|916-938 (163-185 AD) (L'Uniona Homanus)||929-970 (176-217 AD) (L'Uniona Homanus)||970-1007 (217- 254 AD) (L'Uniona Homanus)|
The Sinica after Yuanhong
In Sinica there was some, but few, major upheaval since the end of the Second Sino-Japanese War. The child Emperor Fanglan 芳蘭 became an adult in the year 905 (152 AD). His reign was rather unmarked and he died in the year 929 (176 AD) without many changes to the system of government. The Dukes of the Sinican council were so stunned by the death of their Emperor in the Second Sino-Japanese War that they did not object to Fanglan’s motions. Fanglan’s son, who became Emperor Zhaoxing 肇星, did not know of the devastation and the emotional eruption which occurred among the people at the end of the Second Sino-Japanese War. The emotions remained among most of the Dukes though and this caused the Emperor to take this situation to his advantage.
Emperor ZhaoxingEmperor Zhaoxing was raised in neither the army of the empire nor among any of its working people. Zhaoxing was a bureaucrat by trade and worked to connect many people of the Empire to his father and his government, though most of the time he tried to get these people to go on with their lives and not bother the government he worked for; his employers took this to mean that the people he dealt with no longer had any problems.
As Emperor he took much of the same approach. He used the situation to take on many new reforms in the Imperial system of the Sinicans. Among these new reforms were a start to an abusive expansion of the taxable incomes in the Empire. At first many believed that this was in preparation of a new project, as many such moves had been used for in the past. The Emperor was beginning a new project indeed but it was by far not for the benefit of his people.The new palace of Zhaoxing, which was started in the summer of 932 (179 AD) became a symbol of the Imperial power of the Sinican Emperors. In the city of Xi’an there were many new palaces almost entirely devoted to decadence and vacations for the Emperor and his court. Because of the involvement which the Japanese had in the wake of the fall of the Srivijaya Empire, Emperor Zhaoxing had no problems with his foreign relations. Visiting Emperors from countries like Korea, Tibet, the Maurya, as well as the three Kingdoms of Southeast Asia, the Khmer, Thai, and Lao-Cham, and even so far as to foster the outcast generals of the Mongols came to these splendid havens. The Japanese were invited on some occasion but were never recorded to have met. Any visiting diplomat or royal would be treated and be privy to the most spectacular displays of culture and decadence in Sinica. Other than Japan it was, by far, the largest and most populous Empire. The Japanese were still trying to regroup their losses in the South.
Emperor Zhaoxing never started a new road or new canal in his entire reign as Emperor. Many of the old systems which were made by his predecessors were, however, continuing to function. The people, who did not really notice the explosive growth of the Sinican bureaucracy, were content with their government. In the Sinican Council, many of the Dukes who pledged their allegiance to the Emperor were now also content with a lifestyle which left much of the administration of the country to the local governments. Many of the Dukes discontinued the process of elections for representatives and replaced it with a hereditary form of succession.
Emperor Zhaoxing died in his palace due to sleep apnea caused by his obesity. The first son of Zhaoxing took his throne on the first day of the next year, 958 (205 AD). Emperor Dingchen 鼎丞 would follow in his father’s footsteps in more ways than one.
Dingchen was the son of Emperor Zhaoxing and was raised in the lap of luxury. Almost all of his expenses were subsidized by the government of Imperial Sinica. He spent many of his days traveling form palace to palace in order to experience the unique opportunities that they had to offer him. Also, in the other areas of the town which would surround the palaces, it was a great boost to the morale of the still rather prosperous people to know that their Emperor was among them.
The major difference among Emperor Dingchen and his predecessors were his preferences. Dingchen was the first Emperor not to rule from the beginning with an Empress. Though Dingchen was certainly surrounded with women which were all experts in their craft, Dingchen was uninterested. When this proclivity emerged during his adolescence his father ignored it mostly, upon his ascent to the throne this was no longer a proclivity. Homosexuality was not condemned in any of the Oriental societies that existed at this time. Despite this fact the inability of the Emperor to bear a son would prove to be problematic for the discussions around the Empire.
Foregoing these actions Dingchen was one of the first Emperors to begin to embed himself in the actions of the Southern Islands. Even during the time of the Srivijaya Empire it was considered to be an uncivilized Japanese puppet unworthy of their involvement. Dingchen began to refute this claim by making many trips to the Kingdoms of the Khmer, the Thai, and the Lao-Cham on the Southeast Asian Peninsula. These areas had recovered many of their losses from the fight for their independence and the fall of the Srivijaya. It was at this time around the year 965 (212 AD) that the Sinicans began to interfere with the processes which had dominated the politics of this region.
To review, there were two sets of Alliances among the torn apart states of the islands which used to make up the Srivijaya Empire. The Western Alliance was made up of the Sulawesi, the Borneo, the Japanese, and the Manokwari. The Tribal Alliance was made up of the Khmer, the Motu, the Javanese, and the Dayak. Among the states which were not included in this make up were the Tanimbar and the Jayapura. The Tanimbar, which controlled part of Australia on the border of the Motu, were a wealthy area which had grown first from support from all the different countries and then was not able to join any alliance due to its relations with all of them. The Jayapura were a state between the Motu and the Manokwari. They were left out of the mix for the opposite reason as the Tanimbar, they had no relations with any other states.
Sinica begins its Involvement
Among these several islands the Sinicans first appealed to the people of the Tribal Alliance. The chief reason for this choice was the fact that the Western Alliance’s largest member was the long enemy of the Sinicans in the Japanese Empire. Being the most major of the far oriental players in the dynamics of Asia, Sinica and Japan hardly ever cooperated and Emperor Dingchen was not about to buck such a well established trend. After all, he could justify the explorations to the islands by claiming that he could extract some of their wealth for his Empire’s gain. What excuse was there for him to cooperate with the Japanese, let alone for them to reciprocate?
