Of all the countries to emerge as developed nations in the 21st Century, few have had a more difficult time of doing so than China.
Since 1949 the Chinese mainland was controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, an organization that until the 1970s was known for the brutal and often self-destructive policies of Maoist Communism. In the 1970s, following the reopening of western relations after the US recognition of the country, China entered into a new era of economic growth.
By the early 2000s, China had surpassed Japan as the Second Largest economy on Earth, and the United States as the largest manufacturer. With a population of 1.3 billion, it quickly became the worlds largest consumer of industrial goods.
This monument to Chinese greatness began to see its first cracks with the Chinese Real-Estate Bubble; the Southern Chinese Labor Riots; and growing pressures from the outside to end the devaluation of its currency all began to come to light. By the end of the Great Recession, many expected these issues to simply disappear, however with growing economic disparity created by overinflated real-estate prices and western manufacturers returning to domestic factories in the wake of the labor riots, they only got worse with time.
By 2020 the stresses on the Chinese economic and political system had reached a breaking point. With climate change destroying crop yields in the interior and the rising sea levels resulting in the destruction of the Three Gorges Dam that flooded many cities along its path, calls for reform had turned into a roar. That same year protesters in Beijing stormed the Capitol after the Communist Party voted to continue what many saw as excessive water rationing policies. This raid left many members of the Chinese Communist Party dead, and drove others to flee to neighboring Russia or Canada where they were offered exile.
For the next two years China was in a constant state of unrest as PLA soldiers fought for control of the Chinese Heartland and separatist forces fought for independence. In Southern China a group of progressive activists known as the Unified China movement sought to united the country together under a reformed government, and ultimately backed the organization that would take power, the Confederation of Chinese Corporations (CCC).
A political union between the major businesses of China, the CCC took power by offering to the countries broken military something it hadn't seen in years. Money. Using the trillions in capitol gathered from years of growth under the PRC, and outside funds from Western companies sympathetic to their cause, the CCC more or less bought what remained of the Chinese military, though the China State Securities ultimately became the primary PMC that formed China's new military.
The CCC ultimately formed the Chinese State, the first corporatist nation in the world. In its short thirteen years of existence, the Chinese State would retake most of the territory lost during the 2020s, save for East-Turkestan, and become one of the instigators of the Flood War, that ended in 2035 with their defeat.
Following the dissolution of the Chinese State, mainland China was returned to the Republic of China, which with aid from Pacific allies would spend much of the next ten years rebuilding the broken nation and turning it into a modern democratic-populist society.