A Surviving Lanfang Republic

Rush Tarquin

Gone Fishin'
This has probably been addressed before, but what do you think the chances are for a surviving independent Lanfang Republic or at least one which retains territorial integrity within a European colony? How could it survive? Another European power protecting it against the Dutch? What are its relations with mainland China? Do they follow Singapore's pattern? When Chinese governments get kicked out of the mainland does it align with the mainland or with Taiwan or wherever the governments in exile go? Could the Lanfang Republic become the site for a Chinese government in exile? Does its roots in mining and republicanism turn into a proto-socialism or does it end up the same as Singapore? What other states might it end up a part of and could its identity be strong enough to see it break off again? What would its race relations be like? What internal conflicts might there be and would it turn out as multicultural and religiously diverse as modern West Kalimantan is?
 

Rush Tarquin

Gone Fishin'
Seriously guys, no interest? I see so many possibilities with this. You could even see a federation of Southeast Asian ethnically Chinese territories (Lanfang, Singapore, and Penang). If Lanfang became a British colony, it could significantly change the British decolonisation of British Southeast Asia and its organisation. Imagine Malaysian race relations if it stayed within Malaysia along with Singapore. Even imagining minimal butterflies, if mainland China were to still go Communist, the Malayan Emergency could unfold differently. Then there's the Konfrontasi. If Lanfang is leftist, then you could see it even play a role as a PKI/MCP/PRB haven, have complicated relations with pre- and post-Sukarno Indonesia and perhaps a North Borneo Federation. On the outside chance that it could somehow remain independent throughout, imagine the effect of such an example of republicanism amongst the European colonies.
 
At first glance communism doesn't seem very appealing to a population accustomed to commerce and mining. By the 1950s, the Communist Party of China had publicly abandoned any links with the Chinese diaspora. This means, Lanfang will more likely align with the Taiwan-based KMT. When the anti-Chinese pogroms occur, millions of Chinese Indonesians flee there, and Lanfang becomes a Chinese Israel-like figure, surrounded by hostile powers which refuse to acknowledge it. No doubt it will tightly align with Singapore as well.
 

Rush Tarquin

Gone Fishin'
It seems that many of the Hakka who fled Lanfang went to Singapore where, although a minority, Hakka Chinese have had a leadership role in establishing Singapore as it is. There's even an idea of Singapore as a second Lanfang Republic. It is claimed that Lee Kuan Yew might be a descendent of one of the ten presidents of Lanfang, though his recounting of his family background seemingly contradicts this. There's a possibility his maternal grandmother could be a Lanfang descendant.

Nevertheless, would Singapore still have separated without the emigration of Lanfang Hakka and Lee being butterflied away? Is there only room for one Chinese diaspora state in Soitheast Asia? Another thing that strikes me is that a republic which lasted 100 years has such little attention in English. The Dutch apparently considered it a 'Chinese uprising'. I could see Lanfang sticking around if the Qing had not weakened and China could've continued supporting it, but then there would be other massive butterflies, not the least of which might include other tributary states besides Lanfang.
 
I think you're jumping the gun quite a bit to go from discussions of the republic surviving past the 1880s to the aftermath of the Chinese Civil War in the 1950s.
 

Rush Tarquin

Gone Fishin'
I think you're jumping the gun quite a bit to go from discussions of the republic surviving past the 1880s to the aftermath of the Chinese Civil War in the 1950s.
Well yeah to be honest I was just trying to provoke any sort of interest. If your a minimalist butterfly sorta person (and I don't advocate that) Southeast Asian PODs can have fewer global butterflies. But there are big butterflies for Southeast Asia even then. It's also a region like the middle east or southern Africa where population migrations have big knock on effects. British-Dutch maneuvering shaped the region and established or destroyed the importance of regional trade centres like Malacca, Singapore and Jakarta. Lee Kuan Yew's genealogy is enough evidence of that, jumping around from Guangdong, to West Kalimantan, to Sumatra and finally Singapore.
 

Rush Tarquin

Gone Fishin'
Had not heard of the Lanfag Republic -- though it sounds interesting. Any idea what their big political influences and inspirations were?
Well, Armenian Genocide describes it as some kind of representative democracy with county, province and prefecture elected representatives. I'm guessing it was constrained by Hakka clan organisation (kongsi or companies). The founding father was from one of three of these clans engaged in mining and trading in Borneo, the southern kongsi. It had a national militia based on conscription rather than a standing army. Hakka could vote in presidential elections, but the indigenous population couldn't. The presidents were definitely not kings to the Hakka population, but the founder allowed the indigenous population to think of him as a king. The founding year was the first year on the calendar, in Chinese tradition. They paid tribute to the Qing.

However, the sources are sparse and the article also claims it eventually encompassed Borneo, with the Sultan of Brunei acknowledging the Lanfang as top dog. Seems a little fantastical and the sources aren't plentiful. But most English account of Southeast Asian history are pretty thin in any case. I'm in Korea, so I can no longer waltz down to the Sydney University library and get an in depth account.
 

RousseauX

Donor
This is pretty interesting (an ethnic chinese state in Southeast Asia, let along a Republic), but unfortunately don't know enough about the area to really contribute.
 

Rush Tarquin

Gone Fishin'
As far as POD goes, perhaps a different 1824 Anglo-Dutch treaty which leaves open the possibility for the British to continue meddling in Borneo or just a failed treaty outright to see continued Anglo-Dutch competition in the East Indies.
 
I first heard about the Lanfang Republic in a politician's speech, and I've been sweating due to difficulty of finding good resources about it. Thanks Rush!
 
This has probably been addressed before, but what do you think the chances are for a surviving independent Lanfang Republic or at least one which retains territorial integrity within a European colony?
This is something i'm very interested in writing about, and I've started an AHC thread talking about how the republic could survive, but, much like with your thread, nobody's responding. I guess the obscure topic intimidates people. I just wanted to ask if you ever figured out a good POD. Also, thanks for the links, I had a lot of trouble finding info.

Apart from another power, is there any way to make the Dutch achieve their goals with the republic without completely colonizing it? Could it survive as a Dutch protectorate, like Lanfang did for a bit OTL?
 
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