Hubei was a prized possession of many ancient Chinese states, as she lay on the majestic Yangtze and was home to the legendary Three Gorges. Hubei also boasted a high abundance of farmland and minerals.
The first state to have control was Chu, of the Warring States Period, and was the site of the epic Battle of the Red Cliffs in the Three Kingdoms era, where Cao Cao's forces were defeated by Liu Bei and Sun Quan.
Nomadic people invaded China in the fourth and fifth centuries, dividing China into north, led by the nomads, and south, dominated by the local Han Chinese.
After the Tang Dynasty disintegrated, Hubei fell under the control of several different regional powers: Jingnan in the centre, Wu in the east, and the Five Dynasties to the north.
The Song Dynasty reunited China in 982, and divided Hubei into a number of circuits for easier administration. After the Mongols conquered southern China in 1279, the provinces of Hubei, Henan, Guangdong, and Guangxi were grouped together to form Huguang. During Mongol occupation, Hubei was devastated by the world's first epidemic of Black Death, which soon spread like wildfire across the Old World.
After the Ming drove out the Mongols in 1368, Huguang was reduced in size: to the point of nearly including all of Hubei and Henan combined. During the last Ming years, Hubei was devastated by rebel factions staking their claims. When the Qing took over, they split Huguang into modern Hubei and Henan. Later reforms transformed Hubei into a centre of trade and commerce.
In 1911, the Wuchang uprising occurred in the old city of Wuhan, overthrowing the Qing and replacing the centuries old monarchy with the Republic of China. During WW-II, eastern Hubei was occupied by Japan.
During the Cultural Revolution, the province was home to infighting between local Red Guard factions.
In the last years before Doomsday, in fear of nuclear war, the old PRC built a subterranean military command post in Xianning.
Hubei's capital Wuhan was the industrial centre of China, so naturally, the Soviets nuked it. The Yangtze River became moderately contaminated, and cancer rates soared past 40% within the next few years. Most residents of Hubei flew westward and northward, although conditions were not better off.
The only surviving cities were Yichang, Xiangfan (Xiangyang), Jingzhou, and Enshi. Martial law was declared instantly, and the early governments struggled to survive, with failing crops, high mortality rates, and raids from bandits destroying any attempts to progress. Enshi collapsed by December.
For years, the military juntas ruled with ruthless efficiency. Raids, gang fighting, and coup attempts ceased by June 1985. Many thousands of people were arrested or executed. However, the juntas did succeed in slowly increasing the standard of living, and by 1987, the mortality rate was brought from 40.6 deaths per thousand to 28.2, and the Yuan was beginning to be reproduced, replacing barter.
As less people were dying, standards of living improved, and a basic economy began to develop. The people began demanding more representation and change. The juntas of Yichang, Xiangfan and Enshi, however, were enjoying their power, and were the richest of the lot. The first riots began in December 1987.
Thousands of people were jailed, even if there was little or no evidence of wrong doing, mostly done on racial basis. This only infuriated the people, and caused more and more riots, the next one more urgent than the last. On February 13th, 1988, a group of Tujia took to the streets, demanding equal rights with the Han majority.
No one knows for certain who literally threw the first stone, but soon the Tujia were being massacred right, front and centre. There were an estimated 46,650 people murdered that day.
This was the final straw. The next day, the people rose up against the juntas, with success limited only to Xiangfan. The leaders who were responsible for the crimes were executed just like the Tujia had been the day before. In Xiangfan, the people were truly free for the first time in history.
In Yichang and Jingzhou, close to 300,000 people were executed on terms of treason and a further million imprisoned.
After the Valentine's Revolution, the newly liberated people of Xiangfan formed the Renmindahui, the People's Assembly. It was in charge of all national affairs until new institutions could take its place.
All through March, the Renmindahui began the process of reconstructing the surviving Hubei region. They set up the Renminzhenxian, the Popular Front, consisting of the former CCP, a new Kuomintang, and a new party, the Chongjiandang, the Reconstruction Party, building hospitals and new schools, factories, et cetera. They also drafted a new constitution, and created the Guohui, the Congress.
