AHC:Make one of the Chinese warlord states survive until today.

The Warlord Period is probably my favourite period of history to research. The warlords themselves are interesting characters, and with a nationalist victory they could have survived a bit longer.
So my challenge to you is to make the Warlord states survive (in some form or another) as independent countries in 2019.
 
You could probably have one of the warlord states in a border or not-quite-han-china area survive for a long period of time
 
Define "warlord states"

The Chinese warlords all nominally belonged to China, the majority of them were regional governors with too much power and autonomy at their hands. Unless you count Tibet, Mongolia and Manchukuo as warlord states, the only warlord who could have possibly asserted independence was Sheng Shicai - and even he, being Han Chinese, ever tried or would have hardly attempted to.
 
You could probably have one of the warlord states in a border or not-quite-han-china area survive for a long period of time
Yeah, this is my main thought as well. If you could somehow arrange things where the Nationalists are even more wrong-footed, the British need more help in Burma, and you have the right opportunist sitting in Yunnan, I bet you could get the allies to back them.

Would it count if the Soviets claimed more territory (perhaps in the face of a weaker PRC) and some warlords suddenly found themselves “enlightened” to the class struggle and retained power as puppets?
 
You need to have Communism not succeed in China, or at least have a much weaker PRC. Mao isn't going to abide such a state or states that are supposed to be Chinese eschewing the glories of Marxist-Leninism.
 
A more compliant and collaborationist Fengtian Clique propped up by the Japanese as an alt-Manchukuo. Requires a PoD before Zhang Zuolin’s assassination though.
 
Define "warlord states"

The Chinese warlords all nominally belonged to China, the majority of them were regional governors with too much power and autonomy at their hands. Unless you count Tibet, Mongolia and Manchukuo as warlord states, the only warlord who could have possibly asserted independence was Sheng Shicai - and even he, being Han Chinese, ever tried or would have hardly attempted to.
All he needs is Stalin's support--which he indeed sought in 1944. Once loyally pro-Soviet, Sheng had turned anti-Communist and pro-GMD when it looked like the Soviets might lose the war--he even executed Mao Zedong's brother. Then, when it was clear that the Soviets were winning and that he himself was losing favor with Chiang Kai-shek, Sheng made a desperate appeal to Stalin, even offering to make Xinjiang a Soviet Republic. But I doubt very much that Stalin would have accepted even if Sheng had been more reliable in the past...
 
You could have an independent Xinjiang, if Sheng Shicai took another decision in 1941.

On November 26, 1940, Sheng Shicai concluded an agreement granting the USSR additional concessions in the province of Xinjiang for fifty years, including areas bordering India and Tibet. This placed Xinjiang under virtually full political and economic control of the USSR, making it part of China in name only.

By 1942, Sheng Shicai switched his allegiance to the Kuomintang after major Soviet defeats at the hands of the Germans in World War II, all Soviet Red Army military forces and technicians residing in the province were expelled. In September 1943, Sheng ordered the arrest and execution of the Chinese communists. Among them was Mao Zemin, Mao Zedong's younger brother.

With the Soviet gradual withdrawal, the Kuomintang representatives and personnel filled the void. In October 1943, the Kuomintang effectively removed Soviet influence from Xinjiang. But after the Battle of Stalingrad, Sheng secretly tried to return to the pro-Soviet policy. Stalin, however, refused to intervene and left Sheng at the mercy of the Chinese government, which engineered his removal from office.
ITTL

On 27 July 1942, Sheng Shicai met Dekanozov, former Soviet ambassador to Nazi Germany and Vice Commissar of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR in Ürümqi, in order to announce his decision to rejoin the KMT. To the Soviets, who were desperate to retain the oil reserves at Dushanzi and the ores of Xinjiang, this decision represented future difficulties (OTL).

Unlike OTL, Sheng Shicai is convinced not to break his allegiance to Soviet Union after long negotiations and alleged revelations about his brother’s murder (ITTL). After this reunion, Shang Shicai sends a letter to Molotov offering to incorporate Xinjiang into USSR as its 18th Soviet Socialist Republic and asking Stalin for the post of ruler of the new Soviet Republic in exchange of a monopoly over Xinjiang trade and the exploitation of its rare materials and oil.

(IOTL, this letter was sent after the Battle of Stalingrad and the idea was refused by Stalin).

Russian historians consider that Stalin's August 1942 reply, although surprising, must be placed in the context of the siege of Stalingrad. The fear of losing control of the city and the oil fields of Baku certainly motivated the dictator's positive response. For them, Stalin's choice was not to annex Xinjiang formally, but rather to prevent the loss of increasingly strategic resources. On opposite side, Chinese historians view this unlawful annexation as an early proof of Soviet imperialism.

