Japan's troubles are far from over, that's for sure. Japan in TTL (even in the year 2019) will be a much darker place...
I would not be surprised if it was a third world country even in 2019. It did not get its economic boost thanks to the Korean war, it went through a civil war and it had another city wiped out. I think that they are fucked.
 
I would not be surprised if it was a third world country even in 2019. It did not get its economic boost thanks to the Korean war, it went through a civil war and it had another city wiped out. I think that they are fucked.
Couldn't have put it better myself. Anime will not exist in TTL, for the record.
 
I would not be surprised if it was a third world country even in 2019. It did not get its economic boost thanks to the Korean war, it went through a civil war and it had another city wiped out. I think that they are fucked.
Why would Japan be a third world country? What exactly is preventing the Japanese government from taking out some IMF loans to fund investments into their industry like West Germany did in OTL?
 
Why would Japan be a third world country? What exactly is preventing the Japanese government from taking out some IMF loans to fund investments into their industry like West Germany did in OTL?
A fair question. The reason is that the Japanese government is really, really unpopular with the people, as they see it as a useless stooge, and Hirohito as incompetent for losing the Pacific War, their current poverty, and having three cities nuked. So even though reconstruction funds from the IMF and the like are available, it will take time for the government to redeem itself in the eyes of its people.

The Americans also are now sick of the Japanese government for allowing the socialist rebellion to occur, and don't trust it very much. Japan won't be on the level of, say, OTL Bangladesh in terms of poverty, but will occupy a position closer to, say, OTL Turkmenistan- fairly authoritarian and impoverished.
 
East Asia Update
East Asia Regional Update

Before I progress into the 1960s, I want to take a look at the nations of East Asia so that we're all on the same page going forward...

The Republic of China is on its way to becoming a first-world nation. A whole generation dubbed the "Second Nanjing Generation" (the first being in the early 1930s), or "Chinese Boomers" has grown up knowing nothing but Chiang's peaceful, albeit authoritarian, regime. Living standards are fairly high in the eastern coastal cities and Open Investment Zones, at least by regional standards. The cities of Xian and Chongqing are also wealthy and prosperous, both fully recovered from World War II. In the countryside, peasants have it harder, but a seventy-year-old man in 1960 would say without a trace of doubt that times are better than he has ever known. Indeed, access to imported American farming technology, combined with a good crop year in 1958 (1), means that rural China is in a golden age. Food prices remain relatively high, and Chiang is able to export rice and meat to Western nations at favourable rates.

The Open Investment Zones are still a controversial issue, with many Chinese comparing them to pre-Boxer Rebellion concessions. People in them strongly dislike working for low wages in poor conditions for foreign companies. However, since 1951 there has been no major unrest in the cities. What cannot be denied, however, is that the ROC economy has been immeasurably strengthened by them- by 1960, China's GDP will be on a par with Great Britain. (2)

However, Chiang's remains an authoritarian dictatorship. Critics of the KMT are imprisoned, and the human rights situation in China remains poor. In particular, ethnic Mongols, Manchus (Manchuria being under Communist rule), Muslims (the Second East Turkestan Republic being a Soviet puppet), and Tibetans are all persecuted fairly viciously. Christianity, however, is allowed to thrive in China, Chiang being a Methodist himself. With the exception of tolerance of Christianity, Chiang's programme is overall Han-specific sinicisation.

Relations with America remain generally good throughout this period, although there are a few bumps in the road, such as over the annexation of Tibet. Owing to the with-us-or-against-us politics of the Cold War, America turns a blind eye to Chiang's human rights abuses. (3)

Warlordism is long dead, although some of the old warlords hold sway in their old bases in exchange for loyalty to Nanjing (Long Yun is governor of Yunnan and Yan Xishan governor of Shanxi, minus of course Yan'an). The old Young Marshal of Manchuria, his domain lost, is currently living as a private citizen on Taiwan, and will later retire to Hawaii.

Chiang's main goal in this period is to gain the atomic bomb. Chinese nuclear scientists are given very good treatment from the regime, and there is a fair deal of co-operation with the USA. With a nuclear-armed USSR right on China's border, many feel that Chiang needs nukes to defend himself.

Chiang is also grooming his son Chiang Ching-kuo to take over one day...

The People's Republic of North China, by contrast, is reeling from the Great Leap Forward, which managed to kill five percent of the country and only widened the gap between it and the West. The fallout has created a division in the leadership. Mao and defence minister Lin Biao are all for the continuation of Mao's style of rule, while state president Liu Shaoqi is opposed to Maoist economics ruling the day. Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping both keep their opinions on the Leap and on Mao's policies in general quieter, not taking direct sides.

The people of the PRNC, meanwhile, have one basic goal- to survive. Although the Great Leap Forward and related famine are mostly over by 1960, the suffering and its aftereffects will last for a long time.

