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Republic of Nakong
"Flowers of Mount Edward"
|Unitary dominant-party parliamentary republic
|Diane Lau Yuet-kwong
|Andrew Ng Fan-chiu (SDC)
|House of Review
|House of Deputies
|Independence from Estmere
|7 June 1402
|7 January 1951
|2 May 1958
|40,015.36 km2 (15,450.02 sq mi)
• 2023 estimate
• 2018 census
|397.4/km2 (1,029.3/sq mi)
• Per capita
• Per capita
Nakong (Shangean: 內江), officially the Republic of Nakong[b], is an island country in Coius. It lies in the northern Honghai Sea, separated from mainland Shangea, its only neighbour, by the Strait of Nakong. The island of Nakong, also known as Baishadao/Pakshado, has an area of 40,015 square kilometres (15,450 square miles) and a population of 15.9 million, with extensive urbanization in the northwestern plateau and along the southern shore but little development in the rugged east or the mountainous interior. The largest city, Ningcho, is a primate city whose metropolitan area comprises a third of the Nakongese population. Other major cities include the capital Queensport (Ching Moon), Pakwan, Patlin and Taihau.
Settled for at least 5,500 years, Nakong was originally inhabited by Proto-Paisha-speaking San Min indigenous groups who came from mainland Shangea. Beginning in the 6th century during the Four Kingdoms period, Shangean migration to Nakong resulted in the spread of Shangean culture and the displacement of the San Min into the highlands. After a period of control by Shangean-speaking city-states and pirate kingdoms, Nakong was conquered by the Jiao dynasty in 1402 and administered as part of the Shangean province of Heping. In 1833, the Embro–Shangean War resulted in the cession of Nakong to Estmere and the creation of the South Seas Colony. During the Great War, Nakong was occupied by Gaullican and Shangean forces until its liberation by Nakongese, Estmerish and Allied forces. Pro-independence sentiment grew after the war, resulting in the achievement of self-government in 1951 and full independence in 1958.
After independence, Nakong faced a period of unrest from Shangean unionists and high tensions with Shangea, culminating in the Coastal Crisis. In response, Nakong sought close relations with Senria and Estmere, resulting in trade and security agreements which helped transform the rural island into a major export-oriented industrial economy. Though Nakong is a constitutional democracy based on Northabbey model, the republic has been ruled since independence by the Self-Determination Congress, which promotes economic liberalism and Paisha nationalism. Nakong is a newly industrialized economy dominated by manufacturing, though agriculture, fishing and tourism are also major industries. Nakong is a member of the CN, ITO, SAMSO, COMDEV and the Embrosphere.
The name of the country reflects the Paisha pronunciation of a Shangean name meaning 'inner river' (内江; Morwall romanization: noi6 gong1). As a result, the nation is occasionally known, particularly in Shangean sources, by its Putonghua pronunciation as Neijiang (fuhao: nèi jiāng). The term originally referred to what is presently known as the Ning River, owing to the river's path that ventures deep into the interior of the island. A popular but incorrect folk etymology posits that the name Nakong instead refers to the Strait of Nakong, which rural farmers in Heping allegedly confused for a wide river. The name Nakong has been applied to the whole island since the Jiao conquest in the 15th century, when the newly annexed island was incorporated into Heping Province as the Prefecture of Neijiang. The modern spelling of Nakong was originally coined by Sir Andrew Farnley, an Estmerish colonial official who invented the Viceregal romanization of Paisha.
Other historical names that have been applied to Nakong include the South Seas Colony, the official name of the Estmerish administration between 1833 and 1863, and Baishadao, a generic name often used for the island itself primarily in Shangean sources. The latter is occasionally also rendered in Paisha as Pakshado (Morwall romanization: baak6 sa1 dou2).
Environment and biodiversity
Nakong is a unitary parliamentary republic with a government system organized along the Northabbey model, a legacy of Estmerish rule. The head of state is the President, who is elected by a joint sitting of Parliament for a non-renewable four-year term. Unlike in most other Northabbey model states, the Nakongese president has no reserve powers of any kind. Instead, the Prime Minister is appointed and dismissed at the command of the House of Deputies by its presiding officer, the members of the House of Review are directly appointed by the Prime Minister, the Minister of Defence is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and the power to withhold assent from legislation lies with the Court of Appeal. The current president is Diane Lau Yuet-kwong, a children's author and political independent.
