|Material relevant to this article has been archived by the Fairfield Project at Xianfeng.|
The Xianfeng, literally the Vanguard, is a fan-created organization in China.
Behind the booming economy and liberalizing society of modern China, there lurk ancient evils. These corruptions existed long before the first bronze age kingdoms, and still walk unnoticed among the teeming throngs of New China. Among the hundreds of millions of people migrating into the urban agglomerations for work there are cultists long scattered all over the country coming into contact with each other. Ancient villages of degenerates are absorbed into the expanding Chinese metropoli, and things best left alone are awoken by the booming construction industry. In a population exceeding one billion, where everyone is striving for success and prosperity, there are those whose motives aren't personal prosperity or national power, but rather serve interests far darker and older than the Middle Kingdom.
But these cults and individuals, these monsters human and otherwise, do not stand unopposed. There are those who stand against the tide. Like Delta Green, these fighters have existed as both a legitimate organization and as an illegal conspiracy. Today they occupy a role somewhere in between, protected by allies in Beijing's political elite and using China's expanding civil society to cover up their operations. Now the old cadres are forced to work next to a young, impetuous new generation. Regardless of the changes, they all refer to their organization by a name taken straight from the thought of Chairman Mao: Xianfeng, the vanguard.
Xianfeng is a loose organization that began as a force of Communist fighters against occult threats from Imperial Japan and the corruption of Nationalist China, who had a brief brilliant heyday in the struggle against the Mythos during the Cultural Revolution but were forced to go to ground in the new era of Deng Xiaoping. They remained a loose collection of forces for some years tied together by guanxi, or connections. They were officially reborn as a part of the State Administration of Religious Affairs when in the course of uprooting the Falun Gong cult evidence was discovered of other potentially dangerous groups and old files from the Maoist era detailing ancient horrors and threats were dusted off once again
The Mythos has always had its friends and foes within the Middle Kingdom. Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of Unified China, introduced the policy of “Burn the Books and Bury the Scholars” between the years of 213 and 206 BC, during which books and intellectuals that did not adhere the official Legalist dogma of the Qin state were destroyed. Amongst the thousands of philosophical and historical works destroyed in this process, hundreds of blasphemous Mythos tomes and spell-books were put to the flame, and many worshipers of the Outer Gods and Great Old Ones buried alive. Later in other dynasties, there were further books burnings and political persecutions with a similar cleansing effect on Chinese civilization. It was often Taoist priests and strict Confucian officials that rooted out dark cults and worshipers of foul things, but these elements always re-established themselves inevitably despite the best efforts and programs. When dynasties lost the Mandate of Heaven and central control wavered, elements of the Mythos would inevitably creep into the edges, only to be eradicated or driven underground by a later order.
This waxing and waning broke down toward the doddering end of the Qing dynasty, when there was chaos in the Middle Kingdom and foreign interests controlled much of the country. A quasi-Christian cult under "Heavenly King" Hong Xiuquan took over a third of the country during the Taiping rebellion before being put down by a coalition of foreign armies. Opium and famine ravaged the population. The imperial ambitions of the Western powers and the increasing weakness of the Manchu government saw the spread of the Black Ocean Society, a vile Japanese secret society and terrorist organization. They infiltrated Chinese secret societies and expanded along with Japanese imperial interests. The Black Ocean Society suffered reversals during the Boxer Rebellion, when Christian missionaries and Cthulhu cultists alike were slaughtered by the conservative anti-imperialist movement. But when the Eight-Nation Alliance consisting of Britain, Japan, France, Germany, Russia, Italy, Austria and the United States put down the rebellion the Black Ocean Society quickly swept back into prominence. The Black Ocean Society became the Black Dragon Society in 1901 and continued to spread throughout China and further Asia under the flag of imperial Japan. When war came between China and Japan, the Black Dragons began to operate openly in occupied China, using atrocities such as the Rape of Nanjing to perform dark rituals and ceremonies. Chinese vigilantes opposed them, but lack of knowledge and organization doomed many of these early efforts to failure.
