The Info List - Far East

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The Far East
is a geographical term in English that usually refers to East Asia
East Asia
(including Northeast Asia), the Russian Far East
Russian Far East
(part of North Asia), and Southeast Asia.[1] South Asia
South Asia
is sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons.[2] 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
Near East
and the Middle East. Likewise, in Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
of the 19th and early 20th centuries the term "Tàixī (泰西)" – i.e. anything further west than the Arab world
Arab world
– was used to refer to the Western countries. Since the 1960s, East Asia
East Asia
has become the most common term for the region in international mass media outlets.[3][4] Far East
is often deprecated as archaic and Eurocentric, along with the terms "Near East" and "Middle East".[3]


1 Popularization 2 Cultural as well as geographic meaning 3 Territories and regions conventionally included under the term Far East 4 Cities 5 Organizations 6 See also 7 Notes 8 References

Popularization[edit] 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[5] (Extremo Oriente)." The term was popularized during the period of the British Empire
British Empire
as a blanket term for lands to the east of British India. In pre- World War I
World War I
European geopolitics, the Near East
Near East
referred to the relatively nearby lands of the Ottoman Empire, the Middle East
Middle East
denoted northwestern South Asia
South Asia
and Central Asia, and the Far East
meant countries along the western Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
and eastern Indian Ocean. Many European languages have analogous terms, such as the French (Extrême-Orient), Spanish (Extremo Oriente), Portuguese (Extremo Oriente), German (Ferner Osten), Italian (Estremo Oriente), Polish (Daleki Wschód), Norwegian (Det fjerne Østen) and Dutch (Verre Oosten). Cultural as well as geographic meaning[edit] Main article: East
Asian cultural sphere 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
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."[6]

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 the Indian Subcontinent 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): "When Europeans traveled far to the east to reach Cathay, Japan
and the Indies, they naturally gave those distant regions the general name 'Far East.' Americans who reached China, Japan
and Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
by sail and steam across the Pacific could, with equal logic, have called that area the 'Far West.' For the people who live in that part of the world, however, it is neither 'East' nor 'West' and certainly not 'Far.' A more generally acceptable term for the area is ' East
Asia,' which is geographically more precise and does not imply the outdated notion that Europe
is the center of the civilized world."[4] Today, the term remains in the names of some longstanding institutions, including the Far Eastern Federal University
Far Eastern Federal University
in Vladivostok, Far Eastern University
Far Eastern University
in Manila, and the Far East University in South Korea. Furthermore, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and United States have historically used Far East
for several military units and commands in the region: Territories and regions conventionally included under the term Far East[edit]

Name of region[7] and territory, with flag Area (km²) Population (2008 est.) Population density (per km²) Capital Forms of government Currency Official languages


 China[8] 9,598,094[9] 1,370,536,875[10] 161.0 Beijing One-party socialist republic Yuan (Renminbi) Chinese (Mandarin)[11]

 Hong Kong[12] 1,104 6,985,200 6,352.0 Hong Kong Special
administrative region of the People's Republic
of China. Hong Kong
Hong Kong
dollar Chinese (Cantonese),[13] English

 Macau[14] 28.6 520,400 17,310.0 Macau Special
administrative region of the People's Republic
of China Pataca Chinese (Cantonese),[15] Portuguese

 Japan 377,873 127,433,494 337.0 Tokyo Parliamentary democracy, Constitutional monarchy Yen None (Japanese as de facto)

 Mongolia 1,564,116 2,951,786 1.7 Ulaanbaatar Parliamentary republic Tögrög Mongolian

 North Korea 120,540 23,301,725 190.0 Pyongyang Juche
unitarian dictatorship Socialist Republic North Korean won Korean

 South Korea 100,032 49,044,790 493.0 Seoul Presidential republic South Korean won Korean

 Taiwan[16] 36,188 22,911,292 633.12 Taipei Semi-presidential system New Taiwan
dollar Chinese (Mandarin)

