I got nothing against Cathay being in the game, but the idea that it's going to be in the game at launch at the expense of the other races is ludicrous. Here is why Cathay probably won't be in at launch, if at all:
1. Access to the territory doesn't equal a guarantee
Even if Cathay's territrory is in the game, that's no guarantee they will be in the game. Kislev had it's territory in game 1 and 2 without being added in. Araby and Southern Realms are in the same boat. Why would it be different here?
2. Kislev fulfills the exact same role
Kislev does the exact same thing Cathay could do by adding in a human good guy race and is more flushed out, has an actually army and characters to work with and is way more popular among fans. The game 3 good guy race slot should go to them, not a small minor faction.
3. Cathay is even smaller than the Vampire Coast
People love to hype up how important Cathay is even though they do next to nothing in the lore and everything that does go down in their country goes down in the Empire in a more flushed out way. When the Vampire Pirates affect the world more than you, you probably don't matter that much.
4. Cathay has Titles, not Characters
The few Cathay characters we do know of are titles, not flushed out characters. They are generic terms ripped out of Chinese culture and mythology, not people. These are just references to actual chinese history.
5. We already have a good idea what the 4 core races are gonna be
Chaos is going to play a major role, so Daemons make perfect sense to add at launch. Chaos Dwarfs and Ogres live on the game 3 map so they're extremely likely, and Kislev is the main bastion against Chaos making them very fitting for a chaos themed game 3.
6. We have plenty of fun **** to work with
With Greater Daemons, Chaos machinery and weapons, Ogre monsters and Kislev Russian Zanyness, we have plenty cool to add to game 3 without homebrewing a race more or less from scratch. These are factions with actual fans and armies, so they should get priority.
7. Chinese Audiences don't care if China is represented.
I never got this arguement. What do you think Chinese people are so obsessed with their own culture they refuse to look at a game if they aren't represented. You don't need Chinese **** sucking to appeal to a chinese audience.
8. GW may not want to take the risk
If they put Araby on the chopping block because they were too scared of offending people, why would they give a green light to a race they flushed out even less. If Araby didn't make it, Cathay has less of a chance.
9. Demand does not guarantee inclusion
Again, look at Araby. If Demand guaranteed inclusion, we would have had them in the game.
10. Too much work for a race few people really care about.
Most people like the idea of Cathay, not Cathay itself. I know this because Cathay has no lore, army or characters to work with. Why spend so much time building an army from scratch when we have races people really care for that can be added in.
Cathay is not likely. Certainly not as a core race and likely not even DLC. Sorry, but I highly doubt this is going to be a thing