Maoist propaganda plays its role well, though. The Great Leap Forward was not the fault of the Great Helmsman Chairman Mao, but of rightists in the government like Peng Dehuai- or so they’ll tell you. Although some tried to flee to China or North Korea during the famine years, the trickle was never large and abates completely by 1960. Sadly, the people of Communist China have little idea of what else is in their future…

Yan’an is by far the poorest region of the PRNC, as it suffered an additional decade and a half of brutal communist rule dating back to the Long March. By this point, it consists of a few memorials, army bases, and dirt-poor mountain villages.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea could, in fact, be doing a great deal worse. Ruled by Kim Il-sung, it has managed to avoid the turmoil faced by its neighbour to the northwest. Kim still dreams of invading South Korea, but he recognises that going in alone carries too many risks. Since Mao is not strong enough to ensure his victory, and Khruschev will not be sympathetic should he invade, Kim must keep his troops north of the 38th parallel for now.

During this period, North Korea becomes a fairly well-to-do Communist state, better off than some Eastern European countries in Moscow’s orbit. Since liberation in 1945, the country has been at peace and received a fair amount of economic and military aid from the USSR. Although Kim has resisted de-Stalinisation, he knows that he is dependent on currying favour with Khruschev, and as such cannot develop a cult of personality too far. (4)

The image of North Korea is also further heightened by the fact that Chinese refugees are fleeing into his country to escape the Great Leap Forward famine. As such, Kim enters the year 1960 fairly optimistically…

The Republic of Korea, by contrast, leaves a lot to be desired. It is under the rule of the authoritarian Syngman Rhee, who one American critic describes in a 1958 editorial as “a wannabe Chiang Kai-shek without the guts or the bald spot”.

South Korea lacks much industry and is forced to buy equipment from China and the US. Between 1945 and 1955, it played host to elements of the Eighth Army, before they were transferred to Japan to quell the uprising there. When US ground troops were withdrawn, President Eisenhower signed the Defence of the Republic of Korea Pact with Seoul and Nanjing. The provisions were numerous, but basically boiled down to if you attack, Kim Il-sung, prepare to have a nuclear bomb land on Pyongyang one morning, and Mao, if you get involved, prepare to have millions of ROC troops pouring into Manchuria.

Rhee attempts as much as possible to ape Chiang, copying his dictatorial, corrupt, one-party style of rule while buying ROC military equipment. Although its situation is not as bad as Japan (there is no active socialist underground, for instance), South Korea is effectively an economic colony of China, with Chinese dominance preventing much industry from developing. Thus, Rhee and the whole population of South Korea continue to muddle along, putting one foot in front of the other.

Indochina is clutching at straws of hope. No Vietnamese, Cambodian, or Laotian much likes their semi-independent status as a French protectorate, as exemplified by a Vietnamese political cartoon depicting Vietnam as a man being torn apart by two horses: one being labelled Paris, the other Nanjing. However, most of the radicals realise that Hanoi or Saigon could be struck with a nuclear weapon a la Sapporo, and as such armed revolt is not on anyone’s immediate radar.

The Soviet Union continues to exert a tremendous influence in East Asia, even if China is increasingly a viable regional counterweight to its power. With a comparatively more liberal regime under Khruschev in power, Moscow is doing its best to pull Harbin and Pyongyang in the direction of de-Stalinisation. In both cases, however, it is failing. Mao’s personality cult is as strong as ever, while Kim Il-sung is neither liberalising or cracking down. There is virtually no Sino-Soviet trade in this period, and plans are ready for war with the ROC.

The Kremlin is also worried that Mao is destroying the PRNC with his Great Leap Forward, and has a plan to prevent its North Chinese proxy from collapsing. Its name is Wang Ming…

Finally, Japan is a hot mess. The country is under military rule by the US, and neither Hirohito nor the Diet have even an iota of power. Matthew Ridgway, commander of the Eighth Army after Douglas MacArthur’s death, has been dubbed the “American Shogun” by friend and foe alike. The people live in constant poverty and fear that they may be the victim of a nuclear strike if they so much as protest. Japan’s economy is in too deep a hole to be salvaged for years, and the locals are dependent on the cold US authorities for absolutely everything. Sapporo will not recover from the nuclear strike until the mid-1970s. The people of the island are too cowed to have another go at revolt, however…


  1. This good crop year is actually OTL, but Chiang won’t squander it like Mao obviously did.

  2. Mao is in no state to appreciate the irony.

  3. There is a precedent for this, such as America backing Mobutu’s tyrannical regime in the Congo in OTL (and, for that matter, TTL)

  4. OK, this is a controversial one. My reasons for butterflying away the Kim cult are twofold: with no Korean War, a lot of the DPRK’s core mythology does not exist. Second, with Mao’s own personality cult coming from a country which is not Kim’s main sponsor, and de-Stalinisation coming from a country which is, Kim will be placed under a lot of pressure internationally should he develop a personality cult like OTL. He is still a tyrant, though.
 
