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Noble Empire of Gua
Anthem: "一國一人" yit kok yit ying
"One People in One Land"
and largest city
|Recognised regional languages|
|Ethnic groups |
17.2% recognised minorities
|Government||Unitary totalitarian constitutional monarchy|
|House of Lords|
|House of Representatives|
• Split from Huajiang
• End of the Guakok Civil War
• Ratification of constitution
• Start of Thingshan Era
|557,362.995 km2 (215,199.055 sq mi)|
• Water (%)
• 2019 estimate
• 2015 census
|114/km2 (295.3/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2018 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2018 estimate|
• Per capita
|HDI (2018)|| 0.74|
|Currency||Gua Yuang (Ｇ¥, 圓) (GYU)|
Era ｙｙ年ｍ月ｄ日 (CE−1994)
The Noble Empire of Gua (Guavai: 吳御帝國; tuktsa: guå nguuTikok, pronounced [gwɑː˧˥ ŋuː˥˧tiː˥kɔʔ˥]), commonly referred to as Guakok (吳國, guåkok) and rarely as Wuguo is a country in Eastern Serica which borders Huajiang to the northeast. It covers an area of approximately 557,363 square kilometres (215,199.06 sq mi), incorporating most of the former Kingdom of Gua from which the ruling dynasty takes its name, and has a population of about 63,539,381, which is primarily composed of Qi people along with a number of minority groups. Although de jure a democratic constitutional monarchy, in practice political power is overwhelmingly concentrated in the Emperor and House of Lords, which consists entirely of nobility.
Qi people have inhabited Guakok only since about the third century CE, or more precisely since the Guanghua Era (212-246 CE), when the Guanghua Emperor launched a campaign to conquer the Xiyi people, a probably Dai people or alliance of peoples inhabiting a region stretching from the west of modern Huajiang down to northeastern Guakok. The Qi inhabiting this region would ultimately form several states, of which the Kingdom of Gua would assert itself as the most powerful, allying with or vassalising neighbours to the south and west and at its height rivalling even the strongest of states in the Qi heartlands. However, initial settlement of the rest of Guakok by the Qi was sparse, with mass movement of the Qi south into littoral areas mainly inhabited by Dai peoples occurring from the late seventh century. Settlers quickly reached the coast of the Sea but did not penetrate westwards towards the Chanmit Mountains until the second millennium, particularly following the Tusangga Fracture, when they began to conquer or absorb the local Dai, Dayhan and other peoples. The modern period of Guakok's history began in 1888 with the succession of the Gua dynasty, which gave the territory its modern name and (largely) system of government.
Modern Gua society is heavily stratified and bound by ancient traditions, both ethnic and religious. The government has long advocated traditional Qi culture, and later specifically Gua culture, though in recent times has been accepting of foreign cultural traditions "as a means to foster the growth and spread of national ideology and practice".
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Politics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Infrastructure
- 7 Demographics
- 8 Culture
- 9 References
Guakok is a transcription of the common native Guavai name
Various dynasties have ruled over some or all of modern Guakok since the time of the Kingdom of Gua. The name of Gua was revived as a dynastic name in the late 1800s after the fall of the Hun dynasty, suggestive of a historical continuation of the rule begun by the Kingdom of Gua, and the territory it governed became known as the Gua Realm after it. The adjectival usage of the word
The formal name of the country includes
The land now within the borders of Guakok were originally inhabited only by various non-Qi peoples. The west of the country was overwhelmingly inhabited by speakers of Dai languages, while in the central stretches were the Dayhan and other, now marginal groups such as the Yitu. In an earlier time the Dayhan lived along the southern coast, but by the first millennium CE had mostly moved into the northern hills. A major population continued to thrive into modern times around what is now the city of Nantsing. The east of the country was inhabited by groups known to the Qi by various names, although details about their actual identities are elusive. These groups include the Bifa, Liaohui and Migou peoples, all of whom were later conquered by the Qi.
