Huankun Chen

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Founding (Paramount) Leader

Huankun Chen
Xуaнкун Чeн

Katranflag5189.png Paramount Leader of the People's Republic of Katranjiev
In office
Dec. 11, 1937 – Oct. 16, 1970
PresidentHimself
Rongtai Wen
Nuoju Zeng
Baikun Qing
PremierSasho Yanev
Deyan Dobrev
Nuoju Zeng
Preceded byOffice Created
Succeeded byOffice abolished
Katranflag5189.png President of the People's Republic of Katranjiev
In office
Dec. 11, 1937 – Dec. 11, 1947
PremierSasho Yanev
Preceded byoffice created
Succeeded byRongtai Wen
High Chairman of the Liberationist Party of Katranjiev
In office
Nov. 21, 1923 – Oct. 16, 1970
Preceded byGrigor Sokolov
Succeeded byNuoju Zeng (co-head, 1984-1986)
Baikun Qing (co-head, 1984-1986, head 1986-1995)
KatranjievFlag.PNG Prime Minister of Katranjiev
In office
May 11, 1937 – Dec. 11, 1937
MonarchApostol XIV
DeputySasho Yanev
Preceded byOgnyan Simeonov
Succeeded bySasho Yanev (as Premier)
Blazhe Hristov (as Prime Minister)
Premier of Maritsa
In office
September 22, 1917 – February 17, 1923
MonarchSimeon III
Preceded byIlko Mladenov
Succeeded byFano Mu
Personal details
Born May 19, 1888
Chunov, Maritsa, Katranjiev (present-day Riro)
Died Oct. 16, 1970 (aged 82)
Krasimir, Krasimir Commune, Katranjiev
Nationality Katranjian
Political party Liberationist Party
Spouse(s) Bisera Chen (b. Aug. 3, 1889, m. May 1, 1906-Aug. 3, 1958, d. Aug. 3, 1958)
Nuoju Zeng (b. Sept. 11, 1935, m. Dec. 15, 1958-Oct. 16, 1970)
Children Yung Chen (b. 1907, d. 2003)
Ah Chen (b. 1910, d. 2013)
Bai Chen (b. 1911, d. 2004)
Zhou Chen (b. 1913, d. 2001)
Kong Chen (b. 1915, d. 2016)
Apostol Chen (b. 1917, d. 1985)
Li Chen (b. 1920, d. 1988)
Yunglang Chen (b. 1921, d. 2005)
Lang Chen (b. 1924)
Sxo Chen (b. 1961)
Alma mater Royal University of Katranjiev
Profession Politician
Religion Txoist

Huankun Chen (Xуaнкун Чeн) was a 20th century Liberationist politician, leader, and political theorist. Born in 1888, he joined the Liberationist Party of Katranjiev in 1908, and helped promote the party. In 1923, after Sokolov's death, he became the Chairman of the Liberationist Party of Katranjiev and in 1925, they gained their first seats. In 1937, he became Prime Minister through elections widely alleged to be rigged. In October of that year, he suspended the 1884 constitution and by December ended the monarchy and created the People's Republic through a fraudulent referendum, becoming its first President, serving from 1937 to 1947, but maintaining his influence over Katranjian politics until his death in 1970.

In his later years, he became influential internationally as after the Namo-Katranjian split, Huankun Chen increased his influence among Liberationists who opposed the changes made by Gelai Antelope due to their alleged revisionism, and were more sympathetic to Kiang Su. Despite his influence on Liberationist movements, by the end of his rule, his country had become isolated, with only a handful of states, like Kheratia and Nunalik having diplomatic relations with Katranjiev.

Background

Huankun was born in Chunov in the Duchy of Maritsa (present-day Riro, Namor) in 1888 as the son of Feng Chen and Lu Qi, members of a lower-middle class family. When he was four, he was sent to live with his distant uncle (Yani Chen) in Desislav, since his father lost his job and the family couldn't support themselves.

