Asia remains a varied land thriving again after the long devastation of war and famine, but now it is a land yoked to the military might of the United States and the economic might of the Two Chinas. Many Asian nations still seek sanctuary in isolation, but that remains a path towards stagnation. More nations have opened up to the new realities of technology, such as the testing-grounds of Sumatra which yield super-rice and deep-melons of an amazing abundance.

The Denied Areas of the Mekong, Timor, Formosa, and Malaya remain off limits to all those who value their Protocol membership, for these areas dabble in or have been ravaged by technology restricted in the Research Control Regime. The lands of China are split between the prosperous capitalist state of Cathay in southern China and the totalitarian Imperial State of Zhongguo in the north all the way to Sakha. Japan, though still a world economic power, remains in self-imposed isolation from most traffic except the Network kind, operating some of its prize companies by long-distance. It is now a land shrouded in the fog of Oriental mystery, occasionally letting slip some new technology, but more often than not wrapped up in its own stagnation and self-referential nostalgia. Indonesia is a shattered land, splintered into a dozen kingdoms, each claiming dominance even as they rely on American Governance forces to impose order and bring a semblance of prosperity. Governance plays them off against each other and rules from above.

++++++Denied Areas? Yeehaa! Just call me a cowboy and let me steer ma herd of cow-sized guns in 'that general direction'. Not that I'm an illegal operator or anything. Well, semi-legal now that we're getting a little helping hand from the cold spooks in Manila (nudge nudge, wink wink). Only a matter of time before you start seeing holovids of 'armed terrorists' attacking helpless citizens in Andong, or, I just call'em Freedom Fighters+++[Jackrabbit]+++

++++++Ummm. What the right hand doesn't know can't hurt it. Rasputin mentioned something about Undernet getting real patchy around Melaka...whyzzat?+++[ValutaFish]+++

++++++Empulsers. Bigguns. 'Mericans try to frazzle electros on sunrunners passing through Straits of Malacca. Bah, sanctions won't hold. Protocol be damned, people still trade here. But not cosmetics+++[Bahatur]+++

Cathay (South China)

Faced with a collapsing economy and social unrest at the shocking end of the Pacific War, the elites of southern China - long steeped in capitalist methods and power structures - took control of their territories from the humiliated and shattered People's Army forces. The mayor of Shanghai, Lun Yangbao, rode a wave of anti-war popularity and forged a new political movement called the Party for Justice. With strong American military and financial backing he declared independence from the 'corrupt' regime which had initiated the disastrous war with both Russia and America. During the New Mutation, many Chinese cities and regions became de facto autonomous fiefdoms, each of which had to be persuaded by force or subsidy to join the new Chinese Coastal Republic. While most of the north stayed loyal to Beijing and the west fragmented, the major population centres from Shanghai to Hongkong quickly threw their lot in with American Governance forces. A short-lived Guangxi Zhuang Free Republic was quickly restored to CCR control by American paratroopers.

Today the Chinese Coastal Republic (colloquially known as Cathay in the West) has become a zone of prosperity and democracy, though not of stability. Rampant corruption, Triad insurgencies, Maoist guerrillas, disputes with South East Asian neighbours, the heavy hand of Governance, and the ever-present threat from Zhongguo create a cauldron of frenzied commerce and secretive paranoia that permeates the entire massive coastal conurbation known as Gold City. This massive metropolis has an estimated population of 80 million (+- 10m illegal residents) and constitutes one of the world's largest zones of Intercon and black market commercial activity. Further inland the economic picture is drastically altered. Poverty and disease are endemic. Unemployment - currently standing at 18% - fuels terrorism in the cities, peasant rebellions in the fields, and swells the ranks of the xenophobic Triads.

Cathay is a democratic nation, with an bicameral Assembly and Constitution modeled on America's, and with a strong executive leadership. Cathay's commitment to free enterprise, minimal government services, and heavy Intercon participation have made it a better model of freedom than the US's stifling conservatism. Yet Cathay is not a Western clone; its laws are based on an elaborate Confucian system (somewhat akin to the Civil Code), its government promotes cosmopolitan Chinese culture on the world stage, and it has close ties to the Huaren Clan (South China Commonwealth).

As golden Cathay's container platforms cruise the Pacific to supply the world's newtech needs, the Triad smuggles its own goods and does battle against American occupation forces. The South Chinese Commonwealth controls the vast majority of wealth in Asia, and it sets the terms of trade with the rest of world. However, even such wealth cannot reunite the fragmented lands of the Chinese, or restore the depopulated desert that is now Formosa.

