When Gehenna hit in the early 2000's, the major Asian nations refused to support the United Nations in fighting the supernatural creatures, and banned the Tech Infantry from operating within their borders. Unlike the West, Asian vampires, mages, and werecreatures had been much more part of their cultures, and were protected in their niche. With the awakened on the run, many tried hiding in the non-compliant Asian countries. When the Tech Infantry attacked Hong Kong in 2003, the Asian countries were outraged, and immediately met in China to form their own self-defense pact. The Shanghai Conference established the Benevolent Association of Asian Polities, creating a unified central command led by the People's Liberation Army, and many East Asian countries joined. A later TI assault launched from Taiwan was completely destroyed and the Republic of China was immediately absorbed by the People's Republic.
With the formation of the Earth Federation in 2005, the Tech Infantry reached out to the BAAP to unify the planet, and to assist them in fighting the Bugs. The BAAP refused and this led to a cold war between the Fed and Asia. When an embargo was imposed, the Chinese economy collapsed, and the People's Republic started to disintegrate. In order to maintain the unity of their resistance against what they considered "Western domination," BAAP forces immediately moved in to stabilize. However, since elements of the PLA were joining the protesters, in order to avoid a civil war, a compromise was made and the People's Republic was disbanded. A limited democratic government was established in China, propped up by foreign forces.
By 2010, however, Chinese democracy was failing, protests grew more and the foreign military was threatening to leave. Fearing the destruction of his country, Mal Qal-Fei moved for the BAAP to be strengthened, creating a supranational state. The Second Shanghai Conference established the Pan-Asian National Defense Alliance Sphere. Since the translation was inconsistent, depending on which language online translators the news services took it from, therefore the Fed began to call it the Eastern Bloc.
Under the new government, the four major nations (China, Thailand, Japan, and united Korea) were given permanent seats on the Executive Committee, and the armed forces were reorganized and placed under Asian, instead of national control. The supranational bureaucracy was balanced mostly between the four main national factions and harmony was established by ensuring all factions were represented. The move allowed Premier Mal to insist on continued stationing of the troops and elimination of national tariffs. The sudden opening of borders saved the Chinese economy and the country stabilized.
Cold War with the FederationEdit
The Earth Federation never accepted sharing the planet with the Eastern Bloc. The Grand Council kept pressuring the Asian alliance to join the Fed, and when they refused, it imposed an embargo on all trade with the Bloc. Communications and travel eventually became limited as well. All of this actually proved to increase the power of the Bloc's government and made the Asians more isolationist.
The Tech Infantry continued to make incursions into Bloc territory through the next two centuries, mostly to derail their own hopes at colonization, which kept the Bloc isolated on Earth and increasingly redundant as the Fed expanded. In 2095, when the Thai faction tried to secede from the Bloc, the much stronger Chinese faction rallied the Bloc forces and crushed the rebellion. With the careful balance broken, the Chinese leader proclaimed himself Emperor, reformed the Executive and Standing Committees into a Parliament, disbanded the weak national governments, and eliminated his opposition.
However, the first emperor of Asia understood the need for balance, and ensured that each of the four factions would have equal representation in his new administration. The Thais were grateful to be included after their rebellion and supported his reformation completely. The Japanese and Koreans, now completely outnumbered, were forced to comply. In time, they became a loyal opposition.
With the inclusion of the Black Hand into the Bug War, the Bloc realized that if the Arachnids were ever defeated, the Eastern Bloc would not last long under the much more powerful Federation. Negotiations were begun to trade support for the war for future colonies, however these stalled, as the 1st Triumvirate was determined to get revenge against their long hated foes.
After the 1st Civil War, however, negotiations were much more effective without the interference of life-long grudges. Finally an agreement was reached that if the Bloc relinquished control of their half of Earth, then they would be granted ships and control over several systems beyond Fed space. Normally, this would have been rejected, but a Time mage at the imperial court detected the planet-killing asteroid that would kill Earth. Taking the opportunity--and getting back at the Fed for their lop-sided deal--the Bloc organized the movement of their entire population to the rim. The last ships left two weeks before the asteroid wiped out Earth (the first time).
The Bloc eventually expanded to six systems, building up their navy to fight back the Bugs. Although the four major and various minor factions were integrated upon colonization, mixing of the "races" was slow and uncommon. Fearing the division of his country, Emperor Lee began the imperial fashion of marrying four wives, one from each of the major factions. Often the daughters of the major political players would be used to increase the advantages and the emperor would frequently play them off against each other.
Since they colonized later than the Federation, they never had the population or economic base to match their human rivals. Often the Bloc Fleet's ship classes were obvious copies of Earth Fleet models (for example, the Bloc's Daikyu-class was equivalent to the Archer-class, and the Beijing-class similar to the Prince of Wales-class), as was the power armor of their Army. Military service was compulsory, although there were frequent exemptions, depending on the social rank or financial status of the family.
They declared war against the Federation during the 3rd Civil War, and despite their limited numbers and intial setbacks, managed to conquer seven systems from the Federation and Frontier Worlds Territory (more then doubling the Eastern Bloc's territory) before the Treaty of Wilke's Star was signed ending the war. Their expansion was only short-lived, as seven years later the Vin Shriak overran the Bloc during their Holy War. Populations on the former Bloc worlds are under half of what they were before. Many refugees ended up settled on the New Tokyo system in the Federation. One of those refugees, Yasuyama Akihiro, was the one who finally stopped the Vin Shriak by creating the Dooms Day Device.
After the Federation defeated the Vin Shriak, the former Eatern Bloc systems were annexed into the Federation. This didn't sit well with the remaining Asian population, culminating in the armed Bloc Insurrection aimed at independence. After some initial sucess against the Light Infantry occupation forces, Federation Chairman Arthur Clarke sent the Tech Infantry in to put down the rebellion--which they did, quickly and thoroughly.
Behind the ScenesEdit
As children of the Cold War, the term "Eastern Bloc" was very much set in the minds of anyone who grew up then, including Bax. This was probably a convienent way of keeping out all the Asian sourcebooks that were coming out from White Wolf at the time out of TI canon. The flag is the imperial standard of Manchukuo, which for those non-historians out there, was an actual country in World War II, although in reality a Japanese puppet.
In case you think I'm pulling these names out of whole cloth, Manchukuo itself was a member of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, which was the umbrella organization for all the Japanese puppets. "Benevolent Associations" are the names of Chinese-American mutual aid societies (and occasionally a front for organized crime).