The Khmer and the Japanese, though they did have a marriage arrangement between the King of the Khmer and the, present, sister of the Emperor of Japan, were closest to the Sinican Empire. The Khmer had been seeking a visit from the leader of the wealthy and famous Empire for some time. Dingchen finally accepted at this time. Upon his arrival there was much fanfare and parading in the capital of the Khmer Kingdom, Angkor Thom. The pomp and ceremony was something that Dingchen had grown fond of and used to at the same time. Going through the usual motions expected of royalty at this time Dingchen and the Khmer King, Uthumphon, who was also leader of the Tribal Alliance met behind the closed doors of the Palace of Eternal Peace, home to the King. The issue they settled on was the topic of the Tanimbar islands. The Sinicans were learning quickly about the importance which the Australian colonies gave the states which claimed part of those areas. Also, the stage of affairs in this region was beginning to open the eyes of Dingchen to all the possible wealth which he could claim for himself.
A Dragon among a Field of Ants
While discussing his plans with the leaders of the other states of the Tribal Alliance, the Emperor expressed a modicum of respect for the other states in the beginning of the meeting. However one of the leaders, it is not recorded who, caused a bit of irritation in the mind of Dingchen. Being the Emperor of the largest Empire in Asia and among the leaders of newborn states he expected much more reverence and respect. Dingchen was also isolated in his Empire from any person who would criticise him in any way. One of the stories which emerged from this report and became popular was the rumor that the Sinican Emperor called himself a ‘great dragon’ and the leaders of the other states ‘a field of ants that he could crush with his breath and not even notice.’ This was never confirmed but it started a rage of offense among the peoples of the several islands, including some in the Tribal Alliance.
As it turned out the Emperor did not say this and in reports, which came out after there started to be rioting among the people, by attendants of the meeting the Emperor was not called rude in any way. Though the truth may never be known but the effects are very documented. This was not the only move which made the rioting on these islands appear and consume so many people and their property. It was very common in the Srivijaya Empire for people to declare the scourge that was the Sinican Empire, an attitude they inherited from the Japanese. This sentiment permeated the society prior to the fall of the Srivijaya. When the rumor, which was true, that Sinica persuaded the Maurya into involving themselves with the Srivijaya matched with this arrogance from that countries successor; there was little tolerance left among these people.
The rioting was led chiefly by calls for a declaration of war upon the Sinican Empire, something that the Japanese and many in the Western Alliance desired. Such a bold move may force Tanimbar to move into the fold of the Western Alliance. Sinica and the countries of the Tribal Alliance were not so easily swayed against such a large rival. After the initial outrage from the rumors and stories there started to emerge a new and immense wave of counterclaims which asserted the deceptive and despicable actions of the Japanese Empire. Such stories, which refuted the claims of the Japanese presses and newspapers, would not reach many of the common people of those islands. This event is where the Western Alliance and the Tribal Alliance are no longer trade communities between several states which were working together, but rather, they began to assert warfare by proxy between these same two states which always fought each other.
Hedging the Political Stage
The reason the Motu and the Tanimbar specifically took on the role of making the Tribal Alliance even stronger was that they were closest and most well connected to the large and potentially essential areas which were as yet undeveloped. In what is OTL the Solomon and Polynesian islands, the Motu and the Tanimbar began to build new naval centers on these islands. These islands had been on the margins of Srivijaya interactions but where never formally occupied because they were seen as having no value. The Motu and the Tanimbar built not only the starts of extra military bases but also the start of new states. The Polynesians and Solomons had been sailing around each other for some time now and maintained minimal trade with the islands, especial Papua. It was only after real amounts of money began to flow into these islands that there started to be competitions for leadership.The first Governors of the bases of the Motu and the Tanimbar were the most important men on the island where the base was. Some groups of islands came together under a single authority and almost all of these depended exclusively on the support of these foreign naval bases. The trade benefited the people there and their economy increased tremendously. The largest of the people in this region were the Lapita people who extended from the large, and wealthy, island named after this culture. Lapita Islands, corresponding to Bougainville. The Lapita islanders created the Lapita Admiralty which was led by the Admiral of Arawa who started as a leader for the Motu people in that island. The Lapita Admiralty was bordered by one other state in the Solomon Islands, The Malaita Kingdom, which was led by a king appointed first as an Admiral but who then declared his new title in a thrust for more autonomy from the Tanimbar. Malaita was the principal source of funds for the Malaita in the early days of its creation.
Most of these new ventures were started in the 967 (214 AD) but the Admiralty and the Kingdom did not emerge until around two years later. It would be in that same year a Commonwealth Republic emerged south of these states. They were the islands of Fiji, Vanuatu, and what we called New Caledonia but was known to its natives as Kanak. The Lapita ethnicity existed here also and the trade of the Tanimbar and the Motu reached here quite often and its people knew the ideas of politics very well. They were not ignorant or isolated in any way. Kanak, Fiji and Vanuatu formed a Commonwealth after the style of the Javanese, a people they admired greatly though most of their contact was through other states. Vanuatu contained the capital and largest city of the Commonwealth Republic, also named Vanuatu. Such is the origin of the common name of this coutnry, Vanuatu.
|916-938 (163-185 AD) (L'Uniona Homanus)||929-970 (176-217 AD) (L'Uniona Homanus)||970-1007 (217- 254 AD) (L'Uniona Homanus)|