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Government Type:
Law monarchy.png Monarchy

Primary Cultures:
Manchu, Han

State Religion:
Religion mahayana.png Mahayana

Country Tier:

Country Type:

China, known at the beginning of the game as "Great Qing", is an absolute empire and unrecognized power in East Asia. Its capital is the city of Beijing in the state of Beijing. Its market capital is the city of Guangdong in the state of Guangdong. It additionally controls the Flag of Tibet Religious Kingdom of Tibet as a puppet and the Flag of Korea Kingdom of Joseon (Korea) and the Flag of Lanfang Republic of Lanfang as tributaries.

Geography[edit | edit source]

China's vast initial territory sprawls across the strategic regions of North China, South China, Manchuria, Central Asia, the Himalayas, West Siberian and Japan.

It borders many nations, including:


Flag of Dai Nam Dai Nam (Vietnam), Flag of Luang Prabang Luang Prabang (Laos), Flag of Burma Burma and Flag of Tibet Tibet


Flag of Punjab The Sikh Empire, Flag of Kokand Kokand, and the Flag of Kazakhs Kazakh tribes


Flag of Russia Russia


Flag of Korea Joseon

Additionally, due to its Tibetan puppet, the Empire also borders the Himalayan kingdoms of Flag of Nepal Nepal, Flag of Sikkim Sikkim, and Flag of Bhutan Bhutan; in addition to the vast Flag of East India Company British Domain in India.

Cultures & Religion[edit | edit source]

China's primary cultures are Manchu and Han. Both cultures share the Sinosphere cultural trait, but differ as Manchus are North Asian whilst Han are East Asian. China's initial Citizenship law is Cultural Exclusion, so other cultures of North and East Asian Heritage (with the addition of certain South-East Asian cultures) will be accepted. China controls all Manchu and Han homelands at the start of the game, apart from Macau, a Portuguese treaty port. Neither pops exist naturally outside of China.

Though China is vastly Han (85%), it's also home to a variety of smaller ethnic groups. In addition to smaller Chinese/East Asian peoples (Yue, Min, Hakka, Zhuang. Miao, and Yi), there are also Koreans, Mongols, and Tibetans. These are all accepted cultures, but other indigenous peoples of the far western states of the Empire who are Turkic and Iranian Central Asians (Uighurs, Tartars, Kazakhs, etc) are not.

China's state religion is Mahayana which has the Eastern and Buddhist traits. As China's initial church and state law is State Religion, that means its significant minorities of Animists, Gelugpa Buddhists, and Sunni Muslims will face discrimination. Furthermore, China will eventually experience a unique series of events relating to the emergence of a homegrown variety of evangelical Christianity, which will be zealously spread through the country a handful of states at a time. If not properly managed, this could lead to the formation of the Heavenly Kingdom and civil war.

Politics[edit | edit source]

China's initial government is an Absolute Empire, with power centered around the Manchu Qing Emperor. China is very conservative at the start of the game, with peasant levies being the army model, mercantile trade, serfdom, and no social security at all being the name of the game. However, slavery is banned, people can leave the country freely, and ethnic minorities (including those who are the majority in surrounding states) are tolerated.

Interest groups:[edit | edit source]

Scholar-Officials[edit | edit source]

A large plurality (46.3%) of the Empire's clout rests within the Scholar-Officials, these are a powerful clique of bureaucrats/landed elites who heavily favor the agrarian traditionalism of Imperial China, and will staunchly oppose and sabotage any attempts to reform the Empire. As these represent those nobles who have passed the grueling imperial examination, they are uniquely opposed to a hereditary bureaucracy in contrast to other aristocrats. You are unlikely to have a high government legitimacy in the early part of the game without them, which makes passing certain reforms a challenge.

Confucian Scholars[edit | edit source]

The second most influential group (18.2%), representing the Empire's clergymen. These are similarly conservative, but are far less likely to oppose crucial reforms to your military, welfare, and economic regime, but are more strident supporters of monarchy than the Officials.

