The Mandala system is the primary way in which nations of Southeast Asia traditionally relate to each other. There are some similarities with the feudal system of medieval Europe, as well as the modern condominium system. See Wikipedia:Mandala system for its operation *here*
In the Mandala system, there are a few privileged nations who enjoy "overlord" status. Smaller nations exist in a tributary status to these more powerful nations. Historically, the overlord-tributary relationship was personal, ruler to ruler, rather than on the level of nations, and could change swiftly. In addition, a nation could easily be tributary to two or more overlords. In the modern system, the relationships are more formalized, being governed by treaties, and are more complex than simple tribute.
Before the Great Oriental War, China was the most important overlord nation. After the War, China's influence became much less.
(Note: the following list is tentative, and the romanization is inconsistent)
- Bengal is overlord of the Scandinavian Realm via Frederiksnagore, France via Chandernagore, the Federated Kingdoms via Calcutta, and the Batavian Kingdom via Chinsura.
- Burma is overlord of Hsip'aqa, Jan̊hve, Mÿqan̊ Kaja×, the Batavian Kingdom via Arakan, and possibly some Assamese states in India
- Filipinas is overlord of Castile and Leon via Guam and the Corregimiento de Manila.
- Japan is overlord of the Micronesian Confederation, Castile and Leon via Guam, Filipinas via Marianas and Palao, and possibly some Chinese states, maybe Hunan, depending on the treaties under negotiation.
- Karnataka is overlord of the Scandinavian Realm via Tranquebar, the Batavian Kingdom via Nagapatnam, Scotland via Madras, and France via Pondicherry.
- Xrivizaja is overlord of Xri Ðharrmaráza, and the Batavian Kingdom via Ace×
- Mÿqan̊ Ðaij is overlord of Hsip'aqa, Mÿqan̊ Vá, Sipsaqan̊bân̷n̷á, Jan̊hve, Mÿqan̊ Kaja×, Xri Ðharrmaráza, and the Scandinavian Realm via Tenasserim.
- Nam Viet is overlord of France via Saigon, and possibly a few more states.
- Nanhanguo is overlord of Sipsaqan̊bân̷n̷á.
- Bharatij Samrazj is overlord of Portugal through Damão and Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Goa.