by Max Barry

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The Chinese Federation (WIP)

Chinese Federation
Zhōnghuá Liánbāng


National Emblem

Anthem: "Song to the Auspicious Cloud"

The Chinese Federation

Héxié Zìyóu Píngděng
"Harmony, Liberty, Equality."

Capital: Nanjing
Largest City: Shanghai

Official Language: Standard Chinese

Demonym: Chinese

Government: Federal semi-presidential
constitutional republic
-President: Mei Lifen
-Premier: Zheng Lingxin

Legislature: Legislative Yuan
-Upper House: Federal Council
-Lower House: National Assembly

First dynasty: c. 2070 BCE
First imperial dynasty: 221 BCE
Republic established: 1 January 1912
Federation proclaimed: 1 August 1928
End of political tutelage: 7 August 1948
Last polity admitted: 20 December 1999

GDP (nominal): 17.253 trillion
GDP (nominal) per capita: 10,285

Land Area: 9,633,158 km² (396 sq mi)

Population: 1,677,457,128
-Density: 174/km²

HDI: 0.788 high

Currency: Chinese yuan

Time Zone: UTC+5 to UTC+9

Drives on the: right

Calling code: +86

Internet TLD: .cn

China (Chinese: 中国; pinyin: Zhōngguó), officially known as the Chinese Federation, is a country in East Asia consisting of 21 provinces, 7 republics, and 7 federal cities. With a population of 1.6 billion and a land area of around 9,600,000km, it is the largest country in the world by population, and the third-largest by area. The capital is Nanjing, and the largest city is Shanghai. Other major urban centers include Chongqing, Beijing, Guangzhou, and Tianjin.

China is one of the world's oldest civilizations, first developing in the fertile Yellow River basin. For most of its history, China was controlled by a variety of hereditary monarchies known as dynasties, starting with the semi-mythical Xia dynasty in the 2nd millennium BCE. Since then, China has been fractured and reunited numerous times until 1912, when the final imperial dynasty, the Qing Dynasty, was overthrown, and the First Republic of China was established. This republic would be ravaged by feudal warlordism and unstable governments until 1928, when the Chinese Federation was proclaimed. Though nearly conquered by Japan during World War II, China eventually emerged victorious, and after a long period of political tutelage, fully transitioned to democracy by 1948.

China is a federal semi-presidential republic with a directly elected legislature. China is one of Asia's oldest and most enduring democracies, though the government has been criticized for its problems with corruption, tendency towards political gridlock, and practices such as mass surveillance and police militarization.

Following a series of economic reforms beginning in 1980, China has become one of the fastest-growing economies in the world with the GDP growing by at least 7% every year. After the United States, China is the second-largest economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP. China is also the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China has the largest standing army in the world and the second-largest military budget. Beginning in the early 2000s, China has been recognized as an emerging superpower, though it continues to deal with widespread poverty, growing wealth inequality, and occasional civil unrest.


Author's Note: Due to it being essentially the same as the real-world timeline, the history of China before 1912 is ommitted.

Sun Yat-sen proclaims the
First Republic of China
First Republic (1912 - 1928)

On 1 January 1912, the First Republic was established with LinkSun Yat-sen as the provisional president. However, power was almost immediately transferred to LinkYuan Shikai, a Qing general who played a pivotal role in overthrowing the imperial government. Yuan would declare himself Emperor of China in 1915 after a period of political repression, but was forced to abdicate almost immediately following widespread opposition. After Yuan died in 1916, China fractured politically. While the Beijing government still retained international recognition, most of the country came under the de facto control of various regional warlords.

Sun Yat-sen would retreat to Guangdong where, with the help of a sympathetic warlord, he founded a provisional military government under the Kuomintang and formed an alliance with the Communist Party of China. After Sun's death in 1925, there was a brief power struggle between his two expected successors, LinkChiang Kai-shek and Wang Jingwei. Following a failed anti-communist coup, Chiang fled to Japan, leaving Wang as the sole leader of the provisional military government. In 1926, Wang initiated the Northern Expedition, which saw the new National Revolutionary Army, with support from Communist guerillas, successfully reunite the majority of Chinese territory, including the key cities of Beijing and Nanjing, the latter of which would later become the capital.

Following the end of the expedition, Wang organized the All-China Constitutional Congress, which saw warlords and other local leaders from all over China gather to establish a new national government. The result of this congress was a new constitution similar to the one first proposed by Sun Yat-sen, but with new provisions to guarantee federalism and to prevent another dictatorship. However, the constitution would not fully come into force until later, and the government would remain in a state of "political tutelage" until 1948.

Chinese soldiers at the
Battle of Taierzhuang
The Wang Jingwei and Song Qingling Decades (1928 - 1948)

Wang Jingwei was declared the first President of the Chinese Federation, beginning the so-called "Wang Jingwei Decade". Not every warlord accepted the new constitution, and many continued to oppose the new federal government. This changed in 1931 with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria, which drove new calls for national unity across the country, and shortly after, the Chinese United Front was formed between the Chinese Federation, and the remaining separatist warlords. Meanwhile, China became increasingly modernized as Wang championed programs to promote literacy and modernize the country's infrastructure and military. Though Wang also tried to reach out to other countries for assistance, only the Soviet Union was willing to provide support at first.

