Back in 1995, the late John Reilly did an essay about a new dynasty in 1916. Here is my adaptation of it. He didn't speculate much on the wider world picture so the non-chinese bits are 90% me.Ok, me combined with inevitable osmosis from others' scenarios regarding a non-commie China.
At first, China's having an imperial government instead of warlordism doesn't change all that much in the 20s and 30s except for removing Japanese involvement in Manchuria for tactical considerations, along with somewhat altering the ideological evolution of fascism and National Socialism. The example of a reviving China tipped the balance in favor of more old-style religiosity than in OTL -- National Sociaislm and fascism are both significantly more christian-flavored than OTL. There were also some changes in National Socialist ideology regarding the jews: Even before the war, the explicit goal is to give them their own country OUTSIDE of Europe and deport Euirope's jews there rather than any plans involving mass murder. This led to oddities like a JEWISH Waffen SS unit as the war became desperate.
The first noticable change comes with Japan doing an earlier offensive to the south and joining the second world war earlier -- Japanese forces seize french indochina, the dutch east indies and British Malaya in early 1940. The goal is to gain sources of resources, along with surrounding China to prepare for a single offensive -- Japan's goal is to compel China either to submission or neutrality(for the parts not able to be seized).
A unified China was a significantly more attractive target for Japan than OTL, but also more dangerous. This sharpened Japanese strategy towards China. Instead of several meandering offensives like OTL, the plan was to hit China from the east and southeast, along with invading the US's Philippines to prevent US involvement in late 1940 in a single offensive. The US embassy in Washington DC got a formal declaration of war from Japan on December 2, 1940 which even in the spirit of politeness specified the date and time that Japan would invade the Philippines on(December 7, 1940).
Given that the Pacific War was largely a naval campaign, combined with even a not very competent Chinese military' being more organized than OTL's warlords Japan lost earlier than OTL. A campaigns of firebombings and starvation brought Japan to it's knees by late 1944.
The Red Army being bogged down helping the Chinese empire fight off Japan combined with the Nazis being less kill-happy than OTL meant that Moscow and the Baku oilfields were both lost temporarily which extended the European war to early 1946(This also allowed . This allowed Germany to last long enough to eat 5 nukes, along with an even harsher peace treaty -- Prussia-Brandenburg, Austria, Saxony under soviet occupation while Rhineland, Westphalia, Bavaria and Hanover were all western-occupied republics.
The cold war began roughly on schedule in europe on similar borders to OTL, but in Eastern Asia the capitalist world included China, Japan and Korea without the USSR gaining anything from the war. This, of course butterflied out anything like the red scare with domestic policy implications in the United States. "Free trade" globalization kicked off earlier than OTL, including the Chinese Empire. Factories and call centers moved east decades early.
After the war, the Chinese Empire's history mirrored our People's Republic of China after 1950 in many ways even if different in details like making different and less lethal mistakes than OTL's Red China. The Xin Dynasty was greatly energized by being a victor in the war so there was around 15-20 years of growing wealth, with real prosperity in some coastal areas. This was followed by a period of great disorder in the 1960s by elements of traditionalism, or conservative-flavored populists. Where the People's Republic of China and Xin China diverged was in the detail of the restoration of order -- Deng in OTL gained power to fix the system, but this world's version of Deng came to power as a traditionally-minded revolutionary. The price for restoring order in China was jetissoning the corrupt imperial government, and by 1975 the last Emperor was on a plane to Zurich.
The early rise of "free trade" and outsourcing meant that China's move towards a nationalistic economic policy, severely disrupted things for several years as various supply chains/ were broken. This period of instability made the system more fragile, which would become an issue in 1985 .
The revolution led to the US-Chinese split, even if it wasn't quite as antagonistic as OTL sino-soviet split. Some regimes went in favor of the US, while others latched on to China in response to US moralism(White-ruled african states, Chile, Post-revolutionary Iran). The United States elected a failed actor, who against all previous expectations re: his foreign policy views negotiated the end of the cold war, and new US/soviet cooperation("No more brothers' wars.", "The russians are at least close to being white and it's not like anyone there *believes* in communism these days."). He did not get reelected in 1980 despite being charming and talking alot about "morning in america" as things came apart internationally. At least he didn't lose literally every state like the guy who wins in 1984 did.