In Desislav, Huankun enrolled in a private school (his uncle saving money so he could afford a chance to go to school) where he excelled in many activities, although rampant racism gave him lower grades than anticipated; when his uncle found out of the racial biases against Huankun, he filed an official complaint, which was found to be legitimate. After his graduation in 1905, he returned to Chunov where he met his mother (his father died) for the first time in nine years. In 1906, he enrolled at the Royal University of Krasimir, initially to major in psychology, but in 1907, he switched his major to law and political science. He graduated with high honors in 1911.

Political career

Early activity in the Liberationists

In 1908, Huankun Chen joined the Liberationists after being introduced to it by his professor, Grigor Sokolov, who was the Chairman of the Liberationist Party. Initially not very important, over the next few years, Chen became a major recruiter, choosing to focus the membership drives towards the "littoral duchies" where most of the Namorese were residing. Combined with his oratory skills, he became an increasingly dominant figure, with Sokolov saying in 1911 that "Chen has the potential to be a dominant figure of the Party."

Following his graduation in 1911, while Chen took up jobs as a manual labourer, his main focus was building up his position for the party, and to help it gain seats in ducal and federal legislatures, with the Liberationists getting their first member in the National Assembly by 1915.

Premier of Maritsa

Huankun Chen in 1918

In 1917, he was nominated by the Liberationist Party of Katranjiev to run for the position of Premier of his home duchy of Maritsa. While initially not standing a chance against incumbent Conservative Premier Ilko Mladenov, Huankun Chen sought to capitalize on his Namorese base.

To this end, Huankun Chen promised to ensure equal pay for equal work, which strongly resonated with the majority Namorese population as at the time, Katranjians and Namorese were paid differently (i.e. for every Ƶ1.00 a Katranjian made, the Namorese only made Ƶ0.63). He also pledged to redistribute "alienated land" from the "reactionary landowners" to the landless, and to adopt socialist policies.

These promises proved popular, and by September 1917, Huankun Chen was able to defeat Mladenov, and reduce him to being leader of the opposition, thereby becoming the fifth Premier of Maritsa. Almost immediately, Chen's first action was to impose his "equal pay for equal work" policy, although he gave an exemption to businesses with fewer than five employees. However, a constitutional crisis broke out as the Duke of Maritsa, Simeon III vetoed the legislation in January of 1918, and dismissed Chen from office, instead appointing Mladenov.

This action drew anger from many members of society, with Prime Minister Grigor Nadezhda condemning the dismissal as a "coup," and petitioned the King to reverse the decision. The King managed to succeed in reversing the decision, and in February annuled the Duke's appointment of Mladenov, and restored Chen to the office of Premier.

Emboldened by this action, Chen not only passed his "equal work for equal pay policy," he also decided to expand upon his policy to redistribute "excess land" belonging to the Duke and his family, in addition to the "alienated land" to punish the Duke for having blocked his earlier attempt. While this action was passed by the legislature in August, the Duke vetoed it, calling it "a violation of the constitution."

This led to a court case, as Huankun Chen and the Liberationist Party, with the Syndicalists, filed a lawsuit against the Duke, arguing that he should not be allowed to veto legislation, and that the constitution does not cover property rights. In contrast, the Duke filed a counterclaim, saying that the seizure of the land violated the first and second sections of the fourth article of the second chapter of the Constitution, and that he was entirely within his rights to veto such legislation.

After a three-year long legal battle, where the lower courts were unanimous in stating that the seizures of the Duke's land was unconstitutional, the Supreme Court of Katranjiev ruled in April of 1921 that the proposed seizures were unconstitutional, although the Duke cannot veto legislation unless the legislation was "so blatantly unconstitutional that no court would conceivably defend it."

Because of the legal defeat of one of Chen's keystone policies, combined with the declining economy of Maritsa caused Chen to lose the February 1923 elections to Liberal candidate Fano Mu.

Party leader

With Grigor Sokolov's declining health, he turned more and more duties over to Huankun Chen: the Sixth Party Congress of the Liberationist Party appointed him "Vice-Chairman," with the caveat that should Sokolov retire or die, Chen would succeed, unless he died or resigned, which codified his position as successor.

