マン ジョウ ゴーン ホーァ グオ
Motto: ㄖㄤ ㄨㄛㄇㄣ ㄉㄜ ㄇㄚㄋㄗㄨ ㄍㄛㄋㄍㄏㄝㄍㄡ ㄓㄢㄈㄤㄌㄜ ㄩㄧㄑㄢ ㄋㄞㄌㄧㄋㄍ
Ràng wǒmen de mǎnzú gònghéguó zhànfàngle yīqiān niánlíng
Anthem: ㄇㄚㄋㄗㄨ ㄍㄡ ㄍㄡㄍㄝ
Mǎnzhōu guó guógē
|Recognised languages||Mongolian, Korean|
|Government||Unitary semi-presidential republic|
|Liu Zhou (Manzuxiehui)|
|Yu Qiang (Manzuxiehui)|
Hu Zhengming (Manzuxiehui)|
Feng Huiyin (NPP)
|11th December 1944|
|3rd May 1946|
|30th November 1989|
|788,100 km2 (304,300 sq mi) (37th)|
• 2013 estimate
|139/km2 (360.0/sq mi) (90th)|
|GDP (PPP)||2015 estimate|
|$1.902 trillion (13th)|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2015 estimate|
|$935.5 billion (16th)|
• Per capita
high · 57th
|Currency||New Manchu Yuan (元)|
|Time zone||UTC+8 (China Standard Time)|
Manchuria /mæŋˈtʃuːriə/ (About this soundlisten) (Manju Gurun in Manchu; Манҗу Гуңхего in Manchu Cyrillic), officially the Republic of Manchuria and unofficially as the Manchu Republic ,is a sovereign state in East Asia. It borders Russia to the north, Mongolia to the west, China to the southwest, and Korea in the southeast. Its capital is Changchun, and its former capital Mukden is the largest city. Its population of 121,204,300 is one of the largest on earth.
While Manchuria was dominated by Korean and Chinese dynasties, they were mostly dominated by Tungusic peoples such as the Jurchens. The region was the center of the Jin Dynasty from 1125 to 1234, when it was conquered by the Mongol Empire and its Yuan Dynasty. Southern Manchuria fell under Ming rule, but the northern parts remained outside Chinese control. The Jianzhou Jurchen chieftain Nurhaci later took over the Jurchen tribes in the 1600s, culminating in the Qing Dynasty founded by Hong Taiji in 1636, and later conquering China by 1644. Intrigues by Russia led to the loss of Outer Manchuria by 1860, with Manchuria coming under Russian influence by the late 19th century. During the Xinhai Revolution of 1911, which saw the collapse of the Qing Dynasty and the formation of a republican government, Manchuria declared its independence and formed the First Manchu Republic which lasted from 1912 until its collapse in 1920 at the end of the Sino–Manchurian War. Despite its fall, Manchuria would see a major guerilla war be waged by the Manchu National Army which undermined the Chinese administration in the region.
In 1931, Japan had invaded Manchuria and established the puppet state of Manchukuo in its place winning the support and collaboration of many Manchu nationalists, though the MNA continued to resist throughout the Second Sino-Japanese War and Great War I. In August 1945, the Manchu Revolution was launched and saw nationalist and communist forces launch a multi-front offensive during the closing days of the war and captured most of the region proclaiming the Second Manchu Republic. The republic was short-lived and in 1948, it was succeeded by the Manchu People's Republic after the Communist Party of Manchuria secured a major victory in the 1948 legislative election. Unlike the neighboring People's Republic of China, the Manchu People's Republic was a traditionally Marxist state in contrast to the Landonist governments in China and much of Anglo-America.
Throughout the Cold War, Manchuria aligned itself with the other Landonist/Communist states in the world, but in the 1960s Manchuria was at odds with China due to the latter breaking off ideological ties with the Union of American States in the Sino–Unionist split. During the split, Manchuria supported the American Union and this saw major tensions between China and Manchuria culminating in the 1970 October crisis which ended with a truce and de-escalation in the region. By the 1980s, the Manchu People's Republic was suffering from stagnation and corruption and by 1998, protests broke out in the Orchid Revolution bringing an end to the regime and formation of the modern-day Third Manchu Republic by 1999.
Although having the 15th largest economy in the world, Manchuria suffers from economic problems and income inequality, as well as widespread corruption in the government. The government is only successful in privatizing smaller businesses, with the larger businesses remaining state-owned or owned by former government officials. It maintains amicable relations with most of its neighboring countries, and is a member of the United Nations, the G-25, the World Trade Organization, the Shanghai Co-Operation Organization, the World Bank, the Asian International Investment Bank, and the Asian Development Bank.
The term "Manchuria" is officially recognised as an exonym by the Manchu government, which normally uses the term of "Manchu Republic" (, Mǎnzú Gònghéguó; ᡤᡠᠨᡥᡝᡬᠣ ᠮᠠᠨᠵᡠ, Gungheg'o Manju). In Manchuria, it was originally called the "Three Eastern Provinces" or the "Northeast" until it was discouraged by the Manchukuo government. The word Manju is preferred. "Manchuria" meanwhile comes from the English translation of the Japanese word Manshū, and has originally traditionally been associated with Western and Japanese imperialism of China.
The term "Manchu" comes from the name Manju, which was applied to the Jurchen people (who mainly resided in the northeastern parts of China) by the Qing emperor Hong Taiji who became subsequently known as the Manchu people, although the Manchu people never referred to their homeland as "Manchuria". Rather, originally the Qing named these northern regions as the "three eastern provinces" (三東省; Dōng Sānshěng), but provincial changes in 1907 saw the territory renamed as the "Three Northeast Provinces" (東北三省; Dōngběi Sānshěng), and was often referred to as simply the Northeast (東北; Dōngběi) which remains one of the modern colloquial names for the country. Other names used to describe the region include Guandong (關東; Guāndōng) which translate to "east of the pass" or the previously mentioned Guanwai which translates to "outside of the pass" both of which are used to describe the regions proximity with the Shanhai Pass.
The Japanese puppet state in Manchuria saw the region named as "Manzhouguo" (滿洲國; Mǎnzhōuguó) which meant "Manchu State". In Japanese it was called "Manshū-koku" (満州国). In 1934 Manzhouguo was renamed as the Great Empire of Manzhouguo (Chinese: 大滿洲帝國, Dà Mǎnzhōu Dìguó; Japanese: 大満州帝国, Dai Manshū Teikoku).
Communist Manchuria was officially known as the Manchu People's Republic (, Mǎnzú Rénmín Gònghéguó; ᠨᡳᠶᠠᠯᠮᠠᡳᡵᡤᡝᠨ ᡤᡠᠨᡥᡝᡬᠣ ᠮᠠᠨᠵᡠ, Niyalmairgen Gungheg'o Manju). Although there are proposals to rename Manchuria, these suggestions were never realized with the majority of countries continuing to use Manchuria.
Archaeological evidence shows that Manchuria has housed human life from the neolithic period onwards. Notable neolithic cultures found in modern day Manchuria include the Hongshan, Xinle and Xinglongwa cultures.
Manchuria has been ruled by the native ethnic groups of the region such as the Xianbei, Donghu, Khitan Sushen, Mohe, and Wuhuan kingdoms which was mainly ruled by Tungusic peoples (such as the Jurchens, Ulch and Nanai ethnic groups). The region also came under the control of various Chinese dynasties such as the Han, Cao Wei, Tang, and Western Jin. Korean kingdoms such as the Gojoseon, Buyeo, Goguryeo, and Balhae. In the latter two Korean kingdoms Tungusic aristocrats ruled rather then the previous Korean warlords. The kingdom of Balhae saw the region develop into a medieval feudal society with the inhabitants starting to create their own culture unique from those of the southern regions and that of the Korean peninsula. The continued dominance of the Song dynasty saw the Mongolic Khitan people of modern day Inner Mongolia conquer surrounding regions including Manchuria in the creation of the Liao dynasty (officially known as the "Great Liao"). The Liao empire was the first to incorporate the entirety of modern Manchuria within its boarders. Under the Liao empire the Jurchen people (who preceded the modern day Manchu people) were tributaries to the Liao mostly living in the forests in the northeastern parts of the empire.
Around 1115 the Wanyan clan of the Jurchen people enacted the Alliance Conducted at Sea which saw the alliance between the Wanyan and the Song dynasty, who invaded the Liao dynasty with the Wanyan creating the Jin dynasty ("Great Jin"). The Jin soon fought both the Liao and the Song in a series of military campaigns. A migration of Han Chinese occurred in the Great Jin with the former ruling Khitan people either being assimilated or exiled to Central Asia. The Jin became significant for spreading Buddihism from the Song dynasty throughout the region.
In 1149 Hailing Wang, grandson of Jin dynasty founder Wanyan Aguda, overthrew the incumbent emperor taking over the position himself. Hailing had ambitions to rule the entirety of China, and begun the sinicisation of the Jurchen people as well as move the capital from Huining Fu to Yangjing (modern day Beijing). Despite his adoption of Han traditions and encouragement of Han migration, Jurchen aristocracy remained dominant within the empire. Hailing however was brutal to what he perceived as dissident lords, having 155 Jurchen princes executed. This caused division in the Jin's ruling class, with Hailing's invasion of southern Song in 1161 prompting two rebellions in northern Jing, one by Khitan tribes, the other by Jurchen lords. Hailing was forced to call off his invasion of the Song to put down the rebellions, which severely depleted his military forces. Later defeats at Battle of Caishi and Tangdao saw Hailing and his son assassinated by his generals in December 1961. Hailing's successor Shizong spent his first years quelling the Khitran uprising. Realising the Great Jin had no military means to fight the Song dynasty, Shizong had a peace agreement negotiated with the Song, named the Treaty of Lóngxīng.
The onset of the 13th century saw frequent attacks upon the Jin by Mongol forces under the control of Khagan Genghis Khan which further weakened the military and political standing of the Jin. In 1211 following the Mongol invasion of Western Xia Mongol forces started to invade Jin causing the Mongol - Jin wars. The onset of these wars caused Khitan tribesmen led by Yelü Liuge to ally with Genghis Khan, creating an ostensibly autonomous state in the upper Manchuria region despite facing attacks from the Jin that were repelled by Mongol forces. Meanwhile the Jin continued to decline thanks to internal strife such as the rebellion led by Puxian Wannu who established the state of Eastern Xia in 1215 with support from the Mongolians. Puxian however rebelled against the Mongols before being exiled to an island giving the Mongolians a chance to annexe Khwarezm, Liaoxi, and Liaodong. A further rebellion among the Khitans saw Yelü ousted with the Khitan trying to also rebel against the Mongolians before they too were crushed by combined Mongolian and Korean forces from the Goryeo kingdom.
