[[quoteright:349:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/QianChinaflag5_6866.png]]
[[caption-width-right:349:The flag of Qian China.]]

''[[http://www.alternatehistory.com/discussion/showthread.php?t=86560 Superpower Empire: China 1912]]'' is a [[AlternateHistory counterfactual history]] of China posted at AlternateHistoryDotCom, where it has earned two [[HarryTurtledove Turtledove]] Awards.

The point of divergence is February 24, 1912. On that day, provisional President Yuan Shikai dies of sudden kidney failure (a condition that actually killed him four years later) and, as a compromise between the Republican and Beiyang Army factions, Kang Youwei, former leader of the "Hundred Days" reform movement, is chosen as the new president.

Kang, with his politically savvy disciple Liang Qichao as prime minister, quickly subverts the republic's institutions and within a few months, has himself declared emperor of a new dynasty. With neither a warlord era nor a civil war to go through, China gradually begins to reverse its century-long decline, and over the course of the following decades rises again to major power status.

Much of the timeline's background is provided by spin-off stories contributed by guest writers.

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!!Contains examples of:

* ActuallyThatsMyAssistant:
--> '''George Morrison''': "I came perilously close to making an embarrassing ''faux pas''… Before being ushered in Kang’s private study, I had been told that his second daughter and his third wife would be in attendance. When I entered the room, I indeed saw him in the company of two ladies, one a self-possessed adult woman and the other a demure girl obviously still in her teens. I almost greeted the former one as Kang ''Tai-tai'' when a detail caught my eye and saved me from the blunder: she was wearing on her finger the Barnard College signet ring—which allowed me to identify her not as Kang’s wife, but as his daughter Tung-pih, an alumnus of said institution. His wife was the young girl, who coyly introduced herself as Chan-li…"
* AlternateHistory: Of the UsefulNotes/SecondSinoJapaneseWar. That's the point.
* AmazonBrigade: The Thousand Iron Phoenixes.
* AnachronicOrder: After focusing on the history of aircraft until 1945, the narrative goes back to the point of divergence in 1912 to focus on political developments.
* BaldofEvil[=/=][[BaldOfAwesome Awesome]]: Many civil servants in the early Qian Dynasty shave their heads Buddhist monk style in imitation of their Emperor Jianguo and Premier Liang Qichao. This doesn't last long in the Second World War.
* BigfootSasquatchAndYeti: In "Jakutija", the protagonists try to capture an Almas, the Siberian version of the Yeti. Not only do they fail, but they end up under military custody as a result.
* BreakOutTheMuseumPiece: The ''Rocket of China'' in "The Road to Yakutia".
* BreakTheCutie: Xiao Fei in "The Thousand Iron Phoenixes".
* ByronicHero: Hunter S. Thompson in "Fear and Loathing in Shanghai".
* ChinaTakesOverTheWorld: Subverted. While Imperial China isn't exactly poised to take over the world, they're one of the leading superpowers alongside America and the USSR.
* ChineseWithChopperSupport: Obviously.
* ColdWar: Complete with narrowly averted hot war between China and the USSR.
* ContinuityNod: The spin-off stories often reference each other.
* CoolPlane: All over the History of Chinese aviation.
* CryptidEpisode: One of the episodes involves chasing a bigfoot in the Mongolian steppe.
* DotingParent: Kang Youwei to his favorite daughter Tongbi.
* EccentricMentor: Zen Master Xu Yun ''and'' Albert Einstein in "Of Dice and Dharma".
* TheEmperor: Kang Youwei and his successors.
* FarmBoy: He Sheng grew up on a farm and became the first Chinese man to walk on the Moon (in "One Small Step").
* ForWantOfANail: Give a man an earlier kidney failure, and the world changes.
* FullCircleRevolution: Less than a year after the beginning of the revolution that overthrew the Qing dynasty, the Qian dynasty has taken over.
* TheFundamentalist: Mordecai Ham in "Sodom and Gomorrah Send Their Regards".
* TheGovernment: Big, authoritarian and bureaucratic. It does improve with age.