War against the Dragons
Many of the vigilantes that opposed the Black Dragons and other cults in China eventually became associated with the nascent Communist movement of Mao Zedong, and began to push for strikes against the Dragons, requests which were initially ignored. This changed when the leadership realised the extent of Black Dragon power and influence. The Zheng Feng (or “Rectification”) was a mass movement organised by Mao Zedong and his security service head Kang Sheng in 1942 at Mao’s power base in Yenan, intended to give thousands of new members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) a basic understanding of Marxist theory and the Leninist principles of party organization. In practice, the Zheng Feng devolved into a vicious campaign of physical and psychological persecution of those perceived to be dissidents. It also revealed a widespread conspiracy of Black Dragon agents who were attempting to infiltrate the CCP. This conspiracy was crushed, but kept secret by Mao and Kang in order not to disturb morale. Kang was given the responsibility of overseeing the CCP campaign against the Black Dragons in China.
The struggle against the Black Dragons became the seedy underbelly of the more general struggle against Japan's military forces. Toward the end of the war, there were even a number of joint operations between the Nationalist forces of Chiang Kaishek and Mao's Communist forces against cult centres and the Black Dragons. These combined cadres fighting the Black Dragons became known to PISCES in its Pacific operations, and they nicknamed the groups the St. George cadres. This monicker was adopted by the cadres themselves as they became more organised. The St. George cadres received support and intelligence from PISCES over the course of the war, and were considered able fighters, if expendable. This relationship ended with the War and PISCES distractions in Europe, and Delta Green never became aware of the actions of these cadres. The Civil War between the Nationalists and the Communists in China saw the collapse and breakup of the St. George cadres. Kang was demoted to a position of CPC chief in Shandong province (due to Mao’s disapproval of his extensive cooperation with Nationalist forces and the British in the anti-Black Dragon campaign). Some of the cadres were absorbed into the Nationalist forces that later fled to Taiwan, others remained with the Communists on the mainland.
However, veterans of the St. George cadres on the mainland often held positions of notable political influence, and waged a campaign against what remained of the Black Dragons in China. In this effort they soon stumbled across other, older cults and vile sects. They learned of the widespread influence of the Order of the Bloated Woman, as well as the fanatical worshipers of Madame Yi, avatar of the Outer God Yidhra. They encountered ghouls and deep ones, and worse. Shocked that there could be indigenous organizations in collusion with the same toxic forces that spawned the Black Dragons, they struggled against them as best they could. Over time they continued to send reports of these outbreaks to Kang Sheng, who attempted to support their actions but remained politically isolated until the mid 1950’s, when he resumed control of China’s security apparatus. With Mao’s support, Kang Sheng organized the formation of the Revolutionary Committee for the Opposition of Superstition and Occultism. The rank and file of the organization adopted a shorter and more pleasing name for the organization, Xianfeng, "the vanguard".
The Revolutionary Committee was adept at manipulating Communist ideology in order to facilitate the suppression of Mythos elements and forces. During the chaotic famine years of the so-called Great Leap Forward, operations were initiated against a variety of cult centers, though initially the efforts were crude and often misdirected. There was initial contact with GRU SV-8 but with the political split between the Soviet Union and China the connection was severed, and at any rate the Revolutionary Committee had been feeling increasingly threatened by certain activities by Smersh in some of the very areas that the agents of Xianfeng were most concerned with. There was a variety of political problems in the early days, with a general sense of distrust by sections of the government and the military. However, things were about to turn rapidly to Xianfeng's favor.
The Cultural Revolution brought the apex of Revolutionary Committee power. In the chaos and ideological fervor of the period, Xianfeng was able to orchestrate a series of crushing blows against Mythos cults and elements. As the country stood on the brink of civil war, the Revolutionary Committee used the fervent and excited Red Guards to further their own goals in the guise of opposing rightists and "black elements". Countless ancient buildings, artifacts, antiques, books, and paintings were destroyed by Red Guards. In 1966 Mao Zedong issued orders instructing police not to interfere with Red Guard activities, which greatly benefited Xianfeng operations.
Red Guard book burnings allowed Xianfeng
to root out and destroy Mythos texts.
In 1968, the Revolutionary Committee caught wind of strange reports coming from the southern region of Yunnan province near the border with Burma. Provincial officials had reported a number of strange atmospheric conditions and the recent disappearance of hundreds of local villagers with evidence that they had been seized forcibly from their homes. An investigative team discovered evidence of a widespread cult known as the Brotherhood of the Star Treader and a number of blasphemous texts and statues were discovered. It was soon determined after communications with the Burmese government that the fabled plateau of Sung was somehow the source of the disturbance. The Revolutionary Committee decided that a direct intervention was necessary, and authorized Operation JOURNEY TO THE WEST, the first international effort for Xianfeng.
