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 Taihang 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.
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.
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 Tianiz 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 Mount T'ai Shan and declares it his lair.
Territorial evolution of the Chinese successor states
Guanxi (connections) is what is most important in China when it comes to doing business. The strongest guanxi is of course, family. Not just your immediate family (parents and siblings) but also your grandparents, their siblings, the in-laws, and even cousins thrice removed. Make an enemy and you may end up with over a 100 people after you.
In China, hierarchy in society is important as in knowing who is your better. Confucianism strongly influenced Chinese civilization and it was big on every individual knowing their place in society. People keep a virtual social scorecard and maintain a tally in their head as to who scores higher.
Among the Chinese, etiquette is important, as in how polite this or that person acts. The Chinese learn pretty early that they are supposed to be courteous to each other. As in being courteous to others even when your ripping them off. There is also the concept of "face" which deals with your honor, reputation, street credibility, and so on. If you screw someone over, it's advisable to give that individual the opportunity to restore his reputation, otherwise you will make an enemy.
Sixth World in China
Though things were not all roses for metahumans when they appeared in China (e.g. parents abandoning ork and troll children), due to cultural factors the Han Chinese were more easily able to accept the emergence of metahumans than people in Japan, India, the Middle East, or some of the more conservative regions and nations in the West (e.g. the Confederation of American States or Spain). The treatment of metahumans is generally likewise better than in most of the world, especially compared to the CAS, Japan, or the Middle East. This is reflected in the Chinese megacorp Wuxing, Inc., their criminal syndicates (Triads), and in both Daoism and Buddhism.
Magic was embraced by the Chinese relatively easily due to it's acceptance in Daoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism and therefore its reintegration into Chinese society was far easier than it was in the Islamic nations or in most of the Catholic world. The Awakened are favored in Chinese society and the use of magic in society is greater than in the West as demonstrated by Wuxing, Inc., states such as Sichuan and Manchuria, the respect and reverence for dragons, the Triads, or the city of Hong Kong.
China Politics and 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.
- Major States
- Minor States
- Other Regions
- Red Dragon Association
- Smoke Circle Society
- Black Chrysanthemum
- White Lotus Society
- Phoenix Lodge
- Onyx Turtle Lodge
- Ten Thousand Lions
- Bronze Jian Triad
- White Tigers
- Lung, the Great Eastern Dragon
- Chiao, Eastern Dragon
- Bai Zhenzhu, Eastern Dragon
- Yat Gwan, Eastern Dragon
- Order of Zhang Daolin
- Discordant Harmony
China, the Technological and Economic Superpower
Historically, China had one of the world's leading civilizations and the home of one multiple great dynasties with large empires. From the times of the ancient Greeks to the beginning of the Renaissance, it was one of the world's leading technological power, rivaled only by the Romans and the Hellenistic kingdoms of the eastern Mediterranean, a nearly two thousand year period. China likewise was one of the leading economies of the world, usually number one or two, from the time of the Romans till the American War of Independence. During that time it was usually India that rivaled China in the size of its economy.
The region known as China is the home of one of the world's oldest continuous civilizations, whose written history is 3,500 years long.  Which is considered to have the world's oldest extant culture. Over 2,200 years ago, Chinese invented the modern bureaucratic state, making the Chinese polity both the world's oldest bureaucratic state and the first modern state. China also has the oldest formal education system in the world, which was established during the Han dynasty. It's people have had religious beliefs, customs, and traditions that were formed or influenced by the ancient Chinese Folk Religion (aka, Traditional Religion) which continues to be the largest "religion" in modern China (strongest among the rural population), Buddhism which is currently the second largest faith in China (which is the earliest foreign religious influence and the most successful, that's strongest among the educated), and Daoism which is the third largest religion in China (the first mystical religion in China, which was influenced by Chinese Folk Religion and in turn influenced Chinese Buddhism), and the Confucian philosophy which for thousands of years was the "official" state religion.
Before the birth of imperial China, the Chinese people (known as the Xia) were ruled by kings, first under a unified kingdom (Shang and Zhou dynasties) and then in a fragmented realm of many competing kings. China was unified in 221 BC under the Qin dynasty, establishing Imperial China (aka, the Chinese Empire) which has existed in numerous forms and dynasties. Some strong and some weak, some of which ruled over all China proper (east of Tibet, south of the Great Wall), some of whose rule extended thousands of miles beyond China proper, and some of who only ruled over southern China. There were periods of imperial expansion and when they received tribute, periods of stagnation, periods during which they experienced invasions, and periods of fragmentation. Most of the time it was under the rule of Han Chinese dynasties (except for the Mongol Yuan and Manchu Qing).. China was conquered by the Mongols with Kublai Khan who established the Yuan Dynasty, which lasted from 1271–1368 AD. Several centuries later, China was conquered again, this time by the Manchu who established the Qing dynasty. Which ruled China from 1644-1912 AD, the last dynasty of Imperial China. During its decline the Europeans defeated China and established spheres of influence, and the Japan replaced China as the preeminent Asian power. Which led to warlordism, the establishment of the Republic of China, another invasion by Japan that resulted in the conquest and occupation of Manchuria and the eastern part of China by the Japanese, a civil war between the Nationalists and Communist which was won by the Communists, and the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949.
