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The Chinese Civil War 1908-1913 (Early World War I)

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Pre Civil War, 1907 

After the Russians relinquished claims to Manchuria in 1906, the Japanese declared it a jointly controlled territory (jointly controlled with China) under the terms of the Russian-Japanese peace treaty. Now though the Qing Chinese Empire wanted its land returned as the threat of attack from Russia had disappeared following the peace treaty. However the Japanese wanted to keep Manchuria as they had uncovered large mineral deposits needed to help the Japanese economy and improve the Japanese metallurgy business. This isn't seen as a good enough reason to give Manchuria to Japan, and Qing China declares war against Japan on March 23rd 1907, in order to protect China's sovereignty and to retake Chinese land, starting the second Sino-Japanese war (however it was still included in the World War one, but as the Sino-Japanese campaign and The Chinese Civil War 1908).. The Qing government expect the war to be an easy one at this point in time, due to the Japanese being devastated after the war with Russia.

Qing agents are sent into Manchuria, where they start revolts in Manchuria against Japanese rule and the Chinese attacked the Japanese on two fronts, Taiwan and Manchuria. These revolts were stopped eventually with the promises of greater autonomy and the establishment of their own independent Manchu state (basically it would be a protectorate of Japan), Korea is also offered a similar deal in order to contribute more to the war effort, as the Japanese economy was exhausted after the war with Russia.

The Chinese invasion of Manchuria was stopped quickly by the Japanese main defences but the Japanese main defences were quite a way from the Manchuria-China border so the Japanese lost a fair amount of land. However after the Chinese were brought to a standstill by the main defensive line of Japanese machine guns, the large Chinese armies were kept at bay.

The Chinese invasion of Taiwan was stopped pretty quickly due to the presence of the British fleet, the British then left to join Hong Kong, the British then declared war on China and they attack China from Hong Kong. Needing allies to help stop the massive Chinese army, at the same time as fighting the Russians, the British go to the Portuguese and offer territorial gains to their colony of Macao if they join Britain & Japan in fighting China. The Portuguese agree and send a fleet with around 3000 men, however this was kept secret until the fleet arrived in Macao, which was in December that year, which was when the Portuguese had declared war on China, just before a surprise Portuguese attack begun. Germany also expresses interest in joining the war against China in order to expand the German territories in China.

A temporary cease-fire is declared in the later days of December (18th-31st) Peace talks begin between Qing China, Great Britain, Portugal, and Japan; with Germany moderating in the late days of December.

The Beginning of the Chinese Civil War, 1908

The Peace talks continue for 3 more days, but they fail, mostly due to the insistence that China as well as giving up Manchuria, also cede land to Portugal and Germany. China declares war on Japan, Britain, Portugal and Germany. China joins with France and the Russian Empire after signing an alliance to join the blues in order to fight against the mutual enemies of Britain and Germany. The allies/reds begin to fund Chinese separatists and republicans in order to wage a larger scale war against the Qing Chinese. This causes several anti Qing groups to be formed which join the reds who are the Nanman republicans, Chinese Democrats, Tibetan separatists, and Mongolian separatists. Chinese communists also arise too as well as Chinese anarchists and lots of other little warlords (the warlords are mostly in the North West Xinjiang region).

The British and Portuguese lines in the south of China are extended as the Chinese are pushed back. This starts the Chinese Civil War and the disorganized Chinese armies are pushed back out of Manchuria by the combined Manchu-Korean-Japanese armies; this mainly Japanese army gains more support from the Manchu population as the terms of Manchu independence are seen as better in terms of autonomy, as the Manchu people would be almost completely independent apart from they would be forced to help Japan or Korea in war (and vice versa though), major decisions (e.g. declaring war, expanding, alliances, trading agreements, foreign policy, etc) would have to be okayed by the Japanese Diet too; but this protectorate status was better than being an autonomous state in the Chinese Empire. The British & Portuguese advance slowly mainly due to the fact the Chinese outnumbered them and so had to make use of their modern weapons and a defensive advance (creating lots of defences while advancing, like building trenches) in order to keep the control of battle situation. Mongolian separatist forces also readied up in the North fairly quickly and a few Japanese units marched to Mongolia to organise the Mongolian armies so they would fight in balance with the others. The British also did a similar thing with the Nanman and Tibetan separatist forces too.