Chapter Five
Spring 1959: During this period, the Tibetan revolt is quelled. Tibetan culture is suppressed, and the Dalai Lama flees to India. This sparks criticism from the US and other Western nations. One interesting side effect is the formation of the Tibetan Liberation Army, funded in large part by Moscow. The TLA has only a thousand or so members to start with and has chapters in both Tibet and India. The Dalai Lama covertly criticises the movement for its militancy, but as such its goal of a Moscow-aligned, socialist Tibet is a long way off.

April 1960: The Spring Revolution in South Korea. Authoritarian president Rhee Syngman is overthrown by student revolutionaries. After a brief power vacuum, General Park Chung-hee becomes president. Park, however, rapidly proves himself just another dictator, whose sole saving grace is his pro-American policies.

June 27- August 1, 1960: The Mongolia Claim Crisis. (1) Chiang Kai-shek decides to attempt to enforce the ROC's claim to Mongolia, and stations over two hundred thousand troops on the border. Border clashes erupt between Mongolian and Chinese troops, and on July 28, Soviet and Chinese troops clash for the first time in fourteen years. Fears are immediately raised that Russia and China are on the brink of war and that Nanjing will need either nuclear weapons or for America to take part in a nuclear conflict with Russia to prevent atomic strikes obliterating China. Of course, this was Chiang's plan all along. His goal at this point is to get nuclear weapons, and sees frightening the Americans into giving him the technology as the quickest way to do so.

The gamble, however, does not work. Eisenhower is not willing to give Chiang the most powerful weapon in the world, not really trusting him. In the end, Chiang climbs down with an incredibly petty concession- he agrees to formally drop the ROC claim to Tannu Tuva, once a part of the Qing Empire, then a semi-independent domain until 1944, when its communist government voted to join the Soviet Union. "The Tannu Tuva question... it is no longer of importance," he claims. "As we do not at present share a land link with the territory, the area in between being under the control, unfortunately, of separatist leaders, it serves us no purpose, and we resolve to grant the Soviet Union the territory." However, he continues to claim Mongolia, and conversely, Mongolia retains its claim to Inner Mongolia. Nothing, then, has changed.

November 4, 1960: John F. Kennedy is elected President of the United States.

January 22, 1961: With tremendous pride, Chiang announces in his Chinese New Year's Day speech, broadcast on state television, that the Republic of China's economy is now officially larger than Britain's, thus making it the second-largest in the world. Growth remains at a solid ten percent, meaning that if current trends continue, the ROC should be the largest economy in the world at some point in the mid-1970s. This is taken as a full validation of Chiang's economic policies. However, many note that income inequality remains a real problem in China, and many interior provinces are far behind those on the coast. The ROC's greatest triumph, however, will come later in the year...

1961: During this period, the ideological distance between Moscow and Harbin grows ever greater. Mao increasingly comes to see the USSR as having exchanged communism for a centrally-planned capitalist economy, and to have betrayed communism by eschewing Stalinism. Meanwhile, Khrushchev comes to see the Maoist regime as dangerously backwards, as evidenced by the Great Leap Forward. Although Mao knows that he is by no means strong enough to challenge the Soviets, the distance is growing. Mao is also wary that Khrushchev might try to sponsor a coup by one of his rivals in the CCP leadership such as Liu Shaoqi, or else to launch an armed invasion. The threat from Chiang Kai-shek, of course, cannot be discounted either.

September 19, 1961: After years of waiting, and with more than a little help from American scientists, China explodes its first atomic bomb. The test site is in Tibet, approximately fifty miles from Lhasa. Now, the last barrier to China being seen as a great power has fallen. Its programme will take time to develop, but by 1975 it will be on par with the Soviet Union. The ROC's many enemies take a dim view towards a new nuclear power. The USSR now makes plans to launch atomic strikes on Chinese nuclear facilities should the need arise. Mao wishes that there was some way to get the bomb, but knows that it is out of reach.

Another country's foreign outlook is affected by China becoming a nuclear power: India. Under Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, the country begins to look towards the USSR, already attempting to woo it, for a nuclear shield. Increasingly over the next few years, India tilts towards Moscow, and away from Washington. The Indian Communist Party gains traction, although it does not yet come to power.

January 3, 1962: In the People's Republic of North China, Liu Shaoqi is confirmed as state president. Seemingly an innocuous gesture, this is meant to heighten his profile in the event of any power struggle with Mao. Many within the CCP leadership come to see Liu as a potential alternative to Mao, who is blamed for souring relations with the Soviets and for the Great Leap Forward.

