Discussion:
Mao Zedong Turns China Into a Federation
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WolfBear
2017-04-13 01:57:30 UTC
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What if Mao Zedong would have turned China into a (nominal) ethnic federation--as per the Soviet model?

For the record, in such a scenario, the Uyghurs, Tibetans, and other large minority groups will have their own SSRs inside of China--as would the speakers of various Chinese dialects/languages:

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How would China being a federation affect its government and its functioning?

Also, would the speakers of various Chinese dialects/languages gradually undergo ethnogenesis and gradually become their own separate ethnic groups (as in, separate from the Han Chinese) in this TL?

Any thoughts on all of this?
David Tenner
2017-04-13 05:53:28 UTC
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Post by WolfBear
What if Mao Zedong would have turned China into a (nominal) ethnic
federation--as per the Soviet model?
A major difference is that in China, one ethnic group--the Han--is about 92%
of the country's population. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Han_Chinese Even
in the USSR, where Russians were "only" 51.4 percent of the population in
1989 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_Soviet_Union the
imbalance between the Russians and other groups created some awkwardness--
having a separate RSFSR government seemed to be duplication to many people
(including Stalin, at first--though he eventually yielded to Lenin on this
point). And it is noteworthy that--at least until almost the end of the
USSR--the RSFSR never had many of the institutions the other republics had.
There was no Russian Academy of Sciences, no Russian KGB or MVD, no Russian
Communist Party, etc--though Khrushchev did create a CPSU bureau for the
RSFSR. (See https://books.google.com/books?id=uv1zv4FZhFUC&pg=PT40 for
Khrushchev's argument that an elected Central Committee of the RSFSR
Communist Party would be dangerous--"The Russian Federation is too large and
powerful," you would have a "dual center," etc.)

With China all these problems would be exacerbated. A "Han Republic" would
in effect *be* China--or at least 92% of China. For this reason a Soviet or
Yugoslav-type federation was probably impractical for China.
--
David Tenner
***@ameritech.net
WolfBear
2017-04-13 06:43:57 UTC
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Post by David Tenner
Post by WolfBear
What if Mao Zedong would have turned China into a (nominal) ethnic
federation--as per the Soviet model?
A major difference is that in China, one ethnic group--the Han--is about 92%
of the country's population. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Han_Chinese Even
in the USSR, where Russians were "only" 51.4 percent of the population in
1989 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_Soviet_Union the
imbalance between the Russians and other groups created some awkwardness--
having a separate RSFSR government seemed to be duplication to many people
(including Stalin, at first--though he eventually yielded to Lenin on this
point). And it is noteworthy that--at least until almost the end of the
USSR--the RSFSR never had many of the institutions the other republics had.
There was no Russian Academy of Sciences, no Russian KGB or MVD, no Russian
Communist Party, etc--though Khrushchev did create a CPSU bureau for the
RSFSR. (See https://books.google.com/books?id=uv1zv4FZhFUC&pg=PT40 for
Khrushchev's argument that an elected Central Committee of the RSFSR
Communist Party would be dangerous--"The Russian Federation is too large and
powerful," you would have a "dual center," etc.)
With China all these problems would be exacerbated. A "Han Republic" would
in effect *be* China--or at least 92% of China. For this reason a Soviet or
Yugoslav-type federation was probably impractical for China.
--
David Tenner
Please keep in mind, though, that I am talking about creating separate SSRs for the various non-Mandarin speaking parts of China. Thus, there would be a separate Cantonese SSR, a separate Hakka SSR, et cetera:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_language#/media/File:Map_of_sinitic_languages_cropped-en.svg