Following the late 70s recession, the world economy temporarily chugged along until 1985 when the Israelis got into a war with their neighbors, bombed some oil fields and triggered a generation of crises. First there was the oil embargo, then the stagflation, then more stock market crashes, then the riots began. The frightening team of mercenaries temporarily taking New Jersey's largest city Did not help(The diplomatic freakout over the CIA operating openly in what was then still the USSR was... large once the information about that failed extraction mission came out(US ally or not, it's still the CIA in the bloody USSR). The collapse of the decadent west, combined with the presence of a "safer" model in the form of ultra-conservative China allowed communism to soldier on for a decade more before it all fell apart.
The years 1998-2004 are marked by many as the heart of the dead years. They were the most chaotic years. A former chef with bleached, spiked hair and a flame shirt leading a march to try seizing the white house, the temporary loss of New Jersey's largest city to mercenaries, The reunification of former Germany's 7 countries back into one, the long-delayed collapse of communism in the USSR, the attempts by several southern states to secede, the five-way presidential election of 2000. These events and more all showed that the 20th century was over.
Since the mid-2000s, stability has begun returning but by then many old certainties had gone in the trash, along with both existing jobs and resumes for those who weren't aware of exactly how the world had changed. The world was once again 1) multipolar 2) the power of "international community" opinion over nations' domestic policy/treatment of immigrants was greatly reduced.
THE WESTPHALIAN BLOC
China, the FRE, Germany and Japan lead a bloc tired of western moralizing hypocrisy, of promotion of 'democracy', western social liberalism and western notions of the market(isn't odd how "free markets" and "capitalism" coincide with what'll allow western companies to scoop up good deals and block competition?). The bloc derives it's name from the old Westphalian notion of sovereignty.
The Republic of China's governance is in many ways like say Salazar's Portugal, Franco's Spain or Iran -- a quite 'conservative' government, but with a healthy tradition of being friendly to private economic initiative carried out in the context of greater plans. Due to the 'conservative' nature of the post-revolutionary government it's elites at least fake being cultured and keeping up on the confucian traditions. It's no wealthier than OTL China, but in a context where the US economy is half of the size of OTL it's enough to make it the biggest economy on the planet. The future looks bright for China.
The Federated Republics of Eurasia managed to hold on or retake most of the USSR's old territories during the dead years, but Premier Drago wasn't dumb enough to re-annex either Afghanistan or the Baltics, or to even play silly games with Eastern Europe(He's a wiser and less confrontational man than Putin OTL).
Observers both in Japan and elsewhere sometimes use the name Heisei Restoration to identify Japan's post 1990s rightwards move and write lots of worried books about it, when there's one simple explanation; Japan's leadership noticed that the US was busy at home and wasn't available to defend it and decided to accept finlandization in return for a better deal than they got for the US(No whining about lolicon hentai or sexism).
Germany is reunited, and it's government alternates between the German Renaissance Party and the National Conservative Party, both of which are right-wing with the main differences being that one is more technocratic and the other more religious in nature. Germany's government aggressively promotes having children, the immigration of non-muslim sufficiently pale people(the line promoting the solidarity of Neanderthal Man's European and east asian descendents). and even does bachelor/spinster taxes. The fact that immigration from China, the FRE or the former warsaw pact lowers workers' wages is an occasional complaint from left-leaning elements in Germany.
The new intermarum is a bloc of eastern european nations that violently overthrew communit regimes in the early 2000s. Governance tends towards either fascism or military juntas, with a few nations like Poland's theocratic tendencies or Albania's standing out.
Ethiopia is an ultra-conservative monarchy that stays in power by playing to anti-islamic sentiment, pointing to economic growth and keeping the main intellectual forces that could be an opposition on board with strong social conservatism(Ethiopia's kings watched what happened in 1970s China and want no part of it).
Biafra is an unpleasant Christian theocracy with far too much oil for it's own good. Really, the one kind of positive thing that can be said for it's government is that it's branched out to sweatshop industry as a second economic niche for when the oil runs out. It's also significantly more populous than OTL southern/delta nigeria given the muslim majority in Nigeria. misttreatment of Christians and animists.
South Africa has transitioned from being an (afrikaner-led) White Man's Country to a White and Colored Man's country with the Afrikaans-speaking coloreds being brought on board in the 1990s(full equality, even down to no longer being barred from intermarrying). The government is still much like OTL's apartheid state, but is at least more free market than OTL's apartheid was so there's more economic growth there. The notion of bringing in the Indians or malays into the system is being floated in parliament, although the idea of including rich black sellouts was shot down. At least that proposal was shot down with a "wait 10 or 20 years".