A combined force of Red Guards and Burmese soldiers entered the plateau when it manifested in an obscure and little inhabited border region between the two countries, and became involved with a conflict with an unexpectedly large group of Tcho-tcho, who were keeping captives taken from villages in both China and Burma as breeding stock and a ready food supply. The Burmese force was largely destroyed by the Tcho-tcho warriors aided by a sudden and ferocious windstorm, but the Red Guards were able to make it to the shore of a body of water, in the center of which was a barely-visible ancient city of unfamiliar architectural style. This was soon followed by sudden appearance of Tulku, the astral form of the Great Old One Zhar, which led to the deaths of most of the remaining Red Guards. However, as the last of the cult was wiped out the Tulku and the adverse weather conditions ceased, and the survivors beat a quick retreat back out of the plateau. In the aftermath what little remained of the cult was wiped out, and many of the Tcho-tcho fled China, only to find themselves slaughtered in Burma under the orders of the dictator Ne Win.
Further cult activity was discovered in the rural region of Gansu province in 1971, where an agricultural commune with unusually high levels of productivity in a time of national famine and crisis was lauded as an example of the success of the socialist work model. Closer investigation discovered that the commune was held in the thrall of a powerful young woman with an unknown past. A Xianfeng cadre dispatched to investigate discovered the woman was actually an avatar of the Dream Witch Yidhra, and the resulting cleansing operation codenamed Operation DRAGON TURTLE left the commune a smoking ruin. This success was mixed, as the avatar of the Dream Witch was able to escape by consuming the likeness of a young female Red Guard, who then vanished into the rural countryside.
Other campaigns waged in this period included the long campaign against the Cthulhu cult in the mountains of western China, which saw the arrest and execution of a number of so-called "Deathless" sorcerers in a campaign known as EIGHT IMMORTALS CROSS THE SEA. Some fled, including a single individual that relocated to California, where he is believed to have revived the cult under the guise of a Chinese Baptist congregation with ties to anti-communist agitator groups. Another front involved a number of villages along the Fujian coast that were investigated following long reports by nearby towns of degeneracy, cannibalism and the worship of devils. The local villagers were found to be engaged with congress with tribes of aquatic humanoids living off the coast, and the villages were almost completely depopulated.
Meanwhile, throughout the Cultural Revolution period there were concerted efforts by the Xianfeng to root out and destroy the Bloated Woman cult of Shanghai, in a long operation codenamed WHITE BONE SPIRIT. This campaign involved mass arrests, the fall of corrupt municipal government officials and the destruction of cult centers and temples. However, this served merely to scatter the Bloated Woman outside of the city into nearby rural regions that spoke the same Wu dialect as spoken in Shanghai. Whenever Xianfeng's back was turned the Cult seeped back into the city's seedy underbelly, and grew increasingly adept at avoiding and embarrassing the Xianfeng. In the process, the Revolutionary Committee made countless enemies in the city.
Fall from grace
As the Cultural Revolution waned, Xianfeng's arrogance and brash attitude in their operations began to backfire on them. In 1975 a group of Tibetan Red Guards were involved with destroying Buddhist monasteries in their province, and had received reports of a fanatical sect worshiping some they referred to as "Bloody Vishnu" or "Chaona Fu". Soon after these reports the Tibetan communists were mysteriously slaughtered, and some were found drained of blood with bizarre wounds. A Xianfeng group arrived in the area soon after, but due to the fact that the cult activity was believed to have originated in a salt plain known as Aksai Chin (a region disputed by India but controlled by China over which the countries fought a major war in 1962), the local military leaders took exception to Xianfeng's presence in the area. A political fight followed, with Xianfeng forces being arrested by the People's Liberation Army and held in a prison in Lhasa while the cult seemingly disappeared. Some believed the cultists to have fled to the neighboring Indian province of Jammu and Kashmir, others said they simply went underground. Regardless, the debacle illustrated the growing hostility between the Revolutionary Committee and the PLA. The PLA disliked the power and uncontrolled nature of the Red Guards, viewed Xianfeng operations as poorly justified and excessively secretive, and suspected non-Communist motives behind them.
