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China Tidal Wave (original name 黃禍, lit. Yellow Peril) is a 1992 novel (the English translation appeared in 2008) by Wang Lixiong, a Chinese dissident and environmentalist. It is a disturbingly plausible examination of what might happen if a country with over a billion people and hundreds of nuclear warheads were to become a failed state.


This novel provides examples of:

  • Apocalypse How: China is a regional Class 1 fairly early into the novel. It's a global Class 1 - at best - by the end, with many parts of the world solidly in Class 2 territory.
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  • Author Tract: Besides his environmentalism, the author clearly seems to be advocating for the Multi-Level Election System.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The Democracy Front and the People's Front had presumably been wishing for the fall of the Communist government for years. When it happens in a disorderly manner, though...
  • The Chessmaster: Wang Feng is a textbook example.
  • Democracy Is Bad: Not really an example, but the proponents of the Multi-Level Election System argue that conventional representative democracy is indeed bad, partly because it is ill-equipped to deal with emergencies. The Communists, of course, play this trope straight.
  • Green Aesop: Wang's environmentalist views are clear throughout the novel.
  • The Great Flood: One of the main triggering events for the calamity that envelops China and eventually the world. A hundred million people are made homeless by flooding on the Yellow River.
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  • Loads and Loads of Characters: Fortunately, there is a key to the main ones at the front of the book (at least in the English edition).
  • Nuke 'em: Starts when the beleaguered mainland destroys Taipei. Taiwanese agents seize missile silos on the mainland, and then it just gets worse and worse after that.
  • Professional Killer: The Major.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Poor, poor Chen Pan.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: The Democracy Front and the People's Front hate each other almost as much as they hate the Communists.
  • Yellow Peril: The literal translation of the Chinese title is this. After hundreds of millions of Chinese flee their war-torn and famine-stricken country for Russia, Europe, and the Americas, they are seen this way by the locals.
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