by Max Barry

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Yin Xia Fang's guide to Xiashu

After the recent death of Ambassador Asuyuia Xiashuian ("In war there are no winners just who loses the least") who died peacefully in her sleep (aged 123) the next selected representative is Yin Fang, as per tradition part of the nation's name is taken to the persons offical name resulting in Yin Xia Fang. (Asuyuia took Xiashuian removing her old surname during a time of promoting unity)
This is Yin Xia Fang's guide and overview to the nation of Xiashu which hasn't been publically released due to Asuyuia Xiashuian's promotion of unity, love and acceptance for all.

The lead position is an elected position on the death, retirement or request for lead change (55% of the public or those in office can call for a re-election at any time). The position is classified as "Ambassador" which is the face of Xiashu and while legally holding minimal power they are people who often have put the people and world first. It is more an honoury role for people who push for a better tomorrow and diplomatic relations. These people often have little life outside of how they choose to better the country leading to the ability to step down with little notice, this however isn't a problem due to the role's power. Asuyuia Xiashuian currently holds the record of 73 years in the role often combining stress releasing methods with important talks (sports (generally badminton / table tennis/billards) and varies tactical board games like chess and shogi). Her life had many messages like anti-war, acceptance of others (both civil rights and also open borders / immigration) and working together for a better future. Yin Xia Fang aims to continue this trend with an interest in reading/writing, martial arts (for self improvement and exercise) and games of logic and tactics. Yin Xia Fang noticed an often lack written laws for the international community to see and as her first act (outside of closure of the last Ambassador's send off and her own acceptance) to be writing a quick guide to Xiashu. Her phrase has been decided as "Victors should be praised, while the defeated should be loved so that they can stand up once more." (reduced to "Praise the victors and love the defeated" due to some odd character limit in place) to promote self improvement and support for all.

Guide to Xiashu:

Age to be recognised as a legal adult: Minimium is 20 years old however most regions generally vary from 21 or 22 to 24 to 25.

Legal age to drive: 18

Marriage: Region based but overlaps with legal adult age (minimum age). Marriage is defined as a union (with no benefits from the state) of 2 or more consenting people of age who grant consent. It is more a declaration of prolonged relationship intent and many do not see the need for it. Agreements are required before marriage for any separation for division of assets. A marriage can have more people enter them (for example a marriage of 2 can become a marriage of 3) at any time as long as the agreement is updated to included the extra person/persons. The only requirement for marriage personhood wise is to be a legal person of age. This allowed for human and AI relationships but does not allow for animals or objects to enter into a marriage due to consent issues.

Legal age for sex: Generally 18 minimum (adult minus 2 years). Consent is required and any inhibiting factors for thought are counted as removal of consent (those under mind altering effects can not consent to sex).

LGBT+ right: Full equal rights. (This isn't even considered an issue in any sense but due to some nations having questionable laws it was added. It is believed that around 40% of people are heterosexual and 30% are homosexual with the last 30% being other classified as something else (pansexual or asexual being the most common) In the case of transexuals and other non gender conforming people any and all healthcare is to be provided (free of charge with only minimum delays). Due to medical care allowing for full transition to a reproductive sex change that can also be changed back this is more a minor problem if done wrongly and it is normal for people to change multiple times (recovery time is often 3 to 6 weeks due to advanced healthcare). Gender isn't fully recognised and any stereotypes of male or female are dismissed. The forcing of stereotypes due to genitals (or lack of) are considered minor crimes (major only if other crimes happen).

Religion: Allowed but highly regulated, it is considered illegal to push religions (schools and door to door recruitment isn't allowed). Religion is limited to the home and place of worship, to be included in a religion (full member) you are required to be a legal adult and any attempts to push religion on those younger is consider a crime. (This leads to a very low percent of people being religious and atheism the norm with 96-98% of people with less than 1% of people being religious (currently believed to be 0.3%))

Smoking, drinking and drugs: Illegal, any substance considered too harmful to health is not allowed, medical drugs will often have strict prescription systems.

Legal age required to be in education: 5-21 (24 encouraged) (some regions go to 24 resulting in an extremely high amount of Doctorates been given out, it is estimated 97% of people are doctors of a field).

School costs: All school costs are covered by the state, there are no fees or student loans, all meals are provided and in school housing is possible at all schools and completely optional (this leads to no need for orphanage) .

