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    Real Strategy Requires Cunning

Cascadia

First Lieutenant
Apr 23, 2007
284
0


Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek was rather depressed. A good part of that had at least something to do with the fact that he was dead. He wasn't sure what, if anything, he'd expected out of the afterlife but this certainly hadn't been it. Ever since that white light had enveloped him the late President-for-Life of Nationalist China had been stuck in what for all intents and purposes appeared to be a pristinely clean subway station. Where all the announcements were in Quebecois French. Chiang wasn't sure how he even knew that it was Quebecois.

Dozens of people were in the subway, but all of them had better things to do than to speak to a great leader such as himself. So Chiang had taken to sitting on a gold-plated bench, resting for lack of anything better to do. As he sat there, he began to think over his life and all that had gone so terribly wrong. From the de facto leader of China to the dictator of Taiwan, and his greatest rival and terrible poet in charge of his homeland.

Regret filled him as he dwelled on the failings of his Nationalist China. The rampant corruption and oppression that had occured under his regime. Empty promises of modernization. Refusal to fight the invader and instead attacking his political rivals who should have been wartime allies. That incident with the dam. Yeah, that'd been bad. Not listening to advisors and losing the mainland in the resurgent civil war. The more he thought about it, the more he began to wish that he could do it over again. Maybe he'd be able to do a better job and keep the Republic of China unified. But that was just a dream.

"I say, having second thoughts about your life?" a British male's voice asked.

Chiang looked all around and didn't see anyone, "Perhaps... where are you?"

"Doesn't matter, my good man. Doesn't matter in the slightest. Now, what if I were to tell you that there is a way you could go back and do it all again?" the voice asked, totally ignoring Chiang's legitimate question.

"Then I would do it.. but that's impossible," the general answered hesitantly.

"Not if you can defy the laws of physics, old chap," came the response, "Just say the word and you'll be back to life, younger, and President of the lands you once held. More or less."

"This is too good to be true. And defy the laws of physics?!" Chiang shot an accusatory look in the direction of a station speaker, for lack of a person to glare at.

The voice laughed and told him, "Maybe not, maybe so. But you're hardly in a position to turn me down. Now, in front of you shall appear a device that will take you home, should you accept the offer. You'll have 10 seconds to decide once it shows. Best of luck, old bean!"

Before he could ask anything else of the voice, there was a strange whooshing sound as something rectangular materalized in front of him. Something blue, rectangular, and with a little light on the top that flashed. Like it was out of some low budget science fiction film from America. Chiang tenatively stood and poked it, which caused the door to slide open and himself to jump back in surprise. That hadn't been expected. But neither had the offer either. 10 seconds? Chiang had every reason to distrust a disembodied voice in the terminal, but still.. his mind made up, he leaped into the box just as it began to dissapear.

The box shook a bit, then came to a stop and made that kind of annoying sound again. Had he arrived somewhere? Was he dead again somehow? And boy was it cramped in that box. He'd almost expected it to be bigger on the inside to ensure comfort. No such luck. When the door slid open, Chiang hesitantly stepped out with one foot and peered outside. It was a splendid day, and all of the buildings were quite nice looking and of an old, quaint style.

Wait, old and quaint? He stepped out the rest of the way and looked around for other identifying locations. After a total 180 spin, he could tell for certain that he was, in fact, on the island of Taiwan again. And he did feel a youthful energy about him, one that he hadn't felt in decades. Maybe the voice had been truthful after all! A large group of people came up to him just then, staring in disbelief. All but a few, dressed in peculiar suits and uniforms, who looked relieved. Was this some kind of festival?

"There you are! You shouldn't wander off like that, it's not befitting the President of the Republic," one of the men said in an almost scolding tone.

"How dare you speak to me like that!" was Chiang's immediate response, and then he realized something was dreadfully wrong, "Wait.. what is today?"

"The first of the western New Year," one of the apparent soldiers reported, "1836."

"What?!" Chiang began to protest, then shrugged. After all, he'd come back from the dead, and was young and energetic. So going back in time? Not really that big of a shock. Plus, now there were all sorts of things he could change...


Chiang Kai Shek, President of the somehow-existant Republic of China on Formosa of 1836.

Back at the odd terminal, a man in a redcoat uniform smirked as he lit a cigar and remarked, "Isn't destroying history as we know it grand?"​
 

Director

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In my first AAR I killed off the main character in the first few paragraphs. I think you've beaten my record. ;)

Looks interesting. Will be more interesting if the Generalissimo can decrease the corruption and stiffen a few spines.

More, please. :)
 

Cascadia

First Lieutenant
Apr 23, 2007
284
0


After the initial shock of having travelled over a century into the past, the General had started getting used to being in the 19th century. It was made easier by the fact that somehow he was the President of a government on Taiwan. A Republic of China before the revolution that was supposed to bring it about. Much opportunity presented itself for a revitalization of the Nationalist cause now that he had another chance at life. Of course it couldn't be a revitalization if there hadn't yet been an initial vitalization, could it? Such were the questions that plagued the mind of time-travelling Chiang Kai-Shek.


The Republic of China on Formosa, 1830s.


Breakdown of the Formosan population, ca. 1836.


Status of the ROC on a global scale, October 1836.