Meanwhile Mongolian forces continued to attack key Jin cities such as Datong on the Badger's Mount Campaign and the Jin's capital of Zhongdu. In 1214 Emperor Xuanzong abandoned the capital, where he was persuaded to attack the weakening Song so he could compensate for territory lost from the Mongols. A defeat at the Yangtze River and the ousting of Xuanzong by his brother Aizong saw a peace treated enacted with the Tangut people who were allied with the Mongols. Following the death of Genghis Khan his son Ögedei proceeded to along with the Song dynasty to mount an attack onto Jin, with Emperor Aizong fleeing to the city of Caizhou following the Siege of Kaifeng. Aizongs suicide during the Siege of Caizhou in 1234 and the Mongols victory saw the end of the Jin dynasty, with their lands divided between the Mongols and the Song. Soon however disagreements between the Mongols and the Song saw the Mongols annexe the Song dynasty as well as northern regions of Manchuria inhabited by Jurchen peoples, with the whole northeast Chinese region falling completely under Mongolian control. The Mongols successfully gained suppressed further rebellions under Ögedei such as that of the Water Tatars in 1237.
Manchuria was put under the control of the Yuan dynasty following its creation in 1271 by Kublai Khan. Continued Mongol rule in Manchuria saw technological innovation made with some of the first cannons ever made being manufactured in Mongolian Manchuria. The subsequent expulsion of Mongolians from China following the collapse of the Mongol kharnates saw the Tungusic aristocrats and lords still ally with the final Yuan emperor Toghon Temür. The Ming Dynasty was able to take many southern regions of Manchuria by 1371 three years after the expulsion of the Mongols from Beijing. However, resistance still remained with the Mongolian Uriankhai tribe which resided in Manchuria invading Liaodong in 1375 prompting a war between Manchuria and the Ming, with the latter eventually defeating the Uriankhai.
The Ming under Yongle Emperor tried to pacify Jurchen resistance as well as finally defeat the remnants of the Yuan primarily by establishing the Nurgan Regional Military Commission which coordinated military action in Manchuria. Most notably the eunuch Yishiha led several vogues down the Songhua and Amur rivers managing to coerce Jurchen chieftains to swear their loyalty with the Ming.
The death of the Yongle emperor and the ascension of the Hongxi Emperor saw Ming policy in Manchuria change with expansionist ideals replaced with those that instead advocated for the strengthening of southern Manchurian territories that were controlled by the Ming. Wary of the prospect of a possible Jurchen-Mongol invasion of the Ming a smaller, simpler version of the Great Wall (known as the " Liaodong Wall") was built on the boarder primarily to defend the Ming from Jianzhou Jurchens. Despite this Chinese culture in both southern and northern regions thrived with Chinese cuisine, traditional stories and symbols, New Year, and Chinese products such as cotton spread among the Jurchen people especially those along the Amur river.
The 1580's saw a Jurchen warlord known as Nurhaci unified and conquered several Jurchen tribes north of the Ming boarder such as the Khorchin, Nara, and Hulun. Nurchaci proclaimed himself as the Khan of the Jing dynasty, as well as outlining a list of Seven Grievances against the Ming dynasty. Nurhaci followed this by waging war against not only the Ming but the Mongols, Koreans, and other Jurchen tribes, greatly expanding his sphere of influence. Soon Jurchen forces started to conduct more direct attacks against the Ming, with Nurhaci committing to the aim of conquering the whole of the Ming. The Jurchen were able to speed this invasion with Han Chinese officials defecting to Jurchen forces for the promise of being given a women from the House of Aisin Gioro, the royal family which Nurhaci was the patriarch. Nuhaci saw the formal adoption of the Manchu language in Mongolian script.
Nuhaci also created the Eight Banners (commonly called the Bannermen) which saw military success in Sarhu and Liaoning. However in 1626 Nuhaci was killed in his first major military defeat at Ningyuan by Ming forces led by Yuan Chonghuan. His successor Hong Taiji however continued Nuhaci's expansion into both the Ming territories and Outer Manchuria. Hong Taiji renamed the Jurchen people the Manchu as a possible indicator of his interest in expanding Manchu interests beyond Manchuria as well as utilise Han Chinese defectors to serve in his bureaucracy, in which the Khan played a highly centralised role. In 1643 Hong died leaving no clear successor, with a compromise being reached that his five year old son would be the nominal Shunzhi Emperor whilst his half brother Dorgon served as regent. Meanwhile the Ming started to enter an endless period of infighting amongst their senior officials as well as failing to deal with peasant rebellions. This enabled the a rebel warlord named Li Zicheng to in April 1644 to take the capital of Beijing where the final Ming ruler the Chongzhen Emperor committed suicide, ending the Ming dynasty, establishing the Shun dynasty in its place. Li marched his rebel forces on the Shanhai Pass, which was controlled by Ming loyalists led by Wu Sangui. Wu decided that he would rather ally with the Manchu's then let the pass fall to the rebel forces, resulting in a joint effort by Wu's forces and the Manchu's to destroy the rebel forces in the Battle of Shanhai Pass. The battle also enabled the Manchu's to take Beijing in June 1644 with the Manchu's established the Qing dynasty, with the emperor being named the Son of Heavan in October. It took a further 17 years however for the Qing to take the whole of Ming territory as they battled rebels and loyalists. During this time many Han Chinese joined the Manchu bannermen, where they enjoyed various political, legal and social privileges, with the Manchu's soon becoming a minority. Despite this Manchu leaders quickly began to test their new conquests loyalty with most notably in 1645 regent Dorgon ordered a decree that forced all men to cut their hair into a queue or face death. The queue was seen as humiliating and a contradiction of traditional Confucian values among the Han, prompting widespread resistance especially in Jiangnan, which in itself prompted ethnic killings to be enacted against Han Chinese. During this time the Qing treated the region of Manchuria in a separate fashion acting akin to a highly autonomous region. The conquest of Ming territories saw the Qing name their state China (中國, Zhōngguó) which translates to "Middle Kingdom", with the Qing stressing the ethnic homogamy between Han, Manchu, Mongolian, Uyghur and Tibetan people.
Regent Dorgon died in December 1650, prompting the Emperor once again to amass the majority of power although at 12 years his mother the Empress Dowager Xiaozhuang mainly directed policy. The Shunzhi Emperor however died in 1661, seeing the ascent of the longest serving Chinese emperor the Kangxi Emperor. At only 8 years of age the Kangxi Emperor was at first guided by four senior officials appointed by the Shunzhi Emperor, Sonin, Ebilun, Suksaha and Oboi, each chosen for their loyalty, lack of assertions for the imperial throne and to halt each other from amassing power in the same way Dorgon had done. However soon Oboi started to dominate the Qing state, having Suksaha killed whilst having Ebilun act as his loyal companion. Eventually at a mere 14 years the emperor had Oboi imprisoned, thus beginning his own personal rule. The Kangxi Emperor's long rule was marked with remarkable stability, thanks partly to the bureaucracy that the Manchu's had adopted that saw the creation of the Kangxi Dictionary. Respect for Confucianism saw it possible for Han Chinese to ascend the political hierarchy. Meanwhile the Manchu ruling elite were able to appeal to their Central Asian roots to gather the support from the conquered Mongols, Uyghurs and Tibetans, meaning that Manchu rule remained unquestioned. Ruling such large territory however saw increased autonomy given to feudal lords such as Wu Sangui, Shang Kexi and Geng Jingzhong. In 1673, Shang petitioned for his retirement and for his son to take control over the land ceded to him by the Emperor. After the Kangxi Emperor refused to let his son succeed him Shang along with Wu and Geng initiated the Revolt of the Three Feudatories in August. The insurrection lasted for 8 years with Wu trying to establish himself as the Emperor of a new dynasty, and was able to gin support mainly from people in territories south from the Yangtze river. Eventually a coalition of Manchu warlords led by the Emperor saw the rebel forces crushed in 1681, although southern China was ruined in the process. Following this victory the Kangxi was able to lead campaigns against the Dzungars to strengthen his grip in Outer Mongolia, known as the Dzungar–Qing War as well as annexe Taiwan in 1683.
The Manchurian boarder with the Russia had always been vague with sporadic fighting taking place between the Qing and the Russians since the Russian conquest of Siberia, with the Sino-Russian border conflicts raging for just under 30 years with Russian brutality being widely feared in Manchuria. Fighting over the town of Albazino saw the Qing sign the Treaty of Nerchinsk, marking the Qing's first contact with a major European power. The close of the century and the end of the Kangxi Emperor's reign in 1722 saw the Qing reach the zenith of its existence with the largest economy in the world as well as being one of the largest empires by that point. During this time the Qing were able to halt mass Han emigration to Manchuria thanks to the construction of the Willow Palisade that separated Manchuria from China proper.
In 1722 the Kangxi emperor died leading to the appointment of the Yongzheng Emperor, who implemented measures that saw greater suppression of anti-Confucian and anti-Manchu ideals as well as banning Christianity and expelling all Christian missionaries. He also created a Grand Council that served as the executive power behind the emperor, as well as enforce land tax from all local lords. This enabled the Yongzheng emperor to build infrastructure around his empire especially in the northern Manchurian regions, although a financial crisis still persisted. The Yongzheng emperor's death in 1735 saw his son become the Qianlong Emperor who subsequently conquered larger swathes of Mongolia and Xinjiang and Tibet, putting down insurgencies and uprisings. Although important cultural advancements (such as the Siku Quanshu) were made under the Qianlong Emperor his rule soon became infamous for establishing the Literary Inquisition which hunted down and persecuted intellectuals and their families if they opposed imperial rule. The empire under the Qianlong Emperor soon began to prosper, with ample food imports coming in from America and a population boom. This however soon became a detriment as overcrowding became common, with only Manchuria having large tacts of uninhabited land. The Qing in an effort to protect their homeland eventually decreed that no Han Chinese could settle in Manchuria on pain of death. The Qing court was also becoming increasingly corrupt, with the Jiaqing Emperor failing to put an end to the corruption despite having the most infamously corrupt man in court, Heshen, commit suicide. In 1796 the White Lotus Society engaged in open rebellion with the Qing. Despite the movement being crushed in 1804 the Qing's authority was starting to become increasingly non-existent.
The weakening of the Qing saw a mass migration of Han Chinese into Manchuria with many of them farming the rich, uncultivated land in Manchuria. The Qing allowed Han to migrate due to famine, floods and drought becoming increasingly common in the southern regions of China. The Daoguang Emperor even had Manchu-only lands sold to Han Chinese to increase agricultural output. However, this policy was soon quickly reversed as a massive backlash from the ethnic Manchu's saw many Han Chinese expelled from Manchuria.
During this time the Qing dynasty was facing many internal and external conflicts. European colonies in India and Indonesia forced the Qing to establish the Canton System which saw all trade filtered through the port of Canton in southern China, thereby restricting European influence. The Britannians performed several unsuccessful attempts to open free trade with the Qing, but they refused almost every offer. Demand for Chinese goods such as silk, ceramics, and tea among others was high among European nations such as Britannia and France, but the Chinese refused all but silver to be imported into China. Frustrated with the drain on silver placed on their economies, Britannia started to import opium into China where its demand quickly sky-rocketed. Concerned with the overflow of silver and the effects of opium the Daoguang Emperor had his aide Lin Zexu confiscate all opium imports into China without compensation and subsequently banned the smoking of it. In 1839 Britain declared war on China initiating the First Opium War. The Chinese soon proved to be ineffective against the British with their wooden junk ships being easily outmatched by British galleons and artillery. The Qing surrendered in 1842 where they were forced to sign the humiliating Treaty of Nanking which saw the Chinese open the ports of Amoy, Foochow, Nigpo and Shanghai as well as allow the British to annexe the port of Hong Kong.
