In 1949, the Chinese Communists defeated the Nationalists and took over Mainland China. What if, instead, the Nationalists had won? Chan Kwun Chung’s (陳冠中) new book 建豐二年 新中國烏有史, wonders about that.
There would have not been a Cultural Revolution. The rapid development of China which, in reality, started in the late 1970s would have started in the late 1940s instead. By 1979, China would have the second largest economy in the world, second only to the USA. China would have achieved what it has achieved now, 30 years earlier.
A lot of what happened in Hong Kong would have happened in southern China, most notably in Guangzhou (廣州). There would have been a Shek Kip Mei (石硤尾) in Ghangzhou. There would be squatter houses, a great fire, and afterwards, cheap public housing built for the masses. There would be a great stock market euphoria, and subsequent collapse.
The Nationalists (國民黨) would be in power, but there will not be real democracy. Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石) would be president until his death in 1975. And then his son would take over. Dissent would be suppressed. Other parties would not be allowed to compete with the Nationalists. Tibet would not be allowed true autonomy.
Much of what the book says sound plausible.