Hongkong (Fragrant Bay), Guangzhou, and Chongqing have melted into the second-largest Cathay metropolis known simply as Canton in the West. The New Territories in Cathay are still under 'administration' (read occupation) by American Governance forces. The Fortress/Spaceport facility at Okinawa provides the basing for most of the American firepower deployed in the East China Sea. Research stations have been installed on Taiwan, and although it's a Denied Area, the US Defence Department has turned it into a weapons test site. Massive structural unemployment plagues Cathay and South East Asia

++++++Formosa's the place where the milisci guys are testing those Phasic weapons we only heard about. You know, after Op Pharma in HK, the Pentagon decided it needed something with a bit more punch to clear those messy, cluttered urban areas. They test them at New Sun Lake+++[Fuguetive]+++

++++++You mean Sun-Moon Lake. There is no New Sun Lake+++[Shenkiller]+++

++++++There wasn't until 10-17-38. Not to mention that big-ass hole in the ionosphere that's fluctuating like a dynamo across the entire radio spectrum+++[Fuguetive]+++


The defeat of Communist China in the Pacific War crushed the last remnants of democratic reform and communist power in the areas of China not occupied by American forces. Hard-line politicians, backed by People's Army generals still smoldering from their defeat, quickly removed the last old-style communists from the State Council and instituted a rigid totalitarian bureaucracy which governed North China for nearly ten years during the Reconstruction when most of the countryside was in rebellion and the cities were depopulated by plague. Most enterprises came under the control of state councils and specially-appointed industry Mandarins. These individuals had been extensively trained and genetically tweaked since childhood to serve as ultimate leaders. Physically perfect, emotionally stable, intellectually brilliant, these molded 'tools of state control' took only three years to wrest control of North China from the generals. By 2032 a new regime, calling itself the Zhongguo (Middle Kingdom) Party, began purging the military and political classes, imposing Confucian principles, re-introducing the Imperial Heirarchy, and instituting the system of testing for imperial service that once governed everyday life in China for hundreds of years. The Mandarins had analyzed all aspects of global society and had come to one conclusion: foreigners were toxic and Chinese culture had to be sanitized against all foreign influences. The Mandarins' Middle Kingdom Party changed the PRC's name to Imperial State of Zhongguo and removed all traces of foreign (especially Western) culture from Chinese society, but without rejecting modern technology. Suits, cola, MTV, independent netlinks, hamburgers, symphonies, rock music, pornography, were all banned. Millions of 'sympathisers' were murdered along with Maoist insurgents, democrats, free enterprise capitalists, and crime lords.

Today Zhongguo is a vast hermetically-sealed trading nation, the fifth-largest economy on the planet, and a potent military power pledged to the reconquest of its 'wayward' southern territories. The Ten Mandarins, known in Zhongguo as the T'ang, jointly rule over their 500 million subjects through a rigidly-defined hierarchy of technocrats, aided by strange Great Minds. The economy is highly industrialized, progressive, and boasts some of the world's largest Intercons, though the last are thoroughly scrutinized for invidious tendencies. Zhongguo has once again annexed Mongolia, taken control of Rebin (formerly Vladivostok), clashed with Korean and Cathay forces, and reclaimed half of East Turkestan (Xinjiang). The Mandarins have been unafraid of using nuclear weapons to achieve their aims, a fact proven by the destruction of the rebellious city of Lanzhou. Zhongguo has repeatedly threatened Cathay and Japan with thermonuclear extermination unless they kow-tow to Mandarin policies. Each nation angrily denounces such provocations, but treads carefully nonetheless.


The violent unification of the two Koreas has left deep national scars in the land which may take decades to heal. Korea remains a highly militarized and paranoid security state covered by a veneer of democracy. A relatively liberal economic regime is coupled with strict controls on movement and transacting with 'enemy elements' (Chinese Zhongguans, Communists, Japanese, militant labour unions, &c.) carries the death penalty. Korea is a stalwart ally of the United States and gleefully provokes border clashes with Imperial China while maintaining a fiercely-independent nuclear arsenal (~100 warheads) of its own, despite American pressure to dismantle it. Occasional naval clashes with Japan highlight the unpleasant relations across the Sea of Japan, and make the region somewhat hazardous to cross by boat. Korea remains economically divided, and Northeners continue to face government and social discrimination amidst a backdrop of poverty. Various peasant terrorist groups have risen to demand equal treatment and an end to martial law and police brutality, only to face a tough crackdown by the intelligence services. The People's Reformist Front - a communist rebel group supplied by Imperial China - continues to attack local South Korean officials and cause havoc across the datanets.


