Separated at Birth Discussion Thread

Or another possibility could be Vietnam is able to maintain its independence ala Siam in our world.
Siam should have ended up as a British protectorate ITTL based off of being completely surrounded. Also, the Tian dynasty seemed to pop out of nowhere - a more realistic Japanese colonization of China would have been --> China balkanizes into multiple remnants with the toppling of the Qing --> some of these are colonized/proxied by the Europeans/Japanese/Russians/the Vietnamese(?!) --> Japan drives out most of the competitors with the collapse of Russia and European powers --> proclaims dynastically unified Chinese state under the Emperor of Japan or something and banks ironically on Chinese nationalism (reunified even if under a Yamato dynasty, allied to our Japanese benefactors thing)
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I enjoyed it, having never read the Draka books and not intending to, BTW. We get all the dystopian crazyness of the Draka, but they're confined by some level of realism and lose in the end, although nobody really wins the Final War. The ending's ultimately bittersweet.
Why was Vietnam colonized IOTL?
France had a history of involvement in Vietnam going back to the 18th century, when they supported the rising Nguyen dynasty against the Tay Son. However, later Nguyen emperors were much less conciliatory towards the West, which often manifested in the suppression of Catholicism. In the mid-1800s, the French Empire wanted a foothold in East Asia and used persecution of Catholic missionaries as a pretext to intervene. After annexing the provinces that would become Cochinchina and establishing a protectorate over Cambodia, they managed to fully subdue Vietnam between 1883 and 1886 and split off the viceroyalty of Tonkin as a separate protectorate. This is a sequence of events that could be avoided without a strong French overseas presence, since the Spanish aren't any stronger and Britain wouldn't need any more colonies in the region.
Also, it seems from reviewing EBR's other work including ASB TLs like Deo Vindice , Ad Astra per Aspera (not the rvbomally one) and Rebel North that 1) fewer nations than OTL is a running theme in his work outside of nuclear war TLs - including integrated overseas provinces 2) lots of catastrophes - ASB or not, including continuous decline catastrophes like what happened to the Tupaia once there were too few technical staff who could actually resolve new problems instead of rotely following training material 3) detailed analysis of political ideologies and generalizd statements about how different types of governments and individuals respond to crisis 4) PODs that are at least after the American Revolution in non-ISOT TLs
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Another interesting outcome based on what was mentioned by the author was North Africa, West Africa and the Near East becoming a collection of American and French protectorates as planned after the Great War. What would likely occur afterwards? @Herucalmo