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We excel at destroying the old world, and we excel at building a new one.Entry in Irving Cheng's terminal at Tenpenny Tower, Fallout 3

Chairman Cheng was the leader of the Communist Party of China from at least 2063[1] until the Great War in 2077.

Background[edit | edit source]

Under his rule, China clashed with the United States in the Sino-American War, invading Alaska in 2066.[2] His main goal, as hypothetically given by operatives of the Defense Intelligence Agency, was simply that of conquest, foregoing logical conclusions.[3] Despite initial successes, the Chinese military was forced into a stalemate by the American defenders and eventually beaten back all the way to the Chinese mainland. Despite that, even as late as 2077, Chinese troops continued to fight in Chairman Cheng's name, indicating he held onto power despite the looming defeat.[4]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • A distinctive facial hairstyle that can be chosen for the player character in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas is also named after him. This facial hairstyle bears a resemblance to the type of mustache often associated with Fu Manchu. This is further confirmed in Fallout 76 which depicts a pixelized propaganda caricature of Chairman Cheng in the video game Wastelad.
  • Cheng is mentioned by name in a press release as being portrayed in the comic book series Hell's Chain Gang, published by Hubris Comics Publishing. Within the series, there is an organization known as "Chairman Cheng's Commie Cyborg Corps."
  • The senile Irving Cheng at Tenpenny Tower claims to be descended from Chairman Cheng in 2277, though it is unknown whether this is his imagination or something more substantial.[5]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Chairman Cheng is mentioned in Fallout 3, its add-on Operation: Anchorage, Fallout 4 and Fallout 76.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

  • The name "Cheng", written as 程 can mean either journey, sequence, or regulations.
  • His quotation is most likely an allusion to a quote by Mao Zedong, leader of the People's Republic of China from 1949 to 1976: "We can learn what we did not know. We are not only good at destroying the old world, we are also good at building the new."[6]
  • Cheng's role in the CPC is somewhat unclear, as Chairman can refer to 4 different political bodies (Central Committee, National People's Congress, Political Consultative Conference and Central Military Commission). As Cheng seemed to have been a widely known figure, even in pre-war America, it can be assumed he was either the former or latter of the four, as the acting leader of China or the commander of the People's Liberation Army. He seems to have fulfilled both roles throughout the Fallout series, so it is also highly possible that the Fallout version of the Chairman of the CPC had control over multiple or even all government jurisdictions and could thus act as both head of state and commander-in-chief of the military.
  • The Sierra Depot GNN transcript references a President Xin as the head of state. Additionally, the President in China has always been the second-highest rank in order of the CPC, which makes it odd, that China's head of state would be, or at least referred to, as President, and not the Chairman of the Central Committee. The translation of the Chinese term for the President of the People's Republic of China is 中华人民共和国主席: Chairman of the People's Republic of China (technically, Chairperson). However, the GNN transcript is generally an unreliable source, as it contains several contradictions (such as the length of the Sino-American War) and was further disregarded by Chris Avellone.[7]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The video game Wastelad was first published in 2063 and features Chairman Cheng as the main antagonist.
  2. Capitol Post terminal entries; Capital Post Top Stories -- January 11, 2077, Commies Crushed - Alaska Liberated!
  3. The Switchboard terminal entries; research terminal, > 2067 Jun 19
  4. Liberty Prime: "Chairman Cheng will fail. China will fall."
    (Liberty Prime's dialogue)
    Chinese soldier: "For Chairman Cheng! "
    (Chinese soldier's dialogue)
    Chinese commando: "For Chairman Cheng!"
    (Chinese commando's dialogue)
    Note: In the Tranquility Lane and Anchorage Reclamation simulations, "For Chairman Cheng!" is a common battle cry among Chinese soldiers. The Chinese remnant commandos also invoke his name, while Liberty Prime explicitly states that "Chairman Cheng will fail! China will fall!".
  5. Tenpenny Tower terminal entries; Cheng personal computer, Rebuilding Proposal
  6. Report to the Second Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of China" (March 5, 1949), Selected Works, Vol. IV, p. 374.
  7. See Sierra Depot GNN transcript for further details.
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