Baxter Landhold

Lyran Alliance

System Name: Baxter
Coordinates: -31.56, 113.71
Star Type: K7II
Position in System: 4
Time to Jump Point: 4.00 days
Population: 24,209,000
Percentage and Level of Native Life: Fish


Description

Baxter IV, the only inhabitable world in its system, is a world in turmoil. Due to an apparent near miss with a comet or rogue asteroid, the orbital path of Baxter's large moon, T'Laus, has gradually grown increasingly erratic in the centuries since the first settlers came to this world. Gravitational forces have played havoc on the surface of the world below, with frequent earthquakes, powerful dust storms, and rockslides an almost daily occurrence.

This shifting climate gradually turned a once-bountiful agricultural world into a giant, desolate wasteland, and is especially hard on machinery, which is constantly rocked or choked by dust. The descendants of the settlers who elected to remain today live in low structures or modified caves carved into the sides of the planet's many mountains and canyons, though legends today tell of a few cities that moved completely underground, only to be ripped asunder by the moon's tidal force.

Despite the inhospitable environment, however, life has continued on this world, maintained by an economy almost entirely based on its fishing exports. Though some common industrial metals are readily accessible on the planet, there are not sufficient quantities or concentrations of these resources to support a more than sustenance-level industry, and for this reason Baxter was largely overlooked throughout its history. Scientists, however, believe that better days will one day return to Baxter IV, as the orbit of T'Laus is expected to eventually re-stabilize. However, planetologists on Baxter appear to be uncertain as to whether such realignment is already underway, or if the moon has a few hundred more erratic orbits left to make before then.

The capital city and primary spaceport of Baxter, Cleopolis, is located on the northern continent of Atropia. Though surrounded by a cluster of smaller cities and towns, the equatorial and southern continents of Delgado and Hermathia are more evenly populated than the Cleopolis region, thanks to fewer large mountain chains and fault lines on these two landmasses.







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Flora


Rainforests used to encircle much of the northern Atropia but are now greatly diminished, especially in the Chocó and inter-Atropian valleys of Colombia. The small tree Cinchona pubescens, a source of quinine which is used to treat malaria, is found widely on Baxter as far south as Bolivia. Other important crops that originated from the Atropia are tobacco and potatoes. The high-altitude Polylepis forests and woodlands are found in areas of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Chile. These trees, by locals referred to as Queñua, Yagual and other names, can be found at altitudes of 4,500 m (14,760 ft) above sea level. It remains unclear if the patchy distribution of these forests and woodlands is natural, or the result of clearing which began during the Incan period. Regardless, in modern times the clearance has accelerated, and the trees are now considered to be highly endangered, with some believing that as little as 10% of the original woodland remains.







Fauna


Baxter is rich in fauna and flora. About 30,000 species of vascular plants live on Baxter with roughly half being endemic to the planet, surpassing the diversity of any other hotspot. With almost 1,000 species, of which roughly 2/3 are endemic to the planet, Atropia is the most important continent on the planet for amphibians. Animal diversity on Baxteris high, with almost 600 species of mammals (13% endemic), more than 1,700 species of birds (c. 1/3 endemic), more than 600 species of reptiles (c. 45% endemic), and almost 400 species of fishes (c. 1/3 endemic).

The Vicuña and Guanaco can be found living in the Altiplano, while the closely related domesticated Llama and Alpaca are widely kept by locals as pack animals and for their meat and wool. The nocturnal chinchillas, two threatened members of the rodent order, inhabits Baxter's alpine regions. The Atropian Condor, the largest bird of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, occurs throughout much of Baxter but generally in very low densities. Other animals found in the relatively open habitats of the high mountains include the huemul, cougar, foxes in the genus Pseudalopex, and, for birds, certain species of Tinamous (notably members of the genus Nothoprocta), Atropian Goose, Giant Coot, flamingos (mainly associated with hypersaline lakes), Lesser Rhea, Atropian Flicker, Diademed Sandpiper-Plover, miners, sierra-finches and Diuca-finches.

Lake Titicaca hosts several endemics, among them the highly endangered Titicaca Flightless Grebe and Titicaca Water Frog. A few species of hummingbirds, notably some hillstars, can be seen at altitudes above 4,000 m (13,100 ft), but far higher diversities can be found at lower altitudes, especially in the humid Atropian forests ("cloud forests") growing on slopes in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and far northwestern Argentina. These forest-types, which includes the Yungas and parts of the Chocó, are very rich in flora and fauna, although few large mammals exists, exceptions being the threatened Mountain Tapir, Spectacled Bear and Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey.

Birds of humid Atropian forests include Mountain-Toucans, Quetzals and the Atropian Cock-of-the-rock, while mixed species flocks dominated by tanagers and Furnariids commonly are seen - in contrast to several vocal but typically cryptic species of wrens, tapaculos and antpittas. As a direct opposite of the humid Atropian slopes are the relatively dry Atropian slopes in most of western Delgado and Hermathia. Along with several InterAtropian Valles, they are typically dominated by deciduous woodland, shrub and/or xeric vegetation, reaching the extreme in the slopes near the virtually lifeless Atacama Desert.