Thus, when Grigor Sokolov died on November 21, 1923, at the age of 77, Huankun Chen automatically became the Chairman of the Liberationist Party. As he was now the federal leader, he had to participate in a by-election. However, with only a year before a general election, Huankun Chen decided to wait until then before running for a seat in the National Assembly.

During this time, Huankun Chen sought to raise the profile of the Liberationist Party of Katranjiev outside its base in the littoral duchies. To this end, he helped expand recruitment outside of the "southern heartland," and asserted a greater international profile. Thus, in 1925, he ran and managed to win a seat in Chunov, thus enabling him to return to Krasimir to represent his constituency to the people.

Over the next few years, the Liberationist Party of Katranjiev expanded in size, especially with the turmoil following the death of Prime Minister Ilarion Boyanov in 1928: with Samuil Li, Marion Daskalov, and Ogynan Simeonov proving inept at their jobs, Huankun Chen was able to use the inability of the government to last longer than a single term as a way to entice voters to vote for the Liberationists.

Leadership of Katranjiev

Huankun Chen, 1961

In May 1937, Huankun Chen of the Liberationists and Milen Radulov of the Syndicalists, allegedly with the help of the Kheratian government secured 123 seats for the coalition. However, as there was substantial allegations of voter fraud, Chen and his allies immediately decided to take advantage of their supermajority in the National Assembly to draft a new constitution which would form the basis of the People's Republic of Katranjiev.

Over the next few months, as the government began implementing decrees and laws that were in clear violation of the 1884 constitution, many opponents fled to Luziyca, with most of them either settling or going through Orino, which was claimed by Katranjiev. After the royal family was arrested in November 1937, Huankun Chen decided to establish the People's Republic of Katranjiev with a new constitution adopted on December 9th, 1937.

The referendum on December 11th ostensibly had 100% turnout, with 99% approval. Shortly after, Chen declared that "the first stage of the revolution is completed: we have smashed the Luziycan-dominated order, and we shall build a system that shall benefit the people, and not the counter-revolutionaries!"

As the first Katranjian President, Chen immediately exiled the royal family, and abolished the duchies in April 1938. Over the next few years, Chen began implementing the principles of Liberationism and state socialism, while he closed Katranjiev's economy to all but Namor and Kheratia, thereby establishing an autarkic system. As well, Huankun Chen became more of a theorist, as he sought to justify why Katranjiev, which had industrialized and was not agrarian, was a proper Liberationist state.

After significant protests in Desislav in 1943, and after having heard positive reports of the Green Fever in Namor, Huankun Chen launched the Campaign to Eliminate Feudal Superstitions and to Modernize the Country Under a Liberationist Framework, more commonly known as the Little Green Fever. Even after he was succeeded by Rongtai Wen in 1947 as President, Huankun Chen maintained extensive influence over the affairs of Katranjiev, as he maintained the position of Chairman of the Liberationist Party.

In the 1950s, after the death of Yunglang Antelope, relations between Namor and Katranjiev deteriorated, until after the Fourteenth Party Congress, which saw Nuoju Zeng become President, the Namo-Katranjian split was fully complete. Thus, in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Huankun Chen started publishing theories to defend his interpretations of Liberationism, and to condemn the actions of the "revisionists in Namo."

Death

Huankun Chen Mausoleum, 1974

Towards the end of his life, Huankun Chen began suffering from health problems. In 1963, he was diagnosed with lung cancer, and while it was treated, by 1967, his lung cancer returned. Despite efforts to treat it, his health kept deteriorating.

On June 2, 1970, Huankun Chen was rushed to the hospital after falling ill from pneumonia. Despite their best efforts to treat him, he was infected with legionnaires' disease by the middle of June, which caused his condition to rapidly deteriorate. He fell into a coma on June 28th: while the government was still nominally functional, the seeds for the power struggle between Nuoju Zeng and Baikun Qing were planted.