Imperial China and the Tributary System
The greatest of the Han Chinese dynasties were the Han, Tang, and Ming dynasties. During the Han Dynasty, at the height of their power their rule extended as far west as into Central Asia reaching the Aral Sea and going into Afghanistan. It will overthrow it's rival the steppe empire of the Xiongu, conquered the Southern Xiongnu of Inner Mongolia, and shattered the Northern Xiongnu of Mongolia forcing them to flee northwest. They also conquered southern Manchuria, northern Korea, northern Vietnam, the Dian of Yunnan, the oasis cities of Turkestan, the Iranians of Sogdiana, and the Greeks of Bactria (Afghanistan). In addition they established their suzerainty over the majority of Central Asia and the Kushan Empire of Pakistan and northern India. Their control of the former territories of the Xiongnu would last over a century, after which internal divisions in the empire led to its eventual loss. Likewise these internal problems led to the loss of Korea (within decades) and Central Asia (within two centuries). Vietnam was temporarily lost due to the rebellion of the Trung Sisters but was soon reconquered and remained in Chinese hands till a successful rebellion ended their rule 938 AD.
Centuries later under the Tang Dynasty, the Chinese empire would reach as far north as Lake Baikal in the southern region of Siberia and extended across most of Central Asia, territory which it had conquered upon the overthrow of the steppe empire of the Turkish Gokturk Khanate. This time their rule over the steppe would last only several decades, the An Lushan rebellion of the mid 8th century put a permanent end to Chinese dominion over the steppe. They would also conquer southern Manchuria and northern and southeastern Korea, and establish their suzerainty over Tibet. Within a few decades they lost Korea and their suzerainty over Tibet, due to the empire overextending itself. Yamato Japan, the Kingdom of Nanzhao in Yunnan, and the Khitan Mongols of southern Manchuria and eastern Inner Mongolia were vassals or tributaries of the Tang. By the 9th century, a weakened China had lost the aforementioned vassals and tributaries. For centuries after losing Korea, there were times when the kingdoms of Korea were hostile to China and periods when they were tributaries or protectorates of China until Korea's conquest by Japan in 1895 AD.
Centuries later after nearly a century of Mongol rule, the Ming overthrew the Mongol Yuan dynasty, expelled the Mongols from China, and would destroyed for a time the power of the successor Northern Yuan Mongols. For a few decades the Ming ruled Vietnam after reconquering it but Vietnamese resistance forced their withdrawal. Which would remain a tributary of China until its conquest by the French in 1858 AD. During the 15th century, the Ming dynasty's naval power surpassed that of the Song dynasty (the first Chinese blue water maritime power, which had dominated the South China Sea and East China Sea during the 12th to mid 13th centuries). The naval power of the Ming was such that for decades in the 15th century, nearly every coastal state in Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian peninsula, and East Africa paid China tribute. Chinese fleets also checked the expansion of Portuguese and Dutch naval power by defeating their fleets in nearby seas. The only Far Eastern state to do so during the 16th and 17th centuries. Korea continued to be a tributary of China, and the Ming would successfully come to their aid when the Japanese attempted to conquer it in the late 16th century. Tibet was nominally a suzerain of the Ming, though at times there was conflict between the two and by the late 16th century it was under the protection of the Mongols. Starting in 1549, Japan was a tributary of the Ming due to the shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu.
Foreign Influences over Imperial China
Just as Chinese civilization would have major influence over some of its neighbors when it came to government, art, warfare, philosophy, religion, and literature (especially Korea, Vietnam, and to a lesser degree Japan), at different periods in the history of Imperial China, it's civilization too had been influenced by other civilizations and peoples and parts of China (and in two cases all of China), foreigners conquered or occupied its territory. India is the foreign civilization which made the greatest contribution to Chinese civilization, in the form of Buddhism which quickly spread across China and became one of it's three main religions. The Chinese adapted it to their culture, forming the Chan (aka, Zen) and Pure Land schools. Within the imperial government it had equal status alongside Confucianism and Daoism, and among the masses it's influence was comparable to Chinese Folk Religion (aka, Chinese Traditional Religion) and Daoism. By the 20th century it had become the 2nd largest religion in China, after Chinese Folk Religion. India also made contributions to Chinese cuisine (especially spices and sauces) and art (statuary, murals, etc).
Tibet for a time was an imperial power and for several decades received tribute from the Tang dynasty, during its period of decline. Japan would from the late 19th century till mid 20th century not only replace China as the premier state in the Far East but it would invade China during the long decline of Imperial China. They faced the corrupt Manchu regime with a backward military and disunited government, weakened by European incursions and several devastating rebellions (e.g. Taiping rebellion resulted in the deaths of tens of millions). To the north were the steppe nomads who at times collected tribute from China when it was weak (due to civil wars or rebellions, or incompetent and corrupt governments), during two different periods of division within China they conquered the northern part of China (Toba Wei and Khitan Mongols), and once conquered all of China (Yuan Mongols). To the northeast where the Manchu peoples (who were influenced by China, Korea, and the steppe nomads) who at times were under Chinese domination and at other times were strong enough to collect tribute from them, conquer the northern part (Jurchen Jin) and later conquer all of China (Manchu Qing).
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
- Portfolio of a Dragon: Dunkelzahn's Secrets, 77
- Shadowrun Third Edition, 29
- Shadows of Asia
- Underworld Sourcebook, 53
- The Complete Trog, 78-79
- Corporate Download, 108
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|The Splinter States of China|