The next few months saw betterment of people's lives. The Yuan was increasing in strength, more jobs were available, and most importantly, people could have their say and participate in government.
Transition to Democracy
The next two years saw great progress. The mortality rate lowered to 25.7, the economy was back on its feet, a new university was opened, the Yangtze Memorial University, and a new medical centre was under construction, the Three Gorges Regional Medical Centre. But most importantly of all, the Renminzhenxian announced elections running from August 1st-8th, 1990. Thus, the Renminzhenxian folded.
The CCP received the least votes, as Communism was blamed for China's destruction. The Kuomintang received not many votes as well, as it was increasingly authoritarian, reminiscent of Chiang Jieshi's old Republic. So the majority of votes went to Lu Banglie's Chongjiandang.
A Nation on the Rise
On August 8th, 1990, Lu Banglie became the first elected Chairman of the Hubei Region. Chairman Lu's first act was to announce the new government independent of the old PRC. It officially became known as the National People's Republic of China, but is commonly referred to as Hubei, particularly in diplomatic situations.
He opened up a new position, that of Premier, which is the NPRC's variant of Chancellor or Vice-President. Luo Qingguan of the Kuomintang was offered the post. Together, they would continue the rebuilding and re-aggrandizing of Hubei.
The neighbouring juntas of Jingzhou and Yichang didn't tolerate the recent secession of a nation from what they claimed was China. So Yichang sent a force to annihilate the young Republic. The forces of the NPRC won a narrow victory which shook the nation. So Luo Qingquan was declared Dajiangjun, or Grand General. Premier now became a very powerful post in Hubei, heading the government and military. But Luo Qingquan, although heading the Nationalist Kuomintang, never attempted to seize power for himself, remaining loyal to the central government.
Between 1990 and 1992, the local militia of 12'634 was raised to a modest 67'300, and was transformed into a formal military, the Renminjun. The Renminjun specialized in mountain warfare, and was centred around infantry and cavalry.
During 1994, after the NPRC adopted a new flag, seal and anthem, Luo Qingquan declared a campaign for Hubei, challenging the militaristic "PRC" of Yichang and Jingzhou. After half a year of fighting and a death toll of 34'789, Yichang was conquered and Jingzhou sued for peace. For many years, Hubei remained staunchly isolationist to prevent such a disaster.
The next several years saw the reconstruction of a deeply devastated Yichang, and in 1998, after the election (which was also a victory for the Chongjiandang, which from then on is called the Baoshoudang, or Conservative Party) and the lowering of the mortality rate to 22 deaths per thousand, Jingzhou's people finally succeeded in overthrowing the Junta, and defected their decrepit city to the NPRC.
By the turn of the millennium, Yichang was on the rise. Major reconstruction of Jingzhou began, and Hubei began a transition to culture and technology as opposed to reconstruction.
But tragedy would strike a nation on the rise. On April 1st, 2002, Chairman Lu was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. From that point on, as Lu's health wavered, he lost his political touch, and was hospitalized in July of 2004. After the elections that year, which the Baoshoudang lost to the new Minjindang, the celebrated founder of the nation Lu Banglie succumbed, yet another victim of Doomsday.
The Wang Administration
Following Wang Hongju's inauguration as Chairman, the Renmindahui unanimously voted in favour of keeping Luo Qingquan as Premier.
Government and Politics
The National People's Republic of China is a democratic state entirely devoted to the people. It stresses family values and community, and cultural festivals are a must. All businesses are under government control to ensure that greed will not ruin the country. The country is run by a Congress, the Guohui, which function is to listen to the common people, forward new laws, pass new bills, and in general keep the people happy. The Chairman's job is essentially to keep order and balance, and to approve laws and motions of war.
