This will be, primarily, a gameplay AAR, as it's my first, and writing isn't my strongest suit. I don't know a great deal about Chinese history so we will rely on the fact that KR is an alternate TL to ignore any glaring descrepancies in what I write.
The goals are to simply unify China, crush the Japanese, and then see how much interest there is in this AAR to determine whether it continues from there.
The Qing Empire, circa 1936 was a pale shadow of it's former glory. Imperialist interests, both local and European had turned China into a hodgepodge of competing ideologies and political structures. The Xuantong Emperor, Puyi, had spent long years in exile, having lost control of his empire to warring factions years earlier. With the help of the Kaiser, Puyi was installed as the emperor of a toothless China, thought to be powerless to threaten Imperial interests in China he was largely ignored by both the Germans, who he was nominally allied with, and the Japanese, who had economic interests in mainland China, and thought little of the native Chinese.
It was against this backdrop that Puyi called together his cabinet in December 1935.
"Gentlemen, the time has come to discuss the future of the empire. No longer am I content to watch Chinese live under the rule of Germans, Japanese and ursurpers."
"But what can be done your majesty? Surely we can't hope to wage war on the Europeans. Time and again we've learned the lesson that comes from such folly." replied Zaifeng, the foreign minister.
Puyi nodded, "You are right uncle. We cannot hope to wage war against the Germans, or even the Japanese. We learned that lesson during the opium wars. But not the lesson you think. We learned that without reform, without modern weapons, modern tactics, and the industry to produce those weapons, we will be doomed to failure. Previous attempts to modernize China and our economy were frustrated by conservative elements within the royal household. Such will not be the case again. During my time with the Germans, I was able to travel liberally. I saw the industrial power of the western world and I soon realized that it is because of that power, and not their martial skills, that they now hold sway in the world. I will announce a reformation to the people shortly. Only through reform and modernization can we hope to eventually bring the rest of China under our rightful rule."
"Will the armed forces be modernized then?" asked Wu Peifu.
"Eventually," replied Puyi, "but for now our attention must be elsewhere. The reforms will demand all of our ability, both scientifically and industrially. I will allow an expansion of the army. But our heavy industry will be put to other uses so you will recieve rifles, ammunition and uniforms, perhaps some small amounts of heavier weapons, but we simply do not have the industrial capacity to carry out my planned reforms and produce all the heavy equipment to outfit more regular divisions. I suggest you take these newly trained militias, as they arrive and try to partially integrate them with your existing divisions. Bulking up our forces but leavening the ranks of the new recruits with units from your experienced infantry divisions."
"As you wish, your majesty".
"Very well then, the plan now, is to begin researching modern means of production, modern agriculture, and simple computers. Those things will eventually allow us to conduct the military campaigns that we will need to unite China in the future."
“We have heard reports of tension between Mongolia and the Ma Horselords. In the event that war does erupt between the two, I want all spare army units moved to the Northwest, as a precaution, but also to take advantage of any opportunity that may present itself. If nothing else, so large a force on their border may serve to bring the Shangquing Tianguo to their senses.”
(These units were strategically redeployed after issuing regular move orders to show their movements with the move arrows for illustration purposes)