Legislative power rests with the bicameral Parliament of Nakong, whose lower house is the House of Deputies and upper house is the House of Review. The 144-member House of Deputies is elected for a four-year term using plurality block voting. As is typical in the Northabbey model, the House of Deputies has the sole right of legislative initiative and alone retains the right to deny confidence and supply to the government. The most recent election occurred in 2020 and was won by the Self-Determination Congress. The House of Review reviews all legislation passed by the House of Deputies and may propose amendments to non-fiscal bills, though it can only temporarily halt the passage of a bill for up to six months. Members of the House of Review, known as comptrollers, are appointed by two ways: the 30 regular comptrollers assume office when they are apponted to the Grand Order of the Orchid, Nakong's highest civilian honour, while an unspecified number of additional ad hoc comptrollers may be appointed by the Prime Minister for exceptional merit when no vacancies are available. Traditionally, former prime ministers are made ad hoc comptrollers upon stepping down from office. Comptrollers, of which there are currently 41, serve for life.
The political scene of Nakong is dominated by the Self-Determination Congress (SDC), a dominant party in the Southern democracy mould that led the nation to independence in the 20th century and won every election since with large majorities. The SDC's political orientation is broadly centre-right, embracing fiscal liberalism and social conservatism, but its key distinguishing ideology is Paisha nationalism, which holds that Paisha-speaking peoples have a separate and distinct identity from broader Shangean culture and that the use of the Paisha (or Nakongese) language should be promoted in all spheres of public life. The SDC maintains power both through genuine public support as well as through institutional factors such as media influence, gerrymandering and public party funding. The largest opposition party is the Democratic Reform Party, though smaller parties also contest elections.
Law and judiciary
The legal system of Nakong is based on Estmerish law, owing to the island's colonial history. As such, it is a mixed system which is primarily based on common law principles deriving from dōmlagu law but takes important inspirations from Solarian law and its progeny. The development of the legal systems of Nakong and Estmere have diverged significantly since independence, particularly in matters of criminal justice after the 1963 overhaul of the colonial-era penal code. While codification has displaced traditional common law doctrines in various aspects of civil law as well, there are comparatively fewer changes on the whole as continuity in the legal regime is seen as positive for investor confidence and the rule of law. Unusually, law and equity remain distinct jurisdictions in Nakong, being heard by different divisions of the Supreme Court on account of the colonial administration having neglected to follow the metropole in fusing the two jurisdictions in the colonial courts during the turbulent post-war years.
The court system of Nakong plays an active role in interpreting legislation and performing judicial review of the government's actions. However, the judiciary is unable to invalidate legislation adopted in a parliamentary proceeding on account of parliamentary sovereignty. Lower-tier trial courts in Nakong include the County Court, which handles criminal offences, and the Magistrate Court, which handles small civil claims and minor offences. An intermediate court, the Supreme Court of Nakong, is a complex body made up of multiple divisions which serve a variety of trial and appellate functions in relation to civil litigation, criminal trials and equitable relief alike. The Court of Appeal of Nakong is the court of final instance in all civil and criminal matters, with its 17 members hearing cases in panels of varying sizes. Nakongese judges are appointed by the Prime Minister on the advice of an independent appointments commission and hold office until the mandatory retirement age of 65. Though judicial independence is guaranteed by law, foreign observers and opposition parties have accused some judges of having improper ties to the ruling Self-Determination Congress.
Like most other Estmerish-patterned legal systems, Nakong guarantees the right to trial by jury in criminal proceedings, though the traditional verdict of not proven was abolished in the 1963 penal code overhaul. The same legal reform also restored the death penalty, which had previously been abolished across the Estmerish Empire, for certain serious crimes relating to homicide, drug smuggling and state security. The last execution in Nakong occurred in 2007, with an unofficial moratorium observed since then in response to international criticism. Criminal prosecutions in Nakong are initiated by the National Criminal Justice Agency in the name of the Attorney General, while policing and crime investigation are the responsibility of the Nakong Police Agency and National Investigative Agency.
Nakong is a unitary state made up of 11 counties and one directly ruled special municipality housing the capital, Queensport. Each county is governed by a county council made up of the mayors of every municipality within the county, whose votes are weighed by population. County councils are responsible for long-range planning, regional transportation, education, libraries and emergency management. In Ching Moon Special Municipality, the city and council councils are fused into a common council which is directly elected and holds the powers of both levels of government.