Another was who to hold up as examples for a country that had come into being literally in an instant. Since there hadn't really been any Republican movement yet, you couldn't well look to the past. Yet Chiang, out of sheer habit, insisted on including Dr. Sun Yat-Sen as one of the guiding figures for his new Republic. It took quite a bit of explaining to his advisors and ministers, and ended up coming down to, "He'll be born 30 years from now, so we've got to make the Republic resepectable by then. Because.. he's.. a really important guy.. in the future. Probably." That hadn't really swayed many minds, he thought, but a portrait of the good doctor had been put up, painted based on some cash Chiang had had in his pocket. Many were those who passed through the halls of government and asked, "who the hell is that?".


Dr. Sun Yat-Sen: Founder of the Nation despite not being born yet.

By October things were looking up for the Republic of China, thanks in part to a full lack of attention from the Qing Imperial government. Their reckoning was that Taiwan - or Formosa, as it was known now to try and appeal to Western states - had been independent for a while, would come back to China eventually, and wasn't worth the Son of Heaven's attention. They claimed that some man from the future was going to rid China of the imperial system entirely. Clearly they were on some kind of narcotic - the opium must be getting to them.

Meanwhile the first of the new-old government's modernization efforts was completed, aimed at new tactics for the army in the field. An army that somehow already had been in training upon Chiang's trip to the past. Come October the Army of the Republic of China was 40,000 strong though shabbishly equipped. There was even a miniscule navy with two warships - named at Chiang's insistance the Sun Yat-Sen and San Min Chu I. Jokes were abound that the President had gone mad and that Sun Yat-Sen was just his invisible friend. Still, the Republic could at least defend itself.


Army of the Republic under General Ge, while the ROC Navy was out fishing... really.

Having failed in his previous life to run a proper repubilc, Chiang had ensured that this alternate state would better serve the people of China. Even if it was relegated to the people on Taiwan.. er... Formosa. Universal sufferage was introduced within a month of his arrival, along with allowing all parties and the establishment of some small government assistance to citizens. Too much would bankrupt the Republic, too little and they'd be no better than the Qing. Elections were even announced for the fall, and on October 4 President Chiang Kai-Shek awaited the results. Would the people of his haphazard state elect him to lead them to prosperity and a better future than had befallen China in his timeline? He sat at his desk, flanked by the flag of the Republic and Army flags on either side, a portrait of his 'imaginary friend' on the wall above his head (which struck everyone else as peculiar).

Finally an aide dressed in western-style formal wear burst into the room with sheets of paper in his hand. Chiang stared at the man in anticipation. The man heaved as he caught his breath; had he run all the way from the elections office? A few minutes later the man finally straightened up and stood to attention. Which was good, since the President had been about to offer the man a drink of water. He'd looked like he was about to collapse.

"Mr. President, the results are in," he announced, redundantly since Chiang had sent him to retrieve said results.

Curious, Chiang dared to ask, "And? Have we carried the day?"

"Let me see..." the runner shuffled through the paperwork and finally pulled out a sheet, "Results indicate a landslide victory for the Kuomintang..."

"Excellent! The support of the people is with us, then. Sun Yat-Sen would be proud," Chiang exclaimed in celebration, standing from his chair at the news.

"..with 100% of the vote..." continued the report, then the man looked up, "Sun Yat-who? Oh right, the invisible 'founder' of the Republic."

"He's not invisible! He's from the future!" Chiang insisted, then stopped himself from arguing that point to ask, "Wait, 100% of the vote? What about the other parties?"

"Other parties, sir?" came the response from a blank-expressioned aide.

"Yes, we are a democracy, aren't we? Then we must have other parties," the president insisted.

"Well, the parties involved in the election were... the Kuomintang. That's everyone," the aide reported.

"Well, at least we won. Now I can unveil the grand plan for our first term," Chiang changed the subject, vowing to go try and get an opposition party going. Fighting corruption was harder when the voting system itself seemed corrupt.


The KMT wins the election... against itself.

He looked at the map of Asia as it stood in 1836, taking the situation into deep consideration. The Republic's moves would have to be carefully planned. Qing China, while so far blissfully ignorant of Formosa, wouldn't tolerate any rabble-rousing on its soil by Republican agents. Its army was huge, and could crush any military action by the much tinier Republican army. Korea was formidable, but a satelite of China and unlikely to act. Vietnam was a tempting potential friend, but had told Chiang's diplomats to 'go away before we skewer your eyes with a red hot railroad spike'. So no dice there.


East Asia around the time of the first elections in Formosa.

Japan was thankfully still isolated from the world, but troubling to Chiang. Some day they'd become modernized and imperialistic, thus dangerous to China and definitely the smaller Republic of China. His plan was to ensure that Japan never had the chance to inflict such humiliation upon China. This decided his first move. The Ryukyu islands were unclaimed by any power, but Japan and the Qing were both likely to try and swallow them up. Why not offer them assylum as part of the Republic of China? Or Republic of Formosa? Let them keep their traditional identity, but as a semi-autonomous region of the ROC. So it was decided that when the supplies were ready, the ROC would begin efforts to claim Okinawa first...​
 

Stuyvesant

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Interesting... I'm assuming your eventual goal is to reunify China under Chiang's enlightened rule? I look forward to seeing how successful you'll be. :)
 

Sakura_F

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I hope you update this and Freedom Rises With The Sun. This is interesting ^_^