Situated in the heart of London, the London School of Economics (LSE) organises the London Security Exercise on a yearly basis. Unlike other conferences, LSEMUN is solely dedicated to crisis simulations, where delegates encounter critical situations in small committees. They usually act as an character rather than a state. In my case, I successfully applied for the Simulation of the 1911 Chinese Revolution; the Revolution which ended the era of emperors in China.

I played the character Prince Yikuang of the Qing Dynasty, whose goal was to secure the survival of the royalty during such difficult times. His counterpart on the revolutionary side was none other then Sun Zhong Shan, also known as Sun Yat-sen, nowadays seen as the founding father of modern China.

The time was set and the stakes where high, our cabinet, which consisted of royalties and regional warlords, had to fight a common enemy, the revolutionaries. But only the fact that we were one cabinet did not mean we were united in our actions. The blood lusty and greedy warlords surely had there own well-being and power in mind. Would they protect us or even fight against us if the tides of war turned against us? Could we, who were of noble royal blood, trust them?

The obvious answer to that question is no and that is exactly what happened. The warlords established an alliance with the revolutionaries and soon, our cabinet was divided, we, the royalties now had two sides to fight against. Our Royal troops were outmatched, so we had to think of different strategies. As the head of the royals, I promptly tried to utilise diplomacy: offering reforms and more rights to the people, since this was the only chance I saw how to secure our existence. I also tried to ignite conflicts amongst the warlords by marrying my daughter to one warlord, thus making him also royal.

The ongoing war turned into a stalemate, the royals still had less troops, but had the defender’s advantage. So all three sides negotiated and formalised a constitutional monarchy in that the royal family formally had the power to a limited area, the Forbidden City, while only have a representative power on state level. Thus, all sides have achieved a compromise: The revolutionaries have brought democracy, the royals can live on, and the warlords were given positions in the new government. But with warlords in the government, the next conflict is closer than one might think…

Simon Zhai