The glory years came to an end with the death of Xianfeng's political patron Kang Sheng of cancer in 1975. The Revolutionary Committee then relied on the protection of Mao, and after his death on the sufferance of the Gang of Four, the political alliance of Jiang Qing, Mao's wife and her political allies, who were involved with a power struggle with reformist figures like Deng Xiaoping and Zhou Enlai. The fall of the Gang of Four and the ascendancy of the reformers under Deng spelled a death knell for the Revolutionary Committee. Many Committee members were subject to purge and persecution, and some were sent to re-education camps. While the Revolutionary Committee staggered on in reduced form for several years, it was officially disbanded by Deng Xiaoping in 1980.
Xianfeng tried to continue its operations but suffered from severe police harassment and an inability to coordinate, which only got worse in the coming years. The Deng Xiaoping era saw prosperity for China, but this also had the result of many former Red Guards moving back to the cities to take on jobs in the burgeoning new industries. Old enemies and cults came out of the woodwork and made sorry examples of some of those diehard vigilantes who continued to fight the Mythos. These vigilantes still referred to themselves as Xianfeng, but kept a low profile, operating like terrorist cells or a secret society. These used Cultural Revolution-era terminology and ideals, but operated without the support of Beijing. They were often small groups of old comrades or friends, or even family groups, and the contact between the groups was limited.
These were dark times. Many were arrested and whenever an information network arose between the vigilante groups, it was smashed by officials and polices fearful of insurrectionist groups. The CCP viewed any kind of organised secret group to be a threat to their own rule, and few officials believed explanations of a hidden war against cults and monsters. Some unlucky vigilantes were executed, others found themselves in re-education camps. At any rate, vigilante actions in this era were of limited success in this period. Cultists were increasingly able to hide behind legitimate organizations such as underground churches and the Falun Gong cult. However, with time, Xianfeng was able to adapt into a new form following the rise of a new threat to the Chinese government.
Rebirth in SARA
Although Xianfeng had lost its government sanction and its unofficial networks were slowly being broken down by time and attrition, the files and records of their earlier operations remained buried deep in Chinese Communist Party archives. As there were few former Xianfeng agents who remained party members of good standing, these files were largely forgotten as relics of the over-zealousness of the Maoist era. They would, however, be rediscovered.
In the 1990s the Chinese government became increasingly concerned with the rise of the religious movement Falun Gong (Dharma Wheel Practice). Arising at the tail end of the 'qigong boom' which saw the increased popularity of practices involving meditation and slow-moving exercises, Falun Gong differed from other qigong movements by not requiring membership fees, and having a far more developed theological and moral component, based on the tenets of compassion, tolerance and forbearance. The Chinese government became concerned with the growth of Falun Gong, its organization and its refusal to submit to government oversight and regulation.
The Chinese government's policy towards religion had changed from that of persecution and official encouragement of atheism to an emphasis on merely controlling and regulating religious movements in society through the Party. This policy change was helped by the studies of the Chinese politician Ye Xiaowen, who would in 1995 become the Director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs. During his tenure, he oversaw increasing tensions between the government and the Falun Gong movement, which culminated in outright repression following Falun Gong protests in Beijing and Tianjin in 1999. The organization was shattered in the mainland, many of its adherents arrested and imprisoned, and there was a great outcry in the West about human rights abuses by Chinese security forces.
In the process of scrutinizing the Falun Gong sect, however, SARA investigators had also stumbled by chance across another group, a bizarre and unusual cult in Shanghai known as the Order of the Bloated Woman. The Order had rebuilt itself in the 1980s and 90s and spread throughout the upper echelons of Shanghai society, both in the business world and the Party itself. Despite evidence of arcane rituals and human sacrifice by the Order, Ye Xiaowen was cautious of the Order due to the links by some of its highest members to the ruling clique of Chinese President Jiang Zemin. Instead, he ordered SARA investigators to concentrate on surveillance and research in order to determine the origins, history and nature of the Order.
SARA investigators delved into CCP archives, and soon uncovered the records of the 1960s Xianfeng operation WHITE BONE SPIRIT. The records were fragmented and in some cases partially destroyed, but they provided enough information for SARA to try to track down surviving members of the operation. The single living survivor of the operation was an old man named Liu Can, who was held in custody after his 1994 arrest for the assault of a Shanghai city official Ho Heifan and numerous "breaches of the public order". SARA interviewed the man, and
after ascertaining his mental stability and extensive knowledge of the Order, pulled strings to have him released from prison. They established a new identity for him as a government-approved monk working for the SARA front organization, the Buddhist Association of China, while using him as a consultant to investigate the Order of the Bloated Woman.