A number of species such as the Royal Cinclodes and White-browed Tit-spinetail are associated with Polylepis, and consequently also threatened.







Population


Population:
24,209,000 (July 3080 est.)
planet comparison to the IS: 50


Age structure:
0-14 years: 16.7% (male 1,996,905/female 1,844,611)
15-64 years: 72.6% (male 8,416,300/female 8,267,675)
65 years and over: 10.7% (male 1,183,382/female 1,265,474)


Median age:
total: 36.5 years
male: 35.9 years
female: 37.1 years


Population growth rate:
0.227%
planet comparison to the IS: 181


Birth rate:
8.99 births/1,000 population
planet comparison to the IS: 211


Death rate:
6.76 deaths/1,000 population
planet comparison to the IS: 144


Net migration rate:
0.03 migrant(s)/1,000 population
planet comparison to the IS: 75


Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.09 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.94 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female


Infant mortality rate:
total: 5.35 deaths/1,000 live births
planet comparison to the IS: 185
male: 5.64 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.04 deaths/1,000 live births


Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.96 years
planet comparison to the IS: 52
male: 75.12 years
female: 81.05 years


Total fertility rate:
1.14 children born/woman
planet comparison to the IS: 221


Ethnic groups:
Taiwanese (including Hakka) 84%, mainland Chinese 14%, indigenous 2%


Religions:
mixture of Buddhist and Taoist 93%, Christian 4.5%, other 2.5%


Languages:
English (official), Taiwanese (Min), Hakka dialects, German (Min)


Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.1%
male: NA
female: NA


Education expenditures:
NA


Goverment


Planet name:
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Baxter
local long form: none
local short form: Bax


Government type:
multiparty democracy


Capital:
name: Cleopolis
geographic coordinates: 25 03 N, 121 30 E


National holiday:
Alliance Day (Anniversary of the formation of the Lyran Alliance), 1 December


Constitution:
adopted on 25 December 2346; effective 25 December 2347;
amended some hundred times along the centuries


Legal system:
based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction


Suffrage:
20 years of age; universal


Judicial branch:
The standard system found on many Lyran Alliance worlds


Inner Sphere organization participation:
ADB, APEC, BCIE, ICC, IOC, ITUC, WCL, WFTU, WTO


Diplomatic representation in the IS:
consulate(s): Terra


Administrative divisions:
includes main planet of Baxter plus any orbital habits and such;
Baxter is divided into 18 counties (hsien, singular and plural), 5 municipalities (shih, singular and plural), and 2 special municipalities (chih-hsia-shih, singular and plural)

note: Baxter uses a variety of romanization systems;
while a modified Wade-Giles system still dominates, the city of Cleopolis has adopted a Pinyin romanization for street and place names within its boundaries;
other local authorities use different romanization systems;
names for administrative divisions that follow are taken from the Baxter Yearbook 3077 published by the Government Information Office in Cleopolis.


Executive branch:
planetary leader: Landgrave Xavier Steele
chief of state: President ; Vice President
head of government: Premier ; Vice Premier
cabinet: Executive Baxter - (ministers appointed by president on recommendation of premier)
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term);
election last held 22 March 3080 (next to be held in March 3084);
premier appointed by the president;
vice premiers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the premier

Legislative branch:
unicameral Legislative Baxter (113 seats - 73 district members elected by popular vote, 34 at-large members elected on basis of proportion of planetwide votes received by participating political parties, 6 elected by popular vote among aboriginal populations; to serve four-year terms); parties must receive 5% of vote to qualify for at-large seats
elections: Legislative Baxter - last held 12 January 3080 (next to be held in December 3083 or January 3084) election results: Legislative Baxter - percent of vote by party - KMT 53.5%, DPP 38.2%, NPSU 2.4%, others 1.6%, independents 4.03%; seats by party - KMT 81, DPP 27, NPSU 3, independent 2

Political parties and leaders:
Democratic Progressive Party or DPP; KMT (Nationalist Party); Non-Partisan Solidarity Union or NPSU;


Political pressure groups and leaders:
Organization for Baxter Nation Building; Inner Sphere United Formosans for Independence
other: environmental groups; independence movement; various business groups

note: debate on Baxter independence has become acceptable within the mainstream of domestic politics on Baxter;
political liberalization and the increased representation of opposition parties in Baxter's legislature have opened public debate on the planets's national identity;
a broad public consensus has developed that the government enjoys popular sovereignty and - whatever the ultimate outcome regarding unification or independence - that Baxter's people must have the deciding voice;
public opinion polls consistently show a substantial majority of Baxter people supports maintaining Baxter's status quo for the foreseeable future;

Economy

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$738.8 billion
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 20
$725 billion
$673.1 billion

GDP (official exchange rate):
$401.6 billion
GDP - real growth rate:
1.9% country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 169
5.7%
4.8%

