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The Far East is a geographical region that includes East and Southeast Asia as well as the Russian Far East. South Asia is sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons. The term "Far East" came into use in European geopolitical discourse in the 12th century, denoting the Far East as the "farthest" of the three "easts", beyond the Near East and the Middle East. Likewise, in Qing Dynasty of the 19th and early 20th centuries the term "Tàixī ()" – i.e., anything further west than the Arab world – was used to refer to the Western countries. Since the 1960s, East Asia has become the most common term for the region in international mass media outlets.Reischauer, Edwin and John K Fairbank, ''East Asia: The Great Tradition,'' 1960. As in relating to the remoteness of the territory from Europe, the term ''Far East'' informs of an Eurocentric worldview.


Popularization


Among Western Europeans, prior to the colonial era, "Far East" referred to anything further east than the Middle East. In the 16th century, King John III of Portugal called India a "rich and interesting country in the Far East (''Extremo Oriente'')." The term was popularized during the period of the British Empire as a blanket term for lands to the east of British India. In pre-World War I European geopolitics, the ''Near East'' referred to the relatively nearby lands of the Ottoman Empire, the ''Middle East'' denoted northwestern South Asia and Central Asia, and the ''Far East'' meant countries along the western Pacific Ocean and eastern Indian Ocean. Many European languages have analogous terms, such as the French ('), Spanish ('), Portuguese ('), German ('), Italian ('), Polish ('), Norwegian (') and Dutch (').


Cultural as well as geographic meaning


Significantly, the term evokes cultural as well as geographic separation; the ''Far East'' is not just geographically distant, but also culturally exotic. It never refers, for instance, to the culturally Western nations of Australia and New Zealand, which lie even farther to the east of Europe than East Asia itself. This combination of cultural and geographic subjectivity was well illustrated in 1939 by Robert Menzies, a Prime Minister of Australia. Reflecting on his country's geopolitical concerns with the onset of war, Menzies commented that:
The problems of the Pacific are different. What Great Britain calls the Far East is to us the Near North.
''Far East'' in its usual sense is comparable to terms such as ''the Orient'', which means East; the ''Eastern world''; or simply the ''East''. Southeast Asia, the Russian Far East, and occasionally South Asia might be included in the Far East to some extent. Concerning the term, John K. Fairbank and Edwin O. Reischauer, professors of East Asian Studies at Harvard University, wrote (in ''East Asia: The Great Tradition''): Today, the term remains in the names of some longstanding institutions, including the Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, Far Eastern University in Manila, the Far East University in South Korea, and ''Far East'', the periodical magazine of the Missionary Society of St. Columban. Furthermore, the United States and United Kingdom have historically used ''Far East'' for several military units and commands in the region; the Royal Navy's Far East Fleet, for instance.


Territories and regions conventionally included under the term ''Far East''


{{clear {| class="wikitable sortable" ! Name of region and
territory, with flag ! Area
(km2) ! Population
! Population density
(per km2) ! Capital ! Forms of government ! Currency ! Official languages |- !colspan="8" |North Asia |- | {{flagicon|Russia Russia | align="right" | 6,952,600 | align="right" | 8,371,257 | align="right" | 1.2 | Moscow | Federal semi-presidential republic | Ruble | Russian and
27 other co-official languages |- !colspan="8" |Southeast Asia |- | {{flag|Brunei | align="right" | 5,765 | align="right" | 417,200 | align="right" | 72.11 | Bandar Seri Begawan | Absolute Islamic Sultanate | Brunei dollar | Malay and English |- | {{flag|Cambodia | align="right" | 181,035 | align="right" | 16,245,729 | align="right" | 81.8 | Phnom Penh | Constitutional monarchy | Riel | Khmer |- bgcolor=lightblue | {{flag|Christmas Island | align="right" | 135 | align="right" | 1,843 | align="right" | 10.39 | Flying Fish Cove | External territory of Australia | Australian dollar | English |- bgcolor=lightblue | {{flag|Cocos (Keeling) Islands | align="right" | 14 | align="right" | 544 | align="right" | 43.0 | West Island | External territory of Australia | Australian dollar | None |- | {{flag|Indonesia | align="right" | 1,904,569 | align="right" | 261,115,456 | align="right" | 138.0 | Jakarta | Presidential republic | Rupiah | Indonesian |- | {{flag|Laos | align="right" | 237,955 | align="right" | 6,758,353 | align="right" | 26.7 | Vientiane | Socialist Republic | Kip | Lao |- | {{flag|Malaysia | align="right" | 330,803 | align="right" | 32,049,700 | align="right" | 92.0 | Kuala Lumpur | Federal constitutional monarchy,
Parliamentary democracy | Ringgit | Malay |- | {{flag|Burma|name=Myanmar (Burma) | align="right" | 676,578 | align="right" | 53,582,855 | align="right" | 76.0 | Naypyidaw | Unitary presidential
constitutional republic | Kyat | Burmese |- | {{flag|Philippines | align="right" | 300,000 | align="right" | 100,981,437 | align="right" | 336.0 | Manila | Unitary presidential
constitutional republic | Philippine peso (Piso) | Filipino and English |- | {{flag|Singapore | align="right" | 722.5 | align="right" | 5,638,700 | align="right" | 7,804.0 | Singapore | Parliamentary republic | Singapore dollar | Malay, English,
Chinese (Mandarin), and Tamil |- | {{flag|Thailand | align="right" | 513,120 | align="right" | 68,863,514 | align="right" | 132.1 | Bangkok | Constitutional monarchy,
Parliamentary democracy | Baht | Thai |- | {{flag|East Timor|name=Timor-Leste (East Timor) | align="right" | 15,410 | align="right" | 1,167,242 | align="right" | 78.0 | Dili | Parliamentary republic | U.S. dollar / Centavo coins | Tetum and Portuguese |- | {{flag|Vietnam | align="right" | 331,212 | align="right" | 94,569,072 | align="right" | 276.03 | Hanoi | One-party led state,
Socialist Republic | đồng | Vietnamese |- !colspan="8" |East Asia |- | {{flag|China | align="right" | 9,598,094
| align="right" | 1,371,821,094 | align="right" | 145.0 | Beijing | One-party socialist republic | Yuan (Renminbi) | Chinese (Mandarin){{cite web |url=http://www.gov.cn/english/laws/2005-09/19/content_64906.htm |title=Law of the People's Republic of China on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language (Order of the President No.37) |publisher=Chinese Government|date=31 October 2000|access-date=21 June 2013 |quote=For purposes of this Law, the standard spoken and written Chinese language means Putonghua (a common speech with pronunciation based on the Beijing dialect) and the standardized Chinese characters. |- bgcolor=lightblue | {{flag|Hong Kong | align="right" | 1,108 | align="right" | 7,448,900 | align="right" | 6,777.0 | ''Hong Kong'' | Special administrative region
of the People's Republic of China. | Hong Kong dollar | Chinese,
English |- | {{flag|Japan | align="right" | 377,973 | align="right" | 126,440,000 | align="right" | 334.0 | Tokyo | Parliamentary democracy,
Constitutional monarchy | Yen | None |- bgcolor=lightblue | {{flag|Macau | align="right" | 115.3 | align="right" | 653,100 | align="right" | 21,340.0 | ''Macau'' | Special administrative region
of the People's Republic of China | Pataca | Chinese,
Portuguese |- | {{flag|Mongolia | align="right" | 1,566,000 | align="right" | 3,081,677 | align="right" | 1.97 | Ulaanbaatar | Parliamentary republic | Tögrög | Mongolian |- | {{flag|North Korea | align="right" | 120,540 | align="right" | 25,368,620 | align="right" | 212.0 | Pyongyang | Juche unitarian dictatorship
Socialist Republic | North Korean won | Korean |- | {{flag|South Korea | align="right" | 100,363 | align="right" | 51,446,201 | align="right" | 507.0 | Seoul | Presidential republic | South Korean won | Korean |- | {{flag|Taiwan  Figures are for the area under the ''de facto'' control of the Republic of China (ROC) government, commonly referred to as Taiwan. Claimed in whole by the PRC; see political status of Taiwan.
| align="right" | 36,197 | align="right" | 23,577,271 | align="right" | 650.0 | Taipei | Semi-presidential system | New Taiwan dollar | Chinese (Mandarin)


