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Old October 14th, 2008, 11:00 AM
ryanrulz37 ryanrulz37 is offline
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Default Canton in 2300/2320AD

Following on from Manchuria, this how I see Canton in 2300/2320AD.


Government
Canton is officially a multiparty democracy with a constitution, an elected national assembly and a president. However Canton is also considered to be one of the most corrupt nations on Earth. Its weak central government is heavily influenced by a cartel of interests ranging from semi-independent warlord dynasties, the remnant of the old Koumintag which united Canton in the 21st Century, and organised crime and foreign corporations. The president who is elected every four years has far more power than any Western counterpart, and can appoint ministers, judges and senior civil servants at will. The national assembly is held in Guangdong and Cantonese politics can be quite volatile with many different and often hostile groups vying for power and authority. Like its northern cousin Manchuria, the Cantonese provinces are run by governors and each region and metropolitan area has its own elected local council. However unlike Manchuria which has a strong central government, many of the provinces are largely autonomous of any central control, and local councils are hampered by conflicting interest groups and a culture of corruption and incompetence.

Population & Society
The population of Canton is overwhelmingly Han Chinese, and minorities such as the Zhuang, Miao and Yi account for less than 10% of the population. The southern and western provinces have substantial numbers of non-ethnic Chinese Vietnamese, Burmese, Tibetans and some Central Asians. Canton also has a sizeable number of expats living in the country, and Westerners, Japanese and many other foreign nationals are highly visible in major cities like Shanghai and Hong Kong and within corporate communities. The official language of Canton is Cantonese, although other dialects are spoken and Mandarin is widely used in the Northern provinces and on Formosa. Canton has no official religion but most Cantonese follow either Taoism or Buddhism, and there is also a growing Christian minority and a smaller Islamic population.

Modern Cantonese society is not as organised or as rigid as Manchuria, and it has often been compared with that of 1920ís China with a run-away capitalist facade. Although some remote provinces are very backward and near feudal in nature, others with a strong foreign corporate presence are well run and many large cities are quite modern and cosmopolitan. Depending on the province the social mobility and personal freedoms of people can vary widely, but due the strong corporate influence in Canton the business and professional middle class in most developed areas is quite large. Upper Cantonese society is dominated by the political, military and old money families, and the warlord dynasties, but wealthy individuals from any background can quickly move to the top. Traditional Cantonese culture is simply Chinese culture, and most modern urban Cantonese wear the latest Asian or global fashions, although older or more modest styles predominate in rural and more remote regions of the country.

Cantonese living standards are typically lower than the world average and large pockets of poverty exist in rural and remote regions. But many who live in corporate dominated provinces and on Formosa are prosperous, and the living standards of the inhabitants of Hong Kong and Shanghai are among the highest in Asia. Public services and amenities are well maintained in the larger cities but are largely neglected elsewhere. Foreign and Cantonese corporations have a major presence due to governments attractive tax incentives and low average salaries, and there are few restrictions on their activities as long as they generate revenue for the government. Violent crime in Canton is lower than the world average, but organised crime is highly visible and Cantonese Triad organisations are linked to the very highest levels of the government. Other criminal organisations such as the Japanese Yakuza and some Western organisations have a large presence in Cantonís corporate sector and rivalries with native criminals are intense. The quality of police enforcement depends on the regions but outside of the corporate run provinces it is generally poor. There are little government restrictions on foreign travel outside of Canton, and foreign broadcasting and unrestricted Netlink access are available to all who can afford it. The Cantonese Media is however largely run by various political and interest groups and censorship and restriction of free speech are common.

Economy
Canton has a large manufacturing sector and is heavily urbanised along its coastal regions. However the interior of most of the country is rural and very underdeveloped, and there is little industry beyond mineral extraction or agriculture. Although Canton lacks the heavy industrial base of Manchurian industry, it has a huge foreign owned consumer goods manufacturing sector. Numerous corporate owned industrial parks surround many Cantonese cities churning out low technology goods for export to Europe, North and South America and other Asian countries, and Hong Kong and Shanghai are major financial centres and ports. Cantonís power production is centred on fossil based power generation and the country imports much of its mineral and energy needs from Australia and other Asian countries, although the importance of fusion power stations and solar powered satellites is growing. Cantonís surface transportation is well below global standards. Electric metro systems and multilane road highways exist in the major conurbations and between major cities, but links with the interior and remote areas are largely dependent on unreliable rail links and badly maintained roads. Most large cities have airports and Hong Kong and Shanghai have spaceplane services to orbit. Canton has no domestic heavy lift capability but has invested in the new orbital elevator under construction in Indonesia.

Military
The Cantonese military is quite large but much of it is poorly equipped and trained. Most of the army is descended from warlord bands or former Taiwanese Koumintag forces which helped restore order in southern China in the post-Twilight War period. The looming threat of Manchuria dominates Cantonese defence doctrine, and the primary role of the army is to blunt and contain any Manchurian invasion. Even the most optimistic Cantonese commanders would consider this an almost impossible task given the current gulf in power and capabilities between Manchurian and Cantonese forces. The Army is organised much more conventionally than its Manchurian counterpart with standard corps, divisions, brigades, regiments and battalions. The army is divided into two forces, a small regular force and a very large reserve force. The regular forces are largely descended from Koumintag forces and have a higher morale and use much better equipment than the rest of the army, and use all the best hover tank and combat walker regiments of the Cantonese Army. Most of its forces are deployed near the Manchurian border or within Modern China. The reserve army numbers over 1 million but is generally a poorly equipped infantry force and is largely a cadre organisation. Most of it is also under the autonomous command of the warlords in the provinces and its usefulness is questionable, and in many cases local corporate security forces are far better equipped and trained than Cantonese troops. The City of Hong Kong has contracted a brigade of mercenary Nepalese Ghurkha troops with ex-British Army officers and advisors to defend its territory.

The Cantonese Air Force and Navy are relatively small organisations and suffer from the same under funding as the army. The Air forceís role is largely defensive and the navy is focused on short ranged patrol duties along Cantonís large coastline. The Cantonese Space Force operates about a half dozen vessels and a few squadrons of fighters of French and Japanese origin, but many never leave Earth orbit and some are widely believed to be incapable of stutterwarp travel due to underfunding and poor maintenance. The Cantonese Space Force could do little to stop a determined Manchurian blockade of Cantonese orbital space.
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