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The Chinese State Union (中华国家联合, Zhōnghuá Guójiā Liánhé), was a government established by the Empire of Japan during the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1938. It was created has a prospect of being the future government of at least Northern China and occupied territories once a peace treaty or armistice was negotiated.
Theoretically, the CSU controlled all of China with the exception of Tibet, Mengjiang and Manchukuo, the last two recognized as an independent states. In real terms, its boundaries changed as the Japanese gained or lost territory during the war.
During the war, the Imperial Japanese Army committed numerous atrocities in areas controlled by the CSU, including so-called "mopping up" operations to frighten the populace.
At the end of the Second Sino-Japanese and Great Pacific Wars, all political functionaries and personalities where put on trial by various War Crimes Tribunals sponsored by the Allies or the Second Chinese Republic and Manchuria.
The Chinese State, created by the Japanese, was a fragile and nostalgic effort of recreating a bygone society in an age of railroads and airplanes. It was a decision to built a Great unity (大同, dàtóng) in accordance with Confucian values and western learning. Although this idea was alien to common Chinese, it had been publicized and discussed in some circles after the fall of Yuan Shikai. (...) However, the imprint of collaboration with an enemy (the Japanese) would mark its demises.(James Leggert (1960), War and internal crisis. Notes on the Japanese Occupation of China (1960), pag 36.
The CSU was a loose union of Confucian bureaucrats of the former empire, local warlords of the civil war, former politicians of the Yuan regime and westernized technical advisors that tried to create a new and harmonious society that could have the best of the old and new times that swept China since 1911.
The State structure of the CSU was largely the one outlined in the Proclamation of the CSU and Basic Government Act.
- The executive resides in the State President, the Head of State, elected by the National Assembly for a 6 year term and with the possibility of reelection. The Premier and the National Council are the head of government. They are nominated and removed by the President.
- Legislative power resides in the National Assembly, a bicameral legislature composed of a State Council and Legislative Council. The term of the State Council is of six year terms divided into two classes and a Legislative Council of three year terms. The members of the State Council were chosen by the provincial assemblies and special electoral colleges. The legislative representatives were chosen by provincial constituencies and special interest constituencies. Main tasks of the National Assembly are to draft legislation, approve the budget and treaties, and impeach corrupt officials.
- A Supreme Court, nominated by the President on advise of the State Council, directs and manages all courts of justice. A State Prosecutor is in charge of supervising, guiding and enforcing public prosecution on behalf of the State and investigation of criminal cases.
The vote is given to men and women, over 21 years old and that can read and write. Additional property and educational credentials allow to vote in the provincial electoral college of the State Council and have additional votes for the special interest constituencies of the Legislative Council, provincial assemblies and local government.
The National Renaissance League (NRL) is the sole legal political party of the CSU. The NRL was committed to Pan-Asianism, Pan-Chinese unification and mainly to its official ideology, the Great Union. This ideology, based on the Great unity (大同, dàtóng) and its common expression are the five principles of Union. These principles refer to the union of the Nation (understood has Greater China), union of superior persons (scholar-bureaucrats, mandarins or junzi), national economic self-reliance, union of laborers, peasants and capital (a form of corporatism), and union of ideas. Union of ideas refers to cultural unity, sinicization and organization of society in natural hierarchical groups. It includes a segmentation of education in academies and universities for the junzi and vocational agricultural, trade and industrial schools. It also advocates a return to classical values (Confucianism) and purge of modern ideas. National economic self-reliance refers to adopt and promote western science and technology. It includes a greater role of corporatism, nationalization of key industries, economic and social planning to reach the goal of autarky.
The NRL was also linked and coordinated the so called cooperating agencies that included the Nation Labor Service Organization, National Spiritual Guidance Movement, National Women's Association, Chinese Youth Corps, National Committee of Mutual Aid (based on the Japanese tonarigumi) and others.
The local economy was administered primarily for the Japanese Army of the Central Front. Military planners installed an "occupation economy" with wartime money (Japanese Military Yen and native Chinese Yuan), and a Chinese Central Bank with supposedly Chinese entities, but all were administered by Japanese counselors and the Japanese Army in the area. Chinese under the regime had greater access to coveted war-time luxuries, and the Japanese enjoyed things like matches, rice, tea, coffee, cigars, foods and alcoholic drinks, all of which were scarce in Japan proper. Additional entertainment, such as brothels, casinos and bars, were managed by the Japanese and local functionaries for the military. The purpose of this control was allegedly to impede the monetary depreciation of the yen, so as to maintain the strength of the Japanese currency on the continent.
In the Japanese-occupied territories, the prices of basic necessities rose substantially. In Shanghai of 1941, they increased elevenfold. Similar inflation occurred in Manchukuo, despite heavily centralized economic control by the Japanese.
Central Reserve Bank of China acted as the central bank and issued the CSU Yuan.
The CSU had a military force, the United Chinese Army, United Chinese Navy and United Air Corps. Although under control of the Ministry of Armed Forces of the CSU, they were under command of the Imperial Japanese Army and served as an auxiliary force.
Public order was the task of the State Union Police Corps, under supervision of Kempeitai.