October 16-28, 1962: American spy planes discover Soviet missiles in Cuba, aimed at the continental US. For thirteen days, the world stands on the brink of nuclear war, until finally the Soviets agree to remove the missiles in exchange for a promise not to invade Cuba. (2)

May 1963: The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution officially begins. (3) The Cultural Revolution Small Group consists of Mao, his wife Jiang Qing, Chen Boda, and Kang Sheng.

In the summer of 1963, under Mao's reformed leadership, the People's Republic of North China becomes a state wracked with terror. Mao's Little Red Book occupies an even greater position than that occupied by Mein Kampf in Nazi Germany. Being labelled a "revisionist"- that is, one not sufficiently loyal to Maoism- is grounds for torture and death. Many CCP cadres are viciously purged and meet dreadful fates. Deng Xiaoping and Liu Shaoqi are both labelled as "capitalist-roaders" and are viciously persecuted. Deng is placed under various house arrests and is denounced. Liu, however, has a far worse fate coming for him. He is purged in August and will die in 1966, a broken man.

Mao makes a great deal of effort to incite violence across the PRNC, especially against foreigners and conservatives. Students, in particular, are exhorted to be violent. One of the most famous (or infamous, depending upon who you ask), is Zhang Pinfou, a high school student in Changchun. In July 1963, he and a group of friends beat their chemistry teacher to death with wooden poles after the teacher suggests that "perhaps Chairman Mao could let the people rule for a change and stop the persecutions." Zhang is granted the opportunity to meet Mao, and changes his name to Zhang Baoli, the given name meaning "violence". (4) All over the PRNC, incidents such as this take place.

In addition, Chinese culture is heavily attacked. Historic texts and monuments are all destroyed en masse, and scholars and academics are persecuted in droves, either forced to sing Mao's praises or killed. Even traditional Chinese opera and horticulture are stamped out. Places with high feng shui value are deliberately desecrated. All of these violent actions are possible in large part because of the creation of the Red Guards. This unit carries around the Little Red Book at all times, and attacks those denounced by Mao. Red Guards are given a high societal standing for their actions and frequently throw their weight around.

Many foreign leaders are also attacked- along with virtually all of the major Western leaders, many "revisionists" within the Communist world come under criticism. Posters in Harbin and elsewhere denounce Kim Il-sung as a "fat revisionist", while Khrushchev is criticised as placing the survival of his own power above Marxism-Leninism. For the Soviet leadership, the Cultural Revolution is simply the last straw. Plans are made to topple Mao's regime before it collapses and is swallowed up by Chiang Kai-shek...

(1) Analogous to the First Taiwan Strait Crisis
(2) It is altogether possible, that in TTL, where nuclear weapons are a little less taboo than OTL, the missiles could actually fly, but I didn't want to butterfly in the destruction of all humanity.
(3) Remember, since the PRNC was founded three years ahead of OTL, many events in its history are three years ahead of OTL as well.
(4) Analogous to the story of Song Binbin, but since Song hailed from Nationalist Beijing, I created this fictitious character to replace her.
 
In this TL, the point of divergence comes when Chiang Kai-shek ignores George Marshall's call for a cease-fire and continues the offensive against Mao and his Communists in Manchuria. .
June 4, 1946: US Secretary of State George Marshall proposes a cease-fire in the conflict. He demands that Chiang agree to a two-week armistice with Mao, on pain of having all American equipment and aid revoked.

Marshall's ultimatum sparks fierce debate amongst the Nationalists. The prospect of being without American aid or equipment is deeply unappetising, and as such some in the Nationalist camp advocate for accepting the Marshall ceasefire. The most prominent of these figures is Wei Lihuang, who Chiang suspects is a Communist sleeper agent. However, Chiang reasons that the Communists are so close to defeat that even in the event that US aid is cut off, they can be crushed and it will be worth it. The Chinese Civil War will continue. (2)
(2) POD, obviously in OTL Chiang agreed to the ceasefire
Ah, the "Chiang lost because Marshall pressured him to accept a cease-fire in June" myth. I addressed that in an old soc.history.what-if post (sorry for any links that no longer work):

***

Here I would like to note three points about this question made by Jay Taylor
in his recent book *The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for
Modern China,* (Harvard UP 2009), a book which incidentally is generally
sympathetic to Chiang and somewhat critical of Marshall:

(1) During his June 3 meeting with Marshall in Nanking, Chiang "with little
or no pressure from Marshall...agreed to halt 'advances, attacks or pursuits'
by his troops in Manchuria for fifteen days." (p. 353)

