Talk:Southeast Asia

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Below are early proposals by Roger Mills for Indonesia and Southeast Asia. Updates, corrections, and comments in italics by Kristian Jensen, indented w/bullets by Daniel Hicken:


There are so many imponderables. (1) How to keep Indo., or most of it, non-Muslim. (2) How to keep the Dutch out (or mostly out)-- sorry about that, Jan, but it means that the streets of Amsterdam won't be paved with Indonesian gold after all. (1) To accomplish this, early trade has to be more tightly controlled in the Indo-India leg; from there it's probable (and OK) that goods continue on towards the Mediterranean and Europe in Arab boats. This may require that India, especially S.India, be more organized than I think was the case *here*.

We have since learned that Asia in general was in fact more organized in IB to resist the encroachments of European colonialists. With very few exceptions, the only colonies that the Europeans could obtain in Asia were small city-sized enclaves like Hong Kong, Macau, Pondicherry, and Tranquebar.

OTOH, I think it was the Arabs who actually figured out how to sail with the monsoon over open ocean. Nevertheless... *Here* the first major Indianized state/empire was Çrivijaya, centered on Palembang in S.Sumatra (fl. ca 500-800 CE, the history is vague and I need to review it.). Importantly, it must have controlled the Straits of Malacca, vital to all shipping in and out. It was important enough that Chinese scholars went there to study Buddhism; it sent embassies and tribute to the Chinese emperor. It probably had relations with (Malayic) Champa in Vietnam, but unlike Champa seems not to have embroiled itself in their eternal struggle with Angkor. It declined for unknown reasons-- but perhaps in part because it lost control of Eastern Indonesia (and the spice trade) to rising Indianized states on Java, of which the last, Majapahit, did indeed come to control most of the Archipelago, but it too declined and was moribund certainly by the time of Dutch arrival in the early 1600s. (Incidentally Marco Polo passed though on his way home, though it's not sure where. The Portuguese/Spaniards arrived in the early 1500s, as I mentioned in another post-- Magellan definitely reached the Moluccas).

(2) So-- suppose Çrivijaya remained potent, or somehow transitioned peaceably into one of the Javanese states. Perhaps the Chinese intervened in some way to preserve a balance of power. And those pesky Arab traders weren't allowed to go beyond their Indian depots. That would give about 1000 years or more for a Buddhist state to get organized in Sumatra/Java and major points east (such as Borneo, Celebes, and island way-stations en route to the Moluccas).

We have since learned that Çrivijaya did remain potent.

Then Magellan arrives, realizes he's hit the mother-lode of cloves, nutmeg and pepper, and the secret is out when his ships reach home. Spaniards (i.e. Castilleans) rush out, taking over the Philippines and, via Ternate and Tidore (two early non-Austronesian statelets in the Halmahera/W. New Guinea area), the Moluccas and the spice trade. (In fact this almost happened *here*.) (We must assume that Indonesians, and perhaps some of their neighbors, figured out that gunpowder wasn't just for fireworks....thus were better able to resist he first Europeans and keep them out of the main islands.

Actually, Borneians did in fact have cannons and culverins, even *here*. So it is unwaranted to say that they have not "figured out that gunpowder wasn't just for fireworks". When the Spanish chronicler Pigafetta visited Brunei in 1521, the Sultan's palace was already at that time defended by several large artillery pieces. These, however, were stationary. Guns used by Southeast Asian junks and praus were culverins and were no match to the batteries of European vessels. So let's assume instead that Southeast Asian junks developed the capacity in IB to match the batteries of European ships.

We must also assume that the Spaniards (i.e. Castilleans) held onto their supremacy at sea, at least delaying the Dutch (i.e. Batavians) and English for a while-- how do we manage that? No Armada of 1588?) Anyway, by the time the Dutch (i.e. Batavians) got going, they couldn't take over thriving Majapahit, couldn't get near the Moluccas, and had to content themselves with some minor trading stations in Acheh and a few other spots on Sumatra that had resisted Indianization (at least, by the 20th C, they have petroleum to play with).

As for 20th C developments, I can't say. If the Moluccas have somehow gained independence, they'll be dirt-poor. Exotic woods, "Original Banda Spices" and tourism aren't much of a base. And if they're still a Span/Port. colony, they'll also be dirt-poor, though the Pope would probably have visited Amboina....
But then, Greater Majapahit, like Siam, could boast of never having been a European colony-- incidentally, I'm assuming that Majapahit's realm included at least some of the Malay pensinsula. So good-bye Malay States and Raffles Hotel.(perhaps known as Hotel Colón or The Soong Hotel or Pensión Quérala).


Proposition 1) If I'm understanding correctly, the French were not the colonizers of the region, and so, It seems to me that Vietnam would've been a colony of the Batavian Kingdom.

Since Asian states are stronger in IB, then the ability for a European colonial power to colonize an Asian territory depends on whether or not an Asian state exists on that territory at the time of European incursion. So as long as an Asian state exists in that territory, Europeans will not be able to colonize it. The most they can obtain are trading outposts in the order of Hong Kong or Macau. We know that there are indeed Asian states *there* where Vietnam exists *here*. So its not likely that any European colonial power could have turned the area into their colony.

