World of the United Front Continued - A graphics TL of China and the world

world of the continued united front a graphics tl of china and the world.png

What is this?

A TL where Sun Yat Sen is succeeded by a member of the KMT left rather than KMT right, leading to a rather different 1920s and 1930s for China, with the establishment of a different, more humane communist-led China as opposed to the Maoist China of OTL. The initial focus is on China and its surroundings, but attention is also given to various other areas where things go differently than in OTL

Told mostly with wikiboxes and other graphics. With the length of the accompanying text in some of the posts, maybe the graphics themselves aren't really the main focus, but idk, I just got used to using them as a conceptual anchor or something

Why is so much convergent with OTL later on?

The intent was never to be some really deeply thought-out and divergent thing, the initial idea was just a vague point of divergence for a world that deliberately ended up a lot like OTL in some ways but with various differences, I ended up fleshing out the original POD, and then had some fun gradually fleshing out some random stuff across the span of the TL to expand on the backstory to the idea of the present that I started with. So it isn't necessarily the most plausible thing, but I had fun making it and it got some positive reactions as I've been posting it, so I've stuck with it

Wasn't most of this posted already? What's this thread for?

Yes, in the wikibox thread gradually over the past year or so. It started off as a one-off thing, but has since expanded past the original scope. A month or two ago (in relation to way back when I started this thread), someone suggested I make my own thread, and I've been busy/slow/lazy and only got around to it now

How often will this be updated?

Irregularly and sporadically. I have some more things in mind that I intend to get around to eventually as well as some vague ideas, but idk when I'll get around to them



* Second Sino-Japanese War
* Asia after the Second Sino-Japanese War, around 1940
* Chinese Leaders, 20s and 30s
Sino-Soviet Relations, 1930s to 1950s
* United States Politics, to 1960
* Indochina and the Second Indochina War
Indonesia, 1965 to 1989
* Burkina Faso, Angola, and Ethiopia in the First Cold War and Beyond
* Central America, 1989-1990
* Russia, 1990s and 2000s
* Chinese Politics, 1990s
* Himalayan Crisis, 2005-2006
* Aftermath of the Himalayan Crisis
* Pakistan, late 2000s
* LGBT Rights in China (and elsewhere), to 2010
* Chinese Domestic Affairs and International Relations after the First Cold War
* Japan in the 1930s and 1940s, and Pacific Rim Diplomacy in the 1940s
* Certain Chinese domestic and military affairs, first cold war to present
* Demographics of China, to around 2020
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Second Sino-Japanese War
Second Sino-Japanese War

This is for a sort of loose TL thing I've vaguely outlined where the present day is a lot like OTL in some ways but also different, a lot of butterflies massacred, and more for my own entertainment than realism or detail. But I thought some of the earlier stuff is maybe kinda plausible-ish at least

Here, Chiang Kai Shek doesn't succeed Sun Yat Sen as the leader of the Kuomintang. Instead someone from the left-wing of the KMT follows Sun, and the United Front is able to continue, with the Chinese Communist Party (which remains under the control of the 28 Bolsheviks and takes a more Leninist rather than Maoist stance, pursuing a NEP-like gradual socialist program rather than stuff like the Great Leap Forward) gradually growing to take a dominant position in the United Front and transforming it into something of a front-group. The late 20s still see a Northern Expedition, with the United Front taking Nanjing and with the warlords at least sort of falling in line

Japan still remains belligerent towards China, and intervenes in Manchuria, pushing back the forces of warlord general Zhang Xueliang. But unlike OTL, where the rightwing nationalist Nanjing central government was too busy trying to root out the communists and waging the encirclement campaigns to put up much resistance in Manchuria, the Nanjing government here under the left-leaning United Front is more popular with the peasants and doesn't really see much of an insurgency. The Nanjing government here is thus able to give its full attention to Manchuria, rallying the forces of the other warlords and sending its own forces north to aid Zhang Xueliang in the fight against Japan. The Japanese find themselves facing far more resistance than they expected, and were not quite prepared for a major war like they were in OTL 1937. The Chinese forces still find themselves struggling against Japan, but with superior numbers and facing Japan earlier when they had their forces less built up, they are able to keep the fighting contained to Manchuria and to start pushing the Japanese forces back, being aided by an earlier Operation Zet and later by direct Soviet intervention as well. In the end the Chinese and Soviet forces are able to push the Japanese forces off the continent and win the war

Here's a wikibox for that war

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This is just a direct copy of the first post, as it was written. I may rewrite it at some point, since it is kind of the odd one out with the out-of-context narrative or whatever you'd call it
Map: Asia after the Second Sino-Japanese War, around 1940
Map: Asia after the Second Sino-Japanese War, around 1940


(With the Chinese central government in lighter pink, and the warlords in darker pink)

Just a quick little worlda I made from this post and this post, nothing too special.

Long story short, Chiang Kai Shek doesn't become leader of the KMT, instead the left wing of the KMT ends up holding power after Sun Yat Sen dies. The United Front continues, and the Communist Party of China grows in influence. Japan still invades Manchuria, but since the Nanjing government isn't busy trying to purge the communists in the encirclement campaigns, Zhang Xueliang isn't left to fight the Japanese alone, and the armies of the central government as well as other warlords (and later the USSR as well) join the fight in Manchuria. After a few years of fighting, Japan is pushed off the mainland and sues for peace, giving China back the territories it had lost since the Treaty of Shimonoseki, giving up control of Korea, and giving Sakhalin and the Kuriles to the USSR. In the aftermath, the Communist Party, now very influential in both the KMT and China as a whole, declares the Socialist Republic of China. This socialist China is not led by Mao Zedong, but rather Chen Duxiu, who governs rather differently than Mao did, with a rather more open society and emulating Lenin's NEP rather than Stalin's rapid collectivization (which creates some tensions between China and the USSR under Stalin)

Map is around 1940 or so, a little over half a decade since the end of the Second Sino-Japanese War. The central government of China has been seeking to bring warlord territory under central government control, though it has been doing so somewhat gradually, with a sizable portion of territory (the darker China color) remaining under warlord control as of 1940. Also of some note is the Socialist Republic of Korea, liberated in the war with Japan, now a client of sorts of China and pursuing a similar policy path, contrasting considerably to the People's Republic of Korea of OTL. The war in Europe is starting to heat up, pushing Stalin to take a softer tone on the 'deviationist' China, and the pro-peace government that was established via coup in Japan after the fall of Pusan in the war with Japan has itself fallen prey to a militarist coup-the new Japanese government licks its wounds and longs for revenge, though isn't entirely sure how it can actually achieve it
Chinese Leaders, 20s and 30s
Chinese Leaders, 20s and 30s

Liao Zhongkai.png

Liao Zhongkai was a Chinese politician and leader of the Kuomintang. In 1905, he first became involved with political activism, joining the Tongmenghui engaging in opposition to the Qing Dynasty. Later, after the Republic of China was established, he joined Sun Yat Sen's Kuomintang, and by the 1920s rose to the rank of Minister of Finance. During the warlord era, he was an advocate for maintaining close relations and cooperation with the Soviet Union and Chinese Communist Party. When Sun Yat Sen died in 1925, Zhongkai succeeded him as Chairman of the Kuomintang, leader of the party. His continued advocacy for cooperation with the communists generated some opposition from the right of the Kuomintang, - the implication of major right-wing factional leader Hu Hanmin in the failed assassination attempt on Zhongkai in 1925, however, helped Zhongkai and the left-wing faction strengthen their position at the expense of the right-wing faction in the latter half of the 20s

Under Zhongkai, the territory under the control of the Kuomintang and allies saw the beginning of political and social reforms, as well as economic development, in part supported by the USSR. Zhongkai's primary focus, however, was on the building of the National Republican Army, with cooperation from the Soviets and Chinese Communists. The Kuomintang at this time was confined to territory in the south of China, with the Zhili and Fengtian warlord factions vying for power in the central and northern regions of power. Zhongkai and the Kuomintang sought to change this, and in 1926 initiated the Northern Expedition, with the National Republican Army, Communist forces, and some allied warlords like the Kuominchun joining forces to defeat the Zhili and Fengtian. By the start of fall, 1926, Zhongkai's United Front had captured Wuhan, by early 1927 Nanjing and Shanghai had been captured, and by late 1927 Beijing had fallen to the coalition, with Fengtian warlord Zhang Xueliang following other warlords in accepting the KMT overlordship of the country

With the end of the Northern Expedition, China was unified on paper. But in reality, much of China was under the control of warlords who swore allegiance to the central government but had some degree of autonomy in theory in practice, with the central government having varying degrees of authority and influence over the warlords depending on various different circumstances. Even in the territory under the control of the central government (initially Jiangsu, Anhui, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, and Hubei, as well as some parts of neighboring provinces), authority was somewhat muddled, with Zhongkai and the Kuomintang being the leaders in Najing on paper and often in practice too, but with the Communist Party often acting as something of a state within a state and also extending growing influence inside the Kuomintang as well as more directly in the cities and countryside of both the territories of the central government and areas among some warlords' territories. Nonetheless, despite the awkwardness of the United Front and matters of the warlords, China was in a much more peaceful and stable state than it had been in for the past decade and a half, and saw significant developments in economic growth, construction of infrastructure, building of institutions, improvements in education, and political and social reform, as well as further growth and improvement of the military forces, and continued cooperation with and aid from the Soviet Union, as well as investment and economic involvement with other European countries and the United States

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The assassination attempt on Liao Zhongkai in 1925 failed, but did seriously wound him, and leave him with chronic pain for the rest of his life. Largely due to this, he would step down from his position as head of the Kuomintang in early 1929, at which point Wang Jingwei succeeded him as Chairman