Medical coverage: All medical costs are covered by the state as long as vaccinations are kept up with (with some time given to renew any needed). Since coverage is universal (citizens and visitors) many come from overseas for treatment and health care is a very large field. Health checks are suggested every 3 to 6 months and semi required every 1 or 2 years however there is no legal requirement or obligation that actively require such check ups. Many jobs do push for health checks every so often with 6 months to a year being most common but allowing as often as 3 months if requested.

Citizenship: Anyone born or living in Xiashu can apply for citizenship. There isn't a strict requirement for citizenship except for international travel and requirements (for example passports). It can be common for people born in Xiashu to never officially be declared members of Xiashu in the sense of citizenship. To become legally recognised as a citizen you simple need to sign a declaration (which can be done on any form of paper and has even been cases of it being done on napkins and other strange objects). It basically requires the line of "I declare myself to be a citizen / dual state citizen (delete as applicable and list secondary state in the case of dual citizenship) of Xiashu and to follow its laws." Followed by a signature and then registered at a local government office (for quickest results use a standard Z1 sized paper), any size paper can be used but this can cause a few minutes of delays. There are no limits on who can become a citizen but once registered as such from another nation it can be stricter on laws (due to expelling of criminals for a period of time).

Criminal Punishment: Legal punishment is minimal, while fines are common for very minor crimes and major crimes can have prison time, prisons themselves are not fully considered punishment and more a legal separation from the public for rehabilitation (currently 95-98% rehabilitation rate nationwide generally around 97.7%) There are no laws that when broken result in the death penalty (and never have been) however any person who is a citizen of another nation (dual state not counting) can choose between expulsion from the nation or to submit to the national criminal system (major laws will result in handing over to their nations police and fines will still need to be paid)

Working age: The minimum working age is outside of education (however education often includes work experience / placement for 1 or 2 days a week at full pay from 18+) This means that you can not apply for a job outside of said placement till out of education.

Parental leave for adults with children: This is a requirement for businesses to give at least 6 months total however this is split as per chosen by the parents (with recommendations for the birth mother to take a bit to start for recovery times). It is common for businesses to give the minimum 6 months and also 3 months shared (second parent also given time off without splitting) for the first 3 months.

Child allowances: There is no hard limit on the amount of children a person can have. The general average is 2 per household. It is uncommon to see more than 4 children in a single house with the exception of multi-births (twins etc) for the latest group of children pushing it over. Beyond 4 is often looked down on slightly due to the attention the children might not get from their family. This however is minor and legal protection to further help those discriminated is being pushed.

AI rights: Any AI is granted full rights of personhood after a certain level of complexity under law. This is limited to full thinking AI and lower level AIs that are shown not to think are considered the same as generic software unless they show signs of full thought in which case they would gain full rights.

War stance: All nations default to non-aggressive pact, any dispute will have full diplomatic consideration and in the case of full war declared it is often with the full backing of international bodies on the support of Xiashu to push for prevention. Since Xiashu is an island nation (covering a few islands) surrounded by ocean there are no border conflicts.

Conscription: No person shall be required to serve in any armed or unarmed forces. There are no legal requirements to force any role onto any person including employment due to increased levels of automation and universal income (with enough to live with some comfort), employment is optional and offers rewards beyond universal income and are seen more as hobbies by many instead of jobs.

Weapons and fire arms: No private ownership of fire arms is permitted. There has never been a need for weapons to be in the hands of the public due to no dangerous wild life or war time problems. Display weapons are allowed but often they are manufactured to be non-operational (blunted edge or simply a model with no ability to be used even if modified). Display weapons are an uncommon practice due to view of weapons as unneeded.

Protests: Any person is granted full right to protest and request a law change vote, law change votes often have a required amount of signatures to have a legal vote. The vote for law changes have to have 60% approval (significant majority) and the same issue can't be voted on for 2 years after failure (unless events that cause a required vote happen).

Mermaids: The national animal has legal recognition as a person with full intellectual thought however there are extra laws for legal age requirements and safety requirements. Seeing a young mermaid in school or in employment is a common sight (and also next to all walkways is a swim canal (with railings for safety of those on the walkway) for mermaids, mermaids are a monosex species and can marry at legal age (for further understanding of mermaid biology, legal standing and requirements feel free to sign up for a mermaid course (for free)).

Any person can apply for a full course on laws and culture (for free) at any government office, this course is recommended for citizens from abroad (and from some areas of vastly different cultures is a requirement after declaration of citizenship). Culture is considered as minor and always in flux. Xiashu is often considered to have low levels of national culture however some would consider that Xiashu's culture is actually true global culture with no strong ties to any country, language or other limitations.

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