Other Major Interest Groups[edit | edit source]

The Rural Folk (12.6%), The Armed Forces (9.1%), The Literati (7.1%), and The Petite Bourgeois (5.4 %), make up the rest of the major interest groups. Whilst the former one is fairly conservative in their attitude to all reforms, the remaining 3 favor more reforms to their particular pet issue (Power, Human rights, Economy respectively).

Technology[edit | edit source]

China starts with several era 1 technologies.

Event industry.png Production technology Event military.png Military technology Event portrait.png Society technology
  • Invention prospecting tech.png Prospecting
  • Invention steelworking.png Steelworking
  • Invention distillation.png Distillation
  • Invention sericulture.png Sericulture
  • Invention drydock.png Drydocks
  • Invention admiralty.png Admiralty
  • Invention artillery.png Artillery
  • Invention military drill.png Military Drill
  • Invention law enforcement.png Law Enforcement
  • Invention international trade.png International Trade
  • Invention centralization.png Centralization
  • Invention international diplomacy.png International Relations
  • Invention democracy.png Democracy
  • Invention academia.png Academia

Journal & Decisions[edit | edit source]

China has the following special Journal Entries and Decisions:

Fragile Unity[edit | edit source]

China has a chance of collapsing into numerous smaller states if too much goes wrong, namely failing to avoid or weather various historical events that brought the real life Qing Dynasty to its knees.

Each event contributes 20% to a score that, when filled, will trigger the China Shatters event.

These include:

  • Losing the Opium wars
  • The appearance of the Heavenly Kingdom
  • Failing to defeat the Heavenly Kingdom
  • Failing to defeat the Boxer rebellion
  • Going into default
  • Having a civil war
  • Becoming a subject
  • Abolishing the monarchy

You can reverse the progress of this bar (by −20%) via the following:

  • Win the Opium wars
  • Become a recognized power
  • Finish the Stamp Out Monarchism Journal Entry

Ban Opium[edit | edit source]

One of the unique traits of the Han culture in-game is an obsession with Goods opium.png opium. This means that an event will frequently fire where a random Chinese state will suffer an opium epidemic, which cuts into population growth and productivity. You can make a decision to ban the narcotic in order to stop this event, but this may incur the wrath of the British Empire who may start the opium wars if you haven't either improved relations with them or improved the strength of your military.

Opium becomes an important consumer good as your military medical science advances, so repealing the ban once the obsession has abated is usually a good idea.

Strategy[edit | edit source]

Economy[edit | edit source]

China's economy is the world's largest by far, and is very likely to stay that way if you play your cards right. The empire is vast, and contains ample amounts of every resource you'll need to become a manufacturing juggernaut, with the notable exception of oil and rubber, but these are easily accessible from nearby regions. Although you're technologically behind the European powers in all matters, including in production methods, you make up for it through the sheer numbers of workers you can employ and thus the number of farms, factories, and mines you'll have.

The empire does have some economic problems though, one being the lack of modern infrastructure in the early to mid-point of the game, but it's namely keeping up with the ever growing demands of your quickly modernizing and expanding bureaucracy and military. China is obviously not unique in this matter, but the scale of the challenge certainly is. On that note, the bureaucracy, China's population and economy are so vast that they require an equally massive force of government workers to keep track of it all, and this requires you to pour a lot of investment into government buildings, personnel, and paper manufacturing, the costs of which can quickly spiral out of control if not carefully developed. Make sure to expand your raw resource base before you start increasing the size of your manufacturing and before you build more offices and barracks for that matter. However, China's demand for bureaucrats is so high and you make so much money even without sufficient taxation efficiency that it won't necessarily hurt your power prospects if you neglect it.

Trade wise, China only starts with three other countries in its market: Korea, Tibet, and a small Hakka Chinese republic in south-east Asia called "Lanfang". These economies are obviously dwarfed by China's own, but, the might of the Imperial Army and the bounty of your economy means that many powerful nations will soon come knocking at your door for trade and diplomatic relations.