These early groups formed various more or less developed systems of government before the arrival of the Qi. The central peoples tended towards organisation only as high as the level of single villages, but eastern and western peoples founded alliances of multiple villages and fielded small armies against their neighbours. At some point the Dayhan founded similar states, though this seems to have been significantly later than the western peoples. On the southern coastal plains of Guakok one can still find structures erected by indigenous peoples to commemorate battles which occurred in prehistoric times; some of these battles are also remembered in some cultures' oral traditions, a practice which is particularly prominent amongst the Thun and Yitu peoples.
Dai peoples in Guakok tended to live around eastern slopes of the Chanmit Mountains, a range which stretches from southwestern Guakok to the edge of the border with Huajiang. They knew the range as "the great barrier" (Thai: ใหญ่กีดขวาง yài kîitkhwǎang, Thun: 垟𪩣 ciengz hung). Southern peoples had contact with peoples even further to their south, but most only knew firsthand people to their east and north. The northernmost Dai peoples lived north of the Dayhan and had contact with the Qi peoples, but in the earliest known times this contact was minimal.
Eastern peoples such as the Bifa are mentioned in early Qi texts, and frequently described as enemies of the Qi who would often raid settlements in what is now Huajiang. The ethnolinguistic backgrounds of such groups is a matter of debate, as very few words from their languages are attested by way of Qi texts, and the original pronunciation of such words is very difficult to reconstruct. The various hypotheses include groups related to their western neighbours and possibly identified with a later-mentioned group, the Xinla, who in turn are close relatives of the Dayhan.
At the time that the Maiwong Kingdom was founded in the middle of the second century CE the decline of the eastern populations had already begun as early Qi incursions into the eastern borderlands had focussed on exterminating "barbarians and bandits" rather than on settlement. Dayhan people moved further east into newly vacated regions, while the Yitu moved south and east towards the coast. The northern Dai peoples, particularly the Thun, moved east and mixed with the Dayhan; this mingling of the two peoples is likely where the caste called Nakssŏkki by the Dayhan originated.
At some point in the early Guanghua Era (212-246) Qi people began to settle eastern Guakok. Initial settlement was part of a twofold campaign to prevent other groups from seizing territory formerly held by enemies of the Qi as well as to conquer a people called Xiyi, who were located from the far west of Huajiang down into northern Guakok. The Xiyi were most likely Dai-speaking, and may have been closely related to the Thun. The Qi formed a military alliance with the largest Dayhan state, Fakin (Dayhan:
Relations between the Qi and the Dayhan likely began to break down before the Xiyi were defeated, and interspersed conflict between the two groups seems to have swiftly followed. The first King of Gua, Shanrai, gathered support in no small part due to pledging to defeat the Dayhan and secure the borders of the Qi lands in the region. War began after his coronation with little delay and the capital of Fakin, Lonpo (Dayhan:
The height of the Kingdom was reached with the defeat of the warlord Shuing Shui by Ranchit in 298 and vassalisation of the city of Sonchiga. Including suzerains, the territory of Gua was described in the early fourth century as stretching "from the lands of the Dayhan in the north to the confluence of the Fök and Tshin rivers in the south". This very closely corresponds to the northern and southern boundaries of the modern Duchy of Thinglü, though extending further north into modern Huajiang. While the eastern boundary of the kingdom was likely similar to the duchy, its western boundary did not stretch as far.
Collapse of the Kingdom of Gua
Ranchit was assassinated in 311 and succeeded by his infant son Ranchu. Since Ranchu was still a young child, his uncle Lang Thu governed in his stead. Lang Thu was obstinate and rarely allowed himself to be swayed by others, and was also regarded as "morally questionable" according to the later historian Zhong Ye, with the result that he quickly began to make enemies. The Dayhan vassals collectively ceased sending tribute in protest, and in the south the sworn brothers Chun Housin and Yung Leipak raised an army of discontents and marched on the capital, Siking.
Meikuai War and aftermath
Westward expansion and Sonkao Kingdom
Unification and Gua Revolution
While according to its constitution Guakok is a democratic constitutional monarchy with a directly elected lower house (House of Representatives) and an appointed upper house (House of Lords), together called the Parliament of Guakok, in practice the vast majority of legislative power rests in the Emperor and House of Lords, and therefore in the unelected nobility. There are multiple reasons for this concentration of power, notably:
- Legislation requires the assent of both houses of parliament as well as the Emperor. A veto by the Emperor blocks a piece of legislation from being reintroduced for one year.