The Chinese Civil War in 1909

The French colonial forces in French Indochina lose control of Laos and North Vietnam. The remaining French colonial forces in south Vietnam and Cambodia surrender with there situation looking hopeless. Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia are declared independent states soon after. They are forced into attacking Qing China with the British Indian forces from Vietnam and Laos as part of the conditions for the British helping these respective nations gain independence. This is done by the British in order to give more support to the Nanman republicans. However this force going into China is mainly British as the Laos, Vietnamese and Cambodians are more focused in nation building.

The Guangxu Emperor & Dowager Empress Cixi both die (Dowager Empress Cixi dies first & has Guangxu killed to stop him from reforming the nation) and chosen by Dowager Empress Cixi while on her deathbed, Pu Yi ascended the throne aged 2 years and 10 months in December 1909 following his uncle's death on 14th November. He was titled the Xuantong Emperor. Zaifeng, 2nd Prince Chun is chosen as regent to rule in Pu Yi's place, he is mostly controlled by the war council fighting against the foreign invaders, and China's economy enters a phase of total war with all resources going towards the war effort. The war for China does get better in some ways with the economy now focused on the war but the Tibetan separatists are aided by British Indian troops and by December have control of Tibet and plan to attack China Proper. The Mongolian Separatists gain control of Outer Mongolia and continue to take over Inner Mongolia too and also the Portuguese advance with the British and they both besiege and take over Canton. The Chinese Empire loses further ground as the Manchu/Japanese/Korean line is strengthened as the Chinese Democrats ally with them and consolidate their hold in North East China.

The Chinese anarchists have more revolts across China but they begin to convene around the Ordos desert, making it a lawless land of outlaws and anarchists. The Chinese Socialists consolidate their control around Shanghai and south west inner Mongolia too. Plus the Xinjiang region becomes virtually lawless with hundreds of outlaws, roueu generals, mutinying army regiments, etc. Most of the north of China is now not under Imperial control and the Chinese Imperial government looks unstable in central China Proper too.

Events in Asia 1910

Yuan shikai

General Yuan Shikai, later Emperor Yuan

The Chinese Civil War rages on, becoming especially bad in the North of China. This large amount of bloodshed and the incompetent government, causes the New Han Rebellion to break out in China, this causes the Manchu Qing Dynasty being overthrown and exiled into Manchuria. General Yuan Shikai lead this rebellion and established the New Yuan Dynasty with himself as Emperor Yuan. The new Emperor signed the treaty of Luoyang (which he later changed the capital to) and the Chinese Emperor declared that the Chinese Empire, is to be a land for the ethic Han and had the Great wall of China as the Northern Border.

The treaty of Luoyang , 1910

The main points of the treaty included:

  • The New Emperor of the Chinese Empire is to be former General Yuan Shikai, now known as Emperor Yuan.
  • The former Imperial Chinese Dynasty of the Manchurian Qing Dynasty, are to be removed from power, and the New Yuan Dynasty are to take control of the Imperial throne.
  • The Chinese empire is to be reduced to China Proper, and it is to be a land for only the ethic Han Chinese.
  • The Great wall of China is to be rebuilt and it will serve as the Northern Border of the Chinese Empire.
  • The Chinese Empire grants and recognises the independence of a Nanman state, to be known as (the Republic of) Nanman.
  • The Chinese Empire grants and recognises the independence of a Manchurian state, to be known as Manchuria.
  • The Chinese Empire grants and recognises the independence of a Mongolian state, to be known as the Mongolian Kingdom.
  • The Chinese Empire grants and recognises the independence of a Tibetan state, to be known as Tibet.
  • The Chinese Empire grants and recognises the independence of a democratic Chinese state, to be known as the Chinese Democratic Republic (CDM).
  • The Chinese Empire cedes land to the Kingdom of Great Britain so that her Hong Kong colony may be expanded
  • The Chinese Empire cedes land to the Kingdom of Portugal so that her Macau colony may be expanded. This includes the ceding of the Leizhou Peninsula to Portugal.
  • The Chinese Empire cedes the island of Hinan, the Spratly, Pratas and Paracel Islands; to the Empire of Japan.
  • The Chinese Empire renounces its control over the lands in the Northwest of the former Qing Chinese Empire. Xinjiang is to be unclaimed at the signing of this treaty, and any country who wishes to do so, and is able to, may annex this land.

This treaty however was not offered to any of the various warlords in Xinjiang. This caused some of the warlords in Xinjiang to try and consolidate their territory, however they where no match for the more organised Chinese Communist groups, or the Chinese Anarchist groups; let alone the invading Mongolians, Chinese Democrats, or Turkmenis. The vast majority of the Chinese warlords continued to plunder, fight, rape & pillage. The anarchists and Communists however where more committed to their own respective causes, and realizing the fact their controlled territories weren't internationally recognized and they both began to stabilize their regions. Other than these nations, organisations, groups and warlords; most other nations could move into a period of peace. This included New Yuan China, Manchuria, Korea, Japan, Portugal, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Nanman and Tibet. This treaty basically ended the Civil war in China, but some former Chinese relinquished lands continued to wage war against one another.

1911

The ousted Xuantong Emperor Pu Yi of the former Qing dynasty in China, was then taken in by the rulers of Manchuria and Pu Yi is declared head of state and Manchuria became a constitutional monarchy, known as the Empire of Manchuria. However the Emperor was mainly just for green stamping things and for nationalist purposes, meaning that Pu Yi had very little say in how things were run (this is also due to his age).

The Mongolians, Chinese Democrats, Chinese Anarchists, Chinese Communists and Turkestan intensify their efforts to annex the unclaimed land, left by Qing China. Lots of the warlord factions are defeated by these big 5 regional powers, as Xingjiang begins to return to law and order.

The Chinese Civil War, 1912

The superior forces of the Mongolians, Chinese Democrats, Chinese Anarchists, Chinese Communists and Turkestan continue to push back the various Chinese warlords in the north as the Chinese Civil war begins to finish.

1913

The Chinese Civil War

The remaining Chinese warlords are beaten by the Chinese Anarchists, Chinese Democrats, Mongolia, Chinese Socialists and Turkestan respectably. This causes the Treaty of Borzson to be created and signed on June 1st by the Chinese Democratic Republic, The Mongolian Kingdom, Ordos Free State, The Chinese Socialist Republic (CSR)and the Empire of Turkestan. This treaty mainly fixes the signing countries borders among things; this causes Turkestan, Mongolia and the Chinese Democrats to leave the war; however the Chinese Socialists and Ordos Free State feel like their borders should be different and the Ordos-CSR war begins. However this only lasts until December 31st with the two nations coming to a standstill and the agreeing to the previous borders. This is also known as the useless war of Ordos-CSR due to neither side gaining anything.

1914 onwards- a new era for China

Even though the actual 'Civil war' in China ended in 1910 because of the treaty of Luoyang, the war still raged on in former Chinese lands which had been denounced by the New Chinese Emperor. The last bit of fighting ended on the 31st of December 1913, meaning that the new year of 1914 was brought in with a considerable cheer from the Chinese people as peace had finally returned to the land. Even if wars were still continuing in other parts of the world, the Chinese didn't care, and they set about building their new nations.

Map of Asia 1915

Asia after the first World War

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