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This section is meant to give you a brief overview of the climate in some of the countries around the world in 2030. Please ask whatever specific questions you need to in order to make your characters.

America

Extract from An American History Primer: Ages 10-12(2029)

The USA formally broke up in 2022 when the Southern states did not want to fight against Chinese imperialism. Facing war at home and abroad, our politicians in Washington decided to grant the secession of the South of the USA, which went on to form the so-called Associated Republics of America (ARA), an extremely loose coalition of states, while the North renamed itself the National Government Authority of America (NGAA). The ARA suffered badly from the global economic recessions of the recent period, and became very unequal. Houston, Los Angeles and New Orleans became vast, overworked urban centres while Arizona and Florida became poor and barren. We maintained our territorial integrity (key word!) at the expense of some of our political privileges, and Congress passed dozens of firm but necessary laws to make sure that unrest didn’t cause the same fate that happened to the ARA. Many left-wing liberals and intellectuals left, mainly ending in China, Japan, and Scandinavia, and since then, the NGAA has jealously guarded its borders. Although we remain the greatest country on earth, and we still enjoy some of the best standards of living around, we are learning that we must be very vigilant if we are to resist imperialist powers like China and Japan.

Our war with China proved to be a long, low-intensity conflict. China did not want to risk its years of carefully orchestrated economic development, and Americans did not want to exacerbate the problems it already had. We attempted to win the war by diplomacy, but when our Taiwanese allies overthrew their Chinese puppet regime and instated an American general, the Chinese brutally carpet bombed the island for 12 days, one of the most tragic losses of life in modern history. Despite this, we remain committed to winning the war with China, on ever front possible, and to defeat the foreign threat we may have to endure a political and economic conflict, as well as a military one.

Questions for Class Discussion

1. What does ‘territorial integrity’ mean, and why is it important?

2. What does it mean for a conflict to be ‘political and economic’? What kinds of sacrifices will a dutiful American have to make in these kinds of conflicts?

3.Why is it important to stand up to Chinese aggression?

Japan

Extract from Chapter 12 of Lucille Miyano’s Japan: Alienation, Dissociation, and Wealth (2028)

Japan’s politics has mainly been defined by its disastrous relationship with China over the past two decades. After a period of warming relations that ended in a joint lunar expedition in 2020, Japan was forced to choose between America and China when the Sino-American war erupted in 2022. Instead of aligning itself with either side, Japan sensed an opportunity to become a regional hegemon, and began aggressively distancing itself from both powers, opening closer relations with incipient regional powers like Singapore and the newly independent Hong Kong. Today Japan houses some of the most advanced technological centres in the world, and has experienced incredibly high levels of economic growth and urbanisation(Teal 2025). However, deep problems of inequality have taken hold in what has traditionally been a country with fairly equitable distributions of income. The polarisation of wealth usually characterised by the urban-rural divide has been subsumed into metropole centres, as can be seen in the ramshackle shantytowns of Osaka,or the highly productive but desperately poor areas of the Yokohama port district.

Another key theme in modern Japanese political discourse is dissociation. Spurred by several powerfully implemented free-market reforms, the Japanese government went through a period of restructuring that saw it recede from many areas of society. This corresponded to social trends such as sharp increases in teenage pregnancies, divorce rates, and extremely high turnover rates in employment. A recent national survey claimed that up to 32% of children in Nagasaki had not been raised by their natural parents, with 15% not being raised in any sort of recognisable family unit (JNSA 2027). The social and political price Japan has had to pay for its continuing economic prosperity is a bitter medicine, and groundswells of popular resentment have already been observed in many regions of the country.

China

Extract from Hardtalk, aired on BBC One, June 21, 2029. Interviewer Jeremy Sals.

Jeremy Sals: Let’s be candid, though. Is China, in the current political climate, given their ongoing actions which included the tragic carpet bombing of Taiwan, a threat that the international community in some way needs to confront?

Alan Staynes:Well, I that we’re, we’re somewhat missing the point if we start talking about the international community, the so-called international community. The point is, I feel, that China is a very powerful country, a very progressive country, and I use the term to refer to their consistent economic progress and their bold foreign policy which-

JS: Do you mean their conflict with the NGAA?

AS: Yes, they have-

JS: You’re saying they should be lauded for that?

AS: No, what I’m saying is that China’s politics have never been… China is not a democratic country. But we should move on from that anachronistic point of view that, that condemns China, and refuses to engage with it. China is a technologically advanced country which has a thriving space program, it supplies the world with everything from computers to shoes, it is clearly a power which the UK needs to deal with if it wants to survive.

JS: But huge sections of China remain underdeveloped, most prominently in the mainland, while the coast experiences explosive growth. We’ve seen communist revolutions being put down in a country that is still nominally communist. Their power grid blacked out for three days last year, and has been experiencing periodic regional breakdowns since. They couldn’t even keep Hong Kong from seceding. Clearly this is not a stable country. How are we meant to trust with, deal with the Chinese authorities when we’re not even sure when they’ll be assassinated next?

AS: First of all I’d like to say that the localised riots and revolts in the central parts of China are not indicative of the political climate as a whole. The Politburo’s policy of creating urban centres in the most underprivileged parts of the country has restored a measure of stability to the country-

JS: Islands of excellence in a sea of disgruntled mediocrity.

AS: Yes, but-

JS: And there are even rumours of secret police services brainwashing suspects after interrogations.

AS: Unsubstantiated rumours-

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