- The Emperor possesses a power of decree which allows for the passage of primary legislation and requires only the assent of the cabinet.
- Although the Prime Minister is always a member of the lower house, he is merely primus inter pares and in practice tends to be subordinate to cabinet members drawn from the nobility.
- Severe restrictions on expression and political nomination and party formation prevent anti-establishment candidates from participating in the political discourse. Even were such candidates able to stand in election, the use of a majority bonus system limits their chances of election.
The reigning Emperor and head of state is the Thingshan Emperor (courtesy name
The Emperor is the hereditary head of state, and the imperial family is the foremost noble clan in the country. He is usually referred to by his era name as the Thingshan Emperor (
The Emperor holds numerous formal titles, of which the following are the most notable:
- Noble Emperor (also translated "Imperial Majesty")
- King of the Imperial Capital (
御京王), mostly a legacy title as governing of Tainankiun is normally carried out by the Imperial Capital Metropolitan Authority
- Lord Director of Rites (
禮司君), referring to the Emperor's involvement in various ceremonies such as the annual Astral Parade, Tainankiun's most important celebration, as well as the Opening of Parliament and such
- Lord General of the Armed Forces (
將軍隊君), granting ultimate power in running the Royal Gua Armed Forces, though normally these duties are delegated to the Ministry of Defence
Although in theory Guakok is a constitutional monarchy, in practice there are few restrictions on the power of the Emperor. He is able to appoint all members of the House of Lords, which is in practice the stronger of the two Houses of Parliament. The Emperor is not able to introduce legislative proposals to Parliament, but it is not uncommon for members of the House of Lords to introduce draft legislation on his behalf. This leaves parliament as largely a rubber stamping body for policy crafted by the Emperor and higher nobility. The monarch is the highest commander of the military but does not have the power to declare war, which must receive a supermajority of support in both Houses of Parliament. Lèse-majesté is a severe crime, and can in extreme cases be punished with death.
The position of Emperor is a hereditary position, following the principle of male primogeniture: The sitting Emperor's eldest male child is the heir apparent, while the eldest female child is heir presumptive in the absence of any sons. When the monarch has no children, as was the case with the previous Shinlin Emperor, his eldest brother is the heir presumptive, or eldest sister in the absence of male siblings. Other than Shinlin, who was childless and succeeded by his brother, all rulers of the Gua dynasty have been males succeeded by a son. As the regnant Thingshan Emperor has three sons, he too is likely to be succeeded by a son; the Crown Prince of Guakok is Paklon, Duke of Ritwing.
The private residence of the Emperor and Imperial Family is the Imperial Palace in the Shupon district of Tainankiun, construction of which was begun in 1890 and completed in 1897 to be a more humble home than other residences, but the official residence and place where most of the Emperor's duties are performed is the Castle of the Golden Mount in the Zisang district, built in 1324 and originally used for military purposes.
House of Lords
The House of Lords (
The House of Lords is regarded as the more powerful House of Parliament. All legislation first passed in the House of Representatives requires the assent of Lords; if this is not met in the first instance it is passed through Representatives again, but a second failure to pass through the upper house results in its being blocked from review for six months. Some powers are delegated exclusively to the House of Lords, such as amendment of the constitution and the issuing of Proclamations of Counsel (
House of Representatives
The House of Representatives (
The House of Representatives is widely regarded as less powerful than the House of Lords, despite the two being stated as equal in Guakok's constitution. Partly this is due to overt political reasons such as the powers allocated to each house, while partly it is due to social reasons given the higher status of the nobility over the commoners.
