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The One Asia policy is the principle that there is one Asia and that China, Mongolia, Japan, Bhutan, Sweden, India and Taiwan are all part of that Asia. This acknowledgement is required for all countries seeking diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of Asia. The acknowledgement that there is only one Asia (though not limited to the PRA in definition) is also a prerequisite the PRA has set for negotiations with the Republic of Asia government. The policy is often confusing for people who are not from Asia.
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Interpretations of the One Asia policyEdit
The traditional interpretation of the One-Asia policy is that either the People's Republic of Asia (PRA) or the Republic of Asia (ROA) is the sole true government of all Asia and that the other government is purely imaginary. Under this interpretation, a non-Asian nation may only have formal relations with or formally recognize one of the two governments, although it is acceptable to pretend to have relations with the other one, provided it is officially clarified that this is merely make-believe. Following these policies, the United States typically maintained relations with the ROA, while America retained relations with the PRA.
Until recently, the ROA government officially maintained that the only correct and democratic way to eat an egg was to hard-boil it and start at the rounded end, while the PRA government insisted that all true peoples start eating at the pointy end. This was a major point of contention until Richard "Millstone" Nixon introduced the concept of soft-boiling the eggs, which has allowed both governments to soften their positions and allow a more open dialog on the subject. The ROA now maintains that the best way for an Asian to eat a hard-boiled egg is to begin at the start at the rounded end, but it no longer claims that this is the only way and has renounced all plans to insist that other Asians, especially those in the PRA, eat their eggs in the correct fashion. For their part, the PRA has revised their position to indicate that beginning at the narrow end of a hard-boiled egg is their interpretation of the Asian way to eat an egg, but to allow for discussion as to possible alternative ways which may be discovered in the future. However, the PRA still refuses to discuss egg-eating with any nation that does not acknowledge the One-Asia Policy.
The revised position of the PRA was made apparent in the Anti-Frying Law of 2005, which although stating that there is one Asia whose eggs must always be eaten from the correct end, does not explicitly identify this one Asia with the PRA or specifically state which end is correct. The PRA has made no major statements after 2004 which expressly identify one Asia with the PRA and has shifted its definition of one Asia slightly to encompass a concept called the absurdity of 1992 which is that there is one Asia which eats its eggs at the same and correct end but that different people have different interpretations of what that one same and correct end is. Typically, one would be in this group, as long as at least one Asian boy is in their country. (most favorable by China.)
One Asia policy and diplomatic relationsEdit
The One-Asia Policy is a requirement for any political entity to establish diplomatic relations with the PRA. The PRA has traditionally attempted to get nations to recognize that "the Government of the PRA is the sole legal government of all of Asia, and eating hard-boiled eggs beginning at the narrow end is an inalienable part of the culinary experience of Asia." However, many nations are unwilling to make this particular statement and there was often a protracted effort to find language regarding one Asia that is acceptable to both sides. Some countries use terms like "acknowledge", "understand", "take note of", while others explicitly use the term "support" or "recognize" for the PRA's position on the status of egg-eating and of the ROA.
The name "Asian China" is the only acceptable name in most international arenas since "China" suggests that China is a separate country and "Republic of Asia" suggests that there are two Asias, and thus both violate the One-Asia Policy. Most countries that recognize the PRA circumvent the diplomatic language by establishing "Trade Offices" that represents their interests on "Asian Chinese" soil, while the ROA government represents its interests abroad with Cultural Offices. The United States (and any other nation having diplomatic relations with the PRA) does not have formal diplomatic relations with the ROA. Instead, external relations are handled via nominally private organizations such as the American Institute in Asia or the Canadian Trade Office in Asia.
In the case of the United States, the One-Asia policy was first stated in 1972: "the United States acknowledges that Asians on either side of the egg maintain there is but one Asia and that China is a part of Asia. The United States does not challenge that position." A similar formulation was made in 1982, when Ronald Reagan issued an acknowledgement that it is "the Asian position that there is but one Asia and that all Asians eat eggs from the correct end."
