China is a large country in Asia, with the highest population on the planet. It is one of the oldest continuous civilizations on the planet, having in its history given several inventions and technological advancements to humanity. An empire until the 20th century, China was ruled by several dynastic movments, culminating the Qing dynasty. Throughout the 19th century, China fell into political and economic decline, and was soon dominated up by several foreign powers, including much of Europe and Japan. Each carved out its own economic sphere of influence within the country. Several wars were fought between China and other foreign powers, and each time China suffered humiliating defeat.
In the early 20th century, the Qing Dynasty fell, and China became a republic. However, the republic ineffectually lurched its way through the next few decades until the outbreak of the Chinese Civil War in 1927, when the Nationalists and Communists battled for control of the country. Into this came Japan, which in turn lead to the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II as the two warring Chinese factions officially (if not practically) called a halt to the Civil War. After Japan's defeat, the Civil War began again, with the Communists achieving ultimate victory, and the Nationalists retreating to Taiwan.
Officially there are two countries that may be called "China", the mainland People's Republic of China and the Republic of China, located on Taiwan. Diplomatically, much of the world views the mainland as the "proper" China.
In most of the works of Harry Turtledove, the POD arrives when China is still in its republic phase, and still embroiled in the Civil War and the Second Sino-Japanese War. A few have PODs set in imperial China, and one or two are set in the PRC. In the Southern Victory series, the type of government (empire? republic? other?) is never discussed.
China in "Before the Beginning"Edit
China in Crosstime TrafficEdit
China in Curious NotionsEdit
In the alternate designated as 3477, China, like the rest of the world, was politically dominated by Germany after Germany emerged victorious from World War I. Its tremendous size and huge population, however, made it nearly impossible to rule to the same extent that Germany ruled other countries.
Although China had overthrown its monarchy in 1911, Germany restored the Emperor, and continued to rule China through the emperor well into the 21st century.
China in The GladiatorEdit
In an alternate where the Soviet Union won the Cold War, the People's Republic of China was the only viable rival for the USSR. The PRC had carved out a substantial sphere of influence in the world, most importantly in East Asia, but it was not unheard of for China to meddle in Russia's immediate sphere. Most famously, Albanian leader Enver Hoxha had broken with the USSR and turned to China in the late 20th century. Though at some later time the Soviet Union reimposed an Albanian regime friendly to itself, in the end of the 21st century there were still pro-Chinese guerillas fighting the pro-Soviet government.
China in Gunpowder EmpireEdit
China was the easternmost in a string of empires stretching all along the Euro-Asian land mass, which also included the Roman Empire, Lietuva, Persia and the two empires sharing the Indian subcontinent, all of which - though having varied historical and cultural backgrounds - possessed gunpowder and artillery and had considerable stability. There was some trade between the Chinese and Romans, but it was not very important to either empire. Scholars noted that these two empires had a similar problem of their shores being the target of pirates, from Japan and Scandinavia respectively.
In another alternate, where Jeremy Solters' friend Michael Fujikawa went with his parents, China was dominated by Japanese warlords - which gave the Fujikawa family, with their Japanese background, a better chance to blend in. In the messages which Michael sent to Jeremy, he made little mention of the history or technological level of the China in whose North he lived, mainly complaining of having to get up very early for long and boring religious ceremonies, as part of keeping the Fujikawas' cover in that alternate.
China in In High PlacesEdit
China was the richest and most powerful country of an alternate where 4 in 5 Europeans were killed in the Great Black Deaths. However, it never filled the void of exploration and technological development that the crippled Europe left, much to the puzzlement of Crosstimers.
China in Days of InfamyEdit
China was the scene of hard and difficult fighting for the Japanese military. Many of the Japanese soldiers who occupied Hawaii were veterans of fighting in China. These veterans found occupying Hawaii to be much easier.
China in "Getting Real" Edit
By 2117 China was the sole superpower overtaking the United States during the previous century. In addition to its military and economic power, China led the world in technological research and development. The U.S. refused to recognize this change in circumstance leading to trade disputes and minor military skirmishes which accelerated the U.S.'s decline.
China in In the Presence of Mine EnemiesEdit
China was an occupied territory of the Empire of Japan in 2010. It was partitioned by the Japanese with a separate puppet state existing in Manchukuo under an emperor. The Japanese made a systematic use of it as a pool of virtually unlimited cheap manpower.
China in "Les Mortes d'Arthur" Edit
By the twenty-second Century, China had overthrown Communism and restored its status as an empire. It was wealthy enough to send a large team to Mimas, a moon of Saturn, for the sixty-sixth Winter Olympic Games but not so wealthy as to have them sent early to train in the low-g environment.
China in Southern Victory Edit
China was a minor ally of the Entente during the Great War, even though no fewer than four Entente nations (Britain, France, Russia, and its hereditary enemy Japan) had carved out colonial spheres of influence within Chinese territory.
After the Great War, China's economy had grown so dismal that the worldwide stock market crash of 1929 did not effect it; it had no wealth to lose. Japan also gained much influence in Chinese affairs during this period, and at times even resorted to aerial bombings of Chinese cities.
China in The Disunited States of AmericaEdit
China had dissolved into various autonomous provinces in the 20th Century. Two or three of these were considered great powers of the world.
China in The Guns of the SouthEdit
Some of the AK-47s delivered to the Army of Northern Virginia by Andries Rhoodie carried marks proclaiming themselves to have been made in the People's Republic of China. The Army's staff officers pored over maps of China in atlases but were unable to find any section of the country known as the "People's Republic."
China in "The Last Article"Edit
China in The Two GeorgesEdit
China was a British protectorate. Having secured complete control over the Chinese economy and shut out rival colonial powers which sought to carve out Chinese enclaves to themselves was a major source of the British Empire's continuing as a major world power to the end of the Twentieth Century and beyond.
China in The War That Came EarlyEdit
In December, 1939, with Japanese forces now engaged in a conflict with the Soviet Union, Communists launched a series of terrorist bombing raids on various Japanese positions in all of China's major cities.
Despite the Japanese occupation, the United States, officially a neutral, maintained military garrisons in China to protect its national interests.
China in "Vilcabamba"Edit
When the Race's Conquest Fleet arrived in 1942, China had been locked with Japan in the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Race quickly took control of Chinese territory (and first made the acquaintance of ginger) and would continue to hold it throughout their war with the major Tosevite not-empires. However, administering China proved no easy task, as the Race was constantly resisted both before and after the Peace of Cairo by both the Kuomintang and Mao Tse-Tung's Communist forces (with the support of the Soviet Union as well as the United States).
In 1964 the Race was temporarily expelled from many of China's major cities including Beijing by a coalition of Chinese factions. While this rebellion was eventually put down, a second mainly communist rebellion employed anti-tank and anti-air missiles to drive the Lizards from Beijing and other cities in 1966 and hold them for a longer period of time. Though the Lizards eventually retook the rebel controlled-territory, they realized that it would probably be necessary to negotiate with the various factions.
China is not addressed in Homeward Bound, so its history after 1966 is unknown.