By that time, the left wing faction of the Kuomintang had solidly cemented itself in control of the party, in part with help from the Communist party. After the imprisonment of Hu Hanmin, there had been some speculation that the NRA general Chiang Kai Shek, another prominent leader of the right wing faction of the Kuomintang, might eventually try to take control of the Party, and this speculation elevated during the initial stages of the Northern Expedition, with his command of the armies that took Nanjing. This speculation was silenced, however, shortly after the capture of Nanjing, when a Zhili agent managed to assassinate Chiang. With the death of their most prominent leader, the right wing faction of the Party went into terminal decline, remaining a force, but increasingly falling into factional struggles among itself without a clear leader. So when Zhongkai stepped down, there was little doubt that Jingwei would succeed him

The early years of Wang Jingwei's Chairmanship were not a marked departure from the governance of Liao Zhongkai. Jingwei was himself of the left wing of the party, and his early sympathies towards communism and communists were strengthened during and after the Northern Expedition, due to his appreciation of the communist military aid, and the successes of cooperation with the Communist Party as well as Soviet developmental aid and advisors after the Northern Expedition. As such, Jingwei continued the policy of the United Front. Even as the Communist Party grew in influence and eventually became the dominant power in China, Jingwei largely remained on cordial terms, there is some scholarly debate regarding the extent that these cordial relations in the middle and latter parts of his Chairmanship were due to genuine ideological shifts on the part of Jingwei vs pragmatism and political calculation

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Eugene Chen was a Chinese Trinidadian lawyer and politician. Born in Trinidad, the child of immigrants, he became a prominent lawyer in the Islands. He later moved to London, where he met Sun Yat Sen, and was eventually convinced by him to move to China, to contribute his legal skills to the newly declared Republic of China. There, he became involved in politics, becoming a close advisor to Sun on foreign policy issues as well as a prominent diplomat, and taking a strong anti-imperialist stance

In 1927, as part of the reforms enacted after the end of the Northern Expedition, the position of President of the Republic of China was established/re-established/made official [idk, wikipedia has a list of presidents of the republic of China, but the ones before Chiang Kai-Shek are listed as "provisional" or "acting"]. There was some debate, between the Communists and Kuomintang, on who would be President, as well as to what the powers of the President would be - in the end, Eugene Chen was chosen for President, though with little established powers by this point (indeed, at this point, the broader scope and form of the Nanjing Government, even inside the central government territory, was more de facto than de jure, a matter under discussion but not decided on). Eugene Chen would ultimately be something of a figurehead as President, though a respected one, and is remembered for his role in diplomacy with negotiating for an end to foreign concessions

Chen Duxiu.png

Chen Duxiu was a Chinese revolutionary and politician, the first leader of the Communist Party of China, and the first President of the Socialist Republic of China. During the nearly two decades of his Party leadership, China underwent major changes, in which he played a major role

In the early 1920s, Chen was able to secure cooperation with the Kuomintang, led by Sun Yat Sen (himself a revolutionary with socialistic ideals that didn't quite veer into Marxism but nonetheless helped establish an ideological common ground). This cooperation would continue after the death of Sun, and was an opportunity for the Communist Party to expand its influence (both in China as a whole and among the Kuomintang itself, which had a large left-wing faction with many who had at least some degree of sympathy with the communists, if not outright agreement), an opportunity Chen was eager to take. As the 20s progressed, the Communist Party expanded its influence in both the urban and rural areas of China, growing popular with its calls for societal change and anti-imperialism, and also gradually increasing its military wing, which was outnumbered by the National Republican Army but nonetheless would perform to distinction in the Northern Expedition. The Northern Expedition also saw instances like the Shanghai Commune, where a worker's uprising resulted in effective Communist Party control over much of the city, a situation which was tolerated (albeit with some complaints and right-wing opposition) by the Kuomintang after the completion of the Northern Expedition

By the start of the 1930s, Chen Duxiu had established the Communist Party as a competent and capable force in China, and sought to further expand, among other things managing to ascend after some political maneuvering to the position of President in early 1931, succeeding Eugene Chen. At the same time, Japan was increasing their interest in China, being rather disturbed first by the relative unity and development that China was undergoing, and then with the rise of the Communist Party in China, and with an open communist having such a prominent role in the Chinese government. In September, the Japanese military began operations in Manchuria, seeking to expand their influence and bring the Fengtian warlords back into alignment with Japan. But Japan had underestimated China, and overestimated the ability for the right-wing opposition they funded to put up a credible fight against the left-wing Nanjing government - the few right-wing KMT uprisings that occured largely fizzled out, having little success competing with the communists for rural support, and being quickly beaten down by the central government forces. The Japanese forces in the north were initially able to make large gains in Manchuria, but the arrival of the National Republican Army, the Red Army, and the forces of various warlords allowed the Chinese forces to stabilize the front in Manchuria. The Japanese forces tended to be better trained and equipped than the Chinese forces, but the Chinese forces had strength on their side, as well as some decently experienced forces from the Northern Expedition, and were also aided first by significant material support from the Soviet Union, and then by direct intervention. Japan had bitten off more than it could chew - in 1934 the Chinese forces captured Pusan, and pushed the Japanese forces off the continent altogether. The political shock of defeat triggered a coup in Japan - the new pro-peace government would not last long, falling to a militarist coup itself by the end of the 1930s, but nonetheless sued for peace with China and the USSR, granting China all territories lost since the Treaty of Shimonoseki, granting the USSR Sakhalin and the Kuriles, and giving up control of Korea. In the aftermath of the victory, and with the public support that came from it, Chen Duxiu and the Communist Party took more direct control, declaring the Socialist Republic of China, and establishing the client Socialist Republic of Korea as well

Now in control, Chen Duxiu broadly pursued a pragmatic agenda that left him at odds with some among his party as well as with the Soviet Union. He sought to expand the central government's control over China at the expense of the warlords, but despite the wishes of some among the Communists (and some among the Kuomintang), he took a gradual approach to this, using diplomacy more than force, and offering generous pensions and estates for warlords who agreed to surrender more quickly, or allowing them different roles in the new government, in cases like Yan Xishan of Shanxi and Feng Yuxiang of the Guominjun, neither of whom were doctrinaire Marxists but both of whom were broadly socialistic in ideals. Chen himself was committed to Marxism, but saw a gradual approach as being necessary, agreeing with Lenin's reasoning for the "New Economic Policy" (NEP) and pursuing similar policy during his leadership of China in the hopes of establishing a more sturdy foundation for future development of socialism, disagreeing with Stalin's abandonment of the NEP and more rapid collectivization which he considered to have contributed to avoidable famines in the USSR. Furthermore, while Chen and the Chinese Communist Party were more than willing to use authority in the name of revolution, establishing the Party as a vanguard privileged with power and excluding opposition from access to power, Chen was critical of the excesses of Soviet authority under Stalin as well as Stalin's backsliding on issues like patriarchy, and Chen and the Party would take a rather softer and more cautious approach to authority, allowing a rather more free and open society, even allowing the Kuomintang to exist as a separate party (albeit as something of a semi-autonomous satellite party rather than anything that had any ability to take power itself).

Due to these disagreements and others, Soviet accusations of Chinese 'deviationism', and vice versa, were not uncommon in the 1930s, though the rise of fascism in Europe and resurgence of Japanese militarism ensured that the USSR and China, even with stormy relations, remained somewhat cooperative and at least on speaking terms, with relations improving as the two countries saw things deteriorate elsewhere. Communist opinions on Chen Duxiu in his own time were rather divided, with some considering him to be a deviationist while others considered him to be a more proper predecessor to Lenin than Stalin was. In the modern era, in light of the differing ways that China and the USSR evolved, leftist opinions tend considerably towards the latter


I had initially intended this to be a rather shorter thing, and also less complicated, just going off suggestions from the earlier post to have Wang Jingwei be the leader after Sun Yat Sen died and then having Chen Duxiu become leader sometime before the Second Sino-Japanese War of this scenario. Also I didn't expect to make nearly as much write-up. But then I did a bit of looking into the Chinese politicians of the time, and found that the guy who was leader of the Kuomintang right after Sun OTL (Zhongkai) was himself a leftist who supported cooperation with the USSR and CPC, who just happened to be assassinated shortly after he became leader. So I changed things up a bit, just having him not die in the assassination, and went from there. I am by no means an expert on warlord era Chinese politics, so I can't really say that this scenario is necessarily the most plausible, but I enjoyed making it nonetheless
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Sino-Soviet Relations - 1930s to 1950s
Sino-Soviet Relations - 1930s to 1950s

Initially, after Lenin's strokes left him unable to govern, the Soviet Union was led by a triumvirate consisting of Lev Kamanev, Grigory Zinoviev, and Joseph Stalin. In the mid 20s, however, the triumvirate broke up due to Zinoviev and Kamanev's opposition to Stalin's policy of "Socialism in One Country", and Stalin began to consolidate power. Stalin's rise was not without opposition, but as he rose and consolidated power, the Left Opposition, Right Opposition, and United Opposition factions found themselves suppressed and purged, often with large public show trials, with torture and forced confessions common and under the broader environment of growing repression and censorship in the Soviet Union

Leon Trotsky.png

Leon Trotsky was a Soviet revolutionary and Marxist theorist and politician. whose particular strain of Marxist thought is known as Trotskyism. He joined he Bolshevik Party shortly before the October revolution, and rapidly became a major figure within the party, being involved in the negotiations for the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and later becoming a prominent military leader of the Reds in the Russian Civil War

