Classified report on the Taipang Kingdom of Heavenly Peace, Department of Naval Intelligence, declassified 1984
Name: Kingdom of Heavenly Peace
Also known as: Taipangs
Leader: His Divine Majesty the Heavenly Emperor Hong Xiuquan
Threat level: High
The Taipang Rebellion began in Southern China in 1850 against the ruling Manchu dynasty. It was started by Hong Xiuquan, a failed bureaucrat with ill health who, while convalescing, came to believe he was the younger brother of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Xiuquan became convinced he was to lead a rebellion to free China of the Manchu dynasty. Aided by an an American Baptist, Issachar Jacox Roberts, the Taipangs soon rose to prominence and outright rebellion. This proved successful, and soon Guangxi province was captured by the Taipangs, who proclaimed themselves an independent Christian Kingdom, ruled by Hong Xiuquan at Nanjing.
To date, the Taipangs have been a major force in a civil war that has rent China asunder. We estimate casualties on both sides have approached 20 million souls, and has seen Taipang power expand far beyond mere rebels. They successfully used dirigibles and Greek fire to attack and defeat the ‘Ever Victorious Army’ under independent volunteers Frederick Townsend Ward and Charles Gordon, and have cemented themselves in control of Southern China.
The Taipangs view Great Britain as a brother Christian nation, but have designs on expanding their power through the ports of Shanghai and Hong Kong.
UnChristian, despite their claims. The Taipangs believe that Hong Xiuquan is Jesus’ younger brother and has command of a host of angels, whom he uses to slay his rivals. The chosen of the Taipangs have their bowels replaced (by divine intervention) with a new, blue set, and rituals often involve knives dyed with Prussian blue stain to create this effect.
Hong Xiuquan and his generals all claim to regularly commune with God, and their word and command is beyond question.
<<Added report March 21: Recently the Taipangs have become involved in body modification rituals, inserting machine parts into their own flesh. These appear at first to be cosmetic jewellery, but are in effect bypasses to human venous circulation: two needles are used to enter into veins, forcing blood to flow through a chamber in the jewellery. Inside this apparently ornamental piece (typically a brooch or concealed piercing) are small cogs, which are turned in a manner similar to a water wheel. In effect, these devices are powered by the Taipang’s own blood. It is not known what purpose these devices hold.>>
Many and pernicious. The Taipangs have agents in both the Chinese populations of Great Britain and Her Majesty’s possessions (notably in Hong Kong and Shanghai), but also in Western converts to their beliefs (typically missionaries).
<<Added report March 21: Division believes the Taipangs intend an act of hostile atrocity in London within the month, followed by an attack on Hong Kong later in the year. Intelligence rated 1 (Highly trusted) B (Probably accurate).>>
Any attack on the sovereign territory of Great Britain would result in Her Majesty’s formal declaration of war, and thus it is highly unlikely the Taipangs would risk such a manoeuvre. Instead we suspect their motive is to cause a disruption that would be of such significance as to allow them to freely attack Hong Kong or Shanghai with impunity. This disruption is likely to involve unofficial agents and to occur in London.
<<Added report March 21: Likely to occur imminently.>>