A few months later, the Soviet Union began to send more equipment and secretly reinforced the small forces of Soviet troops quartered in Hami for this end. During the next year, Xinjiang received aircraft, equipment for aviation, rifle-machine-guns and artillery workshops, uniforms, personal supplies, and other military equipment, alongside fresh Soviet troops.

On 1st September 1943, Shang Shicai ordered the arrest of the Kuomintang personnel and formally called Soviet Union for protection against a alleged coup d’état by KMT elements. A day later, four divisions of the NRA New 2nd Army commanded by Zhu Shaoliang were transferred to Xinjiang from Gansu.

Unable to use the destroyed railways, NRA officiers decided to separate the four divisions into four independent columns that would converge to Urumqi.

Those troops were continuously harassed by cavalry units and easy targets for Sheng Shicai’s new bombers.

Those air raids, regularly turned the columns into fleeing masses and officers could barely be obeyed by terrified soldiers intoxicated by the use of mustard gas.

Their morale usually collapsed, when large autonomous units of BA-10 armored cars appeared in the horizon.

Similar units, made of armored cars and tankettes, nicknamed the "Xinjiang wolves" also played a major role during the PRC-Xinjiang border conflicts of the sixties.

Three of the NRA divisions, plagued by desertions, surrendered before the entrance of Soviet troops in Xinjiang. The last division, made of Hui cavalry troops, was annihilated 500 km from Kashgar.

On 13th October, Soviet Red Army troops backed by air units and armored regiments entered into Xinjiang responding to the request of Sheng Shicai.

To this day, the sides blame each other for the start of the conflict. However, a scholarly consensus emerges that the Xinjiang crisis was a premeditated act of violence orchestrated by the Soviet side. After sporadic battles, the last NRA troops had to leave Xinjiang in January 1944 under pressure of the allied leadership that feared a violent KMT-Soviet conflict before Axis defeat.

Xinjiang was formally incorporated into Soviet Union in 1945, which led to the first PRC-Soviet split that took place immediately after the proclamation of the People’s republic of China with the expulsion of Soviet advisors.

To be continued, if you wish ...


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I always thought a far more policially savvy Japan could work with (and against) Yuan Shikai in his bid to become emperor and keep China fighting and bickering for a long time to come.
 
You could have an independent Xinjiang, if Sheng Shicai took another decision 1941.



ITTL

On 27 July 1942, Sheng Shicai met Dekanozov, former Soviet ambassador to Nazi Germany and Vice Commissar of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR in Ürümqi, in order to announce his decision to rejoin the KMT. To the Soviets, who were desperate to retain the oil reserves at Dushanzi and the ores of Xinjiang, this decision represented future difficulties (OTL).

Unlike OTL, Sheng Shicai is convinced not to break his allegiance to Soviet Union after long negotiations and alleged revelations about his brother’s murder (ITTL). After this reunion, Shang Shicai sends a letter to Molotov offering to incorporate Xinjiang into USSR as its 18th Soviet Socialist Republic and asking Stalin for the post of ruler of the new Soviet Republic in exchange of a monopoly over Xinjiang trade and the exploitation of its rare materials and oil.

(IOTL, this letter was sent after the Battle of Stalingrad and the idea was refused by Stalin).

Russian historians consider that Stalin's August 1942 reply, although surprising, must be placed in the context of the siege of Stalingrad. The fear of losing control of the city and the oil fields of Baku certainly motivated the dictator's positive response. For them, Stalin's choice was not to annex Xinjiang formally, but rather to prevent the loss of increasingly strategic resources. On opposite side, Chinese historians view this unlawful annexation as an early proof of Soviet imperialism.

A few months later, the Soviet Union began to send more equipment and secretly reinforced the small forces of Soviet troops quartered in Hami for this end. During the next year, Xinjiang received aircraft, equipment for aviation, rifle-machine-guns and artillery workshops, uniforms, personal supplies, and other military equipment, alongside fresh Soviet troops.

On 1st September 1943, Shang Shicai ordered the arrest of the Kuomintang personnel and formally called Soviet Union for protection against a alleged coup d’état by KMT elements. A day later, four divisions of the NRA New 2nd Army commanded by Zhu Shaoliang were transferred to Xinjiang from Gansu. On October 12, Soviet troops entered Xinjiang.