Japan underwent a period of economic trauma following the collapse of its major banks during the Tens amidst the Asian Slump, and its melancholy electorate decided to elect a party of stout nationalists and isolationists who slowy broke off contact with the rest of the world. The Japan of today may still be wealthy, but the aging of its population has made it extremely conservative, xenophobic, and cautious. The New Mutation profoundly shocked the Nipponese into reconsidering their close ties to the rest of the world. Today the patrician majority sullenly enforces cherished rituals and techniques at the expense of innovation and freedom.

Japanese youth are smothered beneath a blanket of indifference, which encourages many of them to emigrate or express their anger in Ripperpunk gangs and violent demonstrations. A huge exodus of Japanese youth flowed out into the world during the 20s and have settled mostly along the Pacific Rim from Perth to San Diego. Reacting negatively to the economic protectionism of the Komei party (supported by the conservative-buddhist Soka Gakkai organization), most Japanese Intercontinentals 'voted with their feet' and followed Japan's youth to greener pastures overseas, relocating their labs and factories in free-market nations and enclaves across the Rim, most notably California, the Philippines, Thailand, Mexico and Brazil. They brought thousands of their loyal employees overseas with them [Japanese Exodus, 2015-19].

By 2019, Japan had begun testing its first simulated nuclear bomb and stockpiling ready-to-assemble equipment for missiles "just in case China gets twitchy". China got very much more twitchy when information about Japan's nuclear missile programme was leaked. Japan's limited involvement in the Pacific War (mainly a grab of the Kurile Islands) cost it both influence in East Asia and goodwill in America, leaving it friendless on the northern edge of an emerging American empire. Resentful of their marginalized status, many Japanese are now demanding a return to activist foreign policy - even intervention - should Japanese interests be ignored. Meanwhile youth riots and a decline in living standards breed resentment against the government and against Fortress Japan's fossilized politicians; 7 mayors and 2 prefects have been murdered this year alone.

Today Japan is a nation alone and humbled. Seen as eternal enemies by both South and North China, as connivers by Korea, and as ingrates by the Americans, the Japanese have retreated into a sulking isolationism which has empoverished them over the last twenty years. With the lose of its most creative and energetic young people, the famed 'consensus economy' that propelled Japan into world economic leadership during the last century has evaporated, to be replaced by a stagnant bureaucracy and a feuding nest of prefectures. Japanese industry is still among the world's most efficient, but crime has descended on Japan's once-pristine cities. Osaka, Nagoya, Chiba, and Tokyo have all experienced urban blight and unemployment crime related to the departure of the major Intercons.


One of the first casualties of the globalized economy, Indonesia suffered terribly during the New Mutation, losing nearly a quarter of its 240m people to famine, plagues and parasites. The incompetence and corruption of government officials often made things worse and precipitated a series of regional uprisings which splintered Indonesia into a dozen small countries. The brutal civil war pitted the nationalist-Malay Union Party against its main opponent, the Islamist Sekarat Alliance, as well as a dozen various rebel groups demanding independence for their ancestral homelands. The involvement of Red Chinese insurgents and provocateurs and American commandos made the situation even more unstable, and Indonesia was consumed by bloodshed during the Pacific War and beyond. Only in 2028, when victorious American forces finally emerged from the New Mutation strong enough to impose order upon South-East Asia did the fighting stop in most places. Today the major nation-states in the region include Java Republic (the rump of Indonesia plus southern Sumatra), Aceh Islamic Republic (northern Sumatra), Flores, Bali Enterprise Zone, Free Timor, Borneo Free Estates (controlled by Intercons), Kalimantan Special Administrative Region (US Governance jurisdiction), Sumatra Denied Area, and the Mallaca Republic.

The main island of Java remains the center of Indonesian culture and economic prosperity and, with nearly 120m people forms the main population center. Javanese politics is riven with infighting and splattered with the blood of dozens of military generals who attempted to run the show. The current ruler, one General Wiranto Bondangsue, exerts control over the main army while his scheming opponent, the revered imam (Muslim cleric) Ibrahim Jawaller pulls the strings of both the Navy and Air Force. Java prospers by supplying American forces in the PCZ and by exporting cheap assembled products throughout East Asia. US Governance maintains a hands-off approach to Java, preferring not to dip its hands into local politics and backstabbing. Ordinary Javanese trade in barter on the black market, smuggle goods into Denied Areas, smoke clove-cigarettes and wait for better days.

The Sumatra Denied Area encompasses the middle and some southern bits of the island in which American troops fought Burmese and Chinese forces during the War. Here they felt free to employ terrible chemical and biological weapons which eventually spawned into the parasites we know today. Several leading scholars have traced the locus of the New Mutation to Sumatra. Today the region is a Denied Area and is home to perhaps 10m starving and diseased inhabitants who subsist on a barter economy and sea-lane piracy.