After the rise of Joseph Stalin, Trotsky was removed from his positions in the Soviet Government, and eventually expelled. He spent the rest of his life in exile, first in Turkey, and then eventually making his way to China. There, he became involved with the Communist Party of China. The Communist leader, Chen Duxiu, was quite sympathetic to Trotsky and his criticisms of Stalin, though Chen never openly endorsed Trotskyism and publicly downplayed Trotsky's role in the party, out of concerns for Chinese-Soviet relations, being critical of the course the Soviet leadership was taking but nonetheless desiring to put up a united front against fascism and imperialism, and wanting to maintain Sino-Soviet economic ties. Trotsky's continued existence nonetheless put strain on Sino-Soviet relations - foreign developments in the 30s and early 40s temporarily pushed the two countries to cooperate, but after the Allied victory in the Second World War, the matter of Trotsky as well as other disputes led to the First Sino-Soviet Split, with Stalin breaking off relations with China and Korea

Trotsky was by far the most prominent of Soviet exiles in China, but he was far from the only one. In the 30s, as the purges stepped up in intensity in the USSR and old Bolsheviks increasingly came under attack by Stalin, Trotsky and some of his sympathizers in China covertly aided the flight of several Opposition figures to China, where the Chinese communist leadership stringently denied any harboring of such later fugitives but did quietly allow them to live fully out of the public's eye

Trotsky's ideas developed the basis of Trotskyism, a prime school of Marxist thought that opposes the theories of Stalinism. He was written out of the history books under Stalin and was one of the few Soviet personalities who was not rehabilitated by the Soviet administration under Nikita Khrushchev in the 1950s. In the Chinese sphere, however, he would be seen in a more positive light during and after the First Cold War, with Trotskyism having an influence on the development of Chinese Marxism, though never explicitly being endorsed in whole


With the death of Stalin in 1953, the Soviet leadership underwent significant change. Nikita Khrushchev, the new leader of the USSR, engaged in various reforms to the economy and society, among other things relaxing state repression and censorship. In terms of foreign policy, he pursued a policy of "Peaceful Coexistence", a softening of Soviet stance towards non-Warsaw Pact states. As part of this policy, he pursued an improvement of relations with fellow Communist-led China, moving away from the antagonism Stalin pursued after WWII. The First Sino-Soviet Split was ended with the Treaty of Ulaanbaatar in 1957

After the victory in the Second Sino-Japanese War and establishment of the Socialist Republic of China, the Chinese Communists gradually expanded control of the central government, using pressure and persuasion to bring the warlord governments to heel, as well as to bring Tibet officially into the Chinese state as a special autonomous territory. Certain regions, however, remained out of even indirect Chinese influence. Xinjiang, Tuva, and Mongolia were officially part of the Republic of China, and the Socialist Republic inherited claims on those territories, but the warlords in those areas had come under the influence of the Soviet Union, and Stalin retained domination of those regions, at times hinting at an eventual return of those regions to China, potentially in return for the Chinese leadership taking a path more obedient to Moscow's orthodoxy, though any discussion of such ideas came to an end with the post-war Sino-Soviet Split, with the local warlords remaining in control long after the rest of China was united

With the restoration of relations after the death of Stalin, however, Soviet leadership shifted on that matter, and one of the major effects of the Treaty of Ulaanbaatar was Soviet recognition of Chinese sovereignty over the disputed Central Asian territories of Mongolia, Tuva, and Xinjiang. Khrushchev figured that bringing China and Korea into the Soviet Sphere would be well-worth the loss of control over the smaller Central Asian territories. The Chinese would thereafter integrate the former warlord states as autonomous territories. In addition to these territorial changes, the treaty saw a resumption of major economic ties and economic assistance to China, as well as significant diplomatic and military cooperation between the Chinese and Soviets
United States Politics, 1952-1960
United States Politics, 1952-1960

In the 1930s, the American public largely focused inward and embraced isolation. After the Second World War, and establishment of Soviet control over Eastern Europe, American politics began to turn outward, motivated by anti-communism to coordinate more with other western capitalist countries

In the 1930s and 1940s, the Communist Party of China took a gradualist stance, emulating the NEP of Lenin and intending to maintain it for a longer period of time than the USSR under Stalin did, with their own "Socialist Market Economy". As part of this, the Socialist Republic of China pursued a policy of significant trade with the West. The USA and other western countries were more than willing to engage in this trade, out of hopes of sowing division between the Chinese and Soviets, as well as in hopes of undermining Chinese (and Korean) socialism. The 1940s, however, saw an increase in voices criticizing the trade relationship as merely aiding Chinese economic growth, and criticizing the broader isolation of the 30s and failure to stop the spread of socialism in Europe and Asia

In the 1940s, the force of anti-communism had not yet come to dominate American politics, with incumbent Harry Truman managing to win a surprising victory in 1948 despite heavy criticism from Thomas Dewey. Even in the early 50s, it wasn't necessarily certain how things would later end up - in the 1952 Republican primaries, conservative Robert Taft only narrowly beat moderate Dwight Eisenhower

Taft did beat Eisenhower, however, and in the general election, the Taft-McCarthy ticket was able to solidly beat the Stevenson-Sparkman ticket. After 5 consecutive losses, the Republicans had finally taken back control. Taft himself was a solid conservative, but when he died just months into his Presidency, his successor pursued an even more strongly conservative agenda, and used the bully pulpit (and federal forces) for very aggressively anti-communist rhetoric and action

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McCarthy was far from the sole figure responsible for the "Second Red Scare", but he and his administration were a major factor in letting it reach the heights it did. The aggressive rhetoric encouraging an atmosphere of paranoia, federal agencies playing dirty with numerous denials of due process, encouragement and cooperation with heavy-handed state and local government efforts, and public support for the militias all played notable roles in spurring on the Red Scare. Of course these acts also played on already existing sentiments among the general population - many dissidents or suspected dissidents would die in the poor conditions of the government detention camps and asylums, or would be executed judicially or killed by law enforcement, but many more would be killed by patriotic militias or by spontaneous acts of violence in communities or by individuals

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Support for McCarthy and the Red Scare was far from unanimous . Even before the period of highest intensity, in McCarthy's second term, Estes Kefauver was able to present a strong challenge to the President, with McCarthy winning in 1956 by a much narrower margin than Taft had won four years earlier. But it was only partway through his second term that the opposition was able to really gain momentum, and when the general public began shifting in a big way against McCarthy and the Red Scare. McCarthy was able to narrowly avoid impeachment, but ended up censured by Congress, and ended up a lame-duck in the latter 1950s, with a coalition of Democrats and Republicans cobbling together a veto-proof supermajority to largely bypass the embittered President, and force some federal reforms to try and prevent the excesses of the Red Scare from happening again in the future

The total death toll from the Red Scare would not be determined. Though there was a broad recognition that things had gone too far, opinions varied wildly, from those who thought that there was certainly excess but that strong action against communism was nonetheless justified by the insurgencies, to those who held that the whole thing was a massive overreach of authority and militant zealotry that proved that far more reforms than those that were passed were needed, with some even suggesting that the leftist insurgents were justified by the oppressive cultural and political atmosphere. As such, due to hopes of moving forward and avoiding harsh political conflict over the particulars, an official, in-depth government inquiry was not launched until years later, at which point the passage of time had made it hard or impossible to determine a very clear image of the particulars and numbers. Modern official and academic numbers for those killed in the Red Scare, and for how, vary significantly from source to source and methodology used

Going into the 1960 elections, both parties found themselves with significant concerns and weaknesses.

The Republicans found themselves with major popularity issues due to their association with Joseph McCarthy (himself term-limited, still loudly commentating on politics, but increasingly ignored in the years before his 1962 death from liver failure brought on by alcoholism), as well as conflict within the party on the way forward. Richard Nixon, California Senator, early supporter of McCarthy who later shifted to a strong critic, with a strong Cold War rhetoric but also a fairly moderate domestic policy, was able to restore some respectability to the Republican Party, avoid causing too much controversy with any of the wings of the party, and make things competitive. Also helping make things competitive was the conflict within the Democratic Party

The party was facing conflict from the conservative and segregationist wings of the party who were relatively more favorable to Red Scare policy and the Cold War on one hand, and the left-wing of the party who were strongly critical of McCarthy, strongly pro-civil rights, and generally supportive of a less aggressive Cold War with more diplomatic efforts and an arguably more isolationist bent. Nominee John F. Kennedy, a moderate liberal taking a hard stance on Cold War foreign policy and taking Senate leader LBJ as his running mate to try to keep the south in line, while also endorsing a moderately left-leaning, pro-civil rights and liberties domestic platform, was ultimately unable to fully please either wing fully, and just like in 1948, the Democrats would see not one but two third party candidacies that largely took votes from their party. Leftist William H. Meyer, on the revived Progressive Party ticket, was able to pull away a sizable chunk of the left-wing vote out of dissatisfaction with the relatively moderate stances the Democratic Party took in the wake of the national crisis, getting nearly 10% of the total vote and failing to win any states but playing 'spoiler' in multiple states. The segregationist Dixiecrats took a much smaller amount of the vote, but that vote was concentrated in several southern states, and the Dixiecrats were thus able to win several electoral votes

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The election results were extremely close. Indeed, due to the particulars of how the state of Alabama carried out their elections, it isn't even certain which candidate won the popular vote. As the results came in on election night and the day after, the winner was unclear, with the Progressives acting as something of a 'spoiler' for Kennedy, letting Nixon win various states like Illinois and California with well below 50% of the vote, and with Dixiecrats winning 15 electoral votes in the South and potentially sending the election to the House of Representatives with no majority winner in the electoral college. Kennedy, however, was able to very narrowly win a majority of electoral votes outright. Afterward, seeing the close results in Alaska, Nixon would express bitter regret in taking the advice of his advisors to not carry out his initial '50-state strategy' plan (though pundits would later point out that even if he did take time to campaign in Alaska and won the state, it could have cost him states like Illinois that he was able to narrowly win with his more targeted approach). At any rate, Kennedy was sworn in, speaking of a New Frontier for a new decade, poised to push ambitious foreign and domestic policy to tackle problems at home and abroad, though also facing the potential for struggles with getting his agenda through Congress
Indochina and the Second Indochina War
Indochina and the Second Indochina War

1930 saw the consolidation of several different communist parties and organizations within French Indochina, and the formation of the Indochinese Communist Party, for a united struggle against French imperialism. From the start, party leader Ho Chi Minh sought to cultivate positive relations with both the Chinese and Soviet Communist Parties. Even with foreign support, it wasn't until the 1940s that the Indochinese communists saw major successes, however.

