China Balkanizes

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by JimmyJimJam, Aug 10, 2006.

  1. JimmyJimJam Member

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    Is this just ASB, or possible? What might bring this on in the late 20th or early 21st century? How many countries could the PRC split into?
     
  2. tinheart Member

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    Whether it's ASB or not, I don't know. I can only imagine a few areas taking advantage of a balkanization. Xinjiang, which has a large population of ethnic groups. Tibet and Taiwan, of course. Perhaps some territory bordering Mongolia, but that's about it.

    IIRC, 90 percent of the Chinese are the same ethnic group, the Han. There aren't the religious differences, or the strong nationalisms since China is a very, very old country that would naturally lead to Balkanization. There are linguistic differences, but since everyone can read Chinese pictographs, printed communication isn't a problem.

    This inspires a new AH question....

    {*tinheart*}
     
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  3. Hendryk Banned

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    There are several instances in Chinese history of the country splitting into two or more competing political entities. Some may argue this is currently the case, with Taiwan still being officially considered a renegade province rather than a country in its own right. Even without going all the way back to the Warring Kingdoms period, the Three Kingdoms, etc., there was the Warlord Era which followed Yuan Shikai's botched attempt to restore the Empire in 1916; some of the warlords remained in charge of whatever chunk of territory they controlled until the Communist takeover in 1949.

    In the end, though, the centripetal forces have always proved stronger, and no matter how often China broke up, it eventually came back together.
     
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  4. HelloLegend Banned

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    Yes, correct Balkanization occurred after Republic was founded.
    However, China always finds a way back to becoming one again.
     
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  5. Wozza Well-Known Member

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    Or alternately, every time it has come back together it has then fallen apart!:D
     
  6. NFR Kanadskiy Namestnik

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    Agreed with post on most counts, except that no territory bordering Mongolia is likely to balkanise. Mongolia is poorer than China, and Inner Mongolia has one sixth its population in Mongolians. The rest are almost all Han. They have therefore no political or emotional incentive to join with Mongolia.
     
  7. Darkest Banned

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    How about: Xinjiang into Uyghuristan, Independent Tibet, Kashmir with a large part of China, Manchuria, Taiwan, a larger Hong Kong, a larger Macau, North Han China and South Han China? Ten nations.

    It's... possible. Let's say China starts industrializing / improving itself / getting cooler in the early 20th century, it lands itself on a track towards power and repelling imperialists and catching up with Japan... however, this also brings to head many factions who wish to determine the future of China, factions which begin to embrace nationalist and ideological causes, and when wars begin to break out, they take different sides... a dictator takes power, and China begins to follow the way of Yugoslavia.

    China breaking apart semi-permanently would be a disaster. They were incredibly important in curbing imperialist intentions of Russia, Japan, and the Europeans. Smaller nations might just get eaten into an Asia-wide USSR
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2006
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  8. NFR Kanadskiy Namestnik

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    At any point after 20th century, Manchuria IS Han. Kashmir hardly touches China, it fails me as to how it could have 'a large part of China' attached thereto. Hong Kong and Macau are trading cities that won't survive the moment they go into hostile relations with the mainland, so no enlargement... And the biggest problem of them all, that is nine nations


    Small difference... China is 90% Han, and has a strong Han identity, not divided into Muslim Bosniaks, Catholic Croatians, Orthodox Serbs, and so on. Independence for an industrialising nation makes sense if the separate parts can be more prosperous on their own. China is quite interdependent on each other parts, Rice of Hunan and Hubei and Guangzhou, labour from the inland provinces, coal from the north, Tungsten from Jiangxi... My feeling is that the outter parts may fall off, Han China proper should more or less stick together, with at most two main factions.
     
  9. Max Sinister Retired Myriad Club Member Banned

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    Is "Northern Chinese vs. Southern Chinese" a possibility?
     
