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The Imperial Chinese Province of Leifia, Chinese Leifia, 南鳥人的土地 (Land of the South Bird People), is a province of the Chinese Empire on the Western coast of Leifia (OTL Coastal California between Oregon border and Bay Area). It is bordered to the North by Natinixwa and Shastaland, and to the East by Wintuland, North Yokutland, Western Maiduland and Nisenanland. Ohlonemark and South Yokutland lie across the bay to the South. The capital of the province is Lingyu and it has a population of around 841,000.
The province is officially ruled by Emperor Yongye but in reality the Governor, Prince Taiji, rules the country and enjoys much personal freedom.
The official language is Mandarin Chinese, but Patwin and various related languages are much more widely spoken. A hybrid 'Patarin' is slowly evolving however.
Its currency is the Chinese Leifian Yuan (CLY). This currency is based on the Chinese Yuan but its exchange rates are independent, in recognition of the huge distance between China and its Leifian province. Many neighbouring nations also use the CLY.
Chinese explorers first visited Leifia in the 1420's. Álengsk traders witnessed the landfall of Zhang He's vast fleet in the autumn of 1420. They had hoped to reach Mexica, but were hopelessly off course. They met and traded with the local peoples of Leifia some 2,000 miles north of Mexica. Originally disappointed with the trading opportunities there they ignored the central Leifian coast for several decades.During that time the Patwin Federation rose on the back of a general alliance between several large tribes on the Western Leifian coast. They subjugated their smaller neighbours and expanded their influence down to the Xakxwet River (OTL Colorado River). There they would begin to come into conflict with the Mexic. A series of wars fought across the deserts kept the predatory Mexic, although more interested in the wealthy East of Leifia, away from the booming populations to the north. It also allowed the Patwin to turn their federation into something akin to an empire, with their neighbours keen to continue their link to the prestigious and successful rulers. As the Patwin became the centre of a diverse and prosperous region so China again became interested in trading there, establishing the port town of Lingyu in 1694, deep inside the Great Bay, and attracting many thousands of Chinese immigrants, many of whom had been expelled from Mexica. This port would eventually become the centre of Chinese trade with Leifia and a clearing house of sorts.
This Patwin dominance lasted until around the 1730s when an increasingly useless series of kings began to appear on the Patwin throne. This eventually led to a power vacuum at the centre and the Wars of Patwin Partition. Afraid that their interests at Lingyu were under threat by the Patwin's increasingly confident neighbours, the Chinese began propping up the regime, and slowly taking over the organs of government. By the time it effectively ran the armed forces and the foreign service it was able to carefully dismantled the Patwin Federation to keep its neighbours friendly but dependent, whilst keeping a unified army capable of holding the Mexic at bay. In 1853 the final Patwin king died and the chief Chinese minister usurped the throne and declared himself Prince. A further two successful campaigns against the Mexic cemented his and his close associates' rule.
Though it has not always had great relations with its neighbours, especially with Ohlonemark to the south, Chinese Leifia remains the pre-eminent power in Western Leifia and is widely respected as a deterrent against Mexic intrusions.
As in the Chinese Empire itself personal freedoms are tightly proscribed. Tribal councils are allowed to continue but these have little practical power. All national decisions are made by a powerful cabal of closely knit ministers surrounding Prince Taiji.