-Z- (z@gundam.com)
Fri, 16 Feb 2001 18:50:04 -0800

> Anyway, back on track to Gundam..good question: whatever happened to the
> southeast Asian nations in the UC timeline?

One might ask what happened to ANY of the existing nations when the Federation
was established.

My own understanding of the situation is that the Federation is to the world
what the Federal government is to the United States. A "federation" is, by
definition, a union (generally through compact or treaty) between political
units that surrender their sovereignty to a central authority but retain limited
residuary powers of government. In the case of the United States of America,
each state has its own constitution, executive (governor), legislature
(assembly) and judiciary (state court) that enact and enforce local laws, while
hosting a Federal District or Circuit court that enforces Federal laws enacted
by the Congress. State law is subordinate to Federal law, as in matters of
interstate commerce, crimes that extend across state boundaries, and certain
"Federal" crimes such as treason, counterfeiting, espionage, sabotage and
kidnapping. The state constitution is subordinate to the Federal constitution,
so some laws that are constitutional by the state's reckoning may be voided by
the Supreme Court as being unconstitutional with regard to the Federal
constitution or the Bill of Rights. Each state has its own National Guard, but
also hosts Federal military bases and supplies resources to the Reserves. The
National Guard can not be mobilized outside the state, but the Reserves may be
deployed anywhere as an adjunct to the Federal military.

Although it's never stated explicitly, the implication has always been that the
Earth is still divided into semi-autonomous nation-states that are subordinate
to the overall Federation government. So America is still America, Japan is
still Japan, France is still France and so on, but each nation now hosts Federal
oversight offices that handle matters of global concern, whether they be related
to law or health or energy, and of course supplies a similar set of resources to
the Federation military.

Complicating this picture a bit is the fact that, as evidenced by several maps
printed over the years, the Earth is divided into eleven administrative areas:
North America, South America, Europe, North Africa/Arabia, South Africa,
Russia/Siberia, Central Asia, East Asia, India, Southeast Asia and Oceania.
This adds what the software industry call another layer of abstraction the
system. Each individual nation-state is thus subordinate to its geographic
administrative area, which is in turn subordinate to the Federation government
as a whole. Another way of looking at this is that the eleven administrative
areas are the states of the Federation and the individual nations are counties
or provinces of those states.

But, to answer your question, the contemporary southeast Asian nations are
subsumed into the Southeast Asia administrative area of the Federation. On one
map, I think it was in 08th MS Team but I can't recall exactly just now, this
was even (jokingly, I'm sure, although it's a kind of gallows humor) labeled the
Greater Southeast Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere, which some of you history buffs
will recognize as the name Japan gave to its Empire after they annexed
Manchuria, Malaysia and the Pacific Islands.


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