After Jiang Zemin's retirement in 2002, Ye Xiaowen took the evidence of the Order to the incoming President Hu Jintao. While disturbed by the extent of the cult and the nature of its rituals, Preident Hu ordered caution due to the links of the Order to the still-powerful Jiang clique. In the meantime, SARA used Liu Can to begin the process of rebuilding the old Xianfeng networks, and provided them with a degree of political protection and patronage. Surviving Xianfeng agents and their disciples in various social positions throughout China were contacted and brought into renewed contact with a central authority.
SARA and Xianfeng finally got its chance to hit the Order during the SARS epidemic of 2003. While the attention of the nation and the world were fixed on the growing outbreak and the ham-handed attempts by the government to restrain it, an operation known as WHITE BONE RIDGE commenced. Ministry of Public Security (MPS) officers under SARA instruction arrested a number of businessmen and local government officials under corruption charges, and in the meantime Xianfeng agents took on the guise of chengguan enforcers for the City Urban Administrative and Law Enforcement Bureau. The Xianfeng agents launched a surprise raid on the Order temple complex beneath an office building in the MInhang district of Shanghai, arresting and killing dozens of cultists, seizing artifacts and documents and bringing the cult to its knees. Though some of the better-connected amongst the leaders were able to avoid corruption charges, they largely fled mainland China in the aftermath.
While the operation was a success, SARA had become aware through Xianfeng records and testimony that the Order of the Bloated Woman was not the only dangerous cult active in the People's Republic. With the blessing of the central government, Director Ye created a special section of SARA to deal with these 'unorthodox religious movements', to ascertain their threat to social order and orchestrate official action against them. The Xianfeng network remained loose and held together mostly through personal connections and the influence of 'Old Comrades', but they now had a section of officialdom that would work to assist and protect them (most of the time).
Xianfeng does not exist as a formal organization but is centered around a section of the State Administration of Religious Affairs, otherwise known as SARA. Within that organization, however, they are required to compete with other concerns, mostly the policing of underground churches, Islamic fundamentalists, “politically unqualified” Tibetan Buddhist monks and new religious movements. A system of guanxi means that SARA merely forms the central backbone of a network that stretches into the police and other security forces, the civilian world and organized crime. Through SARA, they are able to access the resources and personnel of the police, security forces and even the military when occasion calls for it. Xianfeng is both less organized than Delta Green but also under less threat: they have been able to make good use of China’s religious regulations to run an operation that largely coincides with the wishes of the Chinese government. Compared to Delta Green, while they have a more consolidated core they rely much more heavily on a semi-official network of Friendlies (called haopengyou, or good friends). This has distinct advantages and disadvantages. They also have a fair bit more ability to put the smack down on cults without public repercussions. Individuals may be arrested without charge, and Xianfeng has the authority to use threats, demolition of unregistered property, extortion, interrogation, detention, and at times beatings and torture in order to pursue their goals.
A major problem they have is at the provincial level, where certain cults have made significant inroads into local branches of Party and government and use their own networks to protect themselves. Prisoners of Xianfeng held by local police can disappear into the night, cult headquarters may be suddenly demolished by chenguan security personnel before full investigations can get underway. Then there are the competing concerns of more conventional religious persecution, wherein Xianfeng must compete for resources with other sections of SARA, who often have a dim view of the work they engage in. They are somewhat restricted in their jurisdiction, with only limited ability to act in Hong Kong and Macau, and almost none to act in Taiwan or the overseas Chinese community. Despite that, Xianfeng has been involved in several operations outside of the territory of the PRC, but they are considered politically dangerous and logistically difficult.
Most Xianfeng operations are undertaken by teams composed of members of the Xianfeng network, who are assisted and monitored by one or two SARA handlers depending on the situation. SARA handlers are generally young civil servants or security personnel, who have access to greater resources through SARA and other government organizations, but are also subject to greater oversigh, pressure to maintain the public order and government interest, and the need to justify their activities through reference to such. On the other hand, Xianfeng operatives can be from almost any walk of life, and vary from old comrades with experience from the glory days of official Xianfeng to younger recruits who have been brought into the network after exposure to the Mythos.
The Chinese government sees unregistered religious groups as a threat to its political position, as there is a long history of religious movements that have become political and social struggles able to overturn dynasties. Religious groups not affiliated with the official religious organs overseen by SARA are seen as dangerous and antisocial cults that pose a danger to public life and political stability and as such are heavily persecuted. Xianfeng largely shares these goals, with the main difference being that they are aware that the threats are far greater than the bulk of the government would even believe. The organization therefore uses the political environment of religious persecution of a wide range of groups in order to pursue agendas that
target specific Mythos cult groups and organizations.
