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Yunnanese Civil War
1983: Doomsday
DD Yunnan collage
Clockwise from left to right: Rebel forces assaulting the government defenses during the Battle of Kunming. Civilians in a destroyed Yunnan town. Early militia group moving in Yunnan countryside. Yunnanese forced laborers.
Date 2008 - February 2010
Location Yunnan, Southern China
Result Decisive Rebel Victory
  • Collapse of the People's Republic of Yunnan
  • Establishment of a republic
Flag of the People's Republic of Yunnan People's Republic of Yunnan DD83-Flag of Yunnan (single) Free Yunnan

The Yunnanese Civil War was a civil war and major conflict in the Yunnan region post doomsday between the generals of the People's Republic of Yunnan and Democratic rebels, known as Free Yunnan. In 2004 the People's Republic of Yunnan's leader, Fu Quanyou, passed away in his sleep. He was succeeded by his generals, whose heavy industrialization projects, other economic strains, and use of heavy human labor began to push the people of Yunnan toward eventual rebellion.

By 2008 the loose resistance and rebellion had escalated into war, with rebel factions officially operating in Yunnanese provinces. The government responded by attempting to stamp down any insurrection, killing many suspected rebels, and burning numerous villages of innocent people suspected of harboring or supporting rebel groups. This action only angered the population further, beginning a civil war by late that year.

Following the costly Battle of Kunming, in which the rebel faction assaulted the capital city of Yunnan, the rebellion would be successful, with the remaining generals and officials of the People's Republic of Yunnan being arrested, tried, and swiftly executed. In 2010 the civil war was officially declared over, and representatives from across the area came together to write a fair and just constitution in May of that year. This would become the foundation for the modern Republic of Yunnan.


Establishment of the PRY

Following doomsday much of China was destroyed or left unorganized, allowing for mass crime to spread, fueled by local military leaders leading raids on their neighbors to survive. Fu Quanyou, the deputy commander of the Yunnan Military District, would become one such leader, leading Chinese raids against Tibet in March of 1985.

Unable to establish a foothold in Tibet, Fu would later turn to Yunnan Province, taking the decaying city of Kunmingto serve as his main base in the region. On 15 September 1988 Fu proclaimed the People's Republic of Yunnan, becoming the main faction in the region. The nation took control over almost all of its previous areas of influence and began to directly control the lands around it, removing any previous leaders of surviving townships and villages. The army put in place harsh measures to control the population, although beneficial for some, it left the quality of life to remain abysmal. Ideas of freedom spread like wildfire in these oppressive conditions, even though most people did not hold much hope for such ideas.

Death of Fu


Chinese forced laborers in the Yunnanese countryside.

In 2004 Fu Quanyou passed away in his sleep. The people of Yunnan would mourn the loss of their leader, while turning to his generals to lead the nation in his absence. Fu's generals took up the opportunity and began to take control of the government after his death. They continued to expand the borders of the nation, placing huge strain on the economy and on the people to continuously expand and adapt, making them vastly more unpopular than the previous government under Fu.

Large industrialization projects were pursued by the new government, making quality of life for most of the nation's population; poor farmers and working class individuals, who were required to work in ever expanding factories or fields. In some regions the new government resorted almost to slave labor to fulfill quotas and feed its demand for expansion. The government would continue to exploit its few resources and its people for years, expanding its industrial base too quickly and too much, at the expense of its people.

Large-scale industrialization and non-stop expansion had begun to take its toll on the people. Many began to spread rumors and ideas relating to "freedom" and "democracy", and some even considered organized plans for a change of government. The people were tired of being ruled over by a harsh government, and many questioned the fact that they held no say in how the nation ran or which areas were integrated into the nation. With no rights on how to run their own or their families lives, many considered a revolution as the best way toward true freedom.


Early Rebellion

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Discarded bodies of suspected rebel supporters.

Support for a rebellion initially originated from newly controlled ares of the Yunnanese government. These newly acquired regions were not used to the harsh treatment imposed on the Yunnanese population, and had lived a mainly solitary and agrarian life before their forceful annexation. Although isolated, many of these villages were subject to raiding in the past, and were equipped to combat the government forces.

People took up arms, along with hundreds of army men who had not been paid or those who saw the plight of the people and decided to help them in their cause for a better life, creating several loose bands of militia, of varying degrees of quality. These rebels declared themselves to be "Free Yunnan", a nation independent of the People's Republic of Yunnan's grasp.

By 2008 the insurrection had grown, causing the loose resistance and rebellion to escalate into war, with rebel factions officially operating in Yunnanese provinces. The government responded by attempting to stamp down any insurrection, killing many suspected rebels, and burning numerous villages of innocent people suspected of harboring or supporting rebel groups. This action only angered the population further, beginning a civil war by late that year.

