Emperor of China

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The Emperor of China (also EoC) claims the Mandate.pngMandate of Heaven to rule the Middle Kingdom. In 1444, Flag of Ming Ming starts as the reigning emperor.

Any nation belonging to either the pagan or eastern religion groups can claim the Mandate if they neighbor the current emperor by declaring war using the “Take Mandate of Heaven” casus belli. Aside from the claim to the Mandate, the CB also grants Province war score cost.png –50% Province warscore cost to all provinces in the China super-region.

Successfully taking the Mandate gives its holder permanent claims on all of the China super-region, the Celestial Empire special government, and unlocks the Mandate.png mandate and Meritocracy.png meritocracy mechanics. In addition, the EoC gets 2 unique CBs: “Force tributary state” and “Unify China”.

The Emperor of China will never allow colonizers to charter a trade company, giving a -100 "too powerful" modifier when trying to buy a province.

It is hard to switch out of the celestial empire government while being the EoC. All nation formation decisions and events that would normally change government are either disabled or may be taken, but will not change government type. If the existing emperor converts outside of the pagan or Eastern religion groups, the title is still retained.

Upon losing the emperorship, a nation will turn into a Kingdom rank kingdom-rank despotic monarchy and incur the effects of the “Mandate of Heaven lost” modifier for 20 years[1]:

Discipline.png −10% Discipline
Stability cost modifier.png +50% Stability cost modifier
National unrest.png +10 National unrest
Goods produced modifier.png −50% Goods produced modifier
Fire damage received.png +50% Fire damage received
Shock damage received.png +50% Shock damage received
Liberty desire in subjects +50% Liberty desire in subjects
Legitimacy.png −1 Yearly legitimacy
Mercenary manpower.png −50% Mercenary manpower
National manpower modifier.png −50% National manpower modifier


Mandate is a measure of how legitimate the emperor's rule of China is viewed. It scales from 0 to 100, and gives the following modifiers, scaling linearly with malus converting to bonus at 50[2]:

Mandate.png Mandate Low mandate[3] 50 High mandate[4]

At 0 mandate:

Goods produced modifier.png −50% Goods produced modifier
Fire damage received.png +50% Fire damage received
Shock damage received.png +50% Shock damage received
National unrest.png +5 National unrest
Mercenary manpower.png −50% Mercenary manpower
National manpower modifier.png -50% National manpower modifier
No effect

At 100 mandate:

National unrest.png −2.5 National unrest
Stability cost modifier.png −10% Stability cost modifier
War exhaustion.png −0.03 Monthly war exhaustion

Mandate is affected by the following yearly modifiers (although displayed and applied monthly in-game)[5]:

  • +0.06 per state with prosperity.
  • +0.24 per point of stability.
  • +0.15 per 100 development of tributaries.
  • -0.3 per 100 development of neighboring non-tributaries.
  • -5.0 per 100 development of provinces with 100% devastation, scaling with degree of devastation.

One-time modifiers to Mandate include:

  • +5 for winning a defensive war with the Take Mandate of Heaven CB.[5]
  • -10 for declining a Call to Arms from a tributary.[6]
  • -80 for passing a reform.[7]

There are also many events that affect Mandate.

How bordering non-tributaries affect Mandate

To be counted towards "development of neighboring non-tributaries", a province must have a land route (a route that includes a strait is considered a land route) to a province of the Emperor of China -- home or overseas.

For example, if Flag of Ming Ming is the Emperor and Flag of Bahmanis Bahmanis conquers Canton (one province) from Flag of Ming Ming, then Flag of Bahmanis Bahmanis will be bordering Flag of Ming Ming, but only the development of Canton will be counted towards the loss of mandate. The development that Flag of Bahmanis Bahmanis has elsewhere (e.g. in India) won't be considered.

However, if Flag of Bahmanis Bahmanis then conquers a land route from its lands in India to Canton, the entire development it has in India will be counted, resulting in rapid loss of mandate by Flag of Ming Ming.

Nearby provinces that only share the sea zone (but don't border the Emperor by land) are not counted. For example, if Flag of Ming Ming conquers Cyprus from Flag of Ottomans Ottomans, it won't start losing mandate, because Cyprus has no land route to the rest of Ottoman lands.

