing had little choice but to watch them leave. Xinjiang subsequently merged with other Central Asian Islamic states to form the nation of Turkestan.
In 2015, Hong Kong declared that the policy of "one country, two systems" was not working out and that they were intending to opt out of the system. With the help of Great Britain and the nascent extraterritorial megacorporations, the territory renamed itself as the Hong Kong Free Enterprise Zone, a corporate enclave run by the megacorps.
The unraveling of China picked up speed when an earthquake in the Tai-Hei Mountains buried China’s primary nuclear arsenal, detonating a few warheads in the process. With the Party deprived of most of its nukes, the member states of the Canton Development Council withdrew en masse and formed the Canton Confederation. Sichuan and Shaanxi also formed their own nations, dissatisfied with the Party’s preferential treatment of the eastern Coastal Provinces. All these secessions created a corridor of independence that cut off the other western provinces, which subsequently went their own way. Most important, the withdrawal of these provinces created a crisis of confidence that resulted in a coup, throwing the Communist Party out of power in China. In its stead the New Progress Party took control, consisting of businessmen and rising apparatchiks kept outside the Communist Party leadership by the old guard, renaming the country as the Republic of China.
Republic Civil War
Upon taking power, the New Progress Party renamed the regions Beijing still held onto as the Republic of China and initiated purges to politically obliterate the old guard. A core of hardliners managed to regroup and solidify power in Henan, however, and loyalties were divided from prefecture to prefecture in the remaining eastern Coastal Provinces. Some supported the New Progress Party, while others remained faithful to the old-line communists.
The result was an eight-year civil war that split the eastern coastal regions into microstates. These small, weakened mini-nations received support from various extraterritorial AA and AAA megacorps, who manipulated them into loosening anti-sweatshop regulations. This region of microstates eventually came to be known as the Coastal Provinces.
Meanwhile, the residents of Manchuria, with the aid of urban spirits, used the chaos to withdraw from China. Once the dust settled, the Republic was a rump state.
2006: The provinces of Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hunan and Zhejiang form the Greater Canton Economic Development Council, to deal with the increased foreign investment and economic boom caused by the Resource Rush.
2011: Tibet withdraws from China and erects a large magical barrier isolating it from the rest of the world.
2013: Xinjiang secedes from China.
2015: Hong Kong secedes from China and declares itself the Hong Kong Free Enterprise Zone. Great Britain is duped into using its influence to aid Hong Kong, but corporate interests swiftly take over.
2017: A major earthquake hits the Tai-Hei mountain range, which also serves as China’s main nuclear weapons stockpile. The quake triggers several underground nuclear detonations, which collapse the entire underground arsenal. Aftershocks reverberate throughout northern China; one creates deep crevasses in Tiananmen Square and topples several monuments.
2018: The member provinces of the Greater Canton Economic Development Council secede from China, and the Council transforms into the Canton Confederation. Sichuan, Shaanxi and Inner Mongolia also withdraw, effectively cutting off western China from Beijing and prompting the western regions to secede. These sudden losses force a coup in Beijing, as reformers throw the Communist Party out of power. The rump nation is renamed the Republic of China.
2019-2027: Republic Civil War. Fighting breaks out as the communists regroup in Henan and attempt to regain control of Beijing. The provinces between the Yellow River and the Canton Confederation splinter into microstates, forming the Coastal Provinces region. Communist hardliners solidify their hold over Henan and withdraw it from the Republic. Henan absorbs a portion of Hubei Province, while the province of Shanxi merges with the independent Shaanxi state. Manchuria also withdraws from the Republic of China.
2021: The Sichuan provisional government collapses as incursions from its neighbors spark civil unrest. Intermittent warfare disrupts the Chinese heartland.
2039: Monarchists seize control of Shaanxi and restructure it as a parliamentary monarchy. Michelle Chou is crowned Queen of Shaanxi.
2041-2044: Nationalist War. Fujian and Zhejiang declare independence and break away from the Confederation to join Taiwan. The Confederation wages war and reclaims Fujian. Zhejiang fragments into multiple microstates that are subsequently lumped into the Coastal Provinces.
2044: The mage Liang Hong seizes power in Sichuan.
2047: Sichuan annexes most of Guizhou and parts of Yunnan.
2060: Li Tianzi organizes a coup in Beijing that forces out the republican government. Occupying the Forbidden City, he declares himself Emperor.
2061: The Republic of China and Emperor Tianzi sign a peace treaty, in which the republic recognizes Beijing as an autonomous region politically independent from the Republic. The Republic capital moves to Tianjin.
2062: The great dragon Lung lands on T’ai Shan Mountain and declares it his lair.
Politics & Geography
China has fragmented into a number of major and minor splinter states, as well as regions of microstates or lawlessness which have no central control.
The major splinter states represent the more powerful states of what used to be China. With the exception of Manchuria, all of the major states possess a share of China's nuclear arsenal and to varying degrees are vying to reunify China under their own leadership.
The minor splinter states are smaller regions that still manage to retain their own autonomy.
The regions listed below have no central government or authority, but are rather collective regions of microstates, warlord holdings, or lawless areas.
- Coastal Provinces
- Primary Source: Shadows of Asia
- Shadowrun: Third Edition, s.29.
- Underworld Sourcebook, s.53.
- Portfolio of a Dragon, s.77.
The Great Dragon Lung is rumored to lair somewhere in mainland China (sr3.269).
Most heavy industry controlled by Mitsuhama (cd.63).
Reference to "the China Democracy" (sea.147).
Aztechnology owns the Jiuquan launch facility in Gansu (yotc.18).
This page forked from Wordman's The Sixth World: A geographical index to the world of Shadowrun
|The Splinter States of China|