Cities


{{Further|Cities of East Asia|List of cities in East, South and Southeast Asia by population|List of ports and harbors of the Pacific Ocean


See also


{{Wiktionary {{Div col|colwidth=30em * Asia-Pacific * East Asia * East Asian cultural sphere * East–West dichotomy * Far West, a term for Europe * Four Asian Tigers * Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, Japanese idea from the 1930s-1940s * Inner Asia * List of Mongol states * List of Turkic dynasties and countries * North Asia ** Siberia ** Russian Far East * Orient * South Asia * Southeast Asia * Tropical Asia * Turkic migration * Turkic peoples

Wars

* List of conflicts in Asia#East Asia * List of Chinese wars and battles * List of wars involving the People's Republic of China * Indochina Wars * Korean War * Pacific War, part of World War II * Russo-Japanese War {{Div col end


Notes


{{Reflist|30em


Further reading


* Clyde, Paul Hibbert, and Burton F. Beers. ''The Far East: A History of Western Impacts and Eastern Responses, 1830-1975'' (1975)
online
* Crofts, Alfred. ''A history of the Far East'' (1958
online free to borrow
* Fairbank, John K., Edwin Reischauer, and Albert M. Craig. ''East Asia: The great tradition'' and ''East Asia: The modern transformation'' (1960) [2 vol 1960
online free to borrow
famous textbook. * Green, Michael. ''By More Than Providence: Grand Strategy and American Power in the Asia Pacific Since 1783'' (2019
excerpt
* Iriye, Akira. ''After Imperialism; The Search for a New Order in the Far East 1921-1931.'' (1965). * Keay, John. ''Empire's End: A History of the Far East from High Colonialism to Hong Kong'' (Scribner, 1997)
online free to borrow
* Macnair, Harley F. & Donald Lach. ''Modern Far Eastern International Relations.'' (2nd ed 1955
1950 edition online free
780pp; focus on 1900–1950. * Norman, Henry. ''The Peoples and Politics of the Far East: Travels and studies in the British, French, Spanish and Portuguese colonies, Siberia, China, Japan, Korea, Siam and Malaya'' (1904
online
* Paine, S. C. M. ''The Wars for Asia, 1911-1949'' (2014
excerpt
* Ring, George C. ''Religions of the Far East: Their History to the Present Day'' (Kessinger Publishing, 2006). * Vinacke, Harold M. ''A History of the Far East in Modern Times'' (1964
online free
* Vogel, Ezra. ''China and Japan: Facing History'' (2019
excerpt
* Woodcock, George. ''The British in the Far East'' (1969
online
{{Asia topics {{Regions of the world {{Authority control [[Category:Regions of Asia]] [[Category:Geographical regions]] [[Category:North Asia]] [[Category:Southeast Asia]] [[Category:East Asia]] [[Category:Eurocentrism]]