Alternate History

Chinese East Africa Rebellions (Washington Shot at Murdering Town!)

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Chinese East Africa Rebellions
ResultChinese victory; Harsh repression
Empire of China Flag of the Qing dynasty (1889-1912)
United Peoples of Africa, various other rebel factions
Zhou Hui (China)
Curu Gacara (United Peoples of Africa)

Note on the name: The uprisings in Chinese East Africa were not part of a cohesive movement, but rather several different factions and alliances. The biggest and most successful faction was led by Curu Gacara and called the United Peoples of Africa. It was an alliance between the Kĩkũyũ, Luhya and Kamba ethnic groups.


The Chinese exploration into Africa began in 1852, during the reign of the Fengzhin Emperor. Just four years after taking the throne he commissioned and expedition of explorers, surveyors and soldiers to explore the possibility of obtaining overseas colonies. In 1850, after two years of trekking through wilderness and establishing relations with native peoples, the expedition stumbled upon a lake so large it seemed as if it were a sea. The named it the Fengzhin Sea because it symbolized the vast tracts of land that the emperor ruled. It was not until 1891 that a British Geological survey correctly renamed it Fengzhin Lake, although in China and the EAC it is still referred to as a sea in respect of the late emperor.

The Chinese Empire began colonization of East Africa in the Late 1850's setting up a trading post in Kismayu as ordained by the Fengzhin Emperor. This stopping point for the modernized Chinese shipping lanes brought huge profits to China and within the rest of the late Emperor's lifetime trading depots were established along much Eastern Africa.

The true settlement and establishment of Chinese East Africa lies with the actions of the Nozhin Emperor. China's exploding population offered no feasible solution on the continent. So, to fix this problem, he decided to set up a system of homesteading. A family which worked a land area of approx 50 sq mi would be given that land for free after five years. At first only a few adventurous family departed. But soon letters flowed back from the ones that left of a rich and fertile land. By 1880 an estimated 120,000 Chinese were settled in East Africa. They mostly clustered near the coast and river valleys.

A unique form of spoken Chinese evolved from the colonists. It was a mixture of Cantonese (65% of settlers were from Guangdong Province) and corrupted native words. It was called Ken Ni Wu (肯尼吳).

The treatment of the native by the Chinese was harsh. Entire tribes were enslaved and resettled. Until slavery was abolished in the EAC in 1914 the slave trade thrived in Chinese East Africa. Even after manumission deep social tensions existed between the Chinese colonists and Africans. These tensions, and a tax on spirits, formed the powder keg that set sub-Saharan of Africa on fire.

Brewing Tax

After manumission, most freed Africans trekked in large groups into the interior away from the Chinese towns and cities. They set up farming villages and hunted on the rich, untapped reserve of game. When first word of the successful ventures the Chinese sought to take over them for tax revenues and resources. The army was sent in to build roads, canals and governmental buildings. When the basics were completed, the lush new territory and its inhabitants were ripe for taxation.

After a series of minor taxes on canned goods and postage, the territorial assembly passed a bill placing a 10% tax on brewing liquor of any sort. There were virtually no large breweries in the territory. Most of the liquor came from the farmers inland. The most widely grown crop was maize. But it was difficult to transport. To solve this, farmers would set up communal stills to make corn liquor. With bottles available from the coast, the farmers had a very much reduced transport load.

When the tax was levied, it fell hard on the small farmers. They didn't have much money to begin with, and the tax cut huge swaths into their profits. Talk of revolution was widespread amongst the African farmers. The Holy Roman Empire aggravated the situation by clandestinely shipping small arms and ammunition across the border from Somaliland. This would prove to be ironic, as the German Territory would be affected by the Pan-African Riots, sparked by the CEA rebellions.

Opening Battles

Chinese Retreat


Battle at Ewaso Nyirobi


Chinese soldiers and aircraft gathering for the assault on Ewaso Nairobi.

Chinese Victory


Execution of Curu Gacara

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