1.Qing empires had 5 dominions, Which were China proper（18 Han provinces）,Manchuria,Mongolia,Xinjiang and Tibet.
half of mongolia(Outer Mongolia )broke away in 1923-1946,thus modern China in fact successful suceeds 4.5 dominions from Qing empire.
2. the 4.5 dominions are sinicized seriously and had few chance to break away.
after later Qing Dynasty,Imperial administrations encounraged Han~Chinese to Manchuria,Mongolia,xinjiang and tibet.
now, the percentage of Han/all is 90%+(Manchuria),80%
(inner mongolia),40-45%(xinjiang) and 10%(tibet auto region).
as for xinjiang, Han(40-45%) and Uygurs(40%) are top two populous ethnic, and the rest are 12 ethnic(Hui,Mongols and so on).
and it is quite interesting that almost all the 'rest' (15-20 %of xinjiang population) are pro~Han and against Uygurs's plan of an indendent 'East turkistan'
Liu, I couldn't have put it better than you.
This is the typical middle Kingdom psyche.
The reason why the Chinese throughout their history could not hold on to this middle Kingdom is their hubris, somewhere some link breaks, the whole middle Kingdom collapses.
The problem with middle Kingdom syndrome is that they think that middle Kingdom is concentric circles., Actually it is a chain of links, and the strength of the chain is the strength of the weakest link. Every time one link breaks, the whole chain is broken.
That's the reason I say, if CPEC failed, the whole China will fail. And for CPEC to fail, we need to break Pakistan.
The hubris is that, even if CPEC failed, the Han core would be intact, but it is not so, there are any number of people internally who would bring down the complete idea of China, even when they see a competitor to China. Atleast a few people in the core of CCP know this. That is the reason for the hyperbole of China regarding the huge resistance in India., And they are hoping that this resistance from India could be turned around. If not the whole world would see India as a competitor to China, and it will be forced to deal with internal problems, which will trigger chain reaction which CCP may not be able to control. There's huge thinking going on in CCP core how to bring about political reforms, but India is creating trouble too soon. CCP keeps on pounding their peasants with propaganda that they are going to subjugate India soon., But the Han core is watching the developments very closely, inspite of heavy sensorship. They cannot allow India to appear causing hurdles to CPEC or by using Dalai Lama.
Similarly the Chinese thinking is also that if they can somehow make Kashmir secede from India, the entire India will unravel.
Expect more direct intervention in Kashmir from China, through its province Pakistan.
The only problem for China has been that they cannot fight aar paar ki ladaayi with India, they know they will be defeated this time, because India would not agree for ceasefire, once they launch surprise attack and held on to some land.
1962 has passed.
Tibet is a natural buffer between India and China, even if it is under the occupation of imperial China.
US is a marginal player. At best US can be used by China as "use and throw" tissue paper. But India is adamant not falling in line.
Interesting times for sure.