|No Image Available|
|No Image Available|
Caught between the communist stronghold of Henan to the west and the corporate capitalism of the Canton Confederation to the south, China's Coastal Provinces are basically Asia's Sweatshop. They run along the Chinese coast from the mouth of the Yellow river to just below Shanghai. The military actions of their neighbors, the rise of piracy, and corporate meddling have all conspired to create one of the worst urban sprawls in Asia. With the poor economy and high population density, of course the criminal element runs rampant. But besides being a den of wageslaves and pirates, the Coastal Provinces have another claim to fame, they are the home of the Great Dragon Lung
The Republic Civil war was the death blow to the various prefectures that would eventually form the Coastal Provinces. For eight years the new guard communists fought the old hardliners, turning former comrads into enemies. This reaked havok on the coastal infrastructure, to the point of collapse. Corporate funding kept the dissolution to anarchy at bay, in exchange for loose anti-sweatshop laws.
The megacorporations used the discord after the Republic Civil War to capitalize on their extraterriorial holdings in the Coastal Providences. Corporate sympathizers were placed and well-funded in nearly every governmental agency, until they had control over the puppet regime. The result is a batch of microgovernments each toadying to its own corporate paymasters.
The Free city of Shanghai is once again a pirate port. The city and its harbor are considered neutral ground by the local pirate and privateer crews. Presumably, the Triads, especially Lung's Red Dragons, have a hand in local underworld politics.
Unofficially, Lung's word is law. His status in the local culture, as well as his Triad footsoldiers, guarantee any decree he should decide to make would be carried out. But luckily for the megacorps, the great dragon is noticeably silent about the local politics. Presumably, he is more concerned with the big picture of the Ring of Fire.
The Yellow river to the north, the T'ai Shan mountains to the west and the China sea to the south and the east all keep the borders of the Coastal Providences well-defined. A vast majority of the land is well-developed, this being one of the oldest populated areas in China.
Within the Coastal Province's economy, you find an unspoken truce between the megacorps of the PacRim and the underworld syndicates such as the Triads and the East China Sea pirates. In fact, they often work hand in hand, as is the case withthe return of the practice of privateering. Local microgovernments and corporations can't support a standing navy, so they get a local pirate gang, grant them letters of marque and safe haven, and sick them on their rivals. The Coastal Provinces are a crucial shipping hub for most of Southeast Asia, it being the terminal point for the New Silk Road Transcontinental Railway, so the fighting in the water between the different privateers as well as the always oppertuistic pirates can be fierce.
The Coastal Provinces's reputation as Asia's Sweatshop is not unearned. The corporations house most of their industrial production facilities here where they can keep wages low and can cut corners on safety and environmental regulations. Heavy industry and traditional electronics dominate the regions exports.
|The Splinter States of China|