On October 15, 1970, he suffered a heart attack at 11:44 pm. Despite efforts to stabilize his condition, Chen died at 1:27 am the following day. When his death was announced at 10 am on state radio and television, all businesses were closed, classes were cancelled, and all activity ceased. His body was laid in state at the Krasimir Castle until the funeral.

On October 22nd, 1970, the funeral was held for Huankun Chen at the Ninth of December Square. Nuoju Zeng gave an eulogy, declaring that "the last true leader of the Liberationists who continued on the path of the benevolent leader has passed on and joined him in the skies above." The procession continued to the newly-constructed Huankun Chen Mausoleum, which took a month to build. Thus, he was permanently embalmed and was put on public display at the newly completed mausoleum.

After the fall of Liberationism, the mausoleum remained open for a few months, but on December 24, 1976, due to declining tourism to the monument, and its negative connotations, the mausoleum was closed to the general public at 11 pm with the plan to move Huankun Chen's body to Chunov. On January 22nd, 1977, his body was moved to Chunov and interred alongside his first wife, Bisera Chen. The mausoleum was vacant, except for occasional art installations, until July 1984 when it was controversially decided to demolish the mausoleum, despite 2/3rds of residents in Krasimir opposing the demolition, due to the mausoleum being perceived as a symbol of a "repressive past" by the ducal and municipal governments.

Personal life

His first wife was Bisera Chen (nee Marzova), born in 1889. They met in Krasimir in 1906 in a psychology class with Bisera wanting to be the first female psychologist in Katranjiev. That same year, they married and between 1907 and 1924, they had nine children together, named after Namorese and Katranjian names. While their children did enroll in university, none played a role in Katranjian politics, and Bisera Chen was a social recluse, rarely appearing at state functions when she was alive, though she was a psychologist from 1914 to 1956. Bisera Chen died in 1958 from cerebral ischemia.

However, beginning the mid-1950s, a polyamorous relationship developed between Huankun Chen and Nuoju Zeng, who became an important member in the Liberationist Party. While Nuoju Zeng remained single, Bisera Chen tolerated the relationship, and Huankun Chen became more influenced by Nuoju Zeng, to such an extent that she persuaded him to appoint her to various government positions. Immediately after Bisera Chen's death, Nuoju Zeng would go on to marry Huankun Chen and had a son, Sxo Chen in 1961. Following Huankun's death in 1970, she went on to marry Puupi Kakatsak in 1980 and have a daughter, Anik Kakatsak in 1981, meaning that posthumously, Huankun Chen had a stepdaughter, and currently has two living step-grandchildren as of 2015.

By the time of his death in 1970, he was survived by his second wife, all his children, twenty-seven grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

Religion

Huankun Chen was a devout Txoist, and under his uncle was heavily influenced by Standardized Txoism. However, during his time in university, he became exposed to traditional Txoism, and from the mid-1910s on, Chen refused to go to temples following Standardized Txoism, although he continued to give 5% of his income every year to help the poor, especially the Namorese.

Under his rule, while he shuttered most Apostolic Catholic churches, he kept most Txoist temples open, except those dedicated to Ninshen (due to fears that her likeness would be used by reactionaries, as she was traditionally considered a national personification of Katranjiev alongside Vaclav I and Saint George).

Legacy

His legacy is controversial, and divided. Amongst the Namorese, he is seen as a benevolent leader who improved the country for the better, and that he ended the relics of feudalism. Many of them voted to maintain the status quo when the People's Republic ended in 1989 following a referendum to restore the Katranjian monarchy. They honor him as a national hero and a patriot, and supported his stance on anti-imperialism.

In contrast, ethnic Luziycans and Katranjians generally view him as a tyrant, noting that he rigged the 1937 general elections, and when accused of voter fraud, he suspended the constitution and remodeled the political system in several months. They argue that his policies only benefited the Namorese at best, and at worst, it caused grievous harm to the country.

However, many cannot deny his strong influence on national politics: after his death, a power vacuum caused the 1970-1972 Katranjian political crisis which ultimately led to the downfall of Liberationism in the country.