The Taiping Rebellion was launched in opposition of the weakening Qing regime, being led by Hong Xiuquan. Hong was able to establish the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom which outlawed slavery, arranged marriage, opium smoking and foot binding among other things, with Hong stating that he was the brother of Jesus Christ. However internal conflict tore the kingdom apart, as well as French and British military who assisted the Qing's Imperial Army. Zeng Guofan helped secure military victory for the Qing in 1864 but not before over 20 million people died with the revolt being named the bloodiest civil war in history. During this time China was forced to sign several more humiliating treaties such as the Treaty of Nerchinsk which saw large chunk of Manchuria ceded to Russia. In 1868 Russia attempted to expel Chinese citizens from Outer Manchuria, with intense fighting breaking out in Vladivostok after Russian authorities shut down gold mines and forced Chinese people to leave Russia. Low intensity fighting lasted until 1892 when the Chinese were eventually driven out of Russia.
The ascension of the Tongzhi Emperor saw the Tongzhi Restoration, an attempt to preserve the Qing dynasty through the Self-Strengthening Movement. This saw some tepid modernisation with Qing officials such as Li Hongzhang attempting to balance out conservative Confucian values and Western armaments. Armies were reformed with modern organisation and weapons, formed the Zongli Yamen which served as the first proper foreign ministry, and established the Imperial Maritime Customs Service. The Tianjin Massacre which saw the slaughter of French missionaries and nuns, prompted the French to begin Cochinchina Campaign. The Sino-French War saw France conquer the Qing vassal state of Tonkin with the Qing giving up the state in 1885, furthering weakening its geopolitical status. Relations between China and Japan further deteriorated after the Qing intervened in the failed Gapsin Coup in Korea, which in turn led to the 1885 Sino-Japanese War which was a humiliating military defeat for the Qing. The Japanese aimed to take territory in Manchuria, but pressure from Britannia and Russia who had their own territorial ambitions forced Japan to abandon these claims. Nevertheless the prestige of the Qing dynasty in the international scene was rapidly receding as they became unable to govern China. Manchuria was coming under the increasing influence of Russia which helped build the Chinese Eastern Railway.
During this time the Empress Dowager Cixi was taking on an active role in government acting in steed of the Tongzhi Emperor alongside the Empress Dowager Ci'an. The death of the Tongzhi Emperor saw the Guangxu Emperor ascend the throne, a break from the thousand year tradition of the son being the heir apparent of the throne. The Juye Incident which led to German missionaries being murdered saw Germany lease territory in the Jiaozhou Bay which in turn saw Russia gain territory in Liaodong and Britain in Hong Kong. In response to this the Guangxu Emperor led the Hundred Days' Reform which would modernise the ruling bureaucracy and education system. Conservative opposition saw a de facto coup performed by the Empress Dowager Cixi against the emperor, although some reforms were implemented. Drought, political instability and European imperialism led many in Northern China to support the Boxer Rebellion led by the Righteous and Harmonious Fists (or Boxers), a group opposed to all foreign influence in China who killed several foreigners mostly Christian missionaries. The Empress Dowager supported the rebellion causing several powers (Austria-Hungary, Britain, Japan, Italy, Germany, Russia, France, and the United States) to form the Eight-Nation Alliance that besieged Beijing from the 14th August 1900. Chinese defence was hard fought, but ultimately fruitless as the Empress Dowager escaped to the city of Xi'an as the powers formulated a score of demands for the Qing to adhere to.
The Boxer Rebellion saw Russia invade Manchuria and kill a large amount of Manchus and Han Chinese citizens. In response to this the Chinese launched guerilla warfare against Russia, supporting the Japanese in the Russo-Japanese War which saw the Japanese take control over parts of Manchuria, creating the South Manchuria Railway. In 1908 both the Guangxu Emperor and the Empress Dowager Cixi died, with the Guangxu Emperor's nephew Puyi becoming the Xuantong Emperor. The Qing however were rapidly losing power especially after Puyi's father and regent Zaifeng appointed a cabinet that consisted primarily of members of the royal family.
From 1899 to 1911 Manchuria was hit by the third plague pandemic after it spread following the Panthay Rebellion. Local Manchu authorities sought to contain the disease by segregating the Han and Manchu populations, with the Han facing the brunt of the diseases spread resulting in the deaths of over 100,000 Han Chinese. The worst outbreak of the disease was between 1910-11.
Lack of reform, the decreasing decline of the Qing, poor living standards and liberal ideas from the west saw disgruntled military officers, students, and other revolutionaries demand for the end of Qing rule and the creation of a new modernised state. The Wuchang Uprising in 1911 proved to be the catalyst for the Xinhai Revolution that saw republicans led by Sun Yat-sen declare the creation of the Provisional Government of the Republic of China. Yat-sen was declared president, but gave power to Yuan Shikai who led the New Army who had crushed revolutionaries at the Battle of Yangxia. Yuan was then the prime minister of the Qing, having removed Zaifeng from the regency and appointed the Empress Dowager Longyu in his place. Yuan oversaw the abdication of Puyi which took place in 1912, ending two thousand years of imperial rule in China.
Republic of China
Following the abdication of Puyi China was officially under the rule of Yuan's republican government, with nationwide elections being held in 1912-13, with the Chinese Nationalist Party (more commonly known as the Kuomintang) winning the election. The leader and founder of the Kuomintang, Song Jiaoren was assassinated however in March 1913, possibly under the orders Yuan Shikai, after Song had campaigned for a weaker executive presidency. Yuan subsequently became more dictatorial, marginalising the Kuomintang in the national legislature whilst making executive decisions alone. These decisions included taking loans from Britannia whilst giving Outer Mongolia and Manchuria special political rights after facing pressure from Russia and Japan. Sun Yat-Sen urged members of the Kuomintang to launch a revolution against Yuan, but this was crushed resulting in Yuan centralising his power further. In 1914 the parliament was dissolved by Yuan, who restructured the provincial governments so they were ruled by loyal military governors.
In 1915 Yuan started to enforce Confucian ideals in the Chinese government, restoring the Chinese Empire with Yuan as the Hongxian Emperor. This move was widely unpopular as was Yuan's increasing dependence on foreign loans especially to the Japanese. Yuan in the face of international isolation abolished the monarchy in March 1916 - however many provinces had already began a rebellion against Yuan who died in May. Following Yuan's death the central government became increasingly unstable as the region was thrown into a period known as the Warlord Era.
After Yuan Shikai's death in 1916, Zhang Zuolin took over the administration of the Manchurian lands in 1920, he then set reforms that enabled Manchuria, then known as the Three Eastern Provinces, to be relatively unscathed by the chaos of the warlord era in China. Although Manchuria remained officially a part of China, it was effectively isolated from China and protected by Zhang's Fengtian Army, and its naval and air forces are considered advanced compared to the other Chinese states. He tolerated the Japanese presence in Manchuria but is said to be losing patience at their control of Kwantung and the South Manchurian railroad.
Zhang Zuolin also imported workers from China proper to work for Manchuria's factories and farms, originally returning to North China for winter. Now, Zhang made incentives towards the migrant workers and allowed them to bring their families with them, and were given houses that made permanent after five years of continuous residence. 35 million acres had been opened up for agriculture by 1929 as opposed to 20 million acres in 1924. A central bank has been established. Manchuria compared to the rest of China was booming.
In 1926 Kuomintang Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek of the National Revolutionary Army in alliance with the Communist Party of China led a campaign known as the Northern Expedition against the Beiyang government in an attempt to unify China under nationalist rule. The Zhili clique was quickly defeated in Beijing, with the Fengtian clique being pushed back further into Manchuria. In 1927, Wang Yongjiang, a known competent financial adviser to Zhang and head of Manchuria's national bank, resigned in disgust and fled to Shanghai, forcing Zhang Zuolin to appoint a less-competent central bank governor. In 1928 Bai Chongxi defeated the Fengtian army, causing Zhang Zuolin to retreat further into Manchuria. The Northern Expedition saw the Fengtian clique become infuriated with the rapid advance of the nationalists and prepare for a nationalist invasion. Meanwhile the Japanese were afraid that with Zhang's defeat their interests would be weakened in Manchuria. Fearing Zhang would defect to the Kuomintang the Kwantung Army plotted and carried out the Huanggutun incident which saw Zhang assassinated in a train bomb. His successor was his son Zhang Xueliang who the Japanese saw as more subservient.
To the shock of the Japanese, Zhang and the Fengtian Army in December 1928 declared their allegiance to the Kuomintang.
A month after the annexation of Manchuria Zhang attempted to establish Chinese control over the Chinese Eastern Railway prompting there to be a short armed conflict with the Soviet Union which saw joint Soviet-Chinese administration restored to the railway. Zhang was now the de facto dictator of Manchuria, although he remained ardently loyal to the Kuomintang supporting the nationalist government in the Central Plains War. However Chinese-Japanese relations were quickly deteriorating with Japan trying to exert more influence in Manchuria. Japanese intelligence minister Kenji Doihara met with former Qing Emperor Puyi where he proposed to reinstate Puyi as Emperor of Manchuria, an idea already planned by the Japanese government.
In April 1931 nationalist Chinese leaders Chiang Kai-Shek, Ma Fuxiang and Zhang Xueliang met at Nanjing where they asserted plans to further integrate Manchuria into China, mainly by removing Japanese influence and ending the policy of segregation between the Manchu and Han populations. This news was received poorly by Japan whose influence had slowly been diminishing in the region following the overthrow of Zhao's regime. On September 18th 1931 Japanese lieutenant Suemori Kawamoto detonated a small amount of dynamite at the Japanese controlled South Manchuria Railway. The blast itself did very little damage, but this event known as the Mukden Incident sparked claims within Japan that the bomb had been placed by Chinese saboteurs.
Responding to this apparent threat Japan mobilised the Imperial Japanese Army and launched a full-blown invasion of Manchuria on the 19th September. The Japanese quickly captured cities such as Changchung, Kaiyuan, Fushun, Tieling, Siping, Kuanchengtzu, and Anshan. By September 25th the cities of Xiongyue and Liaoyuan were also captured with Japan having full control over the Mukden and Kirin provinces. Japan faced much more resistance when it tried to take the Heilongjiang province in the form of the Jiangqiao Campaign led by Ma Zhanshan, as well as continued fighting in the south led by Zhang. The successful Jinzhou Operation however saw Japan consolidate power in southern Manchuria allowing them to move north. Nationalist general Ting Chao tried to defend the city of Harbin, but on the 27th February 1931 Ting surrendered to Japanese forces. Resistance remained in Manchuria, which was subsequently suppressed by the Japanese for several years following the invasion.