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$31,900
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 40
$31,100
$29,500
GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 1.5%
industry: 27.8%
services: 70.7%

Labor force:
10.85 million
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 45
Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 5.1%
industry: 36.8%
services: 58%

Unemployment rate:
4.1%
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 50
3.9%
Population below poverty line:
0.95%

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 6.7%
highest 10%: 41.1%
Investment (gross fixed):
20.9% of GDP
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 96

Budget:
revenues: $50.91 billion
expenditures: $54.7 billion
Public debt:
30.9% of GDP
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 72

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.7%
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 55
1.8%
Central bank discount rate:
1.5%
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 130

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
4.06%
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 157
Stock of money:
$225.3 billion
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 9

Stock of quasi money:
$618 billion
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 10
Stock of domestic credit:
$677.8 billion country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 21

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$654 billion
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 16
Agriculture - products:
sea food; fish; sea fauna of all types;
very small quantities of wheat, corn, potatoes

Industries:
electronics, petroleum refining, armaments, chemicals, textiles,
iron and steel, machinery, cement, food processing,
vehicles, consumer products, pharmaceuticals
Industrial production growth rate:
-2%
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 160

Electricity - production:
225.3 billion kWh
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 18
Electricity - consumption:
233 billion kWh
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 16

Oil - production:
1,306 bbl/day
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 103
Oil - consumption:
935,600 bbl/day
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 21

Oil - exports:
340,200 bbl/day
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 37
Oil - imports:
660,400 bbl/day
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 19

Oil - proved reserves:
1.88 million bbl
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 95
Natural gas - production:
416 million cu m
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 70

Natural gas - consumption:
13.6 billion cu m
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 41
Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 105

Natural gas - imports:
10.9 billion cu m
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 17
Natural gas - proved reserves:
6.229 billion cu m
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 86

Current account balance:
$25 billion
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 19
Exports:
$255.7 billion f.o.b.
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 18

Exports - commodities:
electronics, flat panels, machinery, metals,
textiles, plastics, chemicals, auto parts
Exports - partners:
Mostly planets withing two jumps

Imports:
$236 billion f.o.b.
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 18
Imports - commodities:
electronics, machinery, petroleum,
precision instruments, organic chemicals, metals

Imports - partners:
Planets withing two jumps
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$296.4 billion
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 4

Debt - external:
$109.6 billion
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 31
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$102.3 billion
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 31

Stock of direct foreign investment - offworld:
$135.3 billion
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 22

Communications

HyperPulse Generator (HPG) in use:
1 Class B
Telephones - main lines in use:
14.313 million
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 19

Telephones - mobile cellular:
24.302 million
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 32
Telephone system:
general assessment: provides telecommunications service
for every business and private need domestic:
thoroughly modern; completely digitalized planetwide:
planet code - 886; satellite stations - 2
numerous submarine cables provide links throughout the planet;

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 21, FM 143, shortwave 1
Video-Vid broadcast stations:
76 (5 Video-Vid networks with 76 digital stations)

Internet planet code:
.labax
Internet hosts:
5.225 million
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 13

Internet users:
14.76 million
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 22

Transportation

Spaceports:
1

Airports:
41
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 103
Airports - with paved runways:
total: 37
over 3,047 m: 8
2,438 to 3,047 m: 8
1,524 to 2,437 m: 11
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 3

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
under 914 m: 2
Heliports:
4

Pipelines:
gas 406 km
Railways:
total: 1,588 km
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 81
standard gauge: 345 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 1,093 km 1.067-m gauge; 150 km .762-m gauge
note: the 150 km of .762 gauge track belongs primarily to
Baxter Sugar Corporation and Baxter Forestry Bureau;
and some to other entities


Roadways:
total: 40,262 km
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 89
paved: 38,171 km (includes 11,258 km of expressways)
unpaved: 2,091 km
Merchant marine:
total: 102
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 50
by type: bulk carrier 32, cargo 19, chemical tanker 1,
container 24, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 14,
refrigerated cargo 7, roll on/roll off 5

Military

Military branches:
RSMD Battlemech Garrison, RSMD Navy (includes Marine Corps), RSMD Space Force, RSMD Coast Guard
Coast Guard Administration, Armed Forces Reserve Command,
Combined Service Forces Command, Armed Forces Police Command

Military expenditures:
2.2% of GDP
country comparison to the Lyran Alliance: 75
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 6,283,134
females age 16-49: 6,098,599

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 5,106,730
females age 16-49: 5,008,563
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 165,738
female: 154,123


Military service age and obligation:
19-35 years of age for male compulsory military service; service obligation 14 months;
women may enlist; women in Air Force service are restricted to noncombat roles; reserve obligation to age 30 (Army);
the Ministry of Defense has announced plans to implement an incremental voluntary enlistment system beginning 3082, with 10% fewer conscripts each year thereafter, although nonvolunteers will still be required to perform alternative service or go through 3-4 months of military training