Rhodesia is a White and rich black sellout Man's country these days. It nowadays includes 1/3 of it's black population as voting citizens with economic growth leading to more becoming fully equal. It's also now a fifth white thanks to immigration from the west.
Turkey's military junta recently decided to formally codify it's status as a militocracy and thus annoiunced that elections would not be forthcoming. Ability to participate in government would be contingent on one's rank -- the fact that it's 1) hard for women to join the armed forces at all 2) no relaxed standards means much fewer who join can rise acts as a good enough sop to social conservativs. It remains to be seen if this will work, but the fact that (so far) the officer training school still focuses on skills rather than connections.
Besides these notable nations, the Westphalia pact also includes a bunch of pro-Chinese military juntas, one-party states and monarchies. These trend towards the economically nationalistic and soically conservative.
Westphalia pact nations often host various 'far right' websites illegal in places like say Lotharingia or Sweden and quietly funnel money to right-wing publishing houses to push propaganda. This is something that's been practiced by China even before the second world war starting with White Rusian exiles. The fact that that it contributed to the Chinese Revolution's happening is something the Chinese government knows and wouldn't mind replicating elsewhere.
The United States is inwards-looking, demoted to "great power" and still clearly in recovery from a few bad decades -- national incomes have recovered to half of OTL 2013. Economic policy is a bit incoherent(30% tariff, unconditional basic income, having high land taxes), but clearly fits into populism -- the economy would be even more socialist if it wasn't for libertarian-ish types like the current President forcing compromises. Politics has a whole is rather more regionalized, with the situation being more each region having 2-3 parties competing. At least it's not as unstable as it was in the 1990s. Many isssues are settled by the states, or by the new second tier of autonomy the Union Republics these days. The US experience with having a generous unconditional basic income instead of a large welfare bureaucracy or all sorts of perks for 'special interests' is starting to be noticed elsewhere since it not only saves money(this is noticed by rich people) it happens to work better.The fact that quite a few Americans blame the jews for the last arab-israeli war, and the following string of crises in the 80s and 90s hasn't led to anything worse than pogroms in the south but quite a few have decided that not being in the US is just common sense.
France is far to the right of OTL but still 1) democratic(Ok, it's divided between the "openly racist, remove kebab" and the "we'll accept you if you change your name, learn french and adopt catholicism/french style laicete" parties.) 2) not willing to play second fiddle in europe to Germany of all places so it's still not in favor of the Westphalian bloc.
Besides Canada, Scandanavia's countries remain the last sources of anything related to OTL's social democracy.
The closest thing to a remnant of the European Union would be the confederation of Lotharingia, formerly known as Benelux. The name was chosen by popular polls in the 1990s to replace Benelux since it sounded better. The other options of "We're not holland, damn it" or "Microsoft Europe" didn't get credible people on board.
Palestine's jewish minority of 38% is starting to get a bit worried -- even before 1990, Israel was less popular than in OTL(The fact the Israel's second, fourth and fifth prime ministers were all veterans of the Waffen SS's Judas maccabeus brigade, along with being as dickish to the local arabs as OTL also didn't help). There are quite a few jewish palestinians looking into passports elsewhere but with the rise of powers that don't have OTL's western reasons to be sympathetic or have a guilt complex, along with the west becoming less sympathetic there's not much luck in finding new places to go to -- quite a few are wondering if they made the right choice in forcing democracy for all back in 1990. To be fair, it's not like it was an entirely voluntary choice since at the time all 3 superpowers expressed their... concerns following the nuking of the oil fields by rogue IDF elements during the war.
With China in the capitalist world, technology is boosted by a few years. Not as much as one would expect, thanks to the economic collapse of the west in the 80s and 90s unfortunately. Instead of a 2013 level, think a 2018-2020 level depending on the specific area. Space exploration has been restarted in the past few years, thanks to great power competition.
Despite China's being in the capitalist world, the world is about a decade behind OTL in terms of resource depletion and the weather getting funny. Part of it is the global economic collapse of the late 80s to early 00s, but another part is more serious than OTL efforts to address resource issues following the... disruption caused by the nuking of middle eastern oilfields.
Various 'far right' elements are rather more credible in the liberal democracies of the west than in OTL given the clear failure of the old liberal model combined with decades of China's hosting right-wing publishers giving them more voice.