In turn, this would make the largest entity in such a Chinese federation something like 60% (66% minus the minorities, so about 60%)--rather than 92%--of China's total population:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_language#Classification
Don Phillipson
2017-04-13 22:55:24 UTC
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Post by WolfBear
Post by David Tenner
Post by WolfBear
What if Mao Zedong would have turned China into a (nominal) ethnic
federation--as per the Soviet model?
A major difference is that in China, one ethnic group--the Han--is about 92%
of the country's population. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Han_Chinese
Even
in the USSR, where Russians were "only" 51.4 percent of the population in
1989 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_the_Soviet_Union the
imbalance between the Russians and other groups created some
awkwardness--
having a separate RSFSR government seemed to be duplication to many people
Please keep in mind, though, that I am talking about creating separate
SSRs
for the various non-Mandarin speaking parts of China. . . .
this would make the largest entity in such a Chinese federation something
like 60% (66% minus the minorities, so about 60%)--rather than 92%--of
China's
What if the Bolsheviks--either under Lenin or in the early Stalin
years--would
have had the Russian SFSR annex both the Ukrainian and the Byelorussian
SSR?
It is not clear why the OP suggests amalgamation for one Communist
super-state and decentralization for the other (which had its own
strong tradition of forced unification.) I suspect the concept of an
" ethnic federation--as per the Soviet model" is simply a mistake,
cf. the enforcement by police terror as well as public administration
of the CP's "dictatorship of the proletariat."
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
(Ottawa, Canada)
David Tenner
2017-04-14 21:39:30 UTC
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Post by WolfBear
Please keep in mind, though, that I am talking about creating separate
SSRs for the various non-Mandarin speaking parts of China. Thus, there
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_language#/media/File:Map_of_sinitic
_languages_cropped-en.svg
In turn, this would make the largest entity in such a Chinese federation
something like 60% (66% minus the minorities, so about 60%)--rather than
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_language#Classification
One has to remember that the natural bias of Communists was toward
centralization. The federal basis of the USSR and Yugoslavia was an
exception to this bias, and was justified by the argument that it was
actually a step toward centralization because it helped to satisfy the
apirations of nations (Ukrainians or Armenians, Croats or Solvenes, etc.)
which might otherwise insist on independence. I don't think that the
speakers of the non-Mandarin varieties of Chinese were regarded as "nations"
by very many people, and certainly not by the Communists. True, language was
considered one of the criteria of nationhood by Stalin, but not the only
one; and in any event, Communists and most other modernizers believed that
there should be only one *written* Chinese language
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Written_vernacular_Chinese even if differences
in pronunciation make a speaker in one variety unintelligible to those who
speak others.
--
David Tenner
***@ameritech.net
Yusuf B Gursey
2017-04-16 14:09:25 UTC
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Post by David Tenner
Post by WolfBear
Please keep in mind, though, that I am talking about creating separate
SSRs for the various non-Mandarin speaking parts of China. Thus, there
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_language#/media/File:Map_of_sinitic
_languages_cropped-en.svg
In turn, this would make the largest entity in such a Chinese federation
something like 60% (66% minus the minorities, so about 60%)--rather than
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_language#Classification
One has to remember that the natural bias of Communists was toward
centralization. The federal basis of the USSR and Yugoslavia was an
exception to this bias, and was justified by the argument that it was
actually a step toward centralization because it helped to satisfy the
apirations of nations (Ukrainians or Armenians, Croats or Solvenes, etc.)
which might otherwise insist on independence. I don't think that the
speakers of the non-Mandarin varieties of Chinese were regarded as "nations"
by very many people, and certainly not by the Communists. True, language was
considered one of the criteria of nationhood by Stalin, but not the only
one; and in any event, Communists and most other modernizers believed that
The question wasn't settled ithout some debate in the 1920's among
some Communists.
Post by David Tenner
there should be only one *written* Chinese language
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Written_vernacular_Chinese even if differences
in pronunciation make a speaker in one variety unintelligible to those who
speak others.
It's much more than just pronunciation. The various varieties of
Chinese are more diverse than the Slavic or Turkic languages. They
differ in pronounciation. vocabulary and syntax. Since they are
isolating languages syntax coveres most of the grammar. One talks
of "dialects" only because the sapeakers agree on a single written
lsnguage, they all roughly derive from Middle Chinese and the
speakers think of themeselves as a single nation.
Post by David Tenner
--
David Tenner
WolfBear
2017-05-11 23:23:51 UTC
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Post by Yusuf B Gursey
Post by David Tenner
Post by WolfBear
Please keep in mind, though, that I am talking about creating separate
SSRs for the various non-Mandarin speaking parts of China. Thus, there
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_language#/media/File:Map_of_sinitic
_languages_cropped-en.svg
In turn, this would make the largest entity in such a Chinese federation
something like 60% (66% minus the minorities, so about 60%)--rather than
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_language#Classification
One has to remember that the natural bias of Communists was toward
centralization. The federal basis of the USSR and Yugoslavia was an
exception to this bias, and was justified by the argument that it was
actually a step toward centralization because it helped to satisfy the
apirations of nations (Ukrainians or Armenians, Croats or Solvenes, etc.)
which might otherwise insist on independence. I don't think that the
speakers of the non-Mandarin varieties of Chinese were regarded as "nations"
by very many people, and certainly not by the Communists. True, language was
considered one of the criteria of nationhood by Stalin, but not the only
one; and in any event, Communists and most other modernizers believed that
The question wasn't settled ithout some debate in the 1920's among
some Communists.
Post by David Tenner
there should be only one *written* Chinese language
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Written_vernacular_Chinese even if differences
in pronunciation make a speaker in one variety unintelligible to those who
speak others.
It's much more than just pronunciation. The various varieties of
Chinese are more diverse than the Slavic or Turkic languages. They
differ in pronounciation. vocabulary and syntax. Since they are
isolating languages syntax coveres most of the grammar. One talks
of "dialects" only because the sapeakers agree on a single written
lsnguage, they all roughly derive from Middle Chinese and the
speakers think of themeselves as a single nation.
Post by David Tenner
--
David Tenner
The Chinese Communists had a debate about this in the 1920s? If so, where exactly did you read that?
Yusuf B Gursey
2017-05-12 06:36:13 UTC
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WolfBear on 5/12/2017 in
Post by WolfBear
Post by Yusuf B Gursey
Post by David Tenner
Post by WolfBear
Please keep in mind, though, that I am talking about creating separate
SSRs for the various non-Mandarin speaking parts of China. Thus, there
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_language#/media/File:Map_of_sinitic
_languages_cropped-en.svg
In turn, this would make the largest entity in such a Chinese federation
something like 60% (66% minus the minorities, so about 60%)--rather than
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_language#Classification
One has to remember that the natural bias of Communists was toward
centralization. The federal basis of the USSR and Yugoslavia was an
exception to this bias, and was justified by the argument that it was
actually a step toward centralization because it helped to satisfy the
apirations of nations (Ukrainians or Armenians, Croats or Solvenes, etc.)
which might otherwise insist on independence. I don't think that the
speakers of the non-Mandarin varieties of Chinese were regarded as
"nations" by very many people, and certainly not by the Communists. True,
language was considered one of the criteria of nationhood by Stalin, but
not the only one; and in any event, Communists and most other modernizers
believed that
The question wasn't settled ithout some debate in the 1920's among
some Communists.
Post by David Tenner
there should be only one *written* Chinese language
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Written_vernacular_Chinese even if
differences in pronunciation make a speaker in one variety unintelligible
to those who speak others.
It's much more than just pronunciation. The various varieties of
Chinese are more diverse than the Slavic or Turkic languages. They
differ in pronounciation. vocabulary and syntax. Since they are
isolating languages syntax coveres most of the grammar. One talks
of "dialects" only because the sapeakers agree on a single written
lsnguage, they all roughly derive from Middle Chinese and the
speakers think of themeselves as a single nation.
Post by David Tenner
--
David Tenner
The Chinese Communists had a debate about this in the 1920s? If so, where
exactly did you read that?
That some Chinese Communists had advocated standardizing the various
"dialetcs" of Chinese but that later the idea was droppped. The book
"The Languages of China" didn't give details.
j***@mdfs.net
2017-06-18 03:32:00 UTC
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Any possible Chinese Federation would only be practical or likely
to be built from the (pre)existing provinces:
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SolomonW
2017-06-19 08:56:43 UTC
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Post by j***@mdfs.net
Any possible Chinese Federation would only be practical or likely
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/0a/10/51/0a1051bb8d641025a48306bed1cb036e.jpg
China does not have a major national issue like the old USSR had, so its
not going to tear itself apart like the USSR did.