To this day, the sides blame each other for the start of the conflict. However, a scholarly consensus emerges that the Xinjiang crisis was a premeditated act of violence orchestrated by the Soviet side. After sporadic fights, the last NRA troops had to leave Xinjiang in January 1944 under pressure of the allied leadership that feared a violent KMT-Soviet conflict before Axis defeat.

Xinjiang was formally incorporated into Soviet Union in 1945, which led to the first PRC-Soviet split that took place immediately after the proclamation of the People’s republic of China with the expulsion of Soviet advisors.

To be continued, if you wish ...


.
How would the Uyghurs fare?
 
Here’s some other food for thought
The PoD is the same as the one given in AlternateHistoryHub’s video- the Long March never happens and the CPC is defeated by the KMT. After WWII, the Ma Clique survives, and after Chiang Kai-Shek dies, it becomes an independent state for the Hui and Dungans.
The Yunnan clique could also survive if not for Zhu De.
 
I always thought a far more policially savvy Japan could work with (and against) Yuan Shikai in his bid to become emperor and keep China fighting and bickering for a long time to come.
Yuan Shikai's Empire of China was pretty much just a syphilis-infested, opium-fueled, sex-crazed madhouse rather than anything that could be sustained. It really only kept on going on Yuan Shikai's regime's momentum as he slipped further into syphilitic madness. And with stuff like the 21 demands, they already sorta tried to do stuff like that.
 
How would the Uyghurs fare?
Kazakhstan seems to be the next best comparison. Nothing really important there so no real government focus and no push towards state atheism, after the 90s it ends up with a pseudo monarchy deriving its legitimacy partially from being guardians of the faith in the land.
In his relationship with the Xinjiang's non-Han populace, Sheng adopted the Soviet nationality policy and the non-Han nationalities were for the first time included in the provincial government. Another agenda from the Soviet Union Sheng implemented in Xinjiang was secularization with the purpose of undermining the religious influence on politics.

The first principle of his Declaration of Ten Guiding Principles stated that "all nationalities enjoy equal rights in politics, economy, and education". The educational programme encouraged the Han to learn Uyghur and Uyghurs to learn Mandarin. Sheng's nationality policy also entailed the establishment of the Turkic languages schools, the revival of madrassas (Islamic schools), the publication of the Turkic languages newspapers and the formation of the Uyghur Progress Union.

However, Sheng's policy was criticized by the Pan-Turkic Jadidists and East Turkestan Independence activists Muhammad Amin Bughra and Masud Sabri, who rejected the Sheng's imposition of the name "Uyghur people" upon the Turkic people of Xinjiang. They wanted instead the name "Turkic nationality" (Tujue zu in Chinese) to be applied to their people. Sabri also viewed the Hui people as Muslim Han Chinese and separate from his own people.

By the way, in 1937 an Islamic rebellion broke out in southern Xinjiang. The rebels were 1,500 Turkic (Uighur) Muslims led by Kichik Akhund, tacitly aided by the 36th Division (NRA) against the pro-Soviet provincial forces of Sheng Shicai helped by Soviet forces. This rebellion is highly interesting and useful to understand Xinjiang current situation.
 
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In his relationship with the Xinjiang's non-Han populace, Sheng adopted the Soviet nationality policy and the non-Han nationalities were for the first time included in the provincial government. Another agenda from the Soviet Union Sheng implemented in Xinjiang was secularization with the purpose of undermining the religious influence on politics.

The first principle of his Declaration of Ten Guiding Principles stated that "all nationalities enjoy equal rights in politics, economy, and education". The educational programme encouraged the Han to learn Uyghur and Uyghurs to learn Mandarin.Sheng's nationality policy also entailed the establishment of the Turkic languages schools, the revival of madrassas (Islamic schools), the publication of the Turkic languages newspapers and the formation of the Uyghur Progress Union.

However, Sheng's policy was criticized by the Pan-Turkic Jadidists and East Turkestan Independence activists Muhammad Amin Bughra and Masud Sabri, who rejected the Sheng's imposition of the name "Uyghur people" upon the Turkic people of Xinjiang. They wanted instead the name "Turkic nationality" (Tujue zu in Chinese) to be applied to their people. Sabri also viewed the Hui people as Muslim Han Chinese and separate from his own people.

By the way, in 1937 an Islamic rebellion broke out in southern Xinjiang. The rebels were 1,500 Turkic (Uighur) Muslims led by Kichik Akhund, tacitly aided by the 36th Division against the pro-Soviet provincial forces of Sheng Shicai helped by Soviet forces. This rebellion is highly interesting and useful to understand Xinjiang current situation.
What else?
 
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