Guakok is a unitary state with only a few powers devolved to subnational authorities. The largest subnational unit is the duchy (
Duchies are officially governed by a duke, a high-ranking noble outside of the royal family proper (ie. not a member of the Gua dynasty). Dukes are responsible for the maintenance of a Ducal Gendarmerie, responsible for militarised policing, each of which are distinct branches of the Royal Gua Police Force operating largely independently. The Imperial Capital Constabulary performs a similar role within Tainankiun, alongside more general policing. Duchies are also responsible for expenditure in some areas, such as education, as well as for duties such as oversight of local government and police, direct management of emergency services other than the police and ceremonial activities. However, as a unitary state, most powers are reserved by the central government. Moreover, constitutional amendment permitting, the central government maintains the right to expand or narrow the powers of all administrative divisions including the duchies.
The other primary national subdivision is the canton (
There are a number of local government units with varying limited levels of autonomy. These are national city (population of over 1,000,000), major city (population of over 500,000), minor city (population of over 200,000), township (population of over 50,000), new township (population of over 10,000) and village (population of under 10,000). These are in turn grouped into metropolitan districts (
The military of Guakok, the Royal Gua Armed Forces (
The armed forces consists primarily of volunteers, but also includes national service personnel. The Constitution of Guakok states that conscription is a legal option "where necessary to protect the nation and its interests", but other than the temporary national service which typically lasts for one year, conscription is not currently enforced in Guakok. Conscription was used until 1976 due to insufficient volunteering, but a surge in volunteering at the height of the Red-White Banner Rebellion made this no longer necessary and it has not been reimplemented since.
Law and order
The 2015 census recorded a population of 61,727,913 within Guakok; an official estimate in January 2019 placed the population at above 63.5 million (precisely, at 63,539,381 from estimated percentage calculation). Guakok has low immigration owing to a difficult immigration system and a lack of opportunities for foreigners. Emigration is similarly restricted, and the government of Guakok does not recognise renunciation of its citizenship. The national population density is 114 square kilometres (44 sq mi), a significant proportion of which is rural, especially in the west of the country. The majority of the population is located in a band stretching east from the capital, Tainankiun, and down to the major port of Pekkown. The regions around these two cities are particularly populous urban zones. These areas, and the east of the country generally, are predominatly Qi-inhabited, while the west of the country is home to Dai-speaking peoples. Scattered about the north-northwest of Guakok is a Dayhan population.
The average life expectancy in Guakok is 70.2 years for both sexes, higher for females (71.4 years) than males (69.0 years). A combination of social factors, inadequate healthcare and war are the usual reasons cited for this relatively low figure. Estimates since 2015 place the average population growth rate at 1.3475%, which breaks down as follows:
The majority of the population of Guakok, around 79.4% or 50,450,269 people, consists of Qi people. The Qi population of Guakok consists primarily of the ethnically Gua people, with a significant number of Hakka people in the far east of the country. There is a negligible number of Qi people from other groups such as the Huajiangite people or Yuat people. Official statistics do not distinguish these people as anything other than "Qi", and native language statistics would be inaccurate due to language replacement. However, these groups remain largely socially distinct due to different cultural practices. To an extent these differences are tolerated by the Gua majority as to avoid dividing the Qi people.
A further 17.2% of the population (10,928,773 people) belong to one of various recognised (non-Qi) indigenous minority groups. Most of these groups are found in the west of Guakok, though internal migration has spread them to other, particularly urban, areas throughout the country. The largest recognised groups are the Thai people at 8.3% of the total population (5,273,769 people) followed by the Thun people at 5.7% of the total population (3,621,744 people), both of whom speak Dai languages. A non-Dai-speaking people, the Dayhan, account for an additional 2.1% of the population (1,334,327 people). These groups have their native languages recognised as regional languages, though there are a range of other peoples, predominantly Dai people, lacking this recognition. Such people account for the remaining 1.1% (698,933 people) of recognised minorities.
3.4% of the population (2,160,339 people) belongs to groups which are not recognised minorities. This includes native groups lacking formal recognition, such as those groups which have adopted Gua culture and language but remain distinct ethnically, as well as immigrants.
Public holidays and festivals
There are numerous public holidays in Guakok, some based on traditional practices amongst both Qi and non-Qi peoples of Guakok and others being religious festivals which are practiced amongst other followers of Yongheng.
A Yongheng-related festival which is not generally observed outside of Guakok (except by some Gua people in western Huajiang) is the Astral Parade (
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