The Japanese State's control over Indochina did not last long - the attempt to use the territory as a springboard to launch the Third Sino-Japanese War (after the loss of Korea in the previous war) was not particularly successful, and the third war was over sooner than the second, with less loss to China. But the Japanese seizure of Indochina did significantly weaken the central authority in Indochina, giving Ho Chi Minh an opportunity to increase his influence in opposition to Japanese rule. The end of the war saw Franco-British intervention to restore French rule, but the French rule over Indochina would never be as strong as it had been, and while the Chinese reluctantly pulled out of the north after significant diplomatic pressure, they left Ho Chi Minh's forces significant amounts of supplies, and would continue to give covert aid

The First Indochina War lasted nearly a decade, and saw How Chi Minh's communists transforming from insurgents in the countryside to a force that was able to hold its own and defeat the French in a pitched battle in the field, at Dien Bien Phu. That victory severely weakened the French forces - France would soon pull out from Indochina. The end of French involvement did not end the conflict, however. The Americans, having shifted to a very hawkish stance and wishing to prevent Indochina from following China and Korea and leading to a domino-style collapse of Southeast Asia to communism, began to increase their support for the capitalist South Indochinese government opposing Ho Chi Minh's northern communists. American involvement began in the 1950s with some military advisors and logistic support, but by the 1960s the US had a major direct military presence in the region

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Despite a significant intervention by the 1960s, American and South Indochinese forces made little progress against the north - American tactics and strategy have been criticized from many directions in the years after the war. The war began to generate greater and greater opposition among the American public. Revelations of government dishonesty regarding the war also boosted dissent with the war. By the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Americans shifted to a policy of "Indochinization", to reduce American direct involvement in the war and give the South Indochinese regime greater responsibility for their own defense, focusing more on training and equipping the South Indochinese forces than direct combat involvement of American forces. This strategy saw a partial reversal in the final years of the war, however

While youth and student activism saw a sizable opposition to the war within the United States, China had a different experience. For the past few decades, the Chinese communists had generally pursued a cautious and gradualist approach to domestic and foreign policy, emulating the Leninist NEP and state capitalism rather than immediate socialization, pursuing gradual social reforms, and seeking trade with both the Soviets and the West while attempting to avoid conflict with either bloc. But the late 1960s and early 1970s saw a sizable protest movement in China, particularly among youth, students, and intellectuals, in support of an acceleration of domestic socialist reform as well as a more robust foreign policy to support the revolution abroad. In the final years of the war, the Chinese leadership shifted on the issue, enacting a major buildup of forces in the region and intervening directly on behalf of the North Indochinese, culminating in the 1972-1973 offensive that saw Sino-Indochinese forces capture Saigon and Phnom Penh, ending the war. Chinese relations with the West saw a significant decline, and the Soviets, always weary of the independent-minded Chinese, felt some concern over the flexing of Chinese power, but finally, after decades of war, Indochina was independent and united

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For the rest of the Cold War, the Indochinese largely continued Ho Chi Minh's strategy of seeking positive relations with both the Soviets and Chinese, while remaining independent of both spheres. With the fall of the Soviet Union, however, and the end of Russian aid, the Indochinese more closely aligned themselves with China. Though a bit poorer than China and Korea, the Indochinese have seen an economic recovery after the early 1990s. Indochina now largely follows the "Nanjing Consensus", some in the country grumble at claims that the country has become a "client state" of China like Korea did (and the country is the most independent-minded of the core Chinese allies, still), but the countries have nonetheless seen a growing level of economic, diplomatic, and cultural integration since the end of the Cold War, and much of the people of Indochina appear content with this state of affairs
Indonesia, 1965 to 1989
Indonesia, 1965 to 1989

By the 1960s, Indonesia had won independence from the Netherlands, and been established as a Republic. During the 1950s, Indonesia had a period of liberal democracy, but in the late 50s, the country transitioned to a system of "guided democracy" in an attempt to bring political stability in response to rebellion and division in the country. During that period, the country's leader, Sukarno, sought a foreign policy of anti-imperialism, leaning towards the Soviets and Chinese in order to attain developmental aid, but also pursuing a policy of non-alignment, playing a role in the Bandung Conference (which his country hosted) and the formation of the 'Non-Aligned Movement'. Domestically, Sukarno pursued a left-leaning policy, with the concept of 'Nas-A-Kom', a compound of the words for nationalism, religion, and communism, to try to balance the competing interests of the communists, islamists, and army. He was not a communist himself, but adhered to the ideology of "Marhaenism", a socialistic ideology seen by some as an offshoot of Marxism, and aligned himself and his government with the Communist Party of Indonesia, one of the largest communist parties outside of the Soviet and Chinese spheres. This did not endear him to certain sections of the military

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In the mid 60s, a group of rightist generals and officers, led by General Suharto, plotted to change the political situation in Indonesia. On early 1 October 1965, a group of soldiers and officers calling themselves the '30 September Movement' mobilized and attempted to launch a coup, claiming they were intending to prevent a coup by another faction of generals supported by the CIA. But in the military, a handful of communist-sympathizing officers managed to catch wind of the broader scheme, and were able to provide proof that the so-called 30 September Movement was actually itself more or less a false flag operation, with rightist military elements organizing a coup attempt to kill generals who could have stood in the way of Suharto's seizure of power, and then claim that the Communist Party had organized the coup attempt, allowing a purge of Communists by the military once the rightists had seized power. Indeed, the 30 September Movement, and the rightist generals who organized them, were the ones who actually had ties to the CIA, the evidence showed

For a few hours, Jakarta was in chaos, and the situation was unclear. As the day progressed, the government forces had managed to take control, with the leaked information by communist sympathizers in the military playing a key role in allowing the government to disarm the coup. The coupists were able to kill Suprapto, Second Deputy General of the military, but failed in their attempts to kidnap or kill other generals. By the end of the day, Jakarta was back under government control, and by 6 October, all coupist forces had been captured or killed

The failed coup had major repercussions in Indonesian politics. Had the coup succeeded, the rightists may have succeeded in taking control, ousting Sukarno, and purging the communists. Or alternatively, a partially successful coup could have resulted in something like the 1936 Spanish Coup that failed to seize total control of the country but gave the coupists control of significant parts of the country and signaled the start of a years-long civil war. But the Indonesian coup was a failure, and indeed backfired, with the Communist Party growing in influence and being seen as a force victimized by a foreign-backed plot, and with Sukarno managing to gain a stronger control over the military. The coup attempt was a major factor in shifting the political winds in Indonesia, which would transition from 'Republic' to 'People's Republic' by the end of the decade, with the rise of the Communist Party and other leftist forces


Even after the establishment of the People's Republic of Indonesia, the Communists in the country found themselves in a somewhat precarious position. By the 70s, the Communist Party of the USSR had an iron grip on power, and in the Socialist Republic of China the Communist Party governed with a much lighter touch but had nonetheless completely removed any real opposition to its rule as well. But the Indonesian Communists didn't face such a luxury, governing a smaller and poorer country, with less entrenched power, more geographic fragmentation due to the country's archipelagic nature, and facing sizable opposition from the Islamist sectors of the population, with such opposition often facing covert US and other Western support and funding

One way the Communist Party of Indonesia attempted to appease Islamists and reduce opposition from that direction was by attempting to meld socialism and religion. While the Soviet and Chinese spheres generally endorsed state atheism to some extent or another, the Indonesian government merely endorsed a broad idea of secularism and religious freedom, and at various times mildly endorsed Islam. The state also at times gave some support specifically to Islamic socialist and other Islamic progressive movements

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By far the most influential of these Islamic movements is that of 'Reform Shafi'i'. This Islamic movement was never explicitly socialist at its core (though it has generally been favorable to socialist ideals), but stands for a broadly progressive social teaching. When it was founded, in the early 70s not long after the foundation of the People's Republic, it had generally embraced ideas like women's rights and equality, state secularism, religious tolerance and intercommunal relations, and while it has not necessarily been on the absolute cutting edge of social reform, it has pretty consistently evolved with the times, embracing various other progressive causes as the decades have passed. This, along with its friendly relations with leftist political movements, and its more generally very liberal and unorthodox theological interpretations, has done plenty to draw the ire of conservative Muslims and Islamic groups. Even though 'Reform Shafi'i' presents itself as simply a particular interpretation of Shafi'i Sunni Islam, Reform Shafi'i is often considered its own particular sect of Islam akin to Shia, Sunni, and Ibadi Islam, and recent polling suggests that a sizable minority of the global Muslim population views Reform Shafi'i as heretical as having outright ceased to be Islamic at all. That said, the movement has managed to gain support of a significant minority of the population of Indonesia, having been controversial among some of the most conservative Indonesian Muslims, but being popular enough among the general public, and arguably serving of a bridge of sorts between the Communist Party and some of the more religious sections of the Indonesian population

Reform Shafi'i has also been the only major Islamic movement to gain any substantial amount of support outside the People's Republic of Indonesia. While some of the explicitly Islamic socialist movements arguably had some influence on latter developments in countries like Iran, they didn't actually gain more than a handful of actual adherents, while Reform Shafi'i today has around 12 million adherents in the Middle East and South Asia, in addition to its 80 million adherents in Indonesia itself. Furthermore, Reform Shafi'i has had some splits and offshoots itself, though these have never managed to achieve even a fraction of the support and adherents that the original movement has, with the largest, an attempt to create a progressive reform theology that also unifies Sunni, Shia, and Ibadi Islam, only having a little over 150,000 adherents around the world today