The NPRC had been entirely isolationist until Chairman Hongju's reign, though a delegation arrived from Guangxi in 2000, which was rejected. After the elections of 2004, the NPRC accepted delegations from Guangxi, much to the applause of the people. So far, relations are quite warm.
After learning of the existence of the LoN and WCRB, the NPRC is making frantic effort to communicate with both organizations through contacts with Guangxi. Contact with Gansu was made in early 2005, and until the Communist takeover, relations were quite warm. The NPRC is currently attempting to establish relations with Yunnan, ROC, Macau, and Jiangsu.
The ruling party and most popular party currently is the Minjindang, the social-democratic Progressive Party. The former CCP, after receiving a low voting turnout the last election in 2004, was absorbed into the Minjindang in May 2012. Similarly, the Kuomintang was absorbed into the Bouhoudang, the Conservative Party, in June 2012.
After the end of the CCP and Kuomintang in Hubei, two newer parties were left. The far-right Quan Zhongguo Dongjing, or the All-China Movement, which believes that the NPRC is the sole ruler of China, and a strong, united front is necessary to destroy the Communist threats from the north.
The other party is known as Heliudang, or the River Party. The party is more socialist oriented, but is theocratic. It favours love of nature and peaceful negotiation over war. It supports the independence of Tibet, Manchuria, Yunnan, Taiwan, and Hainan.
The Heliudang face ridicule by mainstream politicians, voters and clergy for its support of women's suffrage, which accounts for its suffering in the polls since the early 2000s.
As of September 1st, 2012, a referendum was held establishing three provinces of the NPRC: Jingzhou (Jingzhou) in the east, Jiangzhou (Yichang) in the west, and Hanzhou (Xiangyang) in the north. Much of the NPRC's military-controlled lands is unregistered territory.
The province of Hubei is mountainous, yet has a considerable amount of flat plains used for wheat harvest. The mountains also provide for rice terraces. Hubei is also dotted by, apparently, thousands of small lakes and the Yangtze passes through, so there is a significant amount of fresh water.
The NPRC makes whatever wealth it has from rice, water, cotton, wheat, tea, electricity, copper, iron, garnet, gold, and borax (a natural, non-chemical detergent), though only in small quantities.
During recent years, Hubei has experienced a revival of Hanfu fashion and Buddhist ideals, mixed in with a new architectural style originating in Jingzhou: Zhuyi. Zhuyi is a style that combines the sleekness of modernism with the majesty of traditional Chinese architecture. It is gaining strength and is starting to infiltrate areas such as fashion.
After Doomsday, as the Yangtze healed quicker than the land, the people of the region have begun to worship the river Yangtze. The new religion has been dubbed Shuidaoism.
People worship the Yangtze on September 26th, the date of Doomsday. The founders of Shuidaoism chose this date to symbolize death and rebirth, mourning and celebration, and the annual flooding of the river. To celebrate, people float water lanterns made of lotuses down the river, each having a different meaning, typically wishes and respect for a lost loved one. Incense is burned either in the home, along the river, or at any temple. Shuidaoism is currently the largest growing religion in the former Hubei.
The principal temple of Shuidaoism is the Yashuilitan, or the Altar of Rolling Water, a recreation of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, completed in early 2012. The move to build the structure has seen in upsurge in support of the Minjindang.
Science and Technology
After Chairman Lu's death, the NPRC has begun to focus on technology. Currently, the level of standard technology is at a Pre-WWI level.
Candles and gas lamps have replaced the electric grid. Many people enjoy it this way, as the power lines were viewed as detracting from the beauty of the landscape.
Vehicles and roads are still present, though no vehicles actually work. Chairman Lu simply transformed them into Banglie Buggies: essentially horse-drawn cars.
MilitaryThe NPRC's military is known as the Renminjun. It consists of currently 300,000 personnel when mobilized, which is divided into ten divisions of infantry, with some being specialized to be drafted as cavalry.
During peace-time, the NPRC's standing army totals 40,000.
These numbers do not include local police forces.