(2) "Three days later, Chiang and Mao issued separate announcements of
another cease-fire. As ordered, Sun Liren halted his advance and withdrew
south of the Sungari. Years later, Chiang wrote that this cease-fire sapped
morale and was the beginning of the government 'debacle in Manchuria.' But
even if General Sun had captured Harbin, the CCP and its troops would have
escaped into the hinterland, which they almost totally controlled, and
probably into Russia if necessary..." (p. 353) (Rob Harris made this point
in the above-mentioned thread at
http://groups.google.com/group/soc.history.what-if/msg/389abb784e1c503b )

(3) "Despite his continued optimism and provocative Communist attacks during
the cease-fire, in late June Chiang confirmed in his journal that he did not
intend 'to push very far north.' He thought this strategy would avoid a
confrontation with the Soviet Union and would free government troops both to
deploy into the huge Manchurian landscape behind their lines and to
concentrate on eliminating the Communist forces in North China." (p. 354)

In short, the significance of this particular event seems to have been
overblown. Marshall did not coerce a reluctant Chiang into losing a golden
opportunity to wipe out Lin Biao's troops; rather, Chiang as well as Marshall
was worried that going too far north could be provocative to Stalin, and
anyway capturing Harbin would not have made that much of a difference,
militarily speaking, for the KMT. (It might have been a psychological boost,
but if psychological boosts were all that the KMT needed you would think
that, for example, capturing the Communist capital of Yan'an in 1947 would
have helped them more than it did...)…

***

Indeed, the whole business about Chiang's strategy in Manchuria in 1946 being hamstrung by Marshall is IMO a myth. As I wrote at https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/wi-pc-us-allies-go-all-in-for-nationalist-china.388943/#post-12423321

"The notion that Chiang was on the verge of a decisive victory in Manchuria in 1946 and was prevented from winning only by a cease-fire imposed by Marshall is not supported by the evidence. See Harold M. Tanner, *The Battle for Manchuria and the Fate of China: Siping, 1946* the conclusion of which is summarized by one reviewer as follows: "The major question concerns the decisiveness of the battle of Siping. In retrospect, many Nationalists have looked on this battle as a lost chance to win the war. According to this view, the Nationalists had the Communists in full retreat until the Americans interfered with the cease-fire that halted pursuit of Mao’s armies. The pause allowed the Communists to rebuild their forces and eventually win control of Manchuria. Without a cease-fire, supporters of this argument believe that Nationalists would have secured control of Manchuria and eventually defeated the Communists across China. In response, Tanner argues that Siping did not set the stage for a possible Nationalist victory in Manchuria. Chiang’s armies faced logistical and manpower problems and that further advance might have fatally exposed Nationalist forces to Communist hit-and-run attacks." http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=39472 Another review (not available in full to non-subscribers): "Tanner systematically refutes such charges against Marshall...Using a variety of recently available archival materials, he demonstrates that leadership on both sides had military reasons for accepting the ceasefire at that time. In reality, Marshall's maneuvers were peripheral to their strategic decision making. The latter was shaped by perceptions of the changing facts on the battlefield. *Chiang had no intention at the time of pursuing the communists beyond the Songhua River.* [emphasis added]. Although Western and Taiwan-based historians have argued in hindsight that pursuing and annihilating the communists is what he should have done, Chiang was focused on consolidating his hold on southern Manchuria by moving north to capture Changchun. Tanner quotes Chiang's diary to make this point. As for Marshall, both the communist and nationalist leaders considered him a nuisance...to be humored and outmanuevered at the negotiating table... "
http://ahr.oxfordjournals.org/content/118/5/1500.extract The notion that Marshall prevented Chiang from gaining a decisive victory by taking Harbin is also false: see my post at https://groups.google.com/d/msg/soc.history.what-if/gRV99OKh4jc/hMSaSkGkCeQJ where I point out that "In short, the significance of this particular event seems to have been overblown. Marshall did not coerce a reluctant Chiang into losing a golden opportunity to wipe out Lin Biao's troops; rather, Chiang as well as Marshall was worried that going too far north could be provocative to Stalin, and anyway capturing Harbin would not have made that much of a difference, militarily speaking, for the KMT.""
 
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Ah, the "Chiang lost because Marshall pressured him to accept a cease-fire in June" myth. I addressed that in an old soc.history.what-if post (sorry for any links that no longer work):

***

Here I would like to note three points about this question made by Jay Taylor
in his recent book *The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for
Modern China,* (Harvard UP 2009), a book which incidentally is generally
sympathetic to Chiang and somewhat critical of Marshall:

(1) During his June 3 meeting with Marshall in Nanking, Chiang "with little
or no pressure from Marshall...agreed to halt 'advances, attacks or pursuits'
by his troops in Manchuria for fifteen days." (p. 353)