On the 18th February 1932 the State of Manchuria (commonly referred to as "Manzhouguo") was declared with the former Qing Emperor Puyi being appointed as its head of state. The state was officially an independent nation envisioned as a homeland for the Manchu people, although in practice it was a puppet state of Japan who exerted an enormous amount of political and military power over the weak government which was little more then a rubber stamp.
In 1934 Manzhouguo officially became a constitutional monarchy with Puyi being named as Emperor Kāngdé. Political power however continued to be monopolised in the hands of the Kwantung Army who ruled through the Concordia Association which itself was based on fascist parties of Europe. The government itself was totalitarian, corporatist and anti-communist with Manzhouguo being one of the most repressive states in East Asia. Despite calls within Manzhouguo to reinforce the segregation between Manchus and Han Chinese the government instead aimed to unite the different ethnic groups of Manzhouguo. This was likely because Japan saw Manzhouguo as the first step in the creation of what would become the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, with Manzhouguo possibly being built up as an ideal Asian state.
Manzhouguo however did face massive economic growth having one of the largest industrial bases in Asia, being only beaten by Japan and the Soviet Union. Manzhouguo also had its own central bank and currency, the Manzhouguo yuan. In the late 1930's Manzhouguo produced more steel then Japan itself, with coal production exceeding 10,000,000 tonnes. Japan was keen to invest in Manzhouguo's industrial activities and to a lesser extent its agricultural sector which included the cultivation of soy, corn, cotton, wheat and opium poppies. Despite Manzhouguo's economic success, production was prioritised for the Kwantung Army with Manzhouguo being little more then a colony that Japan used to extract resources. Land was redistributed with Japanese farmers gaining the best land, and the traditional farmers being sent to small collective farms.
The continued resistance in Manzhouguo came from members of the Kuomintang, the Communist Party of China, and Soviet aligned groups. One of these was the Communist Party of Manchuria, which splintered from the CPC 1932, and soon became one of the largest resistance groups receiving backing from the USSR. A secret police known as the Hoankyoku was established to stamp out resistance which included members of the Kuomintang who had infiltrated the government.
Manzhouguo became a base for which Japan was able to launch attacks into China from in the Second Sino-Japanese War. Despite the Kuomintang and the nationalists forming an alliance to combat the Japanese, the Communist Party of Manchuria instead resolved to launch operations against Manzhouguo without CPC help which in turn resulted in a split in the Chinese communist movement that was never again unified. Japan also became involved in short boarder wars with Mongolia and the Soviet Union - in both of them Manzhouguo was used once again as the staging post Japan attacked from. Both wars resulted in the signing of the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact in 1941 which saw the USSR officially recognise Manzhouguo.
The outbreak of World War Two in Europe and Japan's singing of the Tripartite Pact saw Manzhouguo be recognised by several fascist European states. These were: Germany, Italy, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, Vichy France, Finland, Denmark, Bulgaria and Croatia. The Japanese controlled Reorganized National Government of the Republic of China recognised Manzhouguo as did Thailand. El Salvador, the Dominican Republic and Spain also established relations with Manzhouguo. During World War Two Manzhouguo continued to be used as Japan's stronghold in mainland Asia, holding several naval vessels during the Pacific War.
In late 1944 discontent against the Japanese was starting to arise in Manzhouguo, being spurred by Japan's military losses in the pacific and China. In 1942, the Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army fled to Mongolia and later to Sinkiang. Zhao Shangzhi was the most prominent leader of the group. In May 1945 Zhao formed an alliance with the Communist Party, and led a full insurrection against the Japanese rallying support from peasants. The Japanese were caught off guard by the rebellion, which was directed against the Japanese and Han collaborators. Fighting was mainly concentrated in the north where the communists had been fighting for over a decade, and where Japanophobia was most prevalent.
The city of Qiqihar was captured by February 1945 by rebel forces leading to the proclamation of the creation of the Manchurian Provisional People's Government with Zhao being declared as its President. Despite this the newly founded republic was beset by conflict from the start - it controlled very little territory and was embroiled in a war against the Japanese and the Manzhouguo government. The new government itself was also seen as a Soviet puppet and at odds with the Chinese Communist leadership in Yenan. Stalin and Mao had negotiated to allow Zhao to become independent, despite Mao's own reservations.
The death of Hitler in Europe and subsequent surrender of Germany saw the Japanese start to prepare for an invasion from the United States. This enabled the nationalists to push forward into Manzhouguo, with Japanese control soon being limited to the Fengtian province. The government however was aware that with Japan facing invasion then the Chinese Civil War would soon resume, and that eventually Manchuria would be annexed by either the Kuomintang or the CPC without foreign support. Zhao Shangzhi's deputy, Yang Jingyu, visited the Soviet Union in May to get political recognition and help. The Soviet Union was obliged to invade Manchuria as per agreements made at the Tehran and Yalta conferences once Nazi Germany surrendered. Yang feared that the Soviets will cede Manchuria back to China as was agreed by Yalta, but managed to negotiate an agreement with the Allies that would see the Soviets would allow a plebiscite for Manchuria's future, was with Mongolia.
The Soviets began the invasion of Manchuria on the 9th August 1945 where they were assisted by the Communist Party of Manchuria. Both the Manchukuo Army and the Kwangtung Army were quickly defeated as the Soviets occupied Mengjiang, southern Sakhalin, and the Kuril Islands. A coup led by rebel Manchukuo officers overthrew Puyi's government and declared a Manchu Republic, with Zhang Xueming, Zhang Xueliang's brother, as President. The Kwangtung Army were able to temporarily halt the Soviets as the Liaodong Peninsula before being overrun. The rapid defeat of Japanese forces in Manchuria is attributed to one of the reasons of their surrender in September alongside the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Manchuria fell under military occupation where the Communist Party of Manchuria under Zhao were already centralising power with former members of the Manzhouguo government such as Zhang Jinghui being arrested. Puyi was placed under house arrest after being forced to abdicate. Zhang Xueming's Manchu Republic government has been dissolved but Zhang was able to be exiled and later served as mayor of Tianjin during the the Communist period.
In August 1946 the Soviets ended their occupation with the Manchu People's Republic being established in its stead. Rigged elections were held which saw the Communist Party win a majority of seats in the Supreme People's Assembly with Zhao Shangzhi being inaugurated as premier. Zhao immediately began building up his newly formed Manchu People's Army drawing from the ranks of the the former Manzhouguo Imperial Army and remaining members of the Kwangtung Army. Zhao also allowed the Chinese Communists to use Manchuria as a base in which they were able to launch attacks from into the territory surrounding Beijing which was held by the Kuomintang. Despite this early tensions began to arise between Mao Zedong and Xu, with the former bitter regarding the decision by the Soviets to allow Manchuria to become an independent state. Nevertheless Manchuria was one of the first nations to recognize the People's Republic of China on October 1st 1949.
Manchuria quickly became a Marxist-Leninist single party dictatorship with all power being centralized in the hands of the Communist Party. The strong industrial base of Manchuria allowed the government to quickly invest in heavy industry and state infrastructure. Typical of postwar communist states like those of the Eastern Bloc all industry came under the control of the state. Land reform was also enacted with all farms being collectivized, effectively breaking the power of the Japanese farmers. Political dissent was ruthlessly repressed with a secret police service (named the People's Security Secretariat, or the Ministry of State Security) being created to monitor the population with concentration camps being established to house enemies of the state. Unlike the denazification process undertaken in Europe many lower ranking bureaucrats of the Manzhouguo regime retained government positions, with the Ministry of State Security being mainly made up of former members of the Hoankyoku. Zhao had a large, expansive cult of personality built around himself.
However the Manchurian government where still worried that the Soviet Union would withdraw support for the government and allow China to annex the country. In order to counter this the Manchurian government supported the newly estabilsh Democratic Republic of Korea's efforts to build up its military in preparation for an annexation of South Korea. On the 28th June 1950 North Korea invaded the South, starting the Korean War. Manchuria was from the beginning heavily involved in the war supporting North Korea. The invasion of South Korea saw the United Nations send a coalition of nations led by the United States and Britain aid South Korean forces. A few months into the conflict saw the North make its greatest territorial gains, taking the South Korean capital of Seoul.
However, the war took a turn for the worse for both the North and Manchuria in late 1950 when the leader of the UN coalition Douglas MacArthur led an amphibious assault into both Pyongyang and the Liaodong Peninsula. Coalition forces subsequently overran much of North Korea. The Manchurian army initially did not want to interfere on behalf of North Korea. However, the coalitions advance brought them to the Manchurian border, and Zhao, fearing he would be replaced by Mao, and wanting military glory himself, allowed his Manchurian Army to counterattack the coalition and allow Chinese volunteers sent by Peng Dehuai to help repel coalition forces. Fighting continued mainly centered around Pyongyang and Seoul until a ceasefire was negotiated on the 30th July 1953 which saw Manchuria withdraw troops from South Korea whilst a de-militarised zone was drawn between North and South Korea.
The war was a disaster for Manchuria, who was in debt to China and the USSR. Manchuria was forced to carry the burden of the reconstruction of North Korea, while China was disappointed that it failed to recover Manchuria.
The Tianjin Agreement meant that Zhao's reputation within the politburo was severely damaged. Accusations of Zhao wanting to annex North Korea emerged, and it also hurt Manchuria's relations with the DPRK. Zhao Shangzhi and Yang Jingyu later will die in an air crash in 1956, after being severely reprimanded by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Tong Zhishan, the Defense Minister, took over in 1957. Tong later enacted the Black River Protocol which aimed to make Manchuria a regional power within the second world and to enact "reform from within". Within the communist party Tong and his supporters accused dissidents of propagating Trotskyist and later Maoist beliefs, leading to a mass purge within the party. As part of the Black River Protocol Tong also ostensibly reformed the leadership structure of the party, stripping away power from the politburo alone and delegating it to layers of bureaucracy. Although this on the surface gave the appearance of a more decentralized leadership in reality the complex structure of the party was left entirely in the hands of its first secretary, thus ensuring Tong retained absolute power.
Tong also changed the state propaganda of Manchuria, dismantling Zhao's cult of personality and instead installing complete admiration for the party. The general populace of Manchuria were barred from almost all knowledge of the political process with only those permitted to ascend within the party's ranks having any idea of the political structure of Manchuria. Tong also modernized the army, buying a large amount of Soviet weapons and regularly deploying troops on the Korean boarder, giving the illusion to the west that Manchuria's military was much more powerful then it was in reality.