* GrimUpNorth: Thoroughly averted with Yakutia, which, despite being located in Eastern Siberia and having the harshest winters outside of Antarctica, is actually seen as a land of hope and opportunity.
* HeroicBSOD: Xiao Fei in "The Thousand Iron Phoenixes".
* HistoricalDomainCharacter
* HobbesWasRight: In order to pull China back together, the new regime uses authoritarian methods.
* IstanbulNotConstantinople: Not in a blatant way, but several places have either changed names or, on the contrary, ''not'' changed names (and retained one they lost in our timeline). Thus Urga never became Ulan-Bator, but Vladivostok became [[FreudWasRight Dongwang]].
* LaResistance: The Chinese guerrilla against Japanese occupation.
* MadArtist: Scriabin's overriding obsession is to compose the ultimate musical piece, one whose performance will usher in a new cosmic era--and incidentally cause the extinction of mankind.
* MightyWhitey: The trope is used in-story as a PR ploy by the Chinese emperor, who plays up the influence his Western advisor has on him.
* NeverLiveItDown: Bazar Baraadin, a linguist with a passion for cryptozoology, is never able to live down his bumbling attempt to capture a [[BigfootSasquatchAndYeti bigfoot]] (see "Jakutija" and "The Road to Yakutia"). [[invoked]]
* NobodyOver50IsGay: Averted with [[spoiler:Pan Yuliang.]]
* NoPartyGiven: Averted. The political organizations are identified by name, whether it's the same as in OTL or not.
* NoSwastikas: Averted. Not only are there swastikas around, but they're a positive symbol.
* ObligatoryWarCrimeScene: The obliteration of Kyoto by firebombing.
* OurPresidentsAreDifferent
* RealPersonFic: All the figures mentioned who were born before the point of divergence, and a few who were born after it, really existed. Their lives become fictional once the effects of the divergence have caught up with them.
* RedBaron: Xie Bingying is known as the Iron Phoenix.
* TheRival: Kwon Ki-ok and Park Kyong-won in "Valkyries".
* SecretPolice: The National Security Bureau (see "The Sorcerer's Apprentice").
* ShoutOut: "Widow Kang" is a reference to ''Literature/TheYearsOfRiceAndSalt''. And a story is titled "OneFlewOverTheCuckoosNest", though it is entirely unrelated to either the novel or the film of the same title.
* ShownTheirWork: Fair amounts of research have gone into this, and actual academic sources are liberally quoted.
* TheSpaceRace: A three-way race in this timeline, with Chinese taikonauts making it to the Moon in 1973 (see "One Small Step").
* SpaceFillingEmpire: Yakutia. Then again, it could also be considered BalkanizeMe, since it was the result of Eastern Siberia seceding from Russia as it was turning into the USSR.
* SpecialGuest: Charlie Chaplin, Albert Einstein, Hunter S. Thompson, Billy Graham, and others beside.
* {{Spinoff}}: ''The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea'' is a mini-TL set in the context of the bigger one and focusing on a specific detail of it, namely the use of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion.
* StraightGay: Richard Halliburton in "The Road to Yakutia".
* TheOtherChineseArmy: appears here. Only then, it was named the Imperial Chinese Army, but otherwise their uniforms are like in the real world. Only with better weaponry of course.
* TheTunguskaEvent: The narrator of "The Road to Yakutia" gets to interview eyewitnesses to the event and fly over the blast zone.
* WarIsHell: The Second Sino-Japanese War.
* WeaponOfMassDestruction: The Firestorm bomb, a crude but effective early type of fuel-air ordnance used by the Chinese against Japan.
* WhatIf: What if Yuan Shikai had died four years earlier?
* WorldWarOne: "One Flew Over The Cuckoos' Nest" depicts the Battle of Qingdao between Chinese and German forces in 1914.
* WriteWhoYouKnow: The narrator's guide in "Fear and Loathing in Shanghai" is a barely fictionalized version of the story's author.
* ZeppelinsFromAnotherWorld: Sort of. While Zeppelins have been raised to the status of self-ironic cliche in alternate history, this timeline attempts not to feature them in an implausible way.

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