The Revolutions of 1989 were largely centered on the USSR, Warsaw Pact, and other countries within the Soviet sphere, with the largest changes, indeed quite earth-shattering changes geopolitically, occurring within those regions. But the protests and uprisings were not limited to the Soviet sphere. Indonesia, facing cuts in economic aid from the Chinese as well as a total end of aid and support from the Soviets, found itself facing economic issues, as well as political opposition, initially due to the economic crisis and expanding to include various movements calling for various different sorts of reforms, including increasing liberal democratic socialism and expanding civil liberties within the socialist model, transitioning to a liberal democratic capitalist system and abandoning socialism altogether, and eschewing the former two options and instead establishing an Islamic State to enforce orthodox conservative Islam

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In the end, despite facing significant opposition, the Communist Party of Indonesia was able to fare far better than the Communist Party of the USSR, enacting some political reforms and minor economic reforms but ultimately retaining its grip on power

The most significant area where the Communist Party conceded power was in the region of Irian Jaya/Western Papua, now the Papuan Autonomous People's Republic. When Indonesia gained independence from the Netherlands, the Dutch retained control of Western New Guinea/Papua for years after the rest of the Dutch East Indies gained independence. The Dutch eventually withdrew, and West Papua came under the administration of Indonesia. But the Indonesian attempts to integrate West Papua were deeply unpopular among the Papuans, and while the Communists were able to cement control over the rest of Indonesia, the party faced rather more opposition in Papua. In 1989, the protests in Papua were far more intense than in the rest of the country, and unlike in other areas, the anti-government movement saw significant defection from local law enforcement and security forces. The government in Jakarta eventually decided to just cut its losses. In the rest of the country, concessions granted to protesters were generally minor, but in Papua, the government granted major concessions, establishing the Papuan Autonomous People's Republic and granting the new government pretty much complete control over its internal affairs, largely reducing Jakartan influence in Papua to just diplomatic and military affairs as well as certain economic matters relating to foreign trade and economic relations between the Autonomous Republic and Indonesia-proper
Central America, 1989-1990
Central America, 1989-1990

The mid to late 1980s saw a major retreat of Soviet power across the globe. With the liberalization of the USSR, the country largely turned inward, leaving former allies to fend for themselves, and even letting the Warsaw Pact itself crumble. Even before the fall of the USSR, this was a significant reversal compared to the situation in the 1960s and 1970s, which saw the expansion of Soviet-backed, Chinese-backed, and independent communism in South and Central America, Africa, and Asia. With the severe decline in Soviet international power, and with China at this time seeking neutrality and economic development rather than foreign policy belligerence, the United States saw an increase in national morale (especially in comparison to the situation after its defeat in the Indochina War and after the botched Iranian hostage rescue attempt) as well as willingness to push and intervene openly and directly abroad on the world stage

At the turn of the decade, one such intervention would occur in Panama

In 1989, Manuel Noriega was the dictator of Panama. He had actually been a longtime CIA asset (since the 1950s), a drug lord who had worked with the USA in fighting against the leftist FSLN in Nicaragua, supporting the Contras, playing a role in the Iran-Contra affair, and otherwise providing intelligence and aid for American foreign policy efforts in the region. By 1983, Noriega had become dictator of Panama, and was still on good terms with the USA, but in the latter part of the decade, American relations would sour with Noriega, as the US became increasingly disapproving of Noriega's involvement with drug trafficking. As this occurred, Noriega began seeking closer ties to the USSR and its bloc. At that point, the United States leadership decided it had enough, and that its former client needed to be replaced

In late 1989, after the dictatorship annulled an election, diplomatic relations between the US and Panama deteriorated to the point where the US leadership decided to invade the country and topple Noriega. The invasion was a pretty easy affair for the American military, with the war ended in less than a month and a half, with negligible casualties to US forces. Noriega was flown to the US, and convicted of money laundering, drug trafficking, and other charges

With Panama occupied, the US sought to prevent the country from turning against them again. The Americans set about establishing another client government in the country, and pushed the "US-Panama Treaty of Understanding" on the country in order to more formally draw out certain privileges for America, in ways reminiscent of the US interventions in Central America in the early 1900s. One significant provision of the treaty gave the United States control of the Panama Canal Zone once more. The US took control of the territory in 1903, but granted back control with the Torijos-Carter Treaties in 1979. This move, however, was deeply unpopular with many conservatives, who didn't care for giving up the militarily and economically important territory even if it improved relations with Panama. So in the aftermath of the Panama War, cheerful and confident in their success and willing to expand American power in the area, the American leadership forced Panama to return the Canal to the US. This received considerable international criticism, but with the Cold War gearing down and the opposition isolated or crumbling, the US was able to do it anyway, and it was fairly popular among the domestic population

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Shortly after the end of the Panama War, an election was being held in the nearby Central American country Nicaragua

Since the 1930s, Nicaragua had been ruled by dictators of the Somoza family. By the 1970s, leftist resistance to the Somoza regime, led by the socialist Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN), had gained momentum, managing to overthrow the Somoza regime and establish a new leftist government. Despite the FSLN winning an election in 1984 that was considered fair and free by international observers, the United States government was very displeased to see their former client deposed and replaced with an eastern-oriented socialist government. The US thus took oppositional measures towards Nicaragua in the 1980s, including placing the country under embargo and funding the right wing Contras fighting against the leftist regime

In the lead-up to the 1990 election, FSLN leader Ortega was reasonably popular, but the embargo and civil strife was hurting the country, and the American leadership openly stated they'd end the embargo and seek peace in Nicaragua if the opposition candidate, Violeta Chamorro, won in the election. Polls showed the race being very narrow, with many pundits and analysts suggesting the opposition would win due to a desire to end the embargo as well as out of fear and a suppressive effect due to Contras election violence against FSLN

The treaty ending the Panama War, however, was signed shortly before the Nicaraguan election, and caused a substantial shift in things. The treaty, and US seizure of the Panama Canal, were widely disliked, with FSLN giving harsh criticism and also calling on Nicaraguans to avoid voting for Chamorro - the Americans said they'd end sanctions and funding for violence if she won, but the Panamanian experience called into question whether supporting the American backed candidate would actually make things better or just make things even worse if the US later grew tired of that leader too, after all. In the end, boosted by these events, Ortega was able to narrowly beat Chamorro

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Ortega was not able to enjoy his victory for long. The American leadership was pissed, while also being high off the success of the Panama War and more confident than ever in their ability to act in the region without fear from the communist bloc - the USSR itself was beginning the process of collapse, with anticommunists being elected in two Soviet Republics at essentially the same time as the Nicaraguan election. When the Nicaraguan opposition accused Ortega of electoral fraud, the US leadership demanded that Ortega step down. When he refused, the US launched the second invasion of a Central American country in the span of a quarter of a year, and with their significant buildup of forces in the area from the only recently ended Panama War and still-ongoing occupation of Panama, the US forces were able to quickly overcome the Nicaraguan forces, despite Nicaraguan numerical superiority on paper. In the aftermath, Nicaragua, like Panama, saw the establishment of a pro-US government, and was forced into a treaty giving the US significant privileges in the country

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Russia, 1990s and 2000s
Russia, 1990s and 2000s

The Soviet Union fell in 1991, sending shockwaves around the world. But that was not the end of Russian power and influence - with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) often being considered an early example of this. That said, Yeltsin's Russia was a troubled place, with major issues from the post-Soviet economic "shock therapy", as well as corrupt institutions, powerful oligarchs, and a fractured political scene

In the early 90s, talks began between Russia and Belarus, regarding the potential for some sort of union between the two countries. Of all the post-Soviet states, Belarus was generally the most friendly towards Russia, and was historically and culturally close, with a sizable minority of Russians and a large chunk of the non-Russian population speaking Russian. Plus there were motivations for the leadership of both countries. Boris Yeltsin started off as very popular in the USSR and then Russia, but as President of Russia quickly saw a decline in popularity, and saw a union with Belarus as a way to increase the prestige and power of Russia as well as his own popularity. And Alexander Lukashenko, the leader of Belarus, had certain ambitions for himself...

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The negotiations saw success, and in the later half of 1995, the agreement was finalized. In December 1995, the Treaty on the Creation of the Union State was signed, and Russia and Belarus were united

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In the 1996 election, less than a year later, Yeltsin campaigned on his achievement in expanding the nation as well as on staying the course on much of his reforms of the past years. Lukashenko's surrogates insisted that it was actually Lukashenko who was most responsible for allowing the Union State to be established in the first place, while Lukashenko himself focused on criticizing Yeltsin's leadership of Russia, contrasting the Russian economic liberalization ("wild capitalism", as he called the Yentsin programme) with his own leadership of Belarus, where he pursued much more cautious reforms and retained much of the old Soviet-style economy, as well as calling for a more statist and less liberalized economy in the Union State as a whole. Lukashenko's platform didn't go as far as Zyuganov's Communists, but was nonetheless able to get a sizable amount of crossover support from that party, and indeed after Lukashenko edged out Zyuganov for second place in the first round (the polls before the first round tended to show it as being neck and neck in terms of which would get second place) and thus secured a spot in the runoff, Zyuganov endorsed Lukashenko for the 2nd round, and Lukashenko's base of support tended to largely coincide with the so-called "Red Belt" of post-Soviet Communist Party support

Yeltsin was able to win the first round by over 6 million votes, but in the second round, Lukashenko was able to consolidate a lot of the support from other candidates and parties (in the first round, Yeltsin and Lukashenko only got a combined 54% of the vote), and the race was very close. In the end, Lukashenko was able to win the closest of victories - getting about 4 million votes more than Yeltsin, but only very narrowly getting over the 50%+1 vote mark that was needed to win (even in the final round, the option of voting "against all" existed, which nearly 5% voted for, and if no candidate got an outright majority, another election would occur). But when all was said and done, he did achieve that majority. In the aftermath, there were claims that Lukashenko, who was formerly the leader of Belarus, had managed to rig the vote in the Belarusian region of the Union State, and on the other hands there were claims levelled at the Yeltsin campaign that American electoral intervention in support had been accepted, but nothing much more than rhetoric would come of either accusations