In 1955 Manchuria started a nuclear program, initially intended to be for power purposes only. However in 1959 the program had been expanded to include a weapons research unit that begun work on creating a nuclear weapon. Manchuria also began developing other weapons of mass destruction such as chemical weapons. The rationale behind this development was stated in documents to the Soviet Union, which indicated that the Manchu government was fearful of Chinese or American aggression. The program was supported by the Soviet Union's premier Nikita Khrushchev who himself had fallen out with Mao's China setting off the Sino-Soviet split. Soviet scientists were instrumental in building up Manchuria's nuclear weapons program, aiding them in the enrichment of uranium and the production of nuclear facilities. Tong Zhishan later opened Dalian, renamed as Tiyeliyan, as a Special Autonomous Region. The first nuclear test was conducted in 1973 with Manchuria creating a land based ballistic missile program, to the widespread condemnation of the international community.
In 1967 the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution had broken out in China leading the nation into political chaos, thus making ethnic deportations a more difficult process. Tong was condemned by the Chinese government as a Soviet-revisionist puppet, thus worsening relations. In 1968 Tong affirmed the Black River Protocol, but recognized that with declining economic growth some reforms would be undertaken. Nevertheless the government remained rigidly authoritarian and maintained the basic principles of the Black River Protocol. Subsequently during the 1970's however there was a shift in ideological orthodoxy, with gradual liberalization measures being undertaken mainly in the cultural realm thanks to the so-called Dandelion Movement. Censorship was relaxed, and certain western products and cultural customs were permitted to exist in Manchuria. The economy also diversified somewhat - although remaining centrally planned, there was a greater focus outside of heavy industry, with substantial development being invested into light industry, services and tourism. Manchuria also invested more into education and healthcare, which saw literacy rates and the general standard of living rapidly increase. In 1950 the average life expectancy was 41 years old - by 1979 it had risen to 65 years. The literacy rate in 1975 stood at 81% for those over 18.
Despite this tepid liberalization being undertaken, Manchuria still was close to the Eastern Bloc, joining Comecon alongside Cuba in 1972 as well as supporting various other communist movements such as those in Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Ethiopia and Nicaragua. Manchuria also supported Vietnamese and Lao forces in the Cambodian–Vietnamese War. In 1976 the party leadership promptly ended the liberal reforms and led the Anti-Reactionary Campaign, removing moderates from within the party and clamping down on some of the cultural freedoms, with Wan being forced to step down as Chairman of the Standing Committee and being effectively purged. The Anti-Reactionary Campaign however was tightly controlled due to the leaderships conservative approach regarding political change.
Manchuria also continued to aggravate its neighbours, with various members of the CPM continuing to claim the land annexed by China in 1953. There were also common disputes on the Manchu-Korean boarder, with Manchuria at times claiming that Korea was sending spies into its territory. In 1978 a Japanese intelligence officer defected to Manchuria and revealed secrets about the Japanese government. This resulted in condemnation from Japan, who requested to have the officer handed over to Japanese authorities. The Manchu government refused, bolstering their boarder defenses resulting in Japan successfully lobbying western countries to cut economic ties with Manchuria. As tensions increased Manchuria shot missiles into the Yellow Sea into Japan's waters initiating the October Crisis. As tensions increased, the Soviet Union pressured the Manchu government to concede to Japanese demands, but conservative factions of the Manchu leadership pushed more heavily for war. Eventually Manchuria agreed to hand over the defecting spy in return for Japan recognizing Manchuria's existence in what was seen as a humiliating blow for Manchuria.
In 1981 Tong died of natural causes, causing there to be a short leadership struggle within the communist party. Tong's delegation of power meant that their was no clear successor and in any case, none of them would be able to handle the government in the same iron grip Tong had done. In place of this a semi-collective leadership was put in place mainly made up of the old guard, led by First Secretary and Chairman of the Standing Committee Li Zhaolin who became the most powerful person in Manchuria. While known to be a hardliner in the past, China's overtures to Manchuria led him to promote reform. There was considerable debate within the party whether to reform and possibly forge closer ties with China, or continue following the Black River Protocol. The lack of unity within the party led Li to reluctantly continue the Black River Protocol. However Li led a moderate reformist movement that saw further liberalization carried out, although again this was mainly superficial. The political process was still completely barred to the majority of the general populace and repression still remained especially for Koreans, who were subject to discrimination due to North Korea-Manchurian border dispute. Despite this Li's reformist measures were seen with suspicion among the conservative leadership of the Soviet Union. To further this suspicion Manchuria started to take loans from the west to pay for its ambitious infrastructure and military projects. Some political analysts suggested that under Li there would be a Manchu-Soviet split.
In 1985 following the ascension of Mikhail Gorbachev within the Soviet Union and the enactment of glasnost and perestroika, the CPM started to become rife with internal dissent. Some radical reformists wanted to implement similar reforms in Manchuria, whilst others advocated for policies similar to the Doi Moi in North Vietnam or Socialism with Chinese characteristics. Meanwhile hardliners campaigned for the retention of the Black River Protocol alongside Zhaoists, Maoists and Stalinists. In March 1986 Li announced the retention of the Black River Protocol alongside "Repositioned Economic Mechanism", or the "Reposition" - however focus on the Protocol lessened as New Reposition took full steam. However Li was careful to keep the party united lessened the pace of reform forced to reach a compromise with the conservatives, ushering in some halfhearted and largely ceremonial changes. Nevertheless at this point the regime remained fragile, thanks to the disunited nature of the party.
Following the political changes in Poland and the rest of the Eastern Bloc in the November of 1989, protests were staged around the entire of Manchuria, demanding political reform. The protests started in the city of Mukden after several students were arrested for flying the flag of Manchukuo. This soon led to wider protests that were mainly staged in the north. Strikes were also held in many factories with many underground trade unions starting to form. The Party Secretary for Mukden, Du Changhao, sided with the protesters forming the Popular Front for Democracy and Revolution which was the first major opposition movement, being an umbrella group of labour unions, students and other opponents of the regime as well as the remnants of the original Manzuxiehui.
The regime were at first divided over how to react to the protests. Some hardliners advocated to crack down on the protesters as had happened in China, although many others feared that the situation could devolve into civil war. The party sent in security forces to try and break up the protests, although this was a failure. On the 4th4 student protesters were shot by authorities, causing an explosion of protests across the country.
On the 11th of December several high ranking officials broke off from the party, calling for multi party elections and forming the People's Democratic Party. The CPM promptly descended into chaos, with Tao failing to keep control. Hardliners tried to clamp down of both party dissidents and protesters before being blocked by reformists. On the 13st of December, Li "retired" from his position. His successor announced that multi-party elections would be held in January 1990, representing the CPM. The PDP agreed to form an electoral coalition with the reformed Concordia Party, purged of pro-Japanese elements and turned into a liberal conservative party, and led by Liu Binyan, a CPM defector; the name of the coalition is the Reformed Front. In the 1990 elections Du was nominated as the Reformed Front's presidential candidate. The 1990 elections the Popular Front not only gained a majority in the legislature, but also saw Liu elected as premier. On the 27th of January, the Manchu People's Republic was formally dissolved and the Manchu Republic created.
Liu made repairing relations with America a top priority in his government.The Liu-led government pursued liberal policies, being part of the Third Way movement. The police state was entirely dismantled, all political prisoners freed and cultural censorship lifted, and the military decoupled from politics. Social liberal policies were encouraged as part of a policy of national reconciliation between the communists and the new government. For the first time Manchuria was marked as being a free nation politically although corruption remained.
The new government renounced communism, privatizing unprofitable state owned industries, reducing subsidies, abolishing price controls and lessening regulations. The new economic policies saw Manchuria's economy grow at a rapid pace, although it also saw a rise in poverty and decline in the general standard of living. Du however remained a committed socialist, although explicitly allowing capitalism, and retaining at a reduced level the social services implemented during the communist era. Liu also pursued a more open foreign policy, reaching out to both Japan, China and Korea which was considered controversial due to Manchuria's strained relations with those countries. Under Liu Manchuria voluntarily reduced its nuclear weapons program although it is still not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
During the Liu years however the coalition ran into several difficulties. A large portion of the population had become dissatisfied with Liu's rather indecisive leadership. The new right-wing Constitutionalists won a decisive victory in the 1995 legislative election - however during the 1995 Liu elections Liu was re-elected for the second time. Manchuria was experiencing a deep recession with unemployment sky-rocketing. This prompted the financial secretary Shen Yang to propose for the government's economic reform policy to continue with plans to deregulate the banks and privatise the railways and energy sector whilst temporarily suspending union rights. Liu agreed to the proposal - however the Zuigaohuiyi blocked the plan. In response, Du created the "Supreme Revolutionary Committee" which temporarily suspended the Zuigaohuiyi for 3 years as a state of emergency was passed, allowing Du to continue with his economic reforms. Severe curtailing of civil liberties was enforced as the reform programme was sped up. In 1999 in preparation for the 2000 legislative elections the Supreme Revolutionary Committee was scrapped, although Du's approval ratings never recovered despite Manchuria entering a period of economic growth. Following a huge dip in his popularity Du stepped down as Premier in 2000, with his successor being the Manzuxiehui candidate Jin Pai Nai.
Jin's government was more socially conservative but economically statist then Du's, emphasising rightist and nationalist policies. Under Jin many of the oligarchs who had gained favour under Du however lost power, being replaced by a new class of businessmen who were allies of Jin and became a powerful lobbying force in politics alongside the powerful families and businesses. During the 2000's the economy grew at a rapid rate as Manchuria experienced an economic boom. The government also helped push through labour and women's rights laws as well as implement some more right wing policies such as privatisation the postal service and deregulation the banking sector. However corruption remained a chronic problem as did wealth inequality and a growing national debt. Manchuria's relations with Japan and South Korea declined partly due to Jin's confrontational style whilst relations with Russia and China improved. Relations with other nations in East Asia (such as Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, North Korea and Vietnam) also improved as Manchuria sought to widen its trade links.
The 2008 Banking Crisis saw Manchuria's property bubble burst with the country being hit by recession. The Manzuxiehui was slow to react to the crisis, before Jin decided bail out the banks which raised the deficit substantially. Against the advice of his finance minister, to combat the huge deficit, Jin also approved of austerity measures which were supported by the majority of the Manzuxiehui. The austerity measures soured relations between the oligarchs who supported Jin, who undertook a major cabinet reshuffle in 2009.
The new government aimed to reduce both the debt and deficit that was stunting economic growth, continuing austerity policies and cutting welfare spending. The Manzuxiehui also rolled back some of the policies of social liberalisation with the enactment of the 2014 Bill of Anti-Terrorism and Security which severely curtailed civil liberties and gave sweeping powers to the law enforcement forces. Nevertheless the early 2010's saw steady economic growth although this coincided with growing inequality. In 2008 controversy erupted when the government was implicated in mishandling public funds and redirecting them towards several businesses owned by the Premier Jin, who was nearing the end of his term. In 2010 Jin's Vice-Premier Liu Zhou was elected the first female Premier of Manchuria after the anti-government was split between the opposition parties.
Manchuria is officially a unitary democratic presidential republic with a unicameral legislature. The Constitution of Manchuria serves as the supreme law of Manchuria, which establishes a clear separation of powers. However for much of its history Manchuria was an autocracy. From 1945 Manchuria was ruled as a Marxist-Leninist single-party state that ended in 1990 following peaceful street protests around Manchuria that became known as the Orchid Revolution. In 1990 Manchuria adopted its current constitution, becoming a democracy. Nevertheless former members of the Communist Party of Manchuria still dominate politics.