(2) "Three days later, Chiang and Mao issued separate announcements of
another cease-fire. As ordered, Sun Liren halted his advance and withdrew
south of the Sungari. Years later, Chiang wrote that this cease-fire sapped
morale and was the beginning of the government 'debacle in Manchuria.' But
even if General Sun had captured Harbin, the CCP and its troops would have
escaped into the hinterland, which they almost totally controlled, and
probably into Russia if necessary..." (p. 353) (Rob Harris made this point
in the above-mentioned thread at
http://groups.google.com/group/soc.history.what-if/msg/389abb784e1c503b )

(3) "Despite his continued optimism and provocative Communist attacks during
the cease-fire, in late June Chiang confirmed in his journal that he did not
intend 'to push very far north.' He thought this strategy would avoid a
confrontation with the Soviet Union and would free government troops both to
deploy into the huge Manchurian landscape behind their lines and to
concentrate on eliminating the Communist forces in North China." (p. 354)

In short, the significance of this particular event seems to have been
overblown. Marshall did not coerce a reluctant Chiang into losing a golden
opportunity to wipe out Lin Biao's troops; rather, Chiang as well as Marshall
was worried that going too far north could be provocative to Stalin, and
anyway capturing Harbin would not have made that much of a difference,
militarily speaking, for the KMT. (It might have been a psychological boost,
but if psychological boosts were all that the KMT needed you would think
that, for example, capturing the Communist capital of Yan'an in 1947 would
have helped them more than it did...)…

***

Indeed, the whole business about Chiang's strategy in Manchuria in 1946 being hamstrung by Marshal is IMO a myth. As I wrote at https://www.alternatehistory.com/forum/threads/wi-pc-us-allies-go-all-in-for-nationalist-china.388943/#post-12423321

"The notion that Chiang was on the verge of a decisive victory in Manchuria in 1946 and was prevented from winning only by a cease-fire imposed by Marshall is not supported by the evidence. See Harold M. Tanner, *The Battle for Manchuria and the Fate of China: Siping, 1946* the conclusion of which is summarized by one reviewer as follows: "The major question concerns the decisiveness of the battle of Siping. In retrospect, many Nationalists have looked on this battle as a lost chance to win the war. According to this view, the Nationalists had the Communists in full retreat until the Americans interfered with the cease-fire that halted pursuit of Mao’s armies. The pause allowed the Communists to rebuild their forces and eventually win control of Manchuria. Without a cease-fire, supporters of this argument believe that Nationalists would have secured control of Manchuria and eventually defeated the Communists across China. In response, Tanner argues that Siping did not set the stage for a possible Nationalist victory in Manchuria. Chiang’s armies faced logistical and manpower problems and that further advance might have fatally exposed Nationalist forces to Communist hit-and-run attacks." http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=39472 Another review (not available in full to non-subscribers): "Tanner systematically refutes such charges against Marshall...Using a variety of recently available archival materials, he demonstrates that leadership on both sides had military reasons for accepting the ceasefire at that time. In reality, Marshall's maneuvers were peripheral to their strategic decision making. The latter was shaped by perceptions of the changing facts on the battlefield. *Chiang had no intention at the time of pursuing the communists beyond the Songhua River.* [emphasis added]. Although Western and Taiwan-based historians have argued in hindsight that pursuing and annihilating the communists is what he should have done, Chiang was focused on consolidating his hold on southern Manchuria by moving north to capture Changchun. Tanner quotes Chiang's diary to make this point. As for Marshall, both the communist and nationalist leaders considered him a nuisance...to be humored and outmanuevered at the negotiating table... "
http://ahr.oxfordjournals.org/content/118/5/1500.extract The notion that Marshall prevented Chiang from gaining a decisive victory by taking Harbin is also false: see my post at https://groups.google.com/d/msg/soc.history.what-if/gRV99OKh4jc/hMSaSkGkCeQJ where I point out that "In short, the significance of this particular event seems to have been overblown. Marshall did not coerce a reluctant Chiang into losing a golden opportunity to wipe out Lin Biao's troops; rather, Chiang as well as Marshall was worried that going too far north could be provocative to Stalin, and anyway capturing Harbin would not have made that much of a difference, militarily speaking, for the KMT.""

Kudos for doing MUCH more research than me...;)
 
How is Indonesia doing ITTL?
Indonesia? Fairly similar to OTL. The Indonesian Communist Party doesn't get the chance to expand nearly as much as OTL, so the bloody 1965 purge is butterflied away. Right now, a number of Chinese companies are investing in the oilfields. There is some fear in Indonesia that they will meet the fate of South Korea, with their economy dependent on the ROC, but living standards are a bit higher than OTL...
 
Do remember that nations will develop irrespective of any imagined overlord, much to the distress of those self-imagined overlords. ROK (and indeed, DPRK too), Japan, and the various other nations of Asia shouldn't be third-world hellholes just because Mao lost in China. Also, why did the RoC invade Tibet? The Republicans didn't recognize Tibet but afaik they weren't antagonistic to it either??
 