The eleven counties are in turn subdivided into a number of municipalities, which elect a city council with responsibility for local services, utilities, roads, housing, land-use regulation, local transportation and nuisance abatement. As Nakongese municipalities are typically large and include both rural and urban areas, they are in turn subdivided into urban districts which are directly administered by the council and rural boroughs which elect a borough council which administers some local services on behalf of the city council. Nakongese city councils operate by the council–manager system, with the council giving political direction and fiscal approval to a professional civil service headed by a director-general. Mayors are city councillors elected by their peers for a one-year term, customarily in decreasing order of seniority amongst all members who have not yet served as mayor.
Nakong has a medium-sized military force structured around the need to defend the island from Shangea, with which it maintains cold relations. Established in 1964 during the East Nakong insurgency, the Nakong Autonomous Security Force is the unified military force of the Republic of Nakong and in turn made up of the Nakong Army, Nakong Air Patrol and Nakong Maritime Patrol. The military's commander-in-chief is the Minister of Defence and the professional leadership is assumed by the chair and members of the Inter-Service Security Committee. Nakong is home to military presences from its principal allies, with Senrian forces garrisoned at several Nakongese military installations and Estmerish forces based at the two Permanent Base Areas of Longwan and Sai Dim. These allied forces provide security to Nakong and guarantee the republic's independence.
The professional military cadre that forms the nucleus of the Nakongese military numbers approximately 40,000 personnel, though the overall active strength hovers around 175,000 due to compulsory military service for all adult males for one year. Conscientious objection is not recognized as an exception to military service and those who refuse to enlist face criminal prosecution, though requests to serve in non-combat positions are typically honoured.
Nakong's annual military budget, which accounts for 2.3 percent of total GDP, allows the country to maintain a modern core of airmobile infantry, anti-air and anti-tank systems, and fourth-generation fighters. As a result, Nakongese doctrine centers on airspace denial and repelling any amphibious invasion of the island through the use of light, highly mobile manoeuvre forces. Nakong operates tanks as well as a number of frigates and missile boats, but these systems tend to be older models and regarded as peripheral to the nation's principal military doctrine. The Nakong Autonomous Security Force maintains a quick-reaction combined-arms brigade to contribute to SAMSO operations. While some systems are domestically manufactured, the large majority of military equipment operated by Nakong is sourced from Senria, Estmere and the Euclean Community.
Respect for human rights is enshrined in the Constitution of Nakong and enforced by both the judiciary and the National Human Rights Commission. Areas where Nakong is comparatively highly rated include freedom of religion and minority rights, while freedom of speech and political freedoms receive lower grades. While Nakong is considered relatively democratic and respectful of human rights compared to many of its neighbours in southern Coius, the difficult situation for certain human rights issues have led the nation to be described as an illiberal or Southern democracy. On international indexes, Nakong is typically described as "partially free", with the government being frequently cited by the International Council for Democracy and non-governmental organizations for failing to live up to human rights obligations. In response to international criticism, the Nakongese government generally highlights its progress to date and engages in whataboutism by favourably comparing itself to authoritarian Shangea.
While political freedoms recognized in Nakong include universal suffrage and the right of all citizens to run for office, petition the government and engage in political speech, serious deficiencies in this field have led it to be described as the "black eye on Nakong's human rights record". For instance, structural factors impose serious barriers to the success of opposition parties, while strict defamation laws are often weaponized against critical coverage of the government, resulting in a chilling effect which deters open criticism. Moreover, the requirement that all organizers of political protests put up surety against property damage to obtain a demonstration licence severely limits the ability of groups to publicly express political views. The right to organize is recognized in Nakong, though protections for trade union activity have been described by international observers as insufficient to prevent retaliation or strike-breaking by employers. As such, only 4 percent of Nakongese workers belong to a trade union. Most trade unions in Nakong belong to the All-Nakong Trades Congress, which is closely affiliated with the ruling Self-Determination Congress.
LGBT rights have limited recognition in Nakong, with no legal protections for sexual orientation or gender identity and no official status for same-sex partnerships. Cases have been documented in rural townships of criminal prosecutions for same-sex sexual acts under common law offences against indecency, but nationally there are no laws prohibiting same-sex activity. Attitudes towards LGBT people are slowly changing in Nakong, with high youth turnout being observed at annual pride parades and the cities of Ningcho and Queensport creating a limited civil partnership status for same-sex couples to access local services.
The death penalty is a legal punishment in Nakong, though no person has been executed since 2007 as a concession to international criticism. During the Unionist Crisis in the 1960s, several dozen activists for unification with Shangea were convicted of treason and put to death in trials which are now generally viewed as deeply flawed.