Southeast Asia

 Brunei 5,765 381,371 66.0 Bandar Seri Begawan Absolute Islamic
Sultanate Brunei
dollar Malay and English

 Cambodia 181,035 14,241,640 78.0 Phnom Penh Constitutional monarchy Riel Khmer

Timor 15,410 1,115,000 64.0 Dili Parliamentary republic U.S. dollar / Centavo coins Tetum
and Portuguese

 Indonesia[17] 1,919,588 237,512,355 123.8 Jakarta Presidential republic Rupiah Indonesian

 Laos 236,800 6,521,998 25.0 Vientiane Socialist Republic Kip Lao

 Malaysia 329,847 27,730,000 83.0 Kuala Lumpur Federal constitutional monarchy, Parliamentary democracy Ringgit Malay

(Burma) 676,578 55,390,000 75.0 Naypyidaw Unitary presidential constitutional republic Kyat Burmese

 Philippines 300,000 90,500,000 295.0 Manila Unitary presidential constitutional republic Philippine peso
Philippine peso
(Piso) Filipino and English

 Singapore 707.1 4,588,600 6,489.0 Singapore Parliamentary republic Singapore
dollar Malay, English, Chinese (Mandarin), and Tamil

 Thailand 513,115 63,038,247 122.0 Bangkok Constitutional monarchy, Parliamentary democracy Baht Thai

 Vietnam 331,690 86,116,559 253.0 Hanoi One-party led state, Socialist Republic đồng Vietnamese

North Asia

Russia[18] 6,215,900[19] 6,692,865[19] 3.0 Moscow Federal semi-presidential republic Ruble Russian and 27 other co-official languages

Cities[edit] Further information: Cities of East Asia
East Asia
and List of cities in the Far East
by population Organizations[edit]

British Far East
Command RAF Far East
Air Force U.S. Far East
Air Force The U.S. Far East

See also[edit]

Look up far east in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Far West Adoption of Chinese literary culture East
Asia East
Asian cultural sphere Far Eastern Economic Review Far Eastern Military District Four Asian Tigers Greater East Asia
East Asia
Co-Prosperity Sphere Greater India Indosphere North Asia Russian Far East Siberia South Asia Southeast Asia Spanish East
Indies Y-DNA haplogroups in populations of East
and Southeast Asia


^ "Oxford Dictionaries - Dictionary, Thesaurus, & Grammar". askoxford.com.  ^ The 'Far Eastern Economic Review' for example covers news from India and Sri Lanka. ^ a b "A menagerie of monikers". The Economist. 7 January 2010. Retrieved 9 July 2011.  ^ a b Reischauer, Edwin and John K Fairbank, East
Asia: The Great Tradition, 1960. ^ Robert Sewell (1901). A Forgotten Empire: Vijayanagar; A Contribution to the History of India.  ^ "Historical documents". Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  ^   Continental regions as per UN categorisations (map), except 12. Depending on definitions, various territories cited below (notes 6, 11-13, 15, 17-19, 21-23) may be in one or both of Asia
and Europe, Africa, or Oceania. ^   The state is commonly known as simply "China", which is subsumed by the eponymous entity and civilisation (China). Figures given are for Mainland China
only, and do not include Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. ^ Includes PRC-administered area ( Aksai Chin
Aksai Chin
and Trans-Karakoram Tract, both territories claimed by India). ^ Information listed is for Mainland China
only. The Special administrative region (i.e. Hong Kong
Hong Kong
and Macau), the island territories under the control of the Republic
of China
(which includes the islands of Taiwan, Quemoy, and Matsu) are excluded. ^ "Law of the People's Republic
of China
on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language (Order of the President No.37)". Chinese Government. 31 October 2000. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 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.  ^    Hong Kong
Hong Kong
is a Special
Administrative Region of the People's Republic
of China ^ Cantonese, a dialect of Chinese, is a de facto official language of Hong Kong, as Hong Kong's constitution does not specify which dialect of Chinese is the territory's official language. ^    Macau
is a Special
Administrative Region of the People's Republic
of China. ^ Cantonese, