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The Qing dynasty was saved by a powerful military aristocracy. The war against the progressive South, however, has split China apart for nearly a decade.The empire controlled the Northern part of China proper during the Civil War, including Zhili (plus most of the Northeast), Shandong, as well as Mongolia, Xinjiang and Tibet; the strategically superior position allowed the victory against the rebellious Southern Chinese. Da Qing relies heavily on heavy industries and has a remarkaby modern military. It was a modernized military aristocracy that saved the Qing dynasty from its demise; the emperor however, has lost his formerly absolute power and is now an isolated puppet while the state is de facto a military oligarchy. There were still emperors, however, with remarkable political influence. Manchu traditionalists were subsequently muted by the Western-style army, while officials far fromp olitical ineptitude conducted much needed reforms. Under marshal Li Hongzhang, Da Qing could successfully neutralize the threats of a rising Japan and an expansionist Russia, while several major uprisings (especially by the Uighurs in Xinjiang) were treated with unspeakable brutality. To avoid further ethnical rebellions, Mongolia and Xinjiang were incorporated as provinces. Apart from that, the newly subdued South Eastern Asian kingsdoms keep losing any form of autonomy, due to the fear of British expansion. Fearing a pro-Japanese orientation in Korea, the kingdom was also de jure annexed into Da Qing (in 1895). This policy has been described as "internal Imperialism" by later historians. Nevertheless, trade with the Apostolic Confederation, Great Britain, France and the US flourishes. In the West, Da Qing is referred to as the "Northern Chinese Empire". Independence movements in the three occupied regions however, are an increasingly problemaric issue to the Military regime, and in these peripheries, Qing China becomes increasingly authoritarian.