April 1997: Hong Kong is returned to the Chinese Federated Union the same way it is returned to the PRC in OTL. Despite being invaded by the PRC, the CFU is considered the legal successor of the PRC - and as a result of the new democratic government, Britain and the CFU were able to return to negotiating table and follow the agreement made in 1982.
The Taliban and Al-Qaeda are formed but they never take over Afghanistan. Thus, the Bamiyan Buddhas remain. The Taliban never captures Kabul and Kandahar so Afghanistan remains a US-friendly nation. In this timeline, Islamic extremists are not much of a concern towards the West as they are overshadowed by communist terrorists. However, the Afghan Civil War continues towards the early 21st century, prompting a US-led intervention in 2004 to finally eradicated the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
After a Second Chinese Civil War, China becomes a democratic state known as the Chinese Federated Union. The new China recognizes the independence of Taiwan, Tibet, and East Turkistan (Xinjiang). Because the New China is democratic, the Umbrella Revolution never occurs in Hong Kong. The YouTube channel China Uncensored or the New Tang Dynasty TV network does not emerge in this timeline for the same reason above.
Falun Gong is permitted in the mainland China by the new Chinese government.
Macau is returned to the CFU on January 1, 2000.
Operation Just Cause, or the US Invasion of Panama, does not occur in this timeline since the United States was focused on World War III. Instead, Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega is disposed in 1995, in a people power similar to the Philippines in 1986. He still serves a similar prison sentence which is off by a few years as compared to OTL.
The September 11, 2001 attacks still happen. However, instead of Al-Qaeda (still exists in this TL but role being overshadowed by the WRA) as the perpetuator, the attacks are conducted by the World Revolution Army. Unlike OTL where the attacks took place in New York City, Arlington, and Shanksville; the Red Army Faction attacked numerous cities in the United States and Western Europe.
The War on Terror still happens but on a different path (-under construction).
Territorial disputes in the South China Sea and the East China like the status of the Senkaku Islands still happen, but they are not as tense as it is in the OTL, due to the Chinese Federated Union's non-aggressive stance towards the issue.
Relations with the Republic of Korea and Japan have improved since 2005, unlike the OTL where the two U.S. allies have bitter resentment over the other due to Imperial Japan's war crimes and brutal occupation of the Korean peninsula. In this timeline, Japan formally apologized to Korea, the CFU, and the countries it affected during the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Apple becomes one of the leading electronic manufacturer post-WW3 as the HQ of Samsung in Korea and Microsoft in Seattle were damaged during the war. The first iPhone is introduced in 2006, a year earlier than OTL. It would take time for them to recover from the damages and be an equal competitor with Apple.
Some technological advancements seen in OTL such as Microsoft Xbox or the Sony Playstation has been delayed by a few years. The latter is due to the destruction of Microsoft's headquarters in Seattle whi