Organized Revolution

All over the nation poor workers and farmers took up arms, fighting the soldier still loyal to the government. By this time thousands of former government soldiers had defected to the rebels to join in the revolt. In the northern most reaches of Yunnan the rebels managed to establish a small foothold, setting up training camps and other structures in the mountains north of the government controlled land.

Having gained support from many across the nation, the rebels launched their first offensive campaign in December of 2008, leading a small band of rebels from the north to the stronghold at Zhaotong. Maneuvering their main force to the northwest of the city's center, the rebels moved east, seizing the road north of the city, running into the former Chinese province of Sichuan. As a cautious measure, the rebels marched south along the road, supported on their right flank by a smaller force that moved through the countryside. Zhaotong, being one of the poorest regions of the former nation of China, was covered in small fields and hills, which the rebels used to their advantage to cover their advance into the city.

Once inside the city a fire fight ensued between the advancing rebel force and the small, unprepared garrison. The government forces, who had been stretched thin constantly fighting small outbreaks and riots across the prefecture for weeks, was overwhelmed, and forced to fall back into the city. After a short battle in the city center, the government soldiers surrendered, allowing the rebels to officially occupy the city and free it of government rule. The city's fall angered the Yunnanese government greatly, and warranted a heavy counterattack over the next few months. The rebels would use the city as a base of operations, utilizing the stolen government arms and supplies taken or raided in and around the city. Shortly after the city's fall the rest of the prefecture and much of the surrounding area would be declared to be rebel-held territory.

Battle of Kunming

By mid 2009 the rebel army had come close to the capital city of Kunming. By this time government resistance outside major cities was extremely minor, as many government soldiers chose to desert or defect to the rebel cause. On 6 July 2009 the rebel army made its strike against the city, marching a large force from the north to surround the city. The rebels were supported by a second army to the west, blocking government reinforcements and cutting off supplies. Despite the mass surrender of most government forces, the garrison kept within the capital city was believed to be the most loyal, willing to die for their cause then surrender.

As darkness fell the rebel army began to move into place. The government garrison was alerted of the assault when several lines of rebel skirmishers were spotted in a village less than ten miles to the west of Kunming. A small exchange ensured along the road into the city from the west. The government garrison responded by ordering a deadly mortar barrage on the friendly village, killing over 27 soldiers, 82 civilians, and wounding at least 102 others. The barrage continued sparsely into the night, as the rebels slowly progressed closer. Seeing the carnage, loyal soldiers and civilians around the city attempted to flee, with some even joining the fight for the rebels. This helped to allow the rebels to advance.

On the dawn of the next morning, the rebel forces had now successfully positioned themselves around the defenses of the city. Soldiers and militia gathered from the position west of the city from the night before, and reached the banks of Dian Lake. Fierce fighting ensued on the outskirts of the city, with many civilians caught in between the crossfire. As the fighting increasingly got closer, many civilians panicked and attempted to flee the city. The government forces attempted to close all exits, making escape difficult, and spreading their forces thin. The government forces defending the western edge of the city fell in closer to the center in order to establish a better position. Having taken heavy casualties, the front line forces of the rebel support army slowed down its advance to wait for reinforcements. Many soldiers would disobey orders however and would attempt to raid or loot nearby buildings.

In the early hours on the morning of 7 July the main rebel army began its advance toward the city. Forming a line across the northern outskirts, the main advance met heavy resistance from the bulk of the government garrison, and would spend the bulk of the second day hazardously and meticulously clearing government fortifications outside the city. On 8 July to cover government escape to the northeast, the rebel main army sent a detachment to enter the city through Dabanqiao. This 5,000 man force would unexpectedly catch a government force attempting to flank the main advance. This force, having taken much of the city's supply trucks and other equipment, was heavily armed. Caught by surprise however, the rebels were able to destroy large amounts of government supplies before the force had any time to fortify its position.


The rebel charge is cut down by government forces.

Utilizing improvised explosives the rebels initially teared apart the government vehicles, causing the government forces to fall back to establish a better position to defend. The rebels quickly advanced, and met a makeshift defense, lined with sandbags and overturned rubble. The rebel charge would prove to be disastrous, as by then the government forces has adequately deployed, cutting down many with machine gun positions, supported by riflemen and some support units. Overall 900 rebels would be gunned down in the charge, as well as having about 530 wounded. Out of the thousand men who roughly manned the front government lines, about 360 were killed, while another 500 were wounded. Despite eventually gaining an overwhelming advantage by the end of the charge, by then the rebel force had largely dispersed, with the remaining force on the front lines being pinned down and forced to encamp there.

Having miraculously survived the initial rebel charge, the government forces in the northeast outskirts of the city fortified and repaired their position, supported by machine gun encampments and sparse mortar cover. The main rebel assault continued despite the failed charge, sending several waves of light infantry through the city's streets, engaging in bloody and often costly hand-to-hand combat against the government forces.

