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Noble Empire of Gua
Anthem: "一國一人" yit kok yit dëng
"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 Gua Civil War
• Start of Thingshön 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; tudtsa: guå nguuTikok, pronounced [gwɑː˧˥ ŋuː˥˧tiː˥kɔʔ˥]), commonly referred to as Guakok (吳國, guåkok) and rarely as Wuguo is a country in East 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 parts of Guakok since prehistoric times, having moved into the region which would become the Kingdom of Gua before written records begin. However, initial settlement of the area was sparse, with mass movement of the Qi south into areas mainly inhabited by Dai peoples occurring from the late first millennium BCE. Settlers quickly reached the coast of the Sea but did not penetrate westwards until 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 the western inlands of the modern country. The Kingdom of Gua was eventually established in the area, which became a powerful state within the greater Qi territories, vassalising neighbouring kingdoms to the west to better defend against the rival Qi states to the north.
Modern Gua society is heavily stratified and bound by ancient traditions. 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".
Guakok is a transcription of the common native Guavai name 吳國 "Gua country". The reconstructed Middle Qi pronunciation of this is *ŋuo kwək̚. The word 吳 guå is the name of the ruling dynasty, which is named after the historical Kingdom of Gua which roughly corresponds to the modern Duchy of Tingruo in northeastern Guakok. The original meaning of the word is "shout", later coming to mean "large" and being applied to a particular part of the Qi territory. The people inhabiting the historical kingdom took the name to refer to themselves, and it thus has referred to the ethnically Qi Gua people even after the Kingdom of Gua ceased to exist.
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 吳 expanded to include all citizens of the country regardless of their ethnic background, with ambiguity resolved through use of the terms 族吳 cugguå "ethnically Gua" and 邦吳 poñguå "nationally Gua".
The formal name of the country includes 御帝國 nguuTikok which is translated as "Noble Empire". The character 御 basically means "imperial", but within the context of Guakok it functions as an identifying morpheme prefixed to many words referring to imperial institutions. As a result the translation "noble" is common in various contexts, although "imperial" persists in for example 御京 nguuköñ "Imperial Capital". The latter word 帝國 Tikok is the usual word for "empire".
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 Thingshön Emperor (courtesy name 仲葉 chuñhyag) of the Yuon (櫻) family, the family which has ruled Guakok since the late nineteenth century. He became Emperor in 1994 following the death of his heirless elder brother, the Shinyön Emperor. The head of government since March 2018 is Prime Minister Ra Pakbuo of the Order and Justice Party.
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 Thingshön Emperor (天響皇帝 thëengShöñ woñhTi) or simply as Noble Emperor (御皇帝 nguuwoñhTi). The Emperor holds the following formal titles:
- Noble Emperor (also translated "Imperial Majesty")
- King of the Imperial Capital (御京王 nguuköñwañh)
- Uniter of Peoples (民族結合者 mingcug kitgagche)
- Lord Director of Rites (禮司君 leeihsaaküng)
- Lord General of the Armed Forces (將軍隊君 chöñküngtooiküng)
- Defender of the Faith (信仰擁護者 Shingyöñh yuñhwåache)
The Constitution of Guakok lays out many of the elements of the nobility as they relate to the modern country, with the Emperor retaining the sole right of elevating commoners to the status of low-ranked nobility (新爵 shiingchat, usually translated as "baron"), though this has little practical effect as such nobility is ineligible to enter the House of Lords. The reigning imperial family is the Yuon family, who have ruled as the Gua dynasty since 1888.
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. 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.
House of Lords
The House of Lords (貴族院 Kücugyuaang) is the upper house of parliament. Its membership consists of 300 qualified members of the nobility, not including barons who are ineligible, with one hundred appointed from each of Guakok's three duchies by the Emperor every five years. It is a nonpartisan body in accordance with the constitution. Membership of the House of Lords is seen as the highest honour for members of the nobility. Eligibility is conditional on a number of factors, including passage of the highest level of the imperial examination (進士 Chingtsaah) which is carried out only once a decade.
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 (勸宣 Khüangshüaang), formal recommendations of policy to the Emperor. The House of Lords is also the sole house responsible for assenting to other royal appointments, such as of judges of the Constitutional Court of Guakok.
House of Representatives
The House of Representatives (代理院 taairaahyuaang) is the lower house of parliament and the only body to be elected. The electoral system used is the majority bonus system, in which elections in multi-member cantons decide seventy percent of seats in the House using closed party lists while the remaining thirty percent are given to the best performing single party. There are a total of 217 seats of which 152 are directly elected every three years from thirty cantons and 65 are reserved for the best-performing single party. Suffrage is universal for all citizens over twenty years of age, or for citizens over eighteen years of age in full-time employment. The head of government, the Prime Minister, is always a member of the largest party in this house.
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.
The military of Guakok, the Royal Gua Armed Forces (御吳軍隊 nguu guå küngtooi), is the principal military force of the country. It exists alongside three independent Ducal Gendarmeries (公爵憲兵 kuñchak Shangföñ) which are responsible for militarised policing. The RGAF consists of four branches: the Royal Gua Land Troop, the Royal Gua Sea Troop, the Royal Gua Air Troop, and the Royal Gua Support Troop. Units are grouped into one of seven banners (旗 khah), which largely correspond to different regions of the country; the Blue Dragon Banner for example is responsible for defence of Tainankiun and the Imperial Family. Each banner incorporates soldiers from multiple branches of the military. The supreme commander of the armed forces is the Emperor, though in practice oversight is delegated to the Ministry of Defence and the Emperor is not a soldier.
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.
- Ministry of Public Health and Demography, 吳御帝國個人口佮民族每年報告、二千十九年, 2019
- Wang Gaoyang, Government and People in Serica, 2007 (3e 2018)
- Ministry of Geography, Surveying and Infrastructure, 吳御帝國個土地面積、地形、自然資源、人口密度, 2010
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- World Finance Board, Guakok, retrieved on 6 April 2019
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- Society for International Development, Human Development Indices for 2018: Overview and data, 2018
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- Ministry of Public Health and Demography, 吳御帝國個人口佮民族每年報告、二千十六年, 2016