Mr. Laser Beam wrote:
Originally there wasn't supposed to even be an ECON. It was China. All references to the ECON were originally China. They must not have wanted to piss off the Chinese government or fans, so they changed it at the last minute. (Source: ST:FC commentary track)
And given what the ECON looked like in "Encounter at Farpoint", that's not hard to believe.
Is there any evidence that what we saw in Farpoint was the Eastern Coalition? The only description of it I recall is that it's a courtroom from the Post Atomic Horror. For all we know the United States broke apart some time after the Bell Riots and the Eastern Coalition was one of the successor states which allied itself against the the Empire of Montana when WWIII broke out.
Assuming that ECON=China just smacks of Yellow Peril.