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  10. Homer Comicbookman

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    Of course there could be an ongoing partition of the Han-populated territories! In Chinese history, the partitions could easily last centuries! They'll try to reunite, true. But ongoing differences and wars could lead to a balkanized China today.

    Let's see:
    1. Communists establish a state, thanks to Soviet assistance, in Hunan, and fight the "Capitalists" until today.
    2. The emperor establishes a state in Manchuria even earlier then OTL, with help of Japan. somehow the Japanese get into war and loose their influence on Manchuria, that stays an independent, fascist-like empire.
    3. Kuomintang establishes a government in Southern China around Kanton, a warlord establishes another around Shanghai and Nanking. Sichuan gets an own warlord.
    These countries fight for several years and have changing alliances. Since the sixties we have an uneasy peace that led to more cooperatice leaders since the eighties, that led to the economic prosperity we see today. In some of the states we see a democratization going on, with unionist organizations all over the country. Probably, within the next years, we'll see China trying to unite as a democratic country, Stalinistic People's republic is much like an international pariah-state, trying to get an atomic bomb. The 6-talks go on...
     
  11. HelloLegend Banned

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    Yes cause Northerners refer to Southerners as "manzi" which is equal to "hicks" in English.
     
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  12. NFR Kanadskiy Namestnik

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    ,,,What century is this? As far as I knowThat term fell out of use a long, long time ago. Besides, in Russia we also call each other names, that does not mean turning Piter against Moscow is a real possibility.
     
  13. DAv Middle Class... sorry

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    To quote Romance of the Three Kingdoms

    "The Empire long united, must divide. Long divided must unite."

    So we'll probably see a Balkanised China in about oh... 50 years.
     
  14. Max Sinister Retired Myriad Club Member Banned

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    The recent time China was disunited isn't that long ago - between the WWs, many territories were held by warlords.
     
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  15. NFR Kanadskiy Namestnik

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    Where do you come by this curious mathematics? Really, I want to know. Even assuming that a quote from a novel is relevant at all to modern geopolitics (EUROPE was long divided too.. are you predicting that Germany will fall apart into little statelets at some point? World-historical conditions change), China, as Max had pointed out, already underwent is period of division... and taking early modern history of China, that was more than enough for a couple centuries of a single dynasty.

    In other words, not only is this a faulty analogy, the whole basis of the analogy itself doesn't even hold.
     
  16. DAv Middle Class... sorry

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    I don't about that. Look how fast the Jin collapsed after the Three Kingdoms period.
     
  17. NFR Kanadskiy Namestnik

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    That was more than 1600 years ago. I said 'and taking early modern history of China, that was more than enough for a couple centuries of a single dynasty.' So your answer is irrelevant.
     
  18. DAv Middle Class... sorry

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    Considering the frequency of Chinese collapase into civil war and the repeating factors in those civil wars that are still felt today (a rural population against the government, a reactionary government and divided political sentiment among others) it isn't entirely unreasonable to assume that China may collapse into Civil War in the future. Though I withdraw the 50 years comment.
     
  19. NFR Kanadskiy Namestnik

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    Considering the frequenc in which Germany was not united into a single nation, and the effects which are still felt today (Lander identity, city traditions) it isn't entirely unreasonable to assume that Germany may collapse into a hundred statelets in the future.

    Seriously, I am not saying it won't happen, and I never have. I only call upon you to seriously review your position that this is because of past patterns (which doesn't quite fit). Geopolitical realities and world-historical conditions change.

    Also, there are protests. This is not the same as rural population against the government. We will know that is happening when Chinese rural infrastructure is paralized.. By Chinese standards, the current protests are literally peanuts. They went through worse in the Cultural Revolution, the land reforms before that, and much, much worse further back (which however I won't cite as evidence).
     
  20. Max Sinister Retired Myriad Club Member Banned

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    "it isn't entirely unreasonable to assume that Germany may collapse into a hundred statelets in the future."

    Can't see that, unless a global breakdown of civilization happened, and in that case, all big countries would suffer in a similar way.
     
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