Fatigued by a harsh campaign defending the central provinces of the nation, the government forces in the city became heavily weakened and demoralized, with many detachments lacking supplies and ammunition on the edge of the city. With the southern army now holding the bank of Dian Lake and the road into the city, a mass surrender ensued among isolated government infantry attempting to hold the south of the city. Of the captured soldiers many would be executed or killed by the rebels, while others managed to flee into the countryside. With the southern end of the city now sparsely and inadequately defended, the rebels were able to gain a decent foothold into the city. The relatively small force of rebels holding the outskirts of the city rapidly advanced, hoping to take advantage of the confusion and destruction in the wake of the surrenders and the bombardment from within the city. The rebel skirmish in the south of the city would continue into the night, as rebel soldiers moved between buildings and along alleyways to establish a position.

The southern defense had broken, and rebel forces had penetrated the city, severally weakening the overall defense held by the government forces. On the morning of 9 July the government defenders became aware of the breach, and organized a last ditch effort to cut back the rebels, drawing forces from the main lines in the north and northeast to afford such an action. In the center of the city the last available government troops at disposal were tasked with defending the city's capital building, while government officials and important equipment was hurriedly retreated underground, into an elaborate system of underground caves created during the Second World War, when the city of Kunming was prepared as a National Redoubt in case the temporary capital in Chongqing fell. Equip with several offices and barracks, the head of the Yunnanese government moved their station to the tunnels fully on 9 July.

Despite holding an adequate defensive position against the main rebel line, government forces in the north of the city would eventually be recalled toward the center of the city to protect the capital. The withdraw gave the main rebel force time to regroup and organize an attack to surround the city's center. By the time the day had come to a conclusion the government force was now completely surrounded, and with no hope of escape, many officers within the building chose suicide, worried of the retaliation and torture the rebels would bring once inside. The main government generals waited, and would eventually be captured on 10 July.

The last government skirmishes came to a close soon after the capture of the government leaders. The flag of Free Yunnan would be hoisted upon the capital building on the afternoon of 10 July, as the rest of the rebel army searched the city. Despite orders not to, many of the rebels would begin looting and raiding the city, resorting to tactics in use since before the Yunnanese expansion. After months of hard campaigning, the city of Kunming was heavily damaged by the invading force, seizing supplies and valuables before departing.


With the capital city of Kunming in rebel hands the revolution had been won. Government efforts following the fall of the city virtually collapsed, with any remaining forces within the city being captured or killed. The ruling generals of the previous government were arrested by the rebels, tried for their crimes and swiftly executed shortly after the fall of the capital.

The responsibility of governing the nation fell into the hands of the people and the rebel leaders, who sought to establish a republican government which would fairly and adequately serve the new nation. Several influential war heroes and leaders from all across the nation would come together in May 2010 to officially design and commission this new nation, writing a constitution that the delegation could agree was fair and just for the people of the nation.

The newly drafted constitution would be completed and signed soon after, granting equal rights to every citizen of the nation, whether male or female, Han or Yi, and ensuring every citizen past the age of eighteen the right and opportunity to vote and have a say in how the nation was administered.

The new government would lift restrictions on media such as radio transmissions and the publication of newspapers with the declaration of media being independently controlled. This gave the people of the nation the right to convey their own feelings and opinions of events occurring in Yunnan. This would prove to be a major step in giving the country a respectable image in front of the world. The previously government-owned newspaper; Times of Yunnan, saw a rapid change in writing style as it went on to become one of the most progressive newspapers within the country, with the harsh censoring finally being lifted.

Massive rebuilding efforts begin to repair the nation after its devastating conflict, transforming into the modern nation of today. Roads were rebuilt and paved, leading supplies to badly affected towns destroyed by the fighting. With the countryside in ruin, the conflict created a refugee crisis, forcing thousands of previously agrarian communities into developing cities, creating a general shift among Yunnanese society. With new found labor the nation invested heavily in domestic industry to reconstruct factories and other fields.

Following the conclusion of the war the nation would adopt new policies for open trade among neighbors in the region, opening further trade routes into Guanxi and Vietnam, and bringing in necessary funds and products. This course of action would lay the foundation for alliances between all three nations in 2011, hoping to preserve peace in the region for years to come.

The new government brought upon by the civil war began the rise of political parties in Yunnan, beginning in early 2011 in preparation for the nation's first election. The rapidly forming parties competed for positions among the nation's parliament, as well as for the first democratically elected premier. Of the early organizations, the three major political forces that emerged were the Socialists, a solely left wing party, the Republicans, a primarily right wing organization, and the Populists, who established themselves as the largest of the three after coming out on top in the first election, with a landslide victory.

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