Lukashenko was a rather more popular leader than Yeltsin, and while international observers and foreign countries expressed some concern over the state of civil liberties and elections in the Union State, Lukashenko's economic policy in particular was well-received among the population of the Union State. Lukashenko was so popular that he was widely expected to get elected in the 2008 elections - he was unable to run for the 2004 elections, due to term limits, but could run again in 2008. There was talk of a so-called "tandemocracy" after the 2004 elections, where the prime minister in the later years of Lukashenko's presidency, Vladimir Putin, successfully ran for President while Lukashenko became the Prime Minister after giving Putin support during the campaign. Such predictions appeared to be true for the first years of the Putin presidency, when Putin and Lukashenko were largely aligned on policy, with Putin largely following Lukashenko's lead despite having the more constitutionally powerful position. This was all upended when Lukashenko fell ill and perished in 2006

(Source for the coat of arms)
Chinese Politics, 1990s
Chinese Politics, 1990s

The fall of the Soviet Union was a shock to the whole world. It was largely just assumed that the USSR would persevere for the indefinite future. But the mid 1980s saw a liberalization of the USSR that was followed by a total collapse of the Warsaw Pact and then a total collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 90s, as well as the collapse of most other Soviet aligned and independent communist states outside of the Chinese sphere. In Nanjing itself, a sense of pessimism and fear emerged - communist China never had an amazing relationship with the Soviets, with a capricious on-and-off-again relationship and sometimes quite significant policy disagreements, but the Chinese had hoped that things would eventually work themselves out in the USSR, and had taken comfort in knowing another major communist power existed, even when they were at odds. But now the USSR and it's sphere was gone. China retained a prospering and integrating Korea, and Indochina found itself increasingly falling into the Chinese sphere, but outside of those, only a handful of countries retained communist party rule

Though some outsiders predicted an anti communist revolution in China along the lines of what occured in the USSR and Warsaw Pact, however, the communist party retained strong and essentially unchallenged rule over China. The early years of communist rule in the 1930s saw grumbling within sections of the Party over the choice to emulate Lenin's NEP and take a gradualist approach to economic building rather than following the Stalinist rapid collectivization approach, but by the late 80s the Chinese economy was not only booming with growth (having become the largest economy in the world by some measures) but had seen substantial and robust socialist economic reforms. It was widely accepted among Chinese communists that the Party had successfully struck a balance economically in contrast to the USSR which had darted between a premature and chaotic collectivization, an ossified status quo built on faulty foundations, and a liberalization that saw yet more chaos and corruption. Politically too, the "iron fist, velvet glove" vanguardist approach by the Party in China was seen as far more successful than the USSR at securing civil liberties, allowing for public dissent, and allowing for a diversity of opinions within the party while maintaining party control and ensuring the party maintained a broad progressive socialist standpoint and having an element of democracy that was far more byzantine and party-controlled than the liberal capitalist democracies but nonetheless far more substantial than that seen in the USSR. Thus China was able to see steady social reforms that were largely only even considered in the USSR at the beginning and end of that country's existence, without risking either major conservative backlash or the rise of anti-communist liberalization.

Thus the 1994 Chinese elections occurred with little disruption to the system, and little attention outside the country

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Factions in the Communist Party of China (and their makeup in the party prior to the 1994 elections)

The RSC has for the past couple decades essentially been the origin of the party's mainline doctrine and political direction, rejecting the personality-based ideologies of other Communists like the Leninists, Stalinists, Trotskyists, Gonzaloists, and so on, in favor of the bland "New Synthesis" title. The CFU concerns itself primarily with interests specifically regarding workers and the trade unions, but overall generally aligned with the RSC on broader politics. Likewise, the ACWF and NUSY focus respectively on women's liberation and the interests of students and children (with the CPC via the NUSY having the distinction of being at this time the only governing party in the world to have minors elected to office), but generally align with the RSC

After Trotsky fled to China, he took a low-key role in Chinese communist politics, with his politics having some informal influence among the Party leaders while being officially ignored for the purpose of diplomacy with the USSR. But now, decades after the deaths of Stalin and Trotsky, Trotskyists make up an official faction within the CPC, as the IWA, though the Trotskyist camp is split, with some within the CPC as the IWA, others organized outside the Party but friendly with it, and others not so friendly at all. The IWI currently openly advocates for Trotskyist politics in general, and is the most hawkish and interventionist of the factions

The CAF is unique among the factions in the sense that it lacks any leadership, collective or otherwise. The CAF represents the various anarchist strains of leftism, and tends to be quite divided amongst itself. Its division has perhaps led it to punch below its weight in influencing the party, though it has had some success in the establishment of communes and other policies

The RGF is a relative newcomer to the Chinese political sphere. China's industrialization saw a rapid economic development but also substantial environmental destruction, which led to the establishment of the Chinese environmentalist movement. The RGF is the political wing of this movement, representing eco-communism in the Party. It is also the most dovish of the factions, preferring foreign aid in the form of green developmentalism to communist and non communist third world nations

The CPFL and RDVL are somewhat oddballs within the Party. They are the only factions with individual leaders, and are generally the most conservative among the party. Their influence was once quite strong, in the early days of the Socialist Republic of China where the Party had to contend with a still-significant conservative movement, but the influence of these wings has steadily been on the decline as the Party cemented its control and won over hearts and minds. The CPFL now represents rural interests and an agrarian orientation of communism, as well as agricultural matters in general, and tends to be the only faction to take vaguely socially conservative stances. That faction also has a bit of a Luddite bent - the gradual collectivization of Chinese agriculture has been paired with mechanization, automation, and generic engineering, which have significantly lowered the demand for agricultural labor and helped spur Chinese urbanization, something the rural-oriented CPFL has disapproved of. The RVDL, on the other hand, tends to have a narrower interest in military matters, focusing on soldier's and veteran's issues as well as generally taking a hawkish stance on foreign policy and national defense that is generally rooted more in nationalistic sentiment than ideological concerns

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Chart of Chinese political factions after the 1994 election (top to bottom on key = left to right on chart)

The 1994 Chinese election and 12th Party Congress saw a significant shift in Chinese politics, with the emergence of the Red-Green Front from a relatively minor faction to being the second largest in the Party and significantly larger than the previous second largest faction. Over the course of the last several years, there had been several highly politicized environmental incidents, as well as growing protests over pollution in major cities, to the point where the Party is had started enacting some substantial environmental policy even before the 1989 election. Furthermore, an emerging body of scientific evidence revealed that pollution wasn't just an issue for lung health and other individual issues, but also that emissions of carbon and other "greenhouse gasses" risked a future of climate change with potential for grave consequences. Chinese environmental activists and energy experts alike began to turn to nuclear power in particular, as an alternative to both coal's unhealthy smog and dangerous greenhouse gas emissions, and with an already existing and sizable Chinese nuclear power system to build off while other potential alternatives were researched and developed. And with the fall of the Soviet Union, China felt somewhat isolated on the world stage - the Party began to consider a change in foreign policy strategy, with the idea that increased green development aid to poorer countries ideologically aligned and otherwise could be an effective way to increase Chinese goodwill abroad, as well as build future payoff from increased climate security. Thus the 12th Congress would build and expand on prior green domestic programs and green foreign aid, a project that would be continued in following Congresses as well. Will it pay off, succeeding at fighting global poverty and alleviating the threat of climate change while expanding the influence of and approval for Chinese synthesis communism abroad? Only time will tell...
Himalayan Crisis, 2005-2006
Himalayan Crisis, 2005-2006

When Nepal gained full independence from Britain in 1923 (having previously enjoyed more independence than the Indian princely states, but having nonetheless been something of a client state to Britain even if not a full protectorate), the country was controlled by the same authoritarian monarchy that had ruled since the 1700s. Opposition to the autocracy grew over the next decades and culminated in the 1951 democratic revolution. The 1950s saw a shaky coalition between the monarchy, conservatives and reformers, and then in the first democratic election (in 1959), Nepal elected democratic socialist B. P. Koirala and his Nepali Congress party. But just a little over a year later, the monarchy intervened, overthrowing the democratically elected government, imprisoning Koirala for years, and reinstituting royal autocracy

The 1990s saw another transition to democracy, and this time the elected government was even able to avoid being rapidly overthrown by the monarchy. But it was still a politically turbulent time. Anti-monarchy sentiment was on the rise. And decades of authoritarian traditionalist rule by the monarchy and aristocracy had been met by a growing communist resistance, with several different leftist organizations forming, and rejecting the Nepali Congress Party's democratic socialism (at this point more along the lines of mere social democracy) in favor of the establishment of a Marxist state. Continued poverty, inequality, casteism, traditionalism, and a growing idea that mere bourgeois democracy would not be enough to fight these problems led to a rising Marxist insurgency in the mid to late 90s, though this was also met with increased state repression

Things would escalate in the 2000s. In 2001, a prince of the royal family went on a shooting spree, killing the king, queen, and 7 other members of the royal family before killing himself. The monarchy took a significant hit to popularity, and numerous conspiracy theories emerged regarding the shooting. Furthermore, the new King, Gyanendra, started off quite unpopular, and took actions that cemented this. In 2002, as the communist insurgency intensified and political instability increased, the King took direct control of the government. It was just a temporary measure lasting a week, but the monarchy's flex of power to take total control even in the period of alleged democracy was met with significant opposition, and only further fueled the insurgency's own growth in popularity. Two and a half years later, the King would again overthrow the civilian government, this time indefinitely, declaring a state of emergency and moving to defeat the communist rebellion once and for all. This was immediately met with massive backlash, and very soon after, the communist rebels, who had previously limited their actions to a low level insurgency and transient control in various isolated valleys, turned to a more intense and direct opposition, going on the offensive against government positions and being aided by government deserters. The establishment of the United Left Front between agrarian communist leader Prachanda's organization and various other communist organizations, just days after the King overthrew the government, is traditionally seen as the start of the revolution-proper