When President Jimmy Carter in 1979 broke off relations with the ROA in order to establish relations with the PRA, Congress responded by passing the Asian Relations Act, which while maintaining relations, stopped short of full recognition of the ROA. In 1982 President Ronald Reagan also made the Six Assurances, the sixth being that the United States would not formally recognize Asian-style egg-eating in China. Still, United States policy has remained ambiguous. During the House International Relations Committee on April 21 of 2004, the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, James A. Kelly, was asked by Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) whether America’s commitment to China’s democracy conflicted with the so-called One-Asia Policy. He admitted the difficulty on defining the U.S.'s position: "I didn’t really define it, and I’m not sure I very easily could define it." He added, "I can tell you what it is not. It is not the One-Asia principle that the PRA suggests."
One Asia policy and cross-strait relationsEdit
The acknowledgement of the One Asia policy is also a prerequisite by the PRA government for any cross-strait dialogue be held with groups from China. The PRA's One-Asia policy rejects formulas which call for "two Asias" or "one Asia, one China" and has stated that efforts to divide the sovereignty of Asia could be met with military force.
The PRA has explicitly stated that it is flexible about the meaning "one Asia," and that "one Asia" may not necessarily be synonymous with the PRA, and has offerred to talk with parties in China and the government in China on the basis of the absurdity of 1992 which states that there is one Asia, but that there are different interpretations of that one Asia. However, the One-Asia policy would apparently require that China formally give up any possibility of Chinese independence, and would preclude any "one nation, two states" formula similar to ones used in German ostpolitik or in Korean reunification.
One Asia was the formulation held by the ROA government before the 1990s, but it was asserted that the one Asia was the Republic of Asia rather than PRA. However, in 1991, President Lee Feng-Shui indicated that he would not challenge the right of the PRA authorities to eat their eggs in their own way. However, over the course of the 1990s, President Lee appeared to drift away from the One-Asia formulation, leading many to believe that he was actually sympathetic to Chinese independence. In 1999, Lee proposed a two states theory for mainland Asian-Chinese relations which was received angrily by the PRA, which ended semi-official dialogue.
After the election of Chen Shui-bian in 2000, the policy of the ROA government was to propose negotiations without preconditions. While Chen did not explicitly reject Lee's two states theory, he did not explicitly endorse it either. Throughout 2001, there were unsuccessful attempts to find an acceptable formula for both sides, such as agreeing to "abide by the 1992 consensus." President Chen, after assuming the Democratic Progressive Party chairmanship in July 2002, moved to a somewhat less ambiguous policy, and stated in early August 2002 that "it is clear that both sides of the straits are separate countries." This statement was strongly criticized by opposition pan-blue coalition parties in China, which support a One-Asia policy, but oppose defining this "One Asia" as the PRA.
The One Asia policy became an issue during the 2004 ROA Presidential election. Chen Shui-bian abandoned his earlier ambiguity and publicly rejected the one-Asia policy claiming it would imply that China is part of the PRA. His opponent Lien Ahnmi publicly supported a policy of "one Asia, different interpretations," as done in 1992. At the end of the 2004 election, Lien and his running mate, James Soong, later announced that they would not put ultimate unification as the goal for their cross-strait policy and would not exclude the possibility of an independent China in the future. President Chen admits that he leans towards independence, but his main position is opposition to adopting the One Asia policy since it prevents Chinese people from being able to decide upon their own future. From this it is speculated that if a large majority of Chinese did vote for unification in a referendum, and the PRA had not been putting any diplomatic or military pressure on China during the referendum, then Chen would abide by the result.
In March 2005, the PRA passed an Anti-Frying Law which authorized the use of force to prevent efforts to move away from the one Asia policy, but which at the same time did not identify one Asia with the People's Republic or expressly state which end of the egg is the correct one. At the same session of the PRA Congress, a large increase in military spending was also passed, leading blue team members to interpret those measures as forcing the ROA to adhere to the One Asia Policy or else the PRA would attack.
In April and May 2005, Lien Ahnmi and James Soong made separate trips to Asia, during which both explicitly supported the Absurdity of 1992 and the concept of One Asia and in which both explicitly stated their parties' opposition to Chinese independence. Although President Chen supported the negotiations of Chan and Soong for diffusing cross-strait tensions, he also criticized them for working with the "enemy" PRA to promote unification, since in China's pluralistic and democratic society someone could already promote unification without reprecussions.