Military[edit | edit source]

China starts off with the world's largest military. With 455 professional battalions and 726 conscripts (over a million men total), it is certainly impressive on paper, but that's about it. The imperial army at the start, though massive, is actually a relatively feeble fighting force, and its token navy of a dozen man-o'-wars isn't even worth mentioning. This is besides the fact that the British Empire's combined forces are likely to become comparable in size once the campaign starts going. China also only begins with 4 army and 3 navy techs unlocked, meaning that their professional battalions are of irregular quality and their conscripts don't even get cannons. They also start with the Peasant Levies army model, and a political order keen on not changing that, preventing their large military manpower pool from becoming truly bottomless.

Before the European powers can be fought on equal footing, you'll have to focus your initial tech investments on the army, just so that the British don't immediately flatten you and steal Hong Kong if you decide to ban opium. Meanwhile, even though Peasant Levies caps barracks to 25, you have enough provinces, manpower, and money to expand the size of your professional forces to 600-750 battalions. A professional force this large, combined with your 700+ conscript battalions, may actually be more than enough for the rest of the game if you plan to go for quality over vast quantity. For the early game, though, this should be more than enough to keep the other powers from trying something, dissuading even the British from launching the Opium Wars.

However, if you do desire a far larger force of perhaps 2-4x more than this, then you'll have to get those military reforms past the pre-eminent Scholar-Officials. This is easier said than done, as they're likely to shoot military reforms down on every single attempt to implement them, and so it may take considerable effort to disenfranchise them enough to have other interest groups step in and get Professional Army or Mass Conscription passed. It may even lead to a civil war, which is why it may be smart to foster a military alliance with one of the great powers.

Once you succeed in this endeavor, your reward is an army that is all but invincible, whose total size is larger than the working pops of most countries. An Imperial Army with a blank check to expand is so absolutely terrifying that even great powers along the likes of Russia will surrender territory without you firing a shot, and you can effectively ignore the infamy mechanic because none of the European powers will be likely to send a sufficient force around the globe to smite you. Of course, supplying such a force is another story, but even if you can't afford to give all your millions of troops top of the line hardware, the overwhelming numbers will exhaust the enemy of money and manpower long before you.

On the aforementioned navy, though it is laughably small considering the country it serves, that's something can and likely should be fixed. Though it may be tempting to neglect it and go all in on the army, it goes without saying that attempting to expand into the East Indies, Japan, or even Africa without a decent sized navy is all but impossible no matter how big your army is. China has a large coastline, and many coastal states, so with your industrial output you can at least build a naval force large enough to land your army and keep them from getting cut off from supplies far away from the mainland.

Expansion[edit | edit source]

As it did in real life, the Chinese empire in-game has most of what it needs inside its own borders, and doesn't really need to expand much further. However, for a more ambitious ruler, even this isn't enough. At the start of the game, it's clear that the sharks have already started to circle, with the Russians in the north and west, the British to the southwest, and even the Dutch in the southeast. With these neighbors, lanes for expansion seem a bit narrow, but there are lands in Central Asia and in Indochina that can easily be puppeted or conquered even in the early game. However, be aware that throwing your weight around this early is likely to provoke conflict with the two superpowers to your north and south, one which you are unlikely to win in the first few decades into the game. To the east, Joseon and Japan can be juicy targets too, but as the Shogunate is an island country and your navy is likely pitiful, this isn't really an option early on.

Thus, it is normally better to wait until the mid-game, when your military and its supporting industries are large and advanced enough to actually go toe-to-toe with the British and the Russians if need be. Once ready, the world is China's oyster and you'll be able to go any way you wish.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

In the previous game, Victoria 2, China was split into multiple sub-states from the start of the game in order to better simulate the dissolution of the Qing Dynasty's central authority and the spheres of influence each European power exerted over different regions of China, given the limitations of the engine at the time.

References[edit | edit source]