The President of Manchuria serves as the head of state and the head of government with the Prime Minister being their deputy. Manchurian politics are split between various parties with the the largest being the Manzuxiehui, a nationalist big tent party which has continually governed since 2002. Currently the Manzuxiehui is in government with the current premier and Manzuxiehui leader Liu Zhou is the first female head of state and government of Manchuria. The main opposition parties include the centrist populist New Progressive Party, the centre-left democratic socialist Socialist Party of Manchuria and the far-right neo-fascist Qinglonghui. The legislature of Manchuria is known as the Zuigaohuiyi and consists of 685 seats. The majority of Manchurian politicians have technical backgrounds, making a de facto technocracy.
Manchuria has separation of powers. The executive branch is headed by the Premier (sometimes referred to as "President") whilst legislative power is vested in the unicameral National Assembly. The judiciary is structured in a three-tier system - the highest court is the Manchurian Supreme Court. which is followed by Provincial and Municipal courts.
- The head of state and government is the President of Manchuria who is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The Premier leads the Executive Council, a cabinet of Ministers who form the Manchurian government. There are several government ministries such as the Orgburo of Finances, Orgburo of the Interior, Orgburo of Foreign Affairs and Orgburo of Defence. The President has the power to declare war, dissolve the Supreme National Assembly (with judicial support), ratify treaties, grant pardons, and exercise executive power. The Premier can be subject to a vote of no confidence by the Supreme National Assembly or face impeachment if they deemed to be breaking the constitution. Premier's are elected directly to serve five year terms, of which they can serve a maximum of two. Their deputy is the Vice-Premier. The current composition of the Executive Council is as follows:
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- The legislative branch of Manchuria is the Zuigaohuiyi, a 685 member body that is tasked with drafting, amending, passing and repealing laws. The Zuigaohuiyi also is host to various Committees that scrutinise government activities and legislation, with the Committees being made up of members of the Zuigaohuiyi. The Zuigaohuiyi is led by a Chairman who is a partisan figure, setting out the legislative agenda for the majority party in the legislature as well as sponsoring other legislation and overseeing debates. In times of a coalition the role of Chairman is divided between parties within the coalition - currently Hu Zhengming and Feng Huiyin serve as Co-Chairpersons. The Zuigaohuiyi also hosts the Official Opposition of Manchuria which is made up of the second largest party or coalition within the Zuigaohuiyi, and whose role it is to sponsor legislation from the opposition parties as well as hold the majority party/Chairman to account. 490 seats within the Zuigaohuiyi are elected using party-list proportional representation and 195 represent single-member districts who are elected using the alternative vote. The Zuigaohuiyi is elected every 5 years unless it is dissolved by the Premier with the support of the judiciary in a time of emergency.
Legislative and premierial elections are held every five years in Manchuria. The Premier is elected using First-past-the-post voting with the candidate with the highest number of votes (whether that be a majority or a plurality) being inaugurated as Premier. If a Premier resigns or dies in office then a premierial election for their replacement must be held within 60 days, who will serve a new five year term.
Elections for the Zuigaohuiyi must be held every five years. The Zuigaohuiyi is elected in a system of parallel voting of the alternative vote and party-list proportional representation. 195 seats within the Zuigaohuiyi represent districts which send a single representative to the Zuigaohuiyi. Candidates within these districts are elected via the alternative vote. The other 490 seats are proportionally elected with citizens voting for parties and individuals on a closed list with seats allocation being calculated using the D'Hondt method. There is a 3% threshold for parties to enter the Zuigaohuiyi, although independent candidates only need to gain a single seat.
Ever five years co-current with legislative elections local provincial and municipal elections are carried out. Such elections use the same process as the legislative elections with provincial and municipal governments being elected on a proportional basis.
- Main article: List of Political Parties in Manchuria
Manchuria officially uses multi-party system, but in practice is dominated by the Manzuxiehui, a nationalist party. Generally the Manzuxiehui appeal to catch all support from various strands of the Manchuria right/left wing co-opting policies from both sides of the political spectrum. Currently the Manzuxiehui hold a plurality of seats in the Zuigaohuiyi at 285, with the premier of Manchuria being Manzuxiehui member Liu Zhou. The Manzuxiehui under Liu have so far promoted conservatism, corporatist and nationalist policies showing opposition to socialism liberalism and both socialist and neoliberal economic practices.
The New Progressive Party, currently led by Feng Huiyin, is the second largest party in the Zuigaohuiyi having 212 seats. The NPP officially support the so-called Auspicious Path to Progress, but has been ideologically split in the past between centrists influenced by the third way and social democrats. It was originally formed by former Premier Du Changhao. The NPP are in a coalition within the Progressive Alliance for Manchuria with the Democratic Union for Change and the Green Party - overall the Alliance holds 233 seats, and are in a coalition with the Manzuxiehui. The third largest party in the Zuigaohuiyi is the Socialist Party of Manchuria, which is the successor of the Communist Party. Prior to the 2010 legislative elections they were the second largest party in Manchuria, having ruled Manchuria as a single party socialist state between 1946 to 1990 as the CPM. It currently retains 103 seats, advocating for democratic socialism and social democracy. In recent years however it has shifted slightly to advocate for a form of left-wing nationalism.
The fourth largest party in the Zuigaohuiyi is the Qinglonghui (Azure Dragon Society) which is also the oldest party in Manchuria. The Qinglonghui are a nationalist party which have been accused of supporting neo-fascist policies. It currently has 23 seats.The fifth largest party in the legislature is the Manchu Communist Party. The MCP is a far-left party that is a heavy advocate for Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, having been formed by former CPM hardliners following the creation of the SPM. The MCP have 21 seats. Finally the smallest seated party is the United People's Party with 20 seats and primarily represents the interests of Korean people in Manchuria. It is allied with the New Progressive Party with both supporting liberalism.
Minor national parties in Manchuria include the Libertarian Party, the People's Labour Party, the Workers' Party, Nationalist Party, Future for Manchuria, National Liberal Party, New Development Association, Mongolian Democratic Movement, Citizens for Progress and Democracy, Innovation Party of Manchuria and Republican Justice Party.
Military and intelligence services
The armed forces of Manchuria is known as the Manchurian National Armed Forces, which is split into an army, navy, air force, coast guard and national guards. The MNAF currently has around 1,228,300 troops overall (416,800 active and 871,500 in reserve), making it overall the 12th largest military force in terms of manpower (ahead of the Indonesian National Armed Forces but behind the Cuban Revolutionary Armed Forces). There are some paramilitary forces in Manchuria that cooperate with the MNAF.
The Premier of Manchuria is the commander-in-chief of the MNAF, which answers to the Ministry of Defense. Military affairs are primarily handled by the Joint Command, a council of military commanders who are subordinate to the Ministry. The military in Manchuria occasionally plays a role in politics, as under communist rule the top ranks in the military were occupied by party officials. Since democratization the military have been kept subordinate to the civilian government, but there are concerns that many of the senior military officers are politically minded.
The predecessor to the MNAF, the Manchurian People's Army (MPA), primarily received military equipment from the Soviet Union. The MPA largely uses ex-Soviet weaponry such as Kalashnikov rifles, BMP-1, 2K22 Tunguska, MT-LB, T-80 and PT-76 tanks. Recently Manchuria has started purchasing weaponry and equipment from China, Britain and Israel.
Manchuria has a history of possessing weapons of mass destruction. During the 1960's it was known that Manchuria had produced several nuclear warheads, ostensibly on the grounds that they were a deterrent against Chinese and Korean aggression. It was thought that Manchuria's nuclear weapons program was largely sponsored by the USSR, and at it's height had around 25 warheads. In 1993 Prime Minister Liu Binyan declined, under popular and military pressure, to dismantle Manchuria's nuclear weapons program after facing sanctions from the international community, and refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty unless it is amended. Manchuria, also has not signed the Chemical Weapons Convention but voluntarily dismantled all its chemical weapons such as sarin and mustard gas - however this has not been proven as of 2015. Manchuria has admitted that it possess facilities that produce chemical weapons, but asserts that they are destroyed and "civilianized" and cannot be reverted back to chemical weapons production. Manchuria is a signatory to the Biological Weapons Convention and cited the experience of Japanese atrocities during World War II as a reason.
Conscription (known as "Patriotic Civic Service") is currently enforced for all citizens between the ages of 18-21. It was introduced in 1946 for all male citizens, with conscientious objection not being recognized by the government, with only those deemed "unfit for service" being exempted and given alternate equivalent civilian service such as public works and work for the government. The government mandated that women also be included in conscription in 1950. In 1996 the government pursued an unsuccessful venture to abolish conscription, but instead comprised by allowing conscripts to opt to enter another form of civil service and recognizing conscientious objection. Conscription lasts for 18 months in Manchuria, with university students able to postpone conscription until they graduate. "Draft evasion" is punished harshly in Manchuria. Polls show that public support for the conscription program continues.
The Manchurian Intelligence Services are overseen by the Ministry of Interior. The intelligence forces are under one body, the National Security Secretariat (GAS) which handles domestic, foreign and military intelligence. Previously the intelligence services were administrated under the People's Security Secretariat which functioned as a de facto secret police - compared to its predecessor, the GAS possess far less powers. The intelligence services mainly serve to gather intelligence on behalf on the Manchu state, and are notable in that all three bodies closely collaborate with each other. The Manchurian intelligence services have been accused of detaining people for political reasons, exercising torture, and running widespread surveillance programs. An anti-corruption campaign aimed at the intelligence services was launched in July 2015.
Manchurian foreign policy is conducted by the Orgburo of Foreign Affairs, currently headed by He Chaoxing. Manchuria pursues a largely neutral foreign policy being a member of several organisations such as the United Nations, G-20, WTO, APEC, IMF, WBG, ADB, East Asia Summit, ACD, PEMSEA, Non-Aligned Movement, Group of 15, and the Group of 24.
Manchuria has a history of intervening in conflicts and international crisis's. During the Cold War Manchuria helped initiate the Korean War as well as support the Viet Cong in the Vietnam War, FRELIMO in the Mozambican Civil War, the People's Republic of Southern Lan Na in the Lannese Communist Insurgence and the Derg in the Ethiopian Civil War. Since the fall of communism Manchuria has engaged in more humanitarian missions abroad, serving in peacekeeping missions in the Golan Heights, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lebanon and the Congo. Manchuria also participated in the Afghanistan and Iraq War.