Japan launched a full-scale invasion of China on July of 1937, beginning the Second Sino-Japanese War, known in China as the War of Resistance. The Japanese military made swift progress, with Beijing falling almost immediately and Shanghai falling four months later. In February of 1938, the capital Nanjing fell, which was followed by mass atrocities known as the Nanjing massacre. Shortly before the fall of the capital, Wang Jingwei, who was supervising the defense of the city, was assassinated by agents of Chiang Kai-shek, who would establish a puppet government in Nanjing with Japanese assistance a few months later in May of 1938.

After the Fall of Nanjing, the federal government relocated to Chongqing, and the National Assembly proclaimed Song Qingling the new President of the Chinese Federation, beginning the so-called "Song Qingling Decade". Shortly after taking office, Song Qingling made the now-famous Chongqing Declaration, where she stated that China would under not surrender to Japan under any circumstances. In 1941, the Second Sino-Japanese war became a theater of World War II following the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor and the entry of the United States into the war. This galvanized relations between China and the other allied powers, and alongside the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union, China would become one of the four major allied powers during World War II. After the surrender of Japan in 1945, Taiwan was returned to Chinese control.

In the years following the war, Song Qingling initiated the transition to democracy, bringing all provisions of the federal constitution into full force. The first free elections occurred on 7 August 1948, and a few months later, Song left office to make way for her elected successor Carsun Chang, marking the beginning of true democratic rule in China.


The Constitution of the Chinese Federation establishes the country as a federal republic and representative democracy, whose federal government is divided into five branches, or Yuan: The Legislative Yuan, the Executive Yuan, the Judicial Yuan, the Control Yuan, and the Examination Yuan.

The President is the highest authority in the federal government, is the commander-in-chief of the military, and has the power to veto laws passed by the Legislative Yuan. The President also appoints members of the Executive Yuan, which include the Premier, who is the head of government and also president of the Executive Yuan, and the members of the Cabinet, who are responsible for the day-to-day enforcement and administration of law and policy. The President is elected every four years by direct popular vote, and is limited to two terms in office. In the event of the president's death, resignation, or removal from office, the Premier takes over as the acting president until new elections can be held.

The Legislative Yuan makes federal law, declares war, approves presidential appointments to other branches of government, and has the power of the purse. The Legislative Yuan is divided into two houses: The Federal Council, and the National Assembly. The Federal Council has 70 members with two from each province, who are appointed and recalled at the leisure of their respective provincial legislatures. The National Assembly has 1,640 members distributed among the provinces based on population, and are directly elected every two years. Compared to the National Assembly, the Federal Council is limited in its legislative power, and in the event of a disagreement between the two houses, the National Assembly takes precedent.

The Judicial Yuan consists of the Supreme Court, Constitutional Court, and lower federal courts, whose members are appointed by the President with the approval of the Legislative Yuan. The Judicial Yuan interprets federal and provincial laws to ensure their constitutionality, adjudicates on civil and criminal cases, and has the power to remove elected officials from office at the recommendation of the Control Yuan.

The Control Yuan is a watchdog agency that monitors executive and legislative actions, and ensures that the government is functioning. The Control Yuan also has the power to investigate and impeach elected officials and to recommend their removal to the Judicial Yuan.

The Examination Yuan is based on the imperial examination system of dynastic China, and is in charge of ensuring the qualifications of civil servants and the functioning of the federal bureaucracy.

In 2019, China was ranked 36th in the world on the Democracy Index with a score of 7.52 and the classification of "flawed democracy." In the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index, China was ranked 51st in the world with a score of 53.

Administrative divisions

Main factbook: Provinces and other subdivisions of the Chinese Federation

China is divided into a total of 35 different subnational entities. Though they differ slightly in terms of their level of autonomy and structure, all have their own locally elected governor, unicameral legislature, and equal representation in the Federal Council.

  • 21 provinces: most common type of subdivision.

  • 7 republics: regions home to particular ethnic minorities, that have a higher degree of autonomy than other provinces, including the right to draft their own constitutions.

  • 7 federal cities: major cities that are governed as separate provinces.



Skyline of Shanghai

China is a mixed market economy that ranks as world's second-largest in terms of nominal GDP, with a 2018 total of approximately US$17.25 trillion. Beginning with a series of economic reforms in 1980, overall GDP growth has consistently been 7 percent per year. China is also the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. In terms of nominal GDP per capita, China ranks 62nd at US$10,285 per capita. As of 2018, China is an emerging upper-middle income economy.

State-owned enterprises play a prominent role in the Chinese economy, accounting for approximately 35% of the total GDP. Another large portion of the GDP is dominated by multinational conglomerates known as Zaifas (財閥), which contribute to 41% of the GDP. China is the world's largest manufacturing economy, and has the largest agricultural output of any country. China also has the second-largest retail sector in the world. Other major sectors of the economy include agriculture, mining, energy, banking, telecommunications, electronics, information technology, and tourism.

Since 1980, wages have grown exponentially, with 900 million people being brought out of extreme poverty (less than US$2.00 per day) between 1980 and 2018. As of 2018, approximately 0.8% of China's population lives in extreme poverty, with a further 29.5% of the population living below the poverty line (US$5.50 per day). Additionally, China is unevenly developed, with urban and coastal areas accounting for the majority of the GDP, and rural interior areas generally being underdeveloped. China also has a high degree of income inequality, with the richest 1% of the population controlling 30% of the overall wealth.