An unusual conflict in that it never involved the two sides facing off, no shots were ever exchanged. The only time shots were ever fired was the Chinese government against the Chinese people. And those only in their dozens. It is the most extreme example of non symmetrical warfare to date. China the almost post industrial state Vs Galactic level Technology, and a bent attitude.
The cause is easily determined. When the Ane came out the Chinese government entered secret negations to buy Ane from the Kenyan government. The Kenyans seeing the goodwill of the Ane as a good thing did not keep this a secret, and they said no. China immediately went into denial mode, that never happened and was making dark, nebulous threats in the direction of Kenya, a game they love to play. Meanwhile they tried sending one of their space capsules up to the ADF Improbable to steal it. Therilan captured the poor fools sent to steal a galactic level tech ship with stone knives and bearskins. They got in the air lock, and the lock opened to armed mecha. The Chinese again when into deep denial. The astronauts were dead, start the somber state funerals. "Woe we have lost these Great Heroes of the Revolution". Enough crocodile tears to fill de Nile.
Therilan rubbed their noses in it. She took the families of the two astronauts, and turned the 50 odd people over to the United States State Department. The space craft was dumped in the park across from the Chinese embassy. The Chinese continued denial. Then it got ugly.
Therilan took computers away from the government. No governmental computer would run, or it would run something completely useless to them like CP/M, or Dr. DOS. Records were destroyed or manipulated, surveillance records first. Every national level employee in Szechuan Provence was fired and their records totally erased. Orders were issued for two police departments to arrest each other. Orders were issued releasing political prisoners and they got a free transport out, along with anyone that mattered to them. Army units got orders to move tither and yon without reason, or to paint a large red spot on the back of their helmets. The Great Firewall wasn't even a consideration, it was gone. All filters, controls and monitoring ended. Every computer network the government tried to seize and use sputtered to a halt, until the government gave up and handed it back, then it worked fine.
Magical Antelopes started appearing in back country villages. The Ane wizards are very skilled in the art of the subtle diversionary spell. Real Chinese fire drills were practiced by the army and police looking for the magical antelopes. Their eyes blinded to what was in front of them they chased the wild geese all over the country side. They would drive thought the village they were looking for repeatedly, looking for it.
As the government realized their control was slipping they started to nut up. Of course the state of denial to the world as maintained at all times, even if they did need carrier pigeons to get messages around the country. At this point Therilan transported the cores out of their nuclear weapons. Less that she feared them as she feared some loon launching them at someone else. Just enough was left for the appearance of function. It was time to turn on the army. Modern vehicles had their computers wiped. Older trucks and cars had engines gummed to hell, Tanks would not run, cars would not run. Ammunition was sabotaged to fire just enough to lodge the bullet in the barrel rendering the gun useless.
The Chinese government was chewing off its own ankles. Other nations were getting defectors crying at how everything had gone nuts, everyone was blaming everyone else. The facade of absolute, invincible, infallible control was broken, the people could see the clothes had no Emperor.
People still needed to live. One could not get permission for anything, so they did without permission. The Yuan went into free fall. Trade in dollars (illegal) happened anyway. People fell back on barter, their goods and services still had value even if the money did not. Magical Antelopes guided. Cities set up emergency committees. As long as they didn't associate with the socialist government they were allowed to function. The central government became less and less influential or relevant.
At this point Therilan approached the United States State Department with a problem. She had reached saturation. Additional methods to drive the government to its knees were running out. Throughout the whole insane mess the Beijing government insisted that all was well, nothing was wrong.
Theilan wanted help with a negotiated end game. She wanted the Chinese to admit they had been wrong in trying to buy Ane, she would allow any reasonable saving of face, but the apology must be made. She told the President Russel "The minute I fire on a Chinese city, the second I hit a Chinese warship I am committed to the conquest of China. I do not want that. Help me crash this thing with as much grace as possible."
As negotiations were in progress, or negotiations on negotiations a Chinese sub pulled into Singapore. The crew wanted to sell it. The Singapore government arrested them and seized the sub. They also examined its payload of nuclear tipped missiles. The bombs were duds, the missiles had no propellant. The Dragon was a toothless worm.
The ruse came apart at the seams. All pretense that the government was a powerful and in control entity was gone. Taiwan declared itself an independent country on the spot. The border with North Korea started to hemorrhage people into China. Various of the cities and Provinces of China turned their back on the central government and started making up their own. The country shattered into a dozen pieces. The party chairman was found blubbering in his study with a jammed pistol in his hands.
The pretense of China didn't last the week. The embassies got the harsh end of Therilan's transporters. Electrical wiring and plumbing were physically removed from the buildings. Various countries got pointed at and laughed at for trying to hold together the pieces of China, even in the face of the pieces not wanting to be glued back together. The Ane were very public at how utterly stupid that was. **You don't even like China, and you're trying to keep it together?** Merciless Ane Diplomacy. National governments don't like it. It proves that national government is not needed to keep anarchy at bay. China did not devolve into Mad Maxville. In the United Nations China is spoken of as if it just left the room for a few minutes. The failure of terrible bad things happening to people after China's fall is actually spoken of as a bad thing, not with the relief it should get. What, are they afraid they are next?
The pieces of China are slowly settling down to being smaller countries without the socialist central masters. They are rather liking it. One can say what they please and trade as they wish. Life goes on.
Various intelligence agencies are scared pissless of the capacity of Therilan. AI in general is starting to scare them and they are starting to find it all over. Things like teleporters and transporters make a total mockery of border security. The more you try to control it the crazier it gets. Forbid them and someone outside will use them on you. AI makes a mockery of computer security, and everyone is hip deep in computers.
It's the end of the world as we know it....