Do remember that nations will develop irrespective of any imagined overlord, much to the distress of those self-imagined overlords. ROK (and indeed, DPRK too), Japan, and the various other nations of Asia shouldn't be third-world hellholes just because Mao lost in China. Also, why did the RoC invade Tibet? The Republicans didn't recognize Tibet but afaik they weren't antagonistic to it either??
This is a very valid criticism. ITTL, the massive ROC economy means that there is no room for the Asian Tigers. Obviously, this does not affect Taiwan, which is even better off than OTL. Some East Asian countries enjoy levels of prosperity akin to OTL, such as South Korea and Singapore. This is due to their successfully attracting Chinese loans and investment. The price for high living standards is tying the health of their economies to Nanjing, however.

Japan is a "third world hellhole" at the moment, but ten or so years after the end of the uprising, things will look up for them. By 1980, Sapporo will be rebuilt, and the US Army of Occupation withdrawn. From there, things will start to get better. By 2019, TTL Japan will be a shaky democracy with an economy approximately the size of Canada's, Italy's, or Russia's- not anywhere near as good as OTL, but definitely not the "third world hellhole" it was in 1956 or 1966.

As for North Korea, well, you'll see...

There were three reasons I decided to have the ROC conquer Tibet. For a start, even in OTL 2019, Taipei retains a claim to Tibet (along with Mongolia, for that matter). If small Taiwan can retain a claim to territory under the control for sixty years of its worst enemy, then I don't see why Chiang wouldn't scoop up the territory at the first chance he got. Reason two is unchanged whether China is Nationalist or Communist: if hostile India can set up a puppet state in Tibet, then in any war between the two, they will have a perfect invasion corridor to the Chinese heartland. Conversely, China controlling Tibet means that the border rests on the very defensible Himalayas. Third, I felt that it was an excusable bit of parallelism.
 
The Division of Communist China
The September 1963 Coup and the Division of Communist China


When Mao Zedong began his Cultural Revolution in the summer of 1963, he intended for it to be a means of consolidating his own power. By viciously eradicating any other potential source of political or cultural strength, the people of the PRNC would have only one thing in their lives to look up to or admire- him- and have no distractions- such as books or music- from their lives spent as Mao worshippers. It was an absolutely horrifying image, but it would elevate Mao's own personality cult and power within the CCP, and to him, that was all that mattered

For four months, the People's Republic of North China lived in a state of anarchy and fear. Nothing was safe or sacred, except for Mao's portrait and Little Red Book. All aspects of Chinese culture were viciously purged. Anyone found with books or music in their homes was tortured and most likely executed, such was the level of depravity. People learned to live in fear. But that was not all. Any of Mao's opponents- that is, anyone who did not sufficiently worship him- was purged. State president Liu Shaoqi was toppled in August, and at the time of the coup, he was awaiting imprisonment in a state of de facto house arrest, having been branded "the biggest capitalist-roader". The second-biggest "capitalist-roader" was Deng Xiaoping, who was subject to house arrest and occasional denunciations and lived in fear of being exiled or imprisoned. Mao's inner circle at this point consisted of Zhou Enlai, Lin Biao, Kang Sheng, and his wife Jiang Qing. They all had the power to ruin anyone’s life. Of course, they all knew that currying favour with the Chairman was essential to their own survival. This meant that they stomached the Great Leap Forward, and were willing to throw their comrades under the bus during the Cultural Revolution.

However, the People’s Republic of North China was moving in a direction which its Soviet patron refused to stomach. In the eyes of Moscow, it was one thing for a satellite nation to conduct a purge, or even to implement agricultural reform reminiscent of the Ukrainian famine of the 1930s. However, when that nation loses five percent of its population to a famine, and then not ten years later attacks the rest of the Communist bloc as revisionists, that was something else again.

Three days after the downfall of Liu Shaoqi, Wang Ming, a former CCP member who had fled to Moscow during World War II, received a knock on his door. He opened it, to find five KGB men standing there, armed to the teeth. Wang assumed that he was to be taken to prison or the gulag, and nearly cried with joy when they reassured him that that was not what they wanted him for. Wang was driven to KGB headquarters in Moscow, where he was met by none other than Vladimir Semichastny, chairman of the KGB. Semichastny poured Wang a drink, and reassured him that he was not in any trouble. Then, acting on behalf of Khruschev, he explained the situation and informed Wang that he was to become the next chairman of communist China. Realising that if he said no, his life would end very shortly, Wang agreed. On August 22, 1963, a Soviet train from Irkutsk arrived in Harbin. Two dozen KGB men were aboard, disguised as Russian migrant labourers. Wang Ming was present too, disguised as a People’s Liberation Army captain, complete with dog tags and uniform faked by the Russians. It seemed like nothing out of the ordinary…

