Alternate History

The Chinese Empire Politics (The Monarchies Map Game)

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The capital of China is Beijing, where the Emperor rules from the Forbidden City. In China, the balance of power is biased even further towards the monarch than in the other Great Powers.

The law and government of the Chinese Empire is based upon the system of Collective Responsibility, which is rooted in the teachings of Confucius. Under this system groups of families are mutually responsible for each others good behaviour and share each others punishments for bad behaviour. Households are organised into groups of ten. Each household sends a representative - who can be male or female - to the monthly meeting of its group, and each such group elects a leader to represent it at the level of government above it. The head of each group is responsible to the level above it for the conduct of all members of their group. This is known as the 'bao jia' (tithing) system.

The bao jia system serves as an extension of the central government. It is the means by which taxation is levied on the populace, and also the means by which welfare and other such things are distributed to the population as they require it. Of course, being run by people the bao jia system is not perfect. As such, there is a large corps of Inspectors, a branch of the Civil Service, who work to enforce the proper running of the system.

With the increased democratisation of the Chinese Empire, and particularly the formation of the constitutional monarchy in 1960, the bao jia system provides a means by which representatives of the people are selected upwards from the mass of the Chinese people and sent to the elected parliament, the Grand Council, in Beijing.

Although China does effectively have the full franchise, membership of the Grand Council remains, in practise if not in law, limited to the upper levels of society, and in particular to members of the progressive School of Practical Learning (SPL). As such the nobility, the SPL and the Civil Service essentially run the country, with one of the former powers in the Chinese Empire, the Imperial Household Department, having been much reduced over the years.

There are no official political parties in the Chinese Empire. However, informal groups of people who share common interests perform a similar function.

The Chinese Empire has a different administrative process and a rather younger history of democracy than the other two Great Powers. The lack of democratisation in China is largely because of China's early withdrawal from WWII, which meant that the government there did not need to appease the people as much during the post-war period as in the other Great Powers. The bao jia system used there provides as much of a democratised system as seems to be required, and also provides a mechanism by which the state can call up troops in time of need. It is also the means by which Chinese National Service is administered.

Although China is a progressive nation, because of its lack of democratisation the Empire is still mainly ruled for China as a whole rather than the Empire as a whole. As such, the various Chinese colonies around the world are ruled in the same way as the internal regions of China. That is, in each one the central government structure is copied, and the region is run by an organisation consisting of three commissions, one civil, one military, and one for surveillance.

China is also quite socially stratified. However, the exams for civil service entry are open to anyone, and schooling is universal, so anyone can rise up the ranks from humble beginnings, even into the nobility, the Grand Council, or the SPL. China's attitude to colonisation and the outside world has varied somewhat with time; it has a definite tendency towards isolationism, but as the Golden Emperor showed it is wise to look outwards, this has never been total.

As part of the reforms of the Chinese system that made it one of the three great powers of the world, Chinese criminal law was codified into a set of written laws, greatly restricting the flexibility magistrates could exercise during trials. The accused were granted some rights, some protection from 'unnecessary' torture, and were not allowed to be jailed for long periods while awaiting trial. The Emperor, particularly the later Emperors, did what was necessary to make the courts as appealing as possible, stressing the rule of law over their own moral influence, and working to minimise the loss of face and fear involved in making an appearance in court.

[For more on the Chinese legal system in the real world see here and here.]

The capital of Chinese America is the city of Yerba Buena [real world San Francisco]. Its northern border with Alyeska is defined by what is the Columbia River in the real world; it eastern border with the British Empire by the Rocky Mountains. It has been blockaded a number of times in various wars.

The Chinese flag is a dragon on a golden field facing a red sun.

China flag mw

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