There exists a generational gap within the ranks of Xianfeng between those who have been with the organization since its inception under radical Maoism and those who represent the professionals of New China. The Red Guard generation believes in the complete destruction of anything related to the Mythos in order to purge the toxic elements from society. The professionals see that many of the cults seem to possess an ability to disappear into the teeming masses and re-emerge somewhere else with disconcertingly regularity. They believe that there should be more emphasis placed on understanding the cults, their theology and motives. The issue of magic also has the groups divided, as while many of the professionals instinctively dismiss such ideas, those who have seen evidence with their own eyes have begun to seek to understand and perhaps use it for the benefit of China. The older cadres see that as bringing the cancer into one’s own heart. This mission dissonance may be disastrous if it causes a split between the careerists of SARA and the older network of anti-mythos fighters.
Xianfeng could be an extremely useful friend and ally of Delta Green. They are not tainted, unlike PISCES. They remain funded and supported by their government, unlike GRU-SV8. They are able to operate over a part of the world that for all the newfound power of post-9/11 Delta Green it has little hope of making an impact. They can share intelligence that might be impossible to obtain otherwise, cooperate on ops where their spheres of influence meet, help to track and destroy international Mythos cults and conspiracies. They could be everything that Delta Green could ask for. They could. But while the mission statement of Xianfeng and Delta Green is the same, they come from fundamentally different worlds. The organization in which Xianfeng is a part of is one that is charged with the violation of religious and civil freedom and the maintenance of authoritarian rule over 1/6 of the human population. The majority of SARA is as much interested in tracking down and incarcerating pro-Dalai Lama Buddhist Monks, Christian missionaries, members of Falun Gong, uppity minority peoples and pro-democracy advocates as it is in rooting out cults ofthe Mythos. Violent and oppressive acts that for Delta Green would be shameful exceptions to the rule rendered unavoidable due to the existential threat posed by the Mythos are for Xianfeng their standard operating procedure.
Many in the American military and Delta Green itself would feel that China is the greatest threat to American national security, and would balk at cooperation with agencies responsible for the maintenance of Chinese Communist Party rule. Xianfeng itself would have similar misgivings about dealing with the Americans. The Chinese people have an instinctively defensive response to criticism and pressure from the outside, thanks to China’s century of humiliation at the hands of the West. It would be easy for Delta Green and Xianfeng, if they found out about each other, to let inherent distrust ruin any chance of productive cooperation. They may even get into violent clashes if they misinterpret each other’s motives. Though Xianfeng can hardly operate on American soil, and Delta Green lacks the ability and will to violate Chinese sovereignty, they could easily come into operational contact in areas where their spheres of influence are overlapping or disputed. Imagine a mythos-tainted Islamist cult of Uighurs operating in the borderlands of eastern Afghanistan being coincidentally targeted by Delta Green and Xianfeng at the same time, and a completely unnecessary firefight erupting while the cultists escape or summon some entity. Such a debacle would leave both sides blaming the other.
The theme of Xianfeng is therefore suspicion. Distrust and bad blood between the two mythos-fighting organizations could ruin any chances of making an alliance for the sake of saving humanity. In the face of the Mythos and its looming, existential threat over humanity, it would be nice if petty political rivalry didn’t get in the way of banding together for the sake of the species. They say the enemy of my enemy is my friend. The US joined forces with Stalin’s USSR to defeat the Nazis, and for all its flaws and sins the government and organs of the People’s Republic of China are nowhere near as treacherous or evil as Stalin’s regime was. They are, like Delta Green, patriots fighting against impossible odds to give their country and loved ones a little
more precious time before the darkness closes in. But it would be all too easy for rivalry and suspicion to ruin any chances of cooperation, and even lead to outright conflict. The only winner if Delta Green and Xianfeng turned on one another would be the forces of the Mythos, and Nyarlathotep would cackle as Chinese and American cowboys gunned each other down.
Here is a department profile on the main (official) functions of SARA.
Here is a good rundown of the legal means in which Xianfeng is able to
pursue its agenda.
The Xianfeng was created by David Tormsen. An older, more extensive description of the organization, copy-edited by Viktor Eikman, is archived.