A Vassal.pngVassal, a March icon.pngMarch or a Client state.pngClient State that border the emperor do not contribute towards providing Mandate but at the same time do not contribute towards losing it either. (Vassal.pngVassal, March icon.pngMarch, Client state.pngClient State still count towards losing in version 1.28)


The emperor may pass a series of five reforms to better govern China. Passing a reform requires at least 80 Mandate, and lowers Mandate by -70 as well as stability by -1.[7] The reforms must be passed in order, though unlike the Holy Roman Empire's reforms, there is no special reward for completing all of them. If a new nation takes the Mandate, all reforms are lost and Mandate is reset to 60.[8] Country formation decisions also clear all reforms.

  • Effects of Empire of China reforms[9]:
Reform Emperor Description
Introduce Gaituguiliu Meritocracy.png +0.50 Yearly meritocracy The Native Chieftains in remote prefectures, also known as Tusi, are hereditary rulers of local minorities, these leaders might seem useful now and then due to their ties with the locals but have frequently proven to be a risk for regional stability in long-term. By slowly replacing them with regular officials appointed by the central government maintaining tranquillity on a regional level will become easier.
Reform Seaban
  • Trade efficiency.png +5% Trade efficiency
  • Diplomat.png +1 Diplomat
The seas and oceans bring trouble: piracy, smuggling, sometimes even the usurpers hide themselves behind the waves and tides, but maritime trade also brings fortune and discovery. In order to let the wealth and new innovations into our great realm, we should reform our Seaban regulations.
Delegate Zongdu Autonomy.png −0.05 Monthly autonomy change The vastness of our realm is utmost and unparalleled however regulating this is arduous. Hence let us create the position of Zongdu, a viceroy overseeing more than one province. They will be directing the provincial affairs as the Emperor's representative, so that the less crucial matters don't have to be reported to the Forbidden City.
Establish Lifan Yuan Core-creation cost.png −10% Core-creation cost To manage the numerous subjects and lesser states from outlying regions within and beyond the imperial border, the Ministry of Rites is now deemed to be insufficient and inappropriate. We shall establish an office that focus on the dealing with them.
Reshape Bureaucratic Ranks Monarch administrative skill.png +1 Monarch administrative skill (for future monarchs) To re-arrange the Guanzhi - bureaucratic ranks is not only to make a mere symbolic break with the incompetent dynasty who precedes us: by retuning the political structures of the Empire, our power will be concentrated and our regime will grow solid like a golden fortress with boiling moat.

Note: The Reshape Bureaucratic Ranks reform doesn't set a minimum of 1 Administrative power.png for rulers, but directly increases their administrative stat by 1. Due to the way ruler stats are calculated, it gives a 3/16 (18.75%) chance of getting a 6 Administrative power.png ruler.


Meritocracy.png Meritocracy takes the place of Legitimacy.png Legitimacy (or its equivalent). It represents the efficiency of the imperial bureaucracy.

Scaling linearly from 0 to 100, it gives:

Meritocracy.png Meritocracy 0 50 100
  • Foreign spy detection.png −50% Foreign spy detection
  • Advisor cost.png +25% Advisor costs
No Effect
  • Foreign spy detection.png +50% Foreign spy detection
  • Advisor cost.png −25% Advisor costs

Meritocracy has a base annual decrease of −2. Low Confucian Harmony also decreases it, up to −2 per year at 0 Harmony. It is increased by hiring talented advisors, at +0.5 per skill rank per year, e.g. +2.5 for one level 3 advisor and two level 1 advisors. Like other government mechanics, meritocracy may be increased by 10 by spending 100 Military power.png (requires Rights of Man.png).


Meritocracy may be spent on Decrees, providing a powerful empire-wide bonus lasting for 10 years. Activating a decree costs 20 meritocracy and only one may be in effect at any given time.

List of decrees[10]:

Name Effect
Expand Palace Bureaucracy Development cost.png −10% Development cost
  • Core-creation cost.png −10% Core-creation cost
Conduct Population Census National tax modifier.png +25% National tax modifier
Promote Naval Officers Ship durability +20% Ship durability
Increase Tariff Control Provincial trade power modifier.png +25% Provincial trade power modifier
Improve Defence Effort Fort defense.png +25% Fort defense
Boost the Officer Corps Infantry combat ability.png +10% Infantry combat ability

AI behavior

At peace, AI will prioritize on either Gold Icon.png tax income or Provincial trade power modifier.png provincial trade depending on the percentage of income from each type. The next most likely choice is “Expand Palace Bureaucracy”. At war, AI is more likely to choose “Boost the Officer Corps”. The likelihood of choosing “Boost the Officer Corps” or “Improve Defence Effort” increases significantly if AI considers itself in an important war. The least likely choice is to increase Ship durability Ship durability although it becomes more likely if AI's Navy tradition.png navy tradition is above 50.[10]


Being Emperor of China

Manage mandates

While most countries can annex any provinces they want, the Emperor of China should expand responsibly to avoid creating borders with too many non-tributaries. Acquiring strong tributaries is often necessary as a part of player's expansion as the Emperor of China.