Manchuria was for a long time a satellite state of the Soviet Union, and thus has built up good relations with former communist countries. A large diaspora of Manchurians (148,270) lives in Poland, with immigration taking place in the early 1970's during the so-called "Golden Age" of socialist Poland. Relations with Poland remain overwhelmingly positive - notably in 2003 both countries signed the Mukden Pact, the biggest free-trade deal Manchuria had signed with a single nation. However the election of the national conservative Law and Justice government has raised concerns over this relationship. Manchuria also has positive economic and political relations with other ex-communist states such as Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Hungary, Uzbekistan and the Czech Republic. During the Cold War Manchuria unique for a COMECON nation had good relations with Yugoslavia, and continues to maintain positive relations with Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Manchuria has sought to maintain positive relations with Russia. During Soviet rule Russia played a huge part in Manchu politics, encouraging the state to attack Korea as well as providing substantial economic, political and military assistance. Russia also helped create Manchuria's nuclear weapons program. As such Manchurian-Russian relations have remained cordial, with Manchuria taking a neutral position regarding the War in the Donbass.
Since 1990 Manchuria has aimed to create good relations with the Western World. Following the Korean War a large number of Manchurian refugees fled the country eventually settling in the United States who currently house the fourth largest overseas population of Manchurians. Manchuria also maintains cordial relations with the Canada and the European Union, although in recent years Manchuria has voiced some reservations over American foreign policy. Of European countries, Manchuria has especially good relations with Britain, Italy and Germany.
Following the end of the Cold War Manchuria has cultivated good relations with Israel, being one of the main purchasers of Israeli military equipment. Previously Manchuria refused to recognise Israel and supported the PLO. Manchuria's hardline pro-Arab stance saw it cut off ties with Egypt following the Camp David Accords as well as support the Qatifi government on the Qatifi Civil War. During the 1990's Premier Du Changhao created especially good relations with Israel which caused Manchuria to fall out with its traditional Arab allies such as Qatif and Syria, although in response Manchuria moved closer to Israel and Egypt. Notably following the Gulf War Manchuria remained one of the few nations to retain strong diplomatic links with Ba'athist Iraq. During the 2000's Manchuria entered a period of rapprochement with Syria and Iran, although the Manchurian government remained committed to supporting Israel. The Syrian Civil War has seen Manchuria tentatively support the government of Bashar Al-Assad.
Manchuria's relations with its neighbours have often been contentious. During the late 1940's and early 1950's there were noticeable tensions between Manchuria and China with its being a well known fact that Manchurian leader Xu Xiaobao held a low opinion of his Chinese counterpart Mao Zedong. China claimed sovereignty over Manchurian lands and during the First Manchu-Korean War occupied and annexed a third of the country. Relations worsened during the Cultural Revolution which was seen by Manchu leaders as being ideologically excessive and a sign that China unlike Manchuria had not progressed into a form of "mature socialism". Following the removal of the "gang of four" by Deng Xiaoping and subsequent market liberalisation of China relations between the two countries slowly improved. After the Orchid Revolution Manchuria established an embassy in Beijing and subsequently signed many free trade deals. During the 1990's China and Manchuria developed an exceptionally close relationship with both countries sharing military hardware and intelligence. Following the election of Jin Pai Nai as Premier relations intensified as a result of Jin's ardent nationalist views regarding the Tianjin Agreement although the subsequent election of Li Zhou has somewhat seen a revival in Chinese-Manchu relations. China remains the country with the most amount of Manchurians bar Manchuria with over 5 million and retains extremely close economic, political, cultural, and historic ties.
Manchu-South Korean and Manchu-Japanese relations have often been poor. The First Manchu Republic was essentially a protectorate of Imperial Japan, and the Manzhouguo regime a colony of Japan. Within Manzhouguo Japanese soldiers conducted mass rape, child molestation, sexual humiliation, sadism, assault and mass murder as a way of controlling the population creating rife Japanophobia within the region which eventually led to the Manchu Revolution. Manchuria has since called for Japan to apologise for its war crimes and to compensate "comfort women" (women who forced into sexual slavery by the Kwantung Army - as of 2016 Japan maintains that it has made sufficient apologies. Relations significantly improved following the end of the Cold War with Manchuria and Japan maintaining extremely close economic relations - however the issue of Japanese war crimes continues to be a source of contention between Japanese-Manchu lawmakers.
South Korean-Manchu relations were first established in 1946 following the independence of Manchuria. In 1950 Manchuria supported North Korea in the Korean War after the communist regime took control of Korea with Manchurian support. Relations remained extremely tense following the end of the war in 1953 with Manchuria become a key supporter of the Pyongyang based government. Manchuria purposefully developed nuclear and chemical weapons partly to ward off potential South Korean attacks, with both nations using spies against each other. Most famously Korean spy Lee Kwan-jin defected to Manchuria, leading to tensions to escalate. In 1979 the Korean dictator Park Chung-hee was assassinated, causing tensions between the two nations to explode almost resulting in nuclear war. Following accession of Tao Shiyou tensions eased, and after the fall of the Manchu People's Republic relations greatly improved. Today South Korea and Manchuria maintain booming economic ties with 3 million Manchu citizens living in South Korea - however tensions still remain due to Manchuria's support of North Korea.
North Korean-Manchu relations remain the most complex. During the Cold War the Manchu People's Republic maintained positive relations with North Korea - Manchu leader Tao Shiyou was especially impressed with the personality cult of Kim Il-Sung. Following the Orchid Revolution Du Changhao attempted to distance himself from the Pyongyang regime imposing economic sanctions, but still gave aid out of fear of an exodus of North Koreans into Manchuria should North Korea collapse. His successor Jin Pai Na openly supported the North Korean regime as a buffer against "South Korean-Japanese aggression" pouring billions of yuan into North Korea to prop up the regime. This move was heavily criticised by the United States, Japan, South Korea and the European Union. Under Liu Zhou there has been some attempt to distance Manchuria from North Korea due to several nuclear tests undertaken by Kim Jong-Un.
Manchuria currently maintains the 16th largest economy in the world if measured by nominal GDP at $935.5 billion a year. The Manchurian economy has been one of the strongest in East Asia although it has not reached the economic growth of the Four Asian Tigers (Singapore,South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan) with the service sector still being relatively small compared to post industrial economies in Europe. The national currency of Manchuria is the New Manchu Yuan. Manchuria mainly exports goods to China, Korea, South Vietnam, and Russia whilst receives imports from China and the European Union.
Manchuria was the first industrialised region in the Qing dynasty, and has since become highly urbanised thanks to its large coal deposits. However Manchuria did not achieve a smooth transition from a socialist planned economy to a free market capitalist one, with neoliberal shock therapy economics being implemented following the fall of the communist regime. Privatisation was undertaken in three stages - the first in 1990, the second in 1991 and the third in 1998. This rapid wave of deregulation resulted in widespread poverty and poverty to occur in Manchuria as well as a rise in corruption. In response to this successive governments sought to reintroduce regulation and protectionist policies into the economy overseeing the transition into a balanced mixed economy, which has resulted in less unemployment. Between 1998 to 2008 Manchuria had a huge economic boom with the GDP rising from $201.74 billion in 1997 to $837.25 billion which earned it the nickname of the Liaoshen Dragon.
The 2008 Great Recession saw inflation in Manchuria rise substantially, with neoliberal policies and austerity being enacted in order to curtail the worst effects of this inflation. Although this has seen a marked increase in the growth of the economy with the GDP rising by 2.8% in 2013 wealth inequality has skyrocketed with Manchuria having a higher inequality rating then its neighbours Russia and Korea. The government have since however tried to maintain a consistent path to growth adopting less radical economic policies and establishing a largely stable fiscal situation.
Manchuria still retains a largely industrial economy with the main industries including steel, automobiles, aircraft, and ship manufacture. Manchuria also has a large coal mining industry as well as maintaining several petroleum refining facilities. Manchuria also has an active agricultural sector with its main exports being maize, wheat millet and barley. Southern Manchurian lands provide ample conditions to raise pigs and sheep, although farming has declined steadily ever since the mass industrialisation seen in the communist era.
Agriculture still plays a vital role in the Manchurian economy. In the northern cold regions soybeans, maize, wheat and potatoes are grown alongside beet, flax and sunflowers. Further east rice is cultivated especially in the Yanbian region, whereas down south maize, sorghum, soybeans and cotton are produced. The southern regions are also where most Manchu fruit is grown- apples and gold peaches from Dalian and Yingkou, pears from Jinzhou, white pears from Huludao and Suizhong, and apricots and plums from Dandong. Herding is also important being mainly focussed around cattle and horse, with Manchuria having a high amount of milk producing cows. Dairy products remain a large industry within Manchuria. Around Baicheng sheep farming is common.
Agriculture has undergone substantial reform since the fall of communism. Prior to 1990 all agriculture was collectivised in large communes that commonly held up to 50 families within the Socialist Agricultural Co-operatives (SAC's). SAC's had moderate production rates, but needed subsidies mainly for technology. In 1990 SAC's were allowed to continue to function but many of their subsidies were removed, effectively dismantling the SAC's overnight as they struggled to compete with foreign competition. As such the vast majority of agriculture is run in more traditional methods, with only 2% of agriculture under the control of agricultural collectives which no longer court state subsidies.
According to the most recent estimates Manchuria has a total population of 119,042,926 people, making it one of the populated countries in the world behind Mexico but ahead to Lan Na. Since 1945 the population has increased by 385%, with the biggest population growth occurring in the early-1960's to mid 1980's, when the government introduced a two-child policy, modelled off of China's one child policy. The policy has been controversial, mandating that parents only have the right to two children and that overstepping this limit will be sterilised and receive fines. Following the fall of communism there has been calls for the policy to be repealed, although as of 2015 such moves have not taken place.
A plurality of Manchurians (45%) define themselves as ethnic Han Chinese. The Manchu people were the majority ethnic group in Manchuria until the 1850's when the Qing dynasty allowed Han Chinese people to migrate to Manchuria. However this resulted in a backlash by the Manchu's who forcibly assimilated many Han Chinese into Manchu culture, much to the outrage of the Qing government. During the communist era
prior to the Sino-Soviet split many Han Chinese deported from Manchuria to be replaced with Manchu's in mainland China and saw a greater promotion of the Manchu people. Despite this, Han Chinese still make up the largest ethnic group.
The second largest ethnic group in Manchuria is the Manchu people who officially constitute 42% of the population. Many who identify as Manchu are of mixed Manchu-Han descent. The third largest group is Koreans at 6%, followed by Mongolians at 2%, Japanese at 1.6% and Hui at 1%. Other ethnic groups make up 2.4% of the total population, including Sibe people near Korea, Daur people near Inner Mongolia, and Oroqen and Nanai people near the Amur river. Foreign immigrants to Manchuria traditionally come from China, Mongolia, Russia and Central Asia. There is currently a significant Russian population in the city of Harbin which also houses a small Jewish population. Since the fall of communism many other nationalities have settled in Manchuria, the most prominent being Korean and Japanese people - Koreans especially have seen a huge population spike in Manchuria since the 1990's.
Education in Manchuria is divided into primary, secondary and tertiary education. Educational facilities are managed by the Ministry of Education who also set the National Curriculum which guarantees nationwide educational topics. Private schools are exempt from the National Curriculum, but must have their own standards approved by the Orgburo of Education.