PENN JILLETTE smiles with grim satisfaction as he rejects yet another non-STEM degree applicant. The dead years might have forced him to give up his dreams of being a magician and plans to appear on TV, but getting to personally trash people's resume was worth it. That and the reliable income.
WILLIAM "BILL" WILSON got that promotion after intervening to save the day and change... plans since he felt the plane crashing without survivors wasn't really a good way to start the day. He has since left the CIA, to do mercenary work of his own in the third world.
CURTIS GUY YARVIN is the personal advisor to China's President Fang, after a complicated series of events involving fleeing patent-related lawsuits that brought him from San Francisco to Shenzhen and put him in contact with some younger relatives of President Fang. In his free time, he runs a blog which gets some notice but mostly due to his influence.
PEPE CARVALHO and F. WOJAK both bleed out, and feel satisfaction even as their life force drains out from the cops' bullets. They managed to achieve the dream that they've been talking about for years. The dream of writing their law in blood on the streets to teach the Chads and Stacys of this world the meaning of fear. They managed to kill 300 people with a mix of pipe bombs, home made nerve gas in a mall's ventilation system and good old fashioned gunning down people. When the cops check their computers, on pepe's the only comprehensible thing they'll retrieve are 15,000 pictures of a sad frog. Authorities suspect this might be related to why Pepe's body was found covered in green paint. On Wojak's, it will be stylized MS paint drawings of a man, always with the caption ">tfw no gf". Nothing explains why Pepe was covered in green paint. By the time police intervene, Pepe's blue shirt and shorts had both become stained brown with blood and other substances. Two cops will kill themselves later on this day because of what they've seen written on the walls using blood, feces and other substances.
CHRISTOPHER "MOOT" POOLE says for the 50th time that day "Will you like fries with that, Sir?" and dies a little bit more inside. If only he hadn't bitten on the offer to sell the IP addresses of the people posting on his site to gawker last year. If he hadn't done that, maybe he'd either still have a site. At least he wouldn't have an equivelant sized population to New York State after him, wanting his blood and forcing him to change his name.
Fashion mogul JACOBIN MUGATU is living in luxurious retirement and has just placed his second billionth dollar bill in a fancy little glass case in his mansion. Even though his plan to have Malaysia's progressive prime minister assasinated worked out, there was enough of a close call with the model he picked turning on him things worked out at the last minute.
GEORGE W. BUSH is sunning on the beach in Australia and even now glad that he wasn't the one to win in 2000. The (official) democrat candidate won that year, and ended up killing himself on national TV during a state of the union address due to the stress -- the whole "losing a city to mercenaries" thing and even dealing with an attempted putsch by of all things a Food Network host ended up being far too much to bear for the other guy.
Senator JAMES MCGILL is currently involved in a scandal over illegal tiger ownership, tax fraud and frivolous lawsuits. The scandal has expanded to include senators Catalano( D-NY ) and Alexander ( D-NY ) too. Senator McGill is glad he decided to stash all the money he earned from Wayfarer 515 lawsuits in a swiss bank account in case he has to suddenly leave the US.
President DINGBANG FANG of China sits back in his chair after a long day of keeping the various bureaucracies on track. President Fang's mind has turned towards thoughts of debauchery tonight -- he plans to retire in 5-10 years to avoid the fate of his predecessor Deng who died in office.
GUY FIERI is one of 50 prisoners housed in a reopened Alcatraz. He currently wonders if it'd be possible to order a helium tank from the prison commisary.
President RON PAUL of the United States of America pushes his wheelchair forwards so he can see the TV better. It had been a long and hard road, but America stepped away from the abyss. He's glad that he's sticking with his decision to not run for a fourth term in 2016.
BEN GARRISON is still at large despite a larger manhunt than the ongoing efforts to find the masked leader of the world's most famous mercenary squad...
Constitution, or no constitution, status as an American expat or not Panama's current president is causing heads to roll. President TOM KRATMAN has no problem with having officials or even legislators executed in job lots to encourage not taking bribes. After all, he came to Panama as a favor for an old friend to clean things up.
Prime Ministe T.L. DE BEER of South Africa is grinning smugly at the news of new affirmative action legislation to favor Palestine's arab majority being passed through Palestine's knesset. The fact that he looks just like Steve Wilkos makes his grin look exactly like Steve Wilkos telling someone they failed a polygraph test for doing something absolutely terrible.