WolfBear
2017-05-11 23:23:20 UTC
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Post by David Tenner
Post by WolfBear
Please keep in mind, though, that I am talking about creating separate
SSRs for the various non-Mandarin speaking parts of China. Thus, there
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_language#/media/File:Map_of_sinitic
_languages_cropped-en.svg
In turn, this would make the largest entity in such a Chinese federation
something like 60% (66% minus the minorities, so about 60%)--rather than
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_language#Classification
One has to remember that the natural bias of Communists was toward
centralization. The federal basis of the USSR and Yugoslavia was an
exception to this bias, and was justified by the argument that it was
actually a step toward centralization because it helped to satisfy the
apirations of nations (Ukrainians or Armenians, Croats or Solvenes, etc.)
which might otherwise insist on independence. I don't think that the
speakers of the non-Mandarin varieties of Chinese were regarded as "nations"
by very many people, and certainly not by the Communists. True, language was
considered one of the criteria of nationhood by Stalin, but not the only
one; and in any event, Communists and most other modernizers believed that
there should be only one *written* Chinese language
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Written_vernacular_Chinese even if differences
in pronunciation make a speaker in one variety unintelligible to those who
speak others.
--
David Tenner
So, you are saying that my proposal here would have been dead in the water considering that the various non-Mandarin Chinese speakers never advocated for independence--not even during the warlord era--correct?
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