The Cathay Federation is an expansionist, totalitarian absolute monarchy. An expansionist state, the Cathay Federation has regularly engaged in imperialistic wars with its neighbors, especially Eurasia and East Asia. Cathay’s current war is but another one of these wars, although it is an open secret that the Second 240-300 War is an attempt by the Cathay leadership to become a fourth superpower.
The systems that make up the modern Cathay Federation were very hard-hit by the collapse of the colonial governments. Rich in minerals and industrial equipment, they became natural battlegrounds. Unlike many conflicts of that nature, the wars didn’t end with one group triumphing over the others but instead fizzled out as the fighting became too costly. Opposing factions grudgingly accepted peace and instead focused on rebuilding the areas they had managed to capture. The then-young Republic of China, much more powerful than many of the systems in the area, ruthlessly exploited them after the dust settled. Taking advantage of pre-existing rivalries, the Republic had managed to establish military bases all throughout the area. Republic leaders began to demand more and more, up to and including taxing trade between the systems in exchange for “protection.” Eventually, mass protests to Republic presence popped up. Attempts to crush the protests only succeeded in creating more, and the Republic soon found itself at war with the former rivals. Engaged in its own war against the British, the Republic could not afford a mass rebellion and after a few years sought peace.
The Wuhan system was relatively untouched by the war when the local government struck a compromise with the Republic, giving the Republic mining rights to the system if they would leave the inhabited worlds alone. Although neutral during the revolt, Wuhan’s leaders secretly conspired with the revolutionaries, supplying them with advanced weapons from the growing Coalition of Western Republics. Many revolutionary groups were secretly under Wuhan’s control and many more were dependent on these arms shipments. Taking advantage of its position, it offered the Republic a deal: it would sabotage the revolutionary war effort and maintain Republic economic dominance in the area if they would help Wuhan’s scheme to unite the revolutionary systems under their rule. The Republic, seeing this compromise as better than losing both of its wars, accepted. The Cathay Federation (named as a compromise between the large British and Chinese population) was formed.
Initially a federal republic, the Cathay Federation quickly became a monarchy when the “ceremonial” position of King was “offered” to the nation’s fourth president. Several expansion wars were waged against stragglers who weren’t captured during the Revolution. Others were fought against local powers in the area, such as the First 240-300 War against East Asia over Tientsin and the war against Eurasia over Peking. Although it was supported by the Coalition at first, when Cathay’s ambitions became obvious prior to the Second 240-300 War all support was cut off and the superpowers began instead to aid Cathay’s rival, East Asia. However, the Cathay Federation’s industrial past and old superpower aid has given it the ability to actually succeed against East Asia and her Eurasian ally, despite being outnumbered. Cathay infantry and tanks are famously armed with sonnematerial casters, allowing them to blanket enemy trenches in searing hot ionized gas. Cathay military strategy calls for orbital or aerial bombardment, followed up by an attack by armor and heavy infantry units. Conscripts are normally used to mop up after the first attack waves.
The modern Cathay Federation is actually one of the most culturally diverse states in the area, fully accepting both its European and Asian roots. Unlike its rival, East Asia, very little pride is given cultural basis. Instead, the “enlightenment” and “prosperity” of the Federation is depicted as unparalleled, something that they could share through overthrowing the “barbarian government” of East Asia. Cathay takes great pride in its cultural diversity and has diplomatic and trade relations with many powers in the galaxy. This narrative has extended to the government hinting at Cathay’s destiny of being a fourth superpower, something that has not gone unnoticed. Cathay’s actions would certainly make it a fitting superpower, considering its brutal policies against any opponents. Prisoners, both from the streets and the battlefields, are frequently used for testing biological weapons on. The Cathay sense of enlightenment frequently manifests itself as ruthless arrogance; its enemies are nothing more than barbarians and enemy civilians are frequently killed. In what appears to be an attempt to imitate the superpowers, there is evidence of industrial genocide being used in the war. Cathay military personnel, mostly conscripts, are normally brutalized in training and given blank checks when in the battlefield, leading to frequent atrocities at the front lines.