The Mandarin Observer - A Chinese ATL

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20th October 1918 - The Emperor addresses the nation on influenza
The Emperor has published a decree in response to the influenza that is sweeping through the country.

The influenza persisted from May to June, but now it has made a comeback with a vengeance. A death toll in the thousands has been reported in Geiju, Yunnan, and in Shanghai, while four have died in Guangdong. 50% of Beijing is believed to have been infected with the influenza.

As of now, the symptoms, according to the Chinese Medical Academy, include bronchitis (a throat inflammation with symptoms such as shortness of breath and chest pain), pneumonia, and hemolysis (a condition with symptoms such as fever and fatigue).

The decree begins with " Recently the county has been troubled by epidemics which spread widely in a high speed … When a person becomes infected, the other family members may soon become infected too. If no prompt actions are taken, the situation might be out of control.” The decree includes instructions such as “Houses should be sprayed with limewater or lime powder, and rhubarb and Atractylodes rhizome should be burned to disinfect the air” and also “Villagers are advised to drink more soup prepared with powdered mung bean and rock sugar, several times a day.”

Masks are expected to be worn by all citizens, regardless of infection. Unfortunately, the flu has been taken advantage of by anti-Qing elements such as the National Enlightenment Party, who continue to hold rallies at locations afflicted by the flu, including just outside of the occupied territory of Hong Kong, and even venture to villages afflicted by the plague to spruik their beliefs under the guise of delivering medicine.

If conventional medical treatment is out of reach, then herbal medicines may be used, if only to lessen the pain of the coniditon.


Chinese women wear masks in Shanghai
20th November 1918 - Chinese and Japanese hold position east of Lake Baikal
Chinese and Japanese officers have agreed to have their armies hold position near the east of Lake Baikal.

While the British, Italian and French forces proceed westward towards the Czehsolovak Legion, the two Asian brothers have remained away from the fighting, intent on implementing their own, combined anti-Bolshevik strategy.

However, the Americans have also remained east of the lake. Their soldiers are less than conspicuous in their efforts to survey our troops’ activities. with their wide brim hats sticking out for a mile away. Their scouts even spied upon a funeral for Chinese soldiers killed in a munitions explosion in Vladivostok. The Chinese government has officially filed a formal protest with the American government, who are clearly attempting to push a imperialist agenda in Asia to the detriment of everyone who wants to see the defeat of the Bolsheviks.

In other news, the Provisional Siberian Government has transitioned into the All-Russian Government, under the command of one Rear Admiral Alexander Kolchak. The Emperor’s decree of recognition shall extend to Admiral Kolchak’s regime, which now extends from the Manchurian border to the border of Outer Mongolia as a result of Chinese/Japanese cooperation. Unlike the Americans, both Japan and China are dedicated to the construction of an anti-Bolshevik Russian government to prevent the spread of Communism.


The exact location of Lake Baikal.


Alexander Kolchak, the legitimate ruler of Russia.


Chinese troops stationed in Outer Mongolia
Bert knew it was a mistake to compromise when his mates couldn't decide whether to spend the weekend hunting or fishing.
It's the soldiers in the bottom picture, half of them look like they're wearing fishing hats, half of them look like they're on a big game hunt.
I have to agree with the other posters, executing Cixi is a no-go. On the other hand, I do like the form this TL took!
interestesing but how exactly would the imperial Japanese and Chinese governments actually work together
Imperial Japan of the 1910s was a very different creature than the Imperial Japan of the 1930s, it was a time before they fully went cray cray. In fact, in OTL one of the reasons they went nuts was being snubbed post WWI, in which they felt that they weren't given the rewards they deserved.
28 June 1919 - Ambassadors walk out of Versailles, Sino-Japanese Friendship Treaty abrogated, Chinese troops to withdraw from Mongolia
The Chinese ambassador to Paris, along with his entourage, have walked out of the Palace after being forced to suffer through a ridiculous demand.

Though China was allowed to participate in negotiations for the Treaty, according to the ambassador, the British and Japanese had conspired beforehand to allow Japan and Britain to retain possession of Qingdao and Weihai, while giving the Chinese control over the rest of Shandong. Japanese laws would apply to Qingdao and Japanese troops would be stationed in Qingdao on a permanent basis.