Proposition 2) Following the war that lead to the partition of China [the 1950 Oriental War], the ethnicities of the Indochinese peninsula sought self-rule, thus creating the following countries:

a) The Cham Kingdom (Former South Vietnam *here*)
b) Nam Viet (Former North Vietnam *here*)
c) Khmer Empire (Cambodia and small chunk of Southeastern Burma)
d) Lao-Hmong Union (Laos)
e) Thai Kingdom (North-Eastern Thailand/Burma)
f) Burma (the remains of Thailand)

The above list is very different from Dan's map of Asia. The IB wiki's list of countries also lists Monland, Tenasserim, a Siamese Kingdom, and a Tai Republic. If the above list is correct, then Monland and Tenasserim should be more closely associated with the Khmer Empire than with the Siamese Kingdom as is currently written in the pages for Monland and Tenasserim. This is a serious descrepency!
  • As we can see, there has been some changes; Nam Viet is the entire nation of Vietnam *here*, the Lao-Hmong Union is actually Lan Xang, and the Thai Kingdom is a part of Siam and the Shan statelets were to varying degrees vassal to Siam or Burma. The Khmer Kingdom also takes in the Mekong Delta south and west of Saigon. If additional change needs to be effected, simply let me, DH, know.
  • I believe that we decided that we would have the list run as follows:
  • a) Nam Viet (Vietnam less the Mekong Delta west of Saigon.
  • b) Khmer Empire/Kingdom (Kristian's preference is the latter), Cambodia, SE Burma and the Mekong Delta.
  • c) Lan Xang, a dependency of Siam.
  • d) Siam
  • e) Shan Statelets
  • f) Burma.
  • If this is incorrect, please correct.

JAC VON RIPPER - a London born Tang boss. The following is a transcript of a correspondence between a Cantonese and a Kemrese intelligence officer.

In one of our [Cantonese] intelligence services, we have the fortune/misfortune of knowing one irrepressibly criminal genius who code-named himself "Jac von Ripper" who hails from FK (says that FK authorities exiled him after leading his 46th prison riot and break-out and that most of civilized Europa would not miss him too much if he ceased to exist. [Please confirm or deny this person's identity and brief us if you confirm]).

Ah, him. I suspect the sharks spat him out of the ocean! "Jac von Ripper", aka Will Haxby; born 1956 in an alley in London. Associated himself with London underworld until 1970 when he left in disgust, describing it in his own words as "bein a load o daft bloody fairies". He flirted with CN for a while, and was personally responsible for _both_ South End Lynchings (1971 and 1973), where a total 34 Englishmen were tortured, mutilated and hanged in 1971 and a further 28 in 1973. In that period, he landed in the Cambrian prison system and promptly engineered a series of deadly riots and escapes. CN wouldn't have him back (his methods were too disgusting even for them) and he drifted into Esca by 1978. There he came in contact with Eastern forms of criminal behaviour and gang structures. By 1981 he was practically in control of Chinatown, but was broken by rivals from Hong Kong sent over special. The next decade was spent in and out of maximum security prisons, engineering riots, gang warfare and daring escapes. He was exiled in 1995. Oh for the cleanliness of the drop! He could have met his just desserts with Jack Ketch's compliments in 1969, had they not retired the old Service a few years previous.

Europe of any stripe wouldn't miss him a jot if he snuffed it. Politely or otherwise!

He leads a rather sinisterly roguish band of Cantonese, Hakka, Nung, Jews, Cossacks, Mongols, Maori, Malays, Dyaks, Masai, and other fierce "tribals" in secret-police-like counter-espionage actions.

Sounds right up his alley. Secret-police, eh? Who gave him the fancy toys? He's bad enough with a length of stout rope!

At this time, we have no "polite" (non-lethal) way of controlling Jac's Band's more outrageous brigandish and murderous ways.

Ah, yes? Better thou than us, yes? Maybe it loses a little in translation?


Any sign of SE Asia Maps (i.e. updated ones with the properly sized Bornei-Filipinas) any time soon??? --Sikulu 16 December 2005, 13:55 (GMT)

Yeah, I'll work on that too once I get back from the Philippines. Boreanesia 06:10, 16 December 2005 (PST)
Good to know. (mmm, maps, mmm. Sorry, went all Homer Simpson there.) --Sikulu 16 December 2005, 14:11 (GMT)
I forgot to mention that I still need to reach a concensus with Roger about how exactly the island of Borneo is divided up. He says that it is still divided up between Bornei, Xrivizaja, and Mazapahit, as it was in the 17th century. But I've been saying that the borders are bound to be different by now. Boreanesia 06:16, 16 December 2005 (PST)
According to the map on the Bornei-Filipinas page, all of Borneo belongs to it. Try checking it out. --Sikulu 16 December 2005, 14:18 (GMT)
I know. I drew that map. I might have to redraw it to accomodate Roger's wishes. Boreanesia 00:54, 14 February 2006 (PST)

Historical Data

Check out History of Indonesia for data regarding Srivijaya and Majapahit. --Sikulu 16 December 2005, 14:28 (GMT)

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