The Islamic Republic of Aceh harks back to simpler times in its history and employs harsh Sharia law to keep its population in line. Essentially being a one-party theocracy, Aceh maintains limited contact with the outside world apart from a large American naval installation. Aceh supposedly harbours several militant Islamic sects, but most have been harmless in recent years and are tolerated by the pious authorities. Acehenese massacred most Chinese and other Asian foreigners during the New Mutation, and few Intercons or ethnic groups make their home here. Strangely enough, the Webworks appears to seethe and writhe in bizarre configurations around the capital, Lhokseumawe.

Pacific Conflict Zone

This area includes most of the Philippines south of Luzon, Micronesia, the Moluccas, Kalimantan, and even parts of North Australia/Queensland. The PCZ is in a continual state of rebellion, and subject to US Governance occupation forces, which have placed most regions under martial law. Several atoll cities are in the hands of Triad pirates, Maoist or Confucian rebels, or local warlords. Heavy fighting against Chinese forces in the Philippines and Malaysia have crippled the economies of those countries, and only the former has managed to escape poverty - by circumventing the Research Control Regime. Apparatus personnel are deployed in large numbers throughout the 'Zone, and special USSOCOM (Special Operations Command) jungle-warfare teams are rumoured to be using adaptation-symbionts to penetrate hidden rebel outposts in the deep forests.

Malayan Federation

The scattered and fiercely independent lands on the western side of Kalimantan and on the Penang peninsula constitute the modern nation-state of Malaya. This land is one of furious progress and terrifying change, where the government encourages genemods, tectogenetics, eugenics, chimerics, cybernetic implants, and all the other wonders of modern technology. Malaya's renunciation of the draconian Research Control Regime came after the repeated vacuum-bombing of the peninsular cities during the PacWar by American troops fed up with 'neutral' Malaysia harboring entire battalions of Chinese infantry. Devastated by war and subject to what it considered an unfair stigma by Allied forces, Malaysia swallowed the city-state of Singapore and the rich lands of Brunei and formed a federation dedicated to resisting all Western interference. Malaya was expelled from the Protocol framework and subject to a brief, but unsuccessful, invasion by pro-American Javanese forces in 2024. This 'bullying' of Malaya has embittered the people against all foreigners, but especially against Americans. Declaring a new "Techno-Visionary Republic", Malaya embarked on a programme of developing all forms of restricted or banned high-tech. Shadowy corporations and criminal laboratories flocked to Kuala Lumpur and Penang to develop forbidden nutek. Fortunately Malaya's damaged condition and isolation from world financial and trade flows have retarded its development and infrastructure, making progress difficult, but even after a mere 15 years the advances in all fields of science have been astounding - and equally terrifying. Despite strong threats from other international players, several Intercons (most notably Synthesia, China Motor Industries, and Burma Confab) occasionally trade normal products with Malaya. Malaya includes the autonomous Malacca Republic, which maintains a stranglehold on shipping from India and Europe through the straits of Malacca.


The lands of Burma, Lower Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaya and Indonesia were all ravaged to varying degrees during the War and New Mutation, but only Thailand and Burma have re-emerged stronger than before. Vietnam, though an ally of the US during the War, has only allowed selected American intercons to enter its growing market and does not allow anyone to develop the territories it calls the Mekong Community (basically occupied Cambodia, Laos and Hainan). Thailand and Burma have both emerged as heavy industrial economies, and both draw upon Malaya's illegal scientific research to support their technological efforts. These countries are joined together only by a common electronic currency and data-exchange format which allows them to connect their networks together and maintain a semblance of sophisticated commerce. This standard is the Asian Streamlined Format (ASF), and its principal administrator is the South-East Asian Community (SEACOM). Founded in 2026 by US Governance troops to restore data communications in South-East Asia, the Seacom has grown over the years into a formal economic and diplomatic union. Prodded into opening their markets by Protocol agreements, the Seacom nations entered into a customs union in 2029 and a currency union in 2033. The Asian Dollar is the regions single currency and has proven to be a boon to poor inflation-prone areas. Malaya officially adopted the Asian Dollar in 2034 despite not being invited by Seacom to do so. American influence over Seacom varies. On the one hand, the US' military might and control over many smaller governments gives it great leverage, but on the other hand this very interference often antagonizes the larger independent nations. Seacom maintains a central government of sorts called the SEA Commandarate which has the authority to print money and set commercial regulations, but Seacom is not nearly as unified as the European Union.

+++The South China Commonwealth/Huaren Clan is the real puppet-master behind Seacom. The Chinese control 89% of the trade and inter-entity commerce in the region and even manage most of the American companies subsidiaries as well. Not to mention that hulking giant of an Intercon...Synthesia.+++[Fuguetive]+++