Following the Communist takeover the government prioritised education amongst other things, implementing a system of universal primary education with literacy rates rising substantially. All education was controlled by the Orgburo of Education and funded through state assets until 1991 when the government allowed private schools to be established. The same year subsidies for tertiary education were removed. As of 2015 literacy rates amongst those over 18 stand at 96.5% with most illiteracy being concentrated in rural area.
Education is compulsory up until the age of 18. Prior to education most children attend kindergartens (which are privately run) which lasts from the years of 3 to 5. At five children are enrolled into primary schools, which they attend for five and a half days. Lessons are divided into 45 minute blocks with most schools starting around 8:45AM and ending at 5:30PM. At a primary level students start by learning Chinese, Manchu, mathematics, science and physical education. Around the third year history, geography and art are introduced, whilst in the fourth year music and civic studies are taught as well. For the first two years pupils are in classes of mixed ability. They are then streamlined in the third year into different sets based on ability, and are subject to being promoted or relegated to a higher or lower set based on academic performance. Students remain in primary education until the age of 11 where they sit National Standardised Primary Examinations. Students must pass in Chinese, Manchu, mathematics and science before entering Middle School.
Middle school lasts from the age of 11 to 14. Drama, information technology, design technology, and religious studies are introduced as subjects. Science is also divided into chemistry, biology, and physics whilst students are required to learn another language (usually English or Russian). Middle school is structured similarly to primary school, with students being streamlined by the second year and lessons consisting of 45 minute blocks. The end of Middle School sees students take National Standardised Secondary Examinations where students are expected to pass in the 4 core subjects. From the age of 14 to 18 students are enrolled into lower high school where they take the 4 core subjects alongside physical education and information technology as well as two social sciences and either design technology or one of the arts. National Standardised Tertiary Exams are taken at the age of 16 were students must pass the core subjects to enter Upper High school. From there students can either enter vocational schools that specialise in technologies or arts, or standard schools that teach the remaining subjects alongside new ones such as politics, sociology, geology etc. Students are expected to pick four subjects including one core to study over a period of two years before taking National Specialised Examinations in those subjects. From there students are then given the option to enter higher education or the job market.
The Manchurian education system has been criticised for the pressure it places on students which have been accused of dehumanising them. It has also been criticised for being highly centralised. As such in recent years the government has passed through several reforms to decentralise decisions to schools and to put less focus of rigorous testing and more on practical application then simply theory, although these reforms have been criticised as being too conservative and simply tinkering around the edges.
Manchuria's tertiary education sector was privatised in 1993 with the Educational Enterprise Bill, with the last state-funded university being sold to private investors in 1994. Manchurian student tuition fees are lower then they are in commonwealth countries; however the GDP per capita of Manchu citizens is lower, meaning students from poorer backgrounds still face difficulties in entering higher education. Student loans are given by the Manchu state. In recent years attaining tertiary educational qualifications has been more imperative to Manchu students leading to universities to become more competitive. This has resulted in a rise in cheating as well as suicide due to pressure to academically succeed.
Manchu students enter university not only if they pass entrance exams but also based on recommendations from previous teachers/employers as well as their past academic performance. Around 69.6% of Manchurian citizens under 25 attended university with 63.4% holding a qualification. In recent years the Manchu government has declared its intent to subsidise some universities to promote better education. The most sought out university courses in Manchuria are the engineering and technology courses, which also demand the highest university fees.
|Affiliation||% of Manchurian population|
Manchuria has a universal health care system with all citizens required to sign up to a healthcare insurance plan. Manchurian citizens either sign up to a private insurance plan or to one of the two government subsidised insurance programmes. Hospitals are either run directly by the Orgburo for Health or by private companies that are sometimes subsidised by the government. The average life expectancy in Manchuria in 79.8 years - for men it is 78, women 80.
Between 1946-1990 Manchuria had a centralised health care system that was available to all citizens and completely controlled by the government. In 1950 the life expectancy stood at 50 years; 40 years later it had risen to 77.2 years. In 1990 as part of the first privatisation package saw parts of the health care system (eg. mental health treatments) privatised. In 1991 further parts of the health system were privatised in the second package. In the third wave of privatisation in 1993 it was expected that the healthcare system would no longer be universal and fully privatised - however such a measure was never carried out. In 1994 subsidies for the healthcare system which had been frozen since 1991 were dramatically increased as the current insurance system was implemented.
Standards between hospitals in urban and rural areas is very much pronounced. In some rural areas poverty has resulted in some cases in malnutrition mostly amongst children; meanwhile in urban areas obesity and diabetes have asserted themselves as prominent health risks. A lack of sexual education (thanks to conservative government policy) means Manchuria has seen a huge spread in HIV/AIDS. Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and avian influenza are all prominent health risks in Manchuria. Pollution has also resulted in many suffering from tuberculosis - as well as this smoking remains popular.
Traditional Chinese Medicine is still widely practiced in Manchuria, despite government efforts to eliminate it during the communist period. In 1991 the National Bored for the Regulation of Traditional Medicinal Practices was created that sought to regulate the use of TCM. TCM can only be praticed by those approved by the National Bored who maintain a rigid examination process tat is designed to ensure TCM is practiced by professionals. Nevertheless, TCM is commonly practiced by those not approved by the National Bored especially in rural areas.
Since 1990 the Manchurian government has taken a limited role in overseeing nutrition which has led to numerous controversies, with the Committee for the Oversight of Public Nutrition (the body that oversees the regulation of food products) has been criticised for not enforcing nutrition standards and for being seriously underfunded. As of 2016 the legal drinking age in Manchuria is 18, struck down from 21 in 1997.
The Manchu health system is structured in a three tier system. Local villages and municipalities normally retain health centres staffed by junior doctors that carry out primary services and provide preventative medicines; above them are township hospitals that carry out more specialised care and provide more extensive services. Finally there are General Hospitals that house up to 500,000 people, being run by senior doctors and covering a wide range of services. Both township and general hospitals provide care in emergencies. There are approximately 3.068 doctors and physicians per 1,000 people.
The two official languages of Manchuria are Xieheyu and Manchu. The vast majority of Manchurians speak Xieheyu (around 95%) a Chinese and Japanese pidgin language, whilst only 48% are first language speakers of Manchu, despite 96% of the population having a commandeDespite the majority of street signs being bilingual in Manchu and Chinese, only the capital, ethnically Manchu parts of the country speak Manchu as a community language. The Northeastern Mandarin dialect is most prevalent in Manchuria aside in the south of the Liaoning peninsula where Jiaoliao Mandarin is spoken. In the ethnic Korean and Mongol communities the Korean and Mongol languages are spoken. In
the province of Yanbian Korean is an official language being identical to the dialect spoken in northern Korea.
When the Communist Party came to power in 1945 there was a drive to expand literacy as the population was overwhelmingly illiterate, and also saw it as an opportunity to revive the dying Manchu language. Handicapping literacy efforts was the complexity of the Chinese characters and the lack of access to education for most of the population. There was considerable debate on whether to adopt Chinese characters or use a romanisation such as Zhuyin. Manchu nationalists proposed using the Manchu script as the sole official script, pointing to the fact that the Qing emperors had been able to transliterate Chinese into the Manchu script. However, the Manchurian script was deemed incapable of use due to its horizontal writing style, resulting in the Zhuyin script being adopted. Soviet diplomats advised the Manchu government to adopt a western script to facilitate better communications between them and the Soviet bloc, resulting in the government to also use Latinxua Sin Wenz, with both scripts being formally adopted in January 1947 as the sole official scripts outside of the Yanbian province. In Yanbian a variation of the Hangul script known as Chosŏn'gŭl was adopted that didn't use Hanja characters, and is continued to be used today. When pinyin was introduced in China in 1956 there were plans in Manchuria to also in the new script. Pinyin replaced the use of Sin Wenz in 1958, although the Zhuyin script remained the main method of writing.
Largest cities or towns in Manchuria
Manchurian culture is based upon a mix of traditional Manchu culture, Confucian Chinese Culture and the legacy of socialist rule in Manchuria. A common question posed by Manchurian scholars is whether Manchuria has retained its pure Manchu traditions or has mixed in too far with Chinese culture to create a hybrid of the two. Recently Manchuria has become more culturally Westernised. Traditionally Manchuria has adhered to conservative principles with adherence to hierarchy, authority, and consensus decision making. Manchuria, having been for a long time governed as an isolated socialist dictatorship, retains influence that emphasise collectivism, conformity and traditional ethics.
During socialist rule Manchuria developed a unique identity based upon a strong sense of nationalism and anti-imperialism, class consciousness, class struggle, and socialist realism whilst traditional family values being emphasised. Industrialisation, collectivisation and urbanisation saw the end of certain societal structures such as the feudal system and multi-generational families as people moved from small villages into modern sprawling urban centres and collective farms. Sexism towards women was also curbed as women were praised for their role in the family. Further societal change was fuelled by the two-child policy. Controls on cultural expression were imposed by the government, with varying degrees of liberalisation taking place over the years.
Democratisation saw Manchuria enter a period of major cultural change as cultural controls were removed and the new government encouraged freedom of thought and expression. Manchuria also became more westernised as well as take influence from the growing spiritualist movements, most notably the Falun Gong. However cultural norms such as respect for authority, emphasis on family life, societal harmony and consensus and respect for traditional culture remain.
Manchurians are known for being superstitious - unlike the rest of China Manchuria was never as heavily influenced by Confucianism instead retaining shamanistic beliefs. As such many Manchurians are members of folk religious sects or believe in Manchu, Mongolian and Korean Shamanism as well as Dongbei folk religion. Manchurian culture is also informed by Buddhism and Taoism.
Manchuria has recently begun to distinguish themselves with a growing modern film, music and television industries heavily influenced by Japanese and Korean sources as well as mix with traditional Manchu and Chinese theatre, art, literature and opera. Manchuria also is famed for its proud history of sports such as ice skating, wrestling, falconry, archery and riding. The government is active in promoting both archery and riding which is seen as a key part of Manchu identity. Manchuria also has a unique cuisine based on millet, soybeans, peas and wild meats with strong flavours. Manchuria also celebrates several traditional holidays and celebrations such as Banjin Inenggi (ᠪᠠᠨᠵᡳᠨ ᡳᠨᡝᠩᡤᡳ) and the Spring Festival as well as newer holidays such as "Revolution Day".
Since the 1980's Manchuria has endeavoured to expand its animation industry. Previously animation was a neglected industry in Manchuria, lagging behind the dominant producer in the region Japan. However since the 1980's Manchuria has developed a growing animation industry mainly consisting of traditional 2D cartoons or modern 3D CG animated films, often produced with low costs. Manchurian animation takes inspiration from traditional Manchu and Chinese art, manhua and more recently anime, and uses techniques ranging from watercolour to computer CG. Despite substantial efforts to promote domestic anime in Manchuria, a study in 2013 found over 61% of respondents prefer Japanese anime to native Manchurian animation. Major animation studies in Manchuria include Liaoyuan Animation Studios, Qi Ying Animation and New century Studios who collectively produce around 62% of the Manchu animation market.