Ten days later, at five minutes to 1 AM on September 2, the plotters struck. Bombs planted by the plotters over the past ten days were remotely detonated in Mao’s compound in an attempt to kill the leadership. In the midst of the confusion, the KGB men slipped in and went hunting for the leaders. Mao and Lin Biao managed to flee in separate planes, Mao in a (ironically enough) Soviet-built plane, Lin in his personal plane, the Trident. Both had the same destination: Yan’an. The Nationalists, whose airspace the two vessels crossed, were too surprised to do much, and in any case, Nanjing was not yet aware of the situation. As such, Mao was able to land in Yan’an unmolested. Lin Biao, however, was not so fortunate. His car had been pursued by KGB men, and his plane had had to take off in a hurry, there not being enough fuel in the tank. As such, at approximately 4:30 AM, his plane crashed into Nationalist territory, somewhere between Xinzhou and Taiyuan. Aboard was Lin, his wife, their daughter Lin Dodo, and their son Lin Liguo, along with the Lin family’s butler. (1) Mao did not learn of the circumstances of Lin’s death for over a month.

Back in Harbin, the plotters quickly assumed control over the government. Liu Shaoqi was released from prison at nine AM. Zhou Enlai, meanwhile, was caught and executed along with Jiang Qing and Kang Sheng. Deng Xiaoping, however, managed to keep his head down, and was able to safely remain in Harbin. Twenty-four hours after the coup began, the Manchurian part of the PRNC was solidly under Wang Ming’s control. On September 4, the front page of People’s Daily was dominated by two articles. One formally announced the takeover by Wang, and the other was the text of a speech by Liu Shaoqi formally condemning Maoism. The next day, Wang gave a speech in which he proclaimed the establishment of the Soviet Republic of Manchuria. “We renounce the errors and over-pursuit of the revolution by Mao Zedong, and will stand by our Soviet comrades for 10,000 years.” he said. Wang also pledged to undo the Cultural Revolution, and to help recover from the Great Leap Forward. The Little Red Book, Mao’s portrait, and the hymn “The East is Red” were all banned. The new Manchurian government consisted of the following: Wang Ming as CCP Chairman, Liu Shaoqi as state president, Deng Xiaoping as vice-president and interior minister, and Zhu De as defence minister, along with plenty of others. The Communist world, acting on Moscow’s orders, granted Manchuria diplomatic recognition.

Meanwhile, in Yan’an, Mao was reeling from the loss of his country. Virtually all of his hierarchy had either chosen to throw in with Wang Ming (Liu, Deng, and Zhu), or been killed (Lin, Zhou, Kang Sheng, and Mme Mao). He decided, then, that there was only one thing to do- to abandon the PRNC and create a new Communist regime in Yan’an, even more totalitarian than his old country. The People’s Commune of Yan’an was formally inaugurated, ironically enough, on October 1, 1963, seventeen years to the day after the founding of the People’s Republic of North China. However, it received no support or recognition from any Communist countries, and was from its birth an international pariah. Conditions within the country were appalling from the get-go: Yan’an was already a very poor part of China, and Mao was determined to show no mercy towards it. A personality cult dwarfing that of Stalin was rapidly put in place (2), with Mao's personality cult elevated to heights that, had they not had such horrible consequences for those forced to live under them, would've been comic. Myths were created that the Chairman had personally fought in 100,000 battles during the Sino-Japanese War and the civil war, and that the only reason that Yan'an was the sole part of China under his rule was because of the Americans and their nuclear weapons. It was the duty of every subject of his, Mao claimed, to "strive aggressively, and to be prepared for our next conflict with counter-revolutionary elements in China and elsewhere." Khruschev was also condemned as a "counter-revolutionary revisionist", and a "lackey of the imperialists", while Wang Ming was "the biggest counter-revolutionary bastard and the biggest capitalist-roader, along with Liu Shaoqi." The Cultural Revolution continued in Yan'an. Prison camps- dubbed laogai- were constructed to hold enemies of the regime (read, those who had displeased Mao in any way, shape, or form) or anyone who attempted to flee to the ROC.

Thus, Communist China was divided in two.

(1) Analogous to one account of Lin's OTL death.
(2) Hey, I had to put the North Korean personality cult in somewhere!
 
People's Commune of Yan'an Flag
Screen Shot 2019-09-29 at 8.34.04 am.png

Flag of the People's Commune of Yan'an. The red star denotes Communism, the black border the defence of Communism, the white background Nationalist China, which the PCY is obviously surrounded by.
 
Soviet Republic of Manchuria Flag
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Flag of the Soviet Republic of Manchuria. The red stands for both Communism and traditional Han Chinese, while the yellow represents the Manchu aspect of the new Communist regime. The hammer and sickle was chosen over the red star to symbolise closeness to the USSR.
 
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