China looked on these events with interest. While the Chinese had held onto their inner sphere with little difficulty, communism across the globe had significantly retreated since the late 1980s with the fall of the Soviet Union and of other communist states in Europe and Africa, but here was a communist rebellion rapidly gaining momentum. The 90s saw the Chinese taking a largely non-interventionist stance, focusing on developmental aid and internal socialist development within the Chinese sphere, being eager to avoid international conflicts, at first generally ignoring the insurgency in Nepal. But sentiment in China-first among youth and student activist groups, and then among government and broader society-began to shift in favor of support for the Nepali communists. The outbreak of the revolution in 2005 saw a number of Chinese youth leave the country and fight as volunteers for the Nepali rebels. The government was slower to act, but by the latter part of the year, it authorized direct military intervention in Nepal in support of the rebels

The Nepali Kingdom was unable to resist the communist intervention, but the intervention created a far bigger headache for China than it had predicted - for India gave strong support to the Nepali government

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Between India and China, the cold war had largely been uneventful, with the countries sometimes being on the opposite side of the Sino-Soviet splits but still largely having an amiable relationship, with a degree of friendliness between the Chinese communists and Nehruvian socialists. The Chinese technically had territorial claims on part of the Indian regions of Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh (holdovers from the Republic of China era) but those claims had largely gone dormant and the Chinese government had little care to pursue them, so this had next to no impact on the relationship between the two countries. But since the 90s, the Indian National Congress had shifted away from Nehruvian socialism, and the Indian political sphere also saw the rise of Hindu nationalism as a force. The shaky coalition Indian government at the time of the Chinese intervention was unwilling to let what it saw as a fellow democracy (despite the coup) fall to communism, and thus thus authorized intervention of its own in Nepal and elsewhere on the border. A diplomatic crisis ensued, and soon skirmishes at the Sino-Indian border descended into war

The Chinese were caught somewhat by surprise by this turn of events, but refused to back down, and shifted forces to the border. The Indian forces, in turn, would be caught by surprise by the strength of the Chinese forces. China hadn't fought a war since their intervention on behalf of the Indochinese revolutionaries, and it was known that the Chinese didn't invest a huge amount into their military, preferring to focus on their nuclear deterrent and on non-military investment. But the force that the Chinese had quietly built up was well trained and equipped, and importantly, prepared for mountain warfare, as well as backed by a reasonably strong logistical capacity and infrastructure (the Chinese communists had invested considerably into the infrastructure and economies of outlying minority regions like Tibet, East Turkestan, Mongolia and Tuva). As a result, the Indian forces were put on the back foot, and the Chinese forces made advances in the Himalayan border areas

To make matters worse for the Indians, the outbreak of the Sino-Indian war saw things escalate in eastern India. In the so-called "red corridor" of eastern India, a low level agrarian communist insurgency had been ongoing since 1967, enabled in part by the significant poverty in the region. The insurgents had been growing in numbers and popularity in the area, and took advantage of the emergence of the war to intensify their own activity and go on the offensive. Suddenly the Indians found themselves with a major thorn in their side from the red corridor insurgents

The Indian government had gambled on a quick show of force to deter the Chinese, and was now regretting its gamble. The Chinese forces had advanced into northeastern India, taking much of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam and advancing on Guwahati, the largest city in the region, with Indian counteroffensives in the area failing to dislodge the Chinese offensives. Furthermore, the outbreak of the war saw Pakistan saber-rattling with their claims on Kashmir, and there were reports of Pakistani forces mobilizing and heading to the border for an offensive against the Indians, threatening to turn the war into a three-front war. Elements among the Indian leadership hoped that once the Indian forces and reserves fully mobilized, they'd manage to push back the attackers, but on the other hand, the Chinese were mobilizing more forces and moving them into the area as well. In the end, the Indian leadership chose to sue for peace

Some among the Chinese leadership had hopes of a larger defeat of India, and potentially aiding the communist insurgency there in taking over the country, but most of the leadership was content to largely stick with their initial goal of defending the Nepalese Revolution, weary of bogging down in larger commitments. They did demand the occupation of the claimed territories in Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh, as well as the occupation of territories disputed with Bhutan (a semi-protectorate of India which joined the war on the Indian side), and agreed to withdraw from the additional territory they'd captured from India. In return, the Indian government agreed to recognize the new Nepali communist government, and to withdraw support for the monarchy-in-exile

The United States did not look happily on the occurrences in the region. The US had given diplomatic and material support to India, and had hoped that the revolution could be suppressed. Further action, however, was not taken-the country was already involved in an unpopular Middle Eastern War and another unpopular Central Asian war, and the support already made for the Indians and Nepali monarchy was enough to cause further backlash among the public. Some commentators pointed out the contrast of the US bogged down in two quagmires of wars while China managed to come out reasonably successful in their own military action in the same era, as well as taking some note of the contrast between Chinese youth and progressive movements being supporters of intervention whereas western youth and progressive movements were largely antiwar, with echoes of the Second Indochina War seen in this aspect

1616264133946_sino indian war ib.png

The Democratic People's Republic of Nepal is the newest member of the so-called "core four" of the Chinese system. It is also by far the poorest, though Chinese aid since the Sino-Indian War has led to significant economic growth in the country. Nepal's leadership is rather more eclectic, especially domestically, than the other countries in the Chinese sphere, in part due to the idiosyncrasy of a vanguard coalition of multiple communist parties rather than the multiple factions within single vanguard party norm seen in China. Regarding foreign policy, the country has often had a more interventionist stance than China itself, urging intervention on behalf of leftists in various situations the Chinese leadership was very weary of stepping into. Despite certain disagreements, though, the new Nepali government has been quite satisfied with its relationship with China

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Aftermath of the Himalayan Crisis
Aftermath of the Himalayan Crisis

Despite its name, the "Comprehensive Peace Accord" signed at the end of the Nepalese Revolution and Sino-Indian War was not as comprehensive as it could have been, particularly in regards to the final status of the territories occupied by the Socialist Republic of China after the war. Those territories were placed under Chinese occupation until an undecided future point, at which point India was guaranteed little more than "advisory consultation". In short, the Chinese pretty much had a final say on the occupied territories

The communist party, however, had a hard time actually figuring out what to do with the occupied territory. Several different ideas were floated by members of the party. On the most pacifistic end of the debate, some simply advocated for returning the entire territory, considering it enough of a win to have defended the Nepalese Revolution. Outside of that minority standpoint, it was generally agreed that the sparsely populated territories of Aksai Chin and the other small border territories outside of Arunachal Pradesh should be annexed to China for security purposes, but there was little similar consensus on the matter of occupied Arunachal Pradesh, the largest and most populated portion of the occupied territories (the easternmost portion on the map in the box below). Some advocated for either directly annexing the territory and integrating it into China-proper as an autonomous zone, or to simply keep it as a zone under military occupation. A proposal during the war to establish a socialist Indian government in occupied territory and push on to try and topple the rest of the country largely died with the end of the war, but some of the more interventionist members of the communist party of china supported establishing a rump socialist India in Arunachal Pradesh, with territorial claims on the rest of the country. Others took a more limited stance, supporting establishing a socialist Arunachal Pradesh that did not claim any additional Indian territory

occupied territory ib.png

To this day, China simply never got around to deciding on a final settlement for the occupied territories. Some time after the end of the war, a provisional civilian government was established in the territory, with practical matters of day-to-day rule gradually shifting from the military (which retains theoretical power, though used less and less as time goes on) to the civilian government. The people of the territory are able to elect a voting representative to the Chinese legislature, as well as the opportunity to take Chinese citizenship if they wish, and the territory has received significant economic investment by the Chinese government. As such, the current status quo is one of a sizable degree of de facto integration even as the military occupation technically continues. Though this could change at a moment's notice if the communist party finally gets around to a final determination on the territory

2009 lok sabha ib.jpg

After the big defeat in the Sino-Indian War, prime minister Manmohan Singh took a harsh hit to his popularity, being seen by the left as having brought the country into a war that shouldn't have been fought, and seen by the right as a failure in leadership in a war that absolutely should have been fought harder and better. In the early days after the war, there was widespread speculation that his minority government would simply collapse, and a snap election would be called. The left wing and regionalist parties that the INC had relied on, however, ended up supporting continued INC government (extracting many concessions in the process), simply because polling suggested the BJP would win a large majority if a snap election was held, which would put the other parties in a position of less influence. So in the end, the government was able to stumble to the next election intact
Manmohan Singh and the INC were able to win some public approval resurgence between the end of the war and the 2009 election, in part due to a popular policy of expanding investment in the armed forces and harsh rhetoric against China. But there was little doubt that the INC would face defeat, and the BJP was able to successfully capitalize on the political climate-with a strong appeal to rearmament and to hindutva social conservatism to "strengthen the backbone of the nation"-in order to make gains and come out of the elections as the largest party. The NDA (the broader alliance of parties the BJP led) slightly underperformed expectations, failing by a few seats to win a majority of seats, but had little difficulty negotiating with some independent/minor party legislators in order to establish BJP/NDA government

The new government took an even harsher rhetorical stance against China, but after analyzing the state of the armed forces, backed away somewhat from earlier rhetoric regarding potentially sending forces to reclaim the territories lost to China. The government instead largely focused on domestic issues, including a major program of economic privatization, various social conservative measures, and a major cracking down on communist movements in Eastern India, in addition to expansion of military and security funding
Something tells me there may be a rematch between India and China. What our Chinese/Pakistani and Chinese/Bangladeshi foreign relations like?
Something tells me there may be a rematch between India and China. What our Chinese/Pakistani and Chinese/Bangladeshi foreign relations like?
Regarding a rematch with China, that could very well be in the cards, in some form or another. But things in India may take a different turn, with the initial revanchist trend receding somewhat and flowing into a more conflicted internal situation

As for Pakistani and Bangladeshi relations...

