The Manchurian Candidate: Asia and the Wider World

I'm excited you came back, it's never late if the news are good!

I've liked the update very much, looking forward to seeing this interesting nation and TL unfold.
Thank you! As rough as my past semester was, this TL was always in the back of my mind so I'm at least brimming with ideas to put out.
Welcome back!

Thanks for the gift of the tiblets that I hope gets expanded on at a later date.

I'm guessing that, while not an official member of the Co-Prosperity Sphere, relations with Japan and Korea are still good enough that Manchuria is heavily economically linked to both powers. I'm also getting the vibe that Korea and Japan are on much better terms in this verse than in OTL. Was Japan saner in their occupation on Korea?
Japan's ittl history will be expanded, but that's about right. As will be revealed, Japan's expansion in East Asia was pretty heavily curtailed by a stronger China, and so a lot of the Empire's repressive cultural policies in Korea never happened. As will be shown, decades of political and popular pressure paired with an economic downturn would push Japan to release Korea, at least partially.
 
Mandate of Heaven+Emperor of China
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A common assumption when considering the 'Mandate of Heaven' is that the Mandate is lost by one Dynasty and then cleanly passed to another, yet throughout Chinese Dynastic History this is only occasionally true. During the Three Kingdoms Period, the 16 Kingdoms Period, the Northern/Southern Dynasties Period and many other Periods, ownership of the Mandate of Heaven has frequently been contested - as it is today.

In today's Modern Period, also known as the Two Dynasties Period, the Gang and Later/Northern Qing Dynasties each claim the Mandate for their own, a dispute taking the form of an actual Territorial dispute until the Inter-Dynastic Treaty was signed. Today, the two dynasties still claim the holy birthright as their own, but exist simultaneously in a slightly uneasy status quo, with the ancient concept of the Mandate having to be balanced with modern diplomatic and trade relations. Rather than live out the old tradition of a dynasty conquering another and reunifying China, the facts of geopolitics has made two Dynasties inevitable: the Qing Dynasty is militarily far too weak to conquer it's Southern neighbor, a proposition made all the more impossible by the Chinese Empire's large nuclear arsenal, and the Gang Dynasty cannot conquer Manchuria without disrupting the region's unsteady balance of power and causing war with Japan, a proposition made all the more dangerous by Japan's quite similarly sized nuclear arsenal. Thus, the Gang and Qing dynasties exist side-by-side, divided only by the Great Wall and the modern facts of geopolitics.

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On the matter of inter-dynastic diplomacy, the current sovereign of the Chinese Empire, the Shiquan Emperor (born Yuan Liyang) has made great strides to further normalize relations between the Gang and Qing Dynasties. A member of the House of Yuan, Liyang ascended to the throne in 2003 after over a month of squabbling and bickering during the 2003 Chinese Succession Crisis, as the much-beloved Emperor Shan died without legitimate heirs. Throughout 2002, a huge host of illegitimate sons and pretenders angled for power, and the Emperor's sudden death at the beginning of 2003 sparked a fierce internal struggle lasting nearly 2 months.

Thus, the Shiquan Emperor entered office surrounded by new questions regarding the throne and it's power - the fierce battle for the crown had cost Liyang a great deal of goodwill and political capital, and the Emperor ascended more as a compromise pick than anything else. However, while his predecessor had been praised as a wise and reform-minded sovereign, the Shiquan Emperor has done a great deal to re-centralize power in the monarchy, consolidate political strength and remove opponents from Chinese politics. Reform edicts were swiftly overwritten, allies quickly assumed control of the Imperial Chinese Military and state press outlets were suddenly brimming with praise for the young emperor. After nearly 20 years of rule, Liyang shows no signs of slowing down.
 
It's weird to consider how ancient Asian royal politics would translate to the modern day. I mean the Japanese still have their royal family but they don't have any actual power - it seems like in Manchuria, they do and that's funky. At least the Shiquan Emperor is wearing a suit on the image and not a ceremonial robe.
 
It's weird to consider how ancient Asian royal politics would translate to the modern day. I mean the Japanese still have their royal family but they don't have any actual power - it seems like in Manchuria, they do and that's funky. At least the Shiquan Emperor is wearing a suit on the image and not a ceremonial robe.
Yeah that was what pushed me to create this timeline at all - plenty of RoC and PRCs out there but nearly no continuing monarchies.

The guy in the photo is real, by the way, and is really a descendent of Yuan Shikai! He's a poet IOTL. And as we'll find out, the Chinese monarch has a lot more power than the Qing monarch.
 
Yeah that was what pushed me to create this timeline at all - plenty of RoC and PRCs out there but nearly no continuing monarchies.

The guy in the photo is real, by the way, and is really a descendent of Yuan Shikai! He's a poet IOTL. And as we'll find out, the Chinese monarch has a lot more power than the Qing monarch.
Nice, very nice. :D ^^

Looking for more to come.
 
Maybe, but we know that Yunnan is still independent, and Tibet and/or Xinjiang could be protected by a foreign power the way the Qing Empire is protected by Japan.
For Tibet and Xinjiang, I can only assume that Russia or Japan would be patrons. Speaking of which, I wonder what Russia thinks about the Chinese imperial line?
 
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