Republic of China
Government Form: Presidential Democracy
President: Zhang Tao
Premier: Liu Yanmin
Other Government Officials:
The world's largest Republic, it has now been over 70 years since democratisation, yet the KMT's influence remains strong. The Republic of China defines itself as a secular Republic of the Chinese people, which encompasses several dozen ethnicities living within the historic borders of China.
As the 2nd Sino-Japanese War dragged on during the 1940s and millions of Chinese died in the struggle to defend their nation, it was the tenacity of the Chinese soldiers that prevented the last free areas of China to fall into Japanese hands and it was the resistance of the Chinese people that bled out the Japanese invaders, paving the way to Asian liberation. The price for this was an enormous death toll, setting China back far more than any other country after the war. It marked the zenith of the Century of Humiliation, as China was almost brought to its knees.<br /> <br /> It did not help that even during the war, differences between the Nationalist Party (KMT) and the Communist Party (CPC) led to occasional clashes. Only the ever-worsening war effort kept the United Front alive, as it became clear that any weakness on the Chinese side would be ruthlessly exploited by the Japanese and would lead to the demise of both parties. For the KMT, the dire situation led to drastic changes, as Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek had to grant greater autonomy to NRA commanders to avoid a potential coup. At the same time, as it became clear that the free areas of China would be strangled by the closing of the last resupply routes via Burma, efforts into underground networks and guerilla warfare were intensified to prevent the effective launching of Japanese offensive operations on the last defense perimeter.<br /> <br /> Despite increased western action from 1947 onward, it only was by 1949 that the Chinese forces were able to launch their first major counter-offensive, in response to a major thinning of Japanese lines to fight British forces in Burma. Over the next 8 years, combining popular resistance and lessons learned from the ardeous fighting over the previous decade, the NRA together with its communist allies slowly retook the Chinese interior, which was used as an opportunity to establish a new administration under the aegis of the loyal and battle-hardened core of the NRA. As the Chinese forces slowly advanced and the prospect of Japanese victory diminished, relations with the communists gradually soured. By 1953, first major armed clashes occurred, stalling the Chinese progress. Prompted by mutual distrust, it became clear that a continuation of the bloody struggle would be inevitable after a Japanese defeat and that it would take still quite a while until China would be peaceful yet again.<br /> <br /> When in 1957 the Japanese military collapsed, spread thin and with Chinese forces at some points reaching almost the coastline again, a major opportunity presented itself to the KMT. Distrustful of the Communists who had started to receive material support by the Soviet Union, Chiang Kai-shek and KMT leadership became desperate at the shifting in strength between the undersupplied NRA and the growing Communist forces and an agreement was struck with remnants of the Japanese Army in China to facilitate the handover of the major urban hubs and transportation routes to the Nationalist government. Despite harsh criticism and an open revolt by the CPC, supported by large parts of the peasantry, the major communist forces were encircled by 1958 by Japanese-bolstered NRA units and forced to surrender or die. By 1961, the last communist elements fled China via Xinjiang and Mongolia to their communist friends in the Soviet Union, leaving the NRA to reassert itself over the entirety of China. Only Taiwan escaped the central government's grasp, as seperatist elements rose up and China's post-war fleet was hardly capable of opposing the uprising, especially after a clash with the United Kingdom over the status of Hong Kong resulted in the sinking of most naval assets following the occupation and reintegration of the British concession.<br /> <br /> During the following decades, China rebuilt itself slowly as a single-party state centred around the KMT, however inefficient state interventions and corruption stifled economic growth and it needed until the 1980s to reach prewar levels of production. With the death of Chiang Kai-Shek in 1975, major reforms were undertaken by his successor Chiang Ching-kuo, who attempted to moderate the course and open the poitical discourse to lessen internal tensions. When Chiang Ching-kuo died in 1988, China started to finally democratise, opening up its elections to other parties and curtailing the connection between the military and the party. This era also would see major trade developments in the area with its neighbours, but also major tensions along the Sino-Soviet border, as the ideological and nationalist tensions over the Soviet support for the CCP and the Chinese claim to Mongolia and Tuva led to major military stand-offs.<br /> <br /> The 21st century saw a quite difficult start for China, as economic growth seemed to take off for a short period, until in 2017, an attempt at economic reform threatened the military priviledges in the economy and caused a coup d'etat, squashing the fledgling democracy again. Only after another decade of military rule did popular dissent see a restoration of democratic rule and a reformation of the army. Under a new generation of KMT politicians, a new economic plan was drawn up and the economy once again was opened up to foreign investment.<br /> <br /> By 2100, the Republic of China has long grown past its old weakness and has become a relatively large power itself. But despite the massive potential of the largest population on Earth, there still remains a strong statist grip on the economy that has caused innovation to be lacking compared to the size of its population and a new generation of Chinese leaders has to balance the need of social and economic stability with a desire for a more proactive role in the region and potentially new threats to the country's security.