Back in 1969, the Society for Creative Anachronism got started in the Midwest. There was already an East Kingdom and a West Kingdom, so the founders, with unmitigated gall, called the new region the Middle Kingdom. They even put a Chinese dragon on the coat of arms, so they knew that they were making a reference to China.
Since then, the SCA Middle Kingdom has gained a reputation for excessive bureaucracy, caused by some early experiences with kings who attempted to enforce tyranny on their subjects. It is currently the largest SCA kingdom. Incidentally, the SCA records officially record the name as "Kingdom of the Middle" to distinguish from the Middle Kingdom.