The China of this TL didn't have moments like the 1962 Sino-Indian War to push China and Pakistan together so closely early on. But with India still being the most populous potential rival in the area, and due to the Indians generally siding with the Soviets (even during the Sino-Soviet splits), China still cultivated relations with Pakistan and had a history of economic cooperation and aid to the country, though a bit more selectively, with more criticism to the military governments. In the aftermath of the 2005-2006 war, China and Pakistan saw increasing positive relations, with the Chinese seeing Pakistan as a potential counterweight to make any Indian attempts at striking back more risky, given the Pakistani desire to take Kashmir

Actually, I'm having an idea about Pakistan and its foreign relations, though it may take me a while to get around to doing anything with that

As for Bangladesh, the 1971 war still happened, with India and Bangladesh having very positive relations after that point. But in the 90s and 2000s, the Bangladeshi-Indian relations saw a cooling of sorts, and Bangladesh has increased economic relations with China, though they are still more or less a neutral power in the regional power struggles, as opposed to a country like Pakistan which could very well end up playing a role in a future conflict if one breaks out
But in the military, a handful of communist-sympathizing officers managed to catch wind of the broader scheme, and were able to provide proof that the so-called 30 September Movement was actually itself more or less a false flag operation, with rightist military elements organizing a coup attempt to kill generals who could have stood in the way of Suharto's seizure of power, and then claim that the Communist Party had organized the coup attempt, allowing a purge of Communists by the military once the rightists had seized power.
Benedict Anderson: exists
Indonesian Communists: I'm about to destroy this man's whole career.

Great to see this series in it's own thread by the way.
I would probably ruin the whole mood of the Timeline considering most of the facts about the abridged history of Nepal there and the Nepalese Civil War is 99% wrong, but nonetheless, glad this series got its own thread. Its certainly very interesting.

Oof. I'm curious about the sort of things I got wrong?

I'll admit, I did some research but it was mostly confined to "skimming wikipedia articles" and I could have gotten a lot wrong. But particularly with the earlier history, it did sound like Nepal had an autocratic/authoritarian monarchy (technically the Ranas were prime ministers, but hereditary prime ministers, seems like a monarchy in all but name), then the democratic revolution in 1951 with a coalition of political groups that didn't really get along, followed by a Congress Party win in the 1959 elections and a royal coup a year later? And then the 90s saw a return to multiparty democracy, but with a communist insurgency and then with Gyanendra taking direct control from parliament, and then with the monarchy being abolished after parliament was reinstated? Were those broad strokes there wrong?

Regarding more recent parts like the Civil War, things are just kind of different from OTL by design with how things in other areas went, like how the different revolutionary China ends up supporting the rebels rather than the monarchy like in OTL, and how the anti-government coalition here has a different character, in part because Mao never ended up being relevant and Maoism isn't really a thing, and some other aspects

Of course its not your job to be my fact-checker or anything, but I'm certainly open to input!
Oof. I'm curious about the sort of things I got wrong?

I'll admit, I did some research but it was mostly confined to "skimming wikipedia articles" and I could have gotten a lot wrong. But particularly with the earlier history, it did sound like Nepal had an autocratic/authoritarian monarchy (technically the Ranas were prime ministers, but hereditary prime ministers, seems like a monarchy in all but name), then the democratic revolution in 1951 with a coalition of political groups that didn't really get along, followed by a Congress Party win in the 1959 elections and a royal coup a year later? And then the 90s saw a return to multiparty democracy, but with a communist insurgency and then with Gyanendra taking direct control from parliament, and then with the monarchy being abolished after parliament was reinstated? Were those broad strokes there wrong?

Regarding more recent parts like the Civil War, things are just kind of different from OTL by design with how things in other areas went, like how the different revolutionary China ends up supporting the rebels rather than the monarchy like in OTL, and how the anti-government coalition here has a different character, in part because Mao never ended up being relevant and Maoism isn't really a thing, and some other aspects

Of course its not your job to be my fact-checker or anything, but I'm certainly open to input!
The Ranas were pretty much authoritarian Rulers making the position of Prime Minister a position that could only be inherited by a male member of the Rana Dynasty. They were close allies as nobles to Prithvi Narayan Shah, the unifier of the country and used their position to rise to power until Jung Bahadur conducted a palace coup in 1846 and virtually wiped out half of the country's nobility. The 1951 Revolution is a much more complicated topic than the parties no liking each other, however. King Tribhuvan was extremely independent, and he was instrumental in creating a constitutional monarchy in the country, however the politicians did not like this fact. They deemed that in a constitutional monarchy the king needed to be away from politics and diplomatic affairs at all costs. The King to his merit said ok and simply moved away from politics, however the parties began to fight over the issue. Should the King become a public face for the politics of the country or not? The issue soon devolved into all other sectors of governance. In 1959, the country's political legislature was frozen due to the fact the opposition refused to even stay in their parliamentary seats. This basically meant that that 45% of the legislature hall was empty. Koirala tried to re-habilitate the parties, however he largely failed due to the NC not willing to be negotiatable. Mahendra was extremely angered by what he saw as partisan politics freezing the country and used the constitution to temporarily take back absolute power. This was well within his rights according to the 1953 Constitution. It is true that the King had Koirala imprisoned due to his political threat, but the casus belli used for his imprisonment was a legitimate case of Koirala raping young women, with several women testifying in 1959 and 1960 about Koirala's sexual harassment. It was one of the reasons why Mahendra took power too. He didn't want a sexual offender to be the head of government.

Unlike what Wikipedia likes to ignore, however, Mahendra restored constitutional monarchy in the country in 1961. What he implemented was a non-partisan democracy called the Panchayat. Elections were still held and were mostly free and fair. Affiliation with a political party was however not allowed. The King became the public figure for the decisions of the government, but 99% of the time the decisions were made by the elected government. Where the Panchayat System failed was that without proper party lines, the elections and ideologues of candidates became extremely chaotic. As a result, most people wanted to return to partisan democracy. This was allowed by Birendra through the 1980 Referendum and 1990 Movements. It is a reason why most people in Nepal will get upset if you categorize the Panchayat Era as a non-democracy. It wasn't a perfect democracy, however it was one. (in fact the 1973 UN Democracy Index ranks Nepal as a moderate democracy during the Panchayat Era).

The Communist Insurgency that started otl was the result of a power struggle between factions in the Communist Party. BEfore 1996, the majority were moderate communists who wanted to keep the monarchy, much like today's Japanese communists and a small faction of hardline Communists who wanted to do away with the monarchy. In 1996 the leaders of the moderates found themselves being killed left, right and centre in 'accidents' which allowed the hardliners to come to power in the party and they started a communist guerilla war. The Royal Massacre was a shock to the nation, however it did not weaken the monarchy. It probably strengthened it. King Birendra was beloved by the populace, called Papa Bire by the urban cities, and called a god by the rural countryside. Gyanendra wasn't as popular as his cousin brother but was a successful businessman who liked to stay out of affairs, and so was regarded with neutral enthusiasm. His brief taking of absolute power in 2002-3 was advised by the government to re-affirm the status of the King as Head of State, and as such wasn't really unconstitutional. It had become a tradition in the Nepalese constitutional monarchy that a new king after ascending to the throne would take absolute power for a week or two and return power back. It was surprising because the last time it had happened was in the 1970s, when Birendra took power and did the same thing to reaffirm his rights as King, and after 30 years everyone had just forgotten about it. In the confusion, the Communists used it as a propaganda tool. It was Gyanendra being betrayed by the government that solidified the end of the monarchy.

The army was corrupt, and many times when they could have defeated the guerillas easily the generals wasted time allowing them to escape, and the government was sick of it. They knew that they could not force the army to do as they said so they advised the king to take absolute power temporarily again, and then use his authority to strip generals who were known to be corrupt. However, there was a problem with this act. The politicians merely thought it as one solution and were still debating about it, but Gyanendra thought that it was actual advise and so he went ahead and did it. This turned many of the politicians who thought that Gyanendra had acted to hostility against him. That forced the end of the monarchy, as Gyanendra's popularity had always been lukewarm too.
Whew that's the end of it. Though a world where the UF continues is a very intriguing one. People often are surprised to hear that the PRC aided the Kingdom of Nepal otl due to the nepalese communists being maoists. The situation here in ittl nepalese civil war is certainly an interesting mirror of otl.

Also Internationale has no direct translation in nepali and the closest is Antarastriya, which is simply international, the word Internesala is not a nepali word, but an english world (internationale) corrupted into Nepali. I doubt people would use a corrupted word as an anthem.
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Oh jeez. I remember seeing this and typing up most of a response way back then, I guess I just never actually posted it

Its been a while since I read what you said and did some digging in response to it, so I kinda forget all the details. But it sounds like some of it may just boil down to different interpretations of things. Like, with the Panchayat system and the kings taking power, that could very well constitute a legal action in a constitutional monarchy, while also arguably being undemocratic and enabling arguably inappropriate royal power and so on. Things that could be open to multiple interpretations and views. With some of the other things, I simply can't find any english sources at all mentioning them, like the rape accusations against Koirala, of course that doesn't mean there can't be any sources in other languages saying it, though I'm a little surprised that something like that wouldn't be mentioned in any english sources on the internet (or that I just couldn't find any)

At any rate, though, your input and perspectives were interesting and much appreciated