|At the start of the Grand Campaign – 14 October 1399|
|Government type||Despotic Monarchy|
|Number of provinces||7|
|Center of Trade||None|
Your best bet is to colonise to the North and take Korea before it has time to build an army. It's possible that Ming will fall apart into different states in a few years so be in a position to Capitalise on this, with lots of infantry in order to win the massive amount of sieges you're gonna have to go through.
Keeping the peace early on is vital, if playing Divine Wind simply let Ming deal with the Hordes. This will take some playing by ear however, since if Ming fails to uphold itself against them early on it will soon fall apart into smaller factions. In this case, you might as well divide and conquer before anyone else has a chance to (above all else, don't let Japan get a foothold on the mainland) or, God forbid, Ming regains control. If things go well for the Ming however, you should focus on keeping relations high and building a modest naval invasion force to begin vassalising the South East Asian minors.
Remember, for every nation you vassalise that's essentially one more free ally PLUS extra income. You should also be able to annex them later if you want but at the moment you want to keep you tech rates as high as possible if you want even a chance to beat the Chinese. One thing you may want to keep for yourself though is Malacca for a number of reasons, but the most important of which for this strategy is the colonists. Start colonising eastern Siberia as quickly as possible as you'll be needing every bit of manpower available pretty soon.
If a suitable opportunity has yet to arrive for you to attack them (i.e. Ming is still in one piece), China will probably attack you at this point, but your Southern allies coupled with your higher tech should make things a much more fair fight. Most players would take a divide and conquer tactic here: try to force Ming to release nations while steadily taking the north and coastal regions (this should eventually yield another coastal COT which will help your colonial progress) and from there you just work your way inland, taking Tibet if you've got the resources for easier land accsess to India.
Just as a side note, you may want to turn into an Administrative Republic at this point to quickly alternate between Military and Diplomatic rulers and increase you tolerance to other religions.
By now Manchu should probably have a decent empire emerging from the chaos of Asia, but now there'll be beginning to see a new kind of enemy. Usually the Europeans will stear clear of you at this early stage since you should be far too powerful, but watch out - they'll quickly prey on any small nations outside your sphere which can (and almost certainly will) be used against you later. Now would be a good time to start securing any land you'll be needing later, and annex a few old vassals with no real strategic value of their own.
Inevitably, considering you probably own all the main Asian COTs, you will eventually find yourself at war with Europeans. Your main advantage here is actually distance. Though your navy may be no where near as strong as theirs, you're close enough to send fleets and armies in as soon as they're made. Your enemies on the other hand will have to drag their troops from miles away but you will quickly lose this advantage if you let any of them gets cores in Asia or try to take the war back to them at the moment. You'll probably have enough trouble holding them back on your own grounds anyway.
Your best option is to expand Westward across land. Conquer anything in India that you haven't already, and bring on as many National Ideas and decisions as you can to keep Religious Tolerance up - it maybe a good idea to take East Africa too, but only so no one else can (remember, the further away Europeans have to come from, the better). Once you have India don't bother with religion anymore since you're far to big to start messing around with that (and your only real threat is from the Christian nations, rather than the people anyway). Unless you really want to, don't bother with the Middle East since it'll be more trouble than it's worth at the moment, in fact, you may not even want a lot of north West India but this is up to you. The best target now is Egypt and just wait for the cores to roll in.
Things may slow down for a while here, so take the time to build and economy/colonial empire and avoid unnessersary wars. Alliances will probably be more trouble than they're worth too by now and you definitely don't want to get too involved with European politics just yet.
Now that you more or less control Asia and the Indian Ocean, you can pretty much do what ever you like. Build up several large fleets and armies in Egypt to give you a huge advantage in wars against Europeans. You may even want to conquer the Americas if you haven't started already, though as a result of your Asian dominance it'll probably be pretty crowded already. By now, even if you've completely westernised, you're troops will be at a huge disadvantage to their European counterparts and you'll be relying almost entirely on superior numbers which makes Land to Land conquests more practical. For this reason it's probably best to push through into Europe along the same path the Ottomons did, thus rendering European navies near useless against your advance. Either way, you're far to big for anyone to threaten on your home ground which is pretty good going considering your starting position.