“This ‘compromise’ would violate the 1914 Sino-Japanese Treaty of Friendship”, the ambassador said in a statement. “The Japanese had no intention of holding into their end of the bargain”,

The Imperial Cabinet has released a separate statement, denouncing the compromise and reminding the Europeans of the dozens of dead Chinese servicemen and the piles upon piles of coal the country has shipped to Europe by way of the United States, which supported the Allied war effort.

In response to the betrayal, the Emperor has ordered the ambassador to withdraw China from the 1914 Sino-Japanese Friendship Treaty. This would effectively deprive Japan of the legal right to host troops in Manchuria, which it has done since 1914. The Japanese government have said they will not remove troops from the region under any circumstances.

Minister Feng has also announced that Chinese troops will be withdrawn from Siberia in response to the betrayal. To avoid having to go through Manchuria, orders have been given for the troops to evacuate through Outer Mongolia.
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Looks like the first bit of occupied China is getting taken back. ;)
One question though.
How Sinicized have the Manchurians become ITTL?
Looks like the first bit of occupied China is getting taken back. ;)
Hold your horses. There won't be a war just yet.

How Sinicized have the Manchurians become ITTL?
Well, small spoilers here, but the Eight Banners, which had it's beginnings in Manchu culture, have been disbanded and combined with the different regional armies of China into a centralized Imperial Chinese Army with a officer corps that is made up of both Manchus and Han, so Manchu culture is losing it's distinctiveness as China goes into the 20th Century..
10th July 1919 - Mass protests at the Tianamen Gate
Thousands of people have flocked to the Tianamen Gate to stage mass protests.

The protests are against the so-called ‘Treaty of Versailles’ which gives Japan control of Qingdao, in direct violation of the 1914 Sino-Japanese Treaty of Friendship, which the Emperor formally abrogated two weeks in protest.

Some elements of the protests, however, have attacked the Emperor directly, using such epithets as ‘traitor’ and ‘decaying old prune’, with the belief that he was responsible for the loss of Qingdao and China’s subsequent humiliation. Some protestors have even produced signs with the slogan "Let the ruling classes tremble!", a quote by Karl Marx.

"The Chinese government that we have is insufficient", a protestor declared during a interview. "The Imperial system has made some progress, but not enough to stop itself from being betrayed by it's allies", When asked if they wanted to tear down the imperial government, the protestor replied "I don't want to 'tear down' the government. I want them to take their mandate seriously",

The protests have spilled out from Tiananmen Square and now cover East Chang'an Street. Army units now protect Zhongnanhai and of course, the Forbidden City.

The Prime Minister has said "We will allow these people to protest as is their right under the 1898 Constitution, but that does not mean they will be listened to. The Emperor will not abdicate his throne",


Protestors in Tiannamen Square.


A protest leader addresses his flock


Japanese products being burned at Tsinghua University
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Decree from the National People's Government dated 20th July 1919
This decree is to be published within media owned by the government.

To resolve the current situation within Beijing, the military has taken upon the noble duty of securing law and order. The Emperor has not been deposed. In fact, it is the position of the military that the Emperor remain on the throne at all costs. Negotiations are taking place between the military, the National Enlightenment Party and the Imperial Cabinet to bring an end to the weeks of chaos. Until the situation is resolved, the Great Qing state is under martial law, with a National People's Government running the affairs of state.

The 1898 Constitution is henceforth suspended.

Parliament is henceforth dissolved, with the right to draft laws passing from the dissolved body to the Prime Minister.

There shall be no gatherings of more than one person in a particular area, especially not the area surroudning Tiannamen.

All content published by media organs shall be scrutinized for inflammatory contnet.

Citizens shall be detained for a extended period of time for any offense without trial

The military reserves the right to use capital punishment for any offense

Any document (or decree) bearing the Twelve Ornaments symbol shall be supported with the force of law

The Imperial flag (yellow field defaced by a dragon with a red pearl in the upper left corner) shall continue to be a national symbol. Destroying or vandalizing the flag will not be tolerated.

Any petition to the National People's Government must be taken to Zhongnanhai. Displaying a petition publicly is a offence.

The National People's Government has taken upon itself to temporarily guide the state during these difficult times. The world is evolving and China will evolve with it. The cooperation of the masses is required to evolve the nation to what it must become. Please follow these instructions to the letter and don't cause any unnecessary suffering or distractions.