It can be helpful to maintain vassals or client states at border provinces near large countries. When conquering, Emperor of China can use vassals or client states to carve out an isolated enclave -- feeding the bordering provinces to vassals while retaining the internal provinces to oneself. Isolated provinces such as the Maldives (1248) can be helpful if the need for expansion is for colonial range extension. This can overlap with the strategies to restrict Institution spread.

If the Emperor is strong enough, most nearby small countries will agree to become tributaries diplomatically. Only very large countries won't become tributaries without the war. Nurturing strong tributary from early on is often worthwhile.

If the Emperor starts bordering an extremely large country (e.g. Flag of Russia Russia), the loss of Mandate can be stopped by granting bordering provinces to a vassal. Tag switch resets the EoC reform progress as well as resetting Mandate to 60. That can be a way to handle temporary Mandate loss that spans decades in certain situations.

Highlights of benefits

Early game, +25% Gold Icon.png tax income is a significant boost to the emperor's economy. It mitigates the reduction in income from Autonomy.png local autonomy and Max promoted cultures.png unaccepted culture (if the emperor's primary culture is not Chinese).

Mid to late game in single-player, -10% Core-creation cost.png core creation cost from “Expand Palace Bureaucracy” which adds to another -10% from “Establish Lifan Yuan” is an integral aspect of being Emperor of China. Obtaining these modifiers is one of the only ways to reach or come close to the maximum -80%. Without them, it is questionable whether it is worthwhile being hamstrung by the Mandate mechanics.

Another strength of being Emperor of China is reduced National unrest.png unrest. Unrest reduction is often further enhanced by religious modifiers for nations in the region with Confucius or Buddhist religions. This perhaps resonates with real history in which many dynasties of the Chinese Empire ascribed paramount importance to social stability and provides flavor to the game.

Defeating Emperor of China

If the attacking country can cause the current Emperor of China to quickly lose the Mandate, the Emperor will be greatly weakened militarily (taking up to +50% damage during combat) and will become vulnerable to conquest.

Possible strategy is to voluntarily become the tributary of Emperor and then conquer all other tributaries (because tributaries can attack each other without Emperor being involved). Then the country can revoke its tributary status, causing a relentless loss of Mandate to start. Furthermore, if a country is a Steppe horde, the Emperor may get the disaster Unguarded Nomadic Frontier. The Emperor is most vulnerable after enacting a Celestial Reform, when it won't have more than 30 mandate.

Alternatively, a large country can get a border with Emperor by conquering a land route through the tributaries of the Emperor (possibly by attacking their allies who are not tributaries of the Emperor, so that the Emperor wouldn't be able to protect them).

Purposely stopping to be the Emperor of China

It's possible for Flag of Ming Ming to get rid of the title of Emperor of China (becoming a normal Monarchy) by purposely losing the Mandate.

This can be done by disbanding the entire army, so that the neighboring countries would assume that Flag of Ming Ming is weak. Eventually one of the neighboring countries would declare a war with "Take Mandate of Heaven" casus belli. Then Ming can end the war as a loss, offering "Take Mandate of Heaven" in the peace terms.

Losing the mandate causes 20 years of serious penalties. But in the early game Ming is unchallenged both militarily and economically, so it can wait it out without being threatened by anyone. Rebellions can be avoided by increasing autonomy.


  1. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/static_modifiers/00_static_modifiers.txt: lost_mandate_of_heaven.
  2. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: CELESTIAL_EMPIRE_MODIFIER_THRESHOLD.
  3. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/static_modifiers/00_static_modifiers.txt: negative_mandate.
  4. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/static_modifiers/00_static_modifiers.txt: positive_mandate.
  5. 5.0 5.1 See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: variables with CELESTIAL_EMPIRE_MANDATE_.
  6. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: REFUSED_CALL_FROM_TRIBUTARY_MANDATE_LOSS.
  7. 7.0 7.1 See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: variables with CELESTIAL_EMPIRE_REFORM_.
  8. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua: CELESTIAL_EMPIRE_DEFAULT_INFLUENCE.
  9. See /Europa Universalis IV/common/imperial_reforms/01_china.txt.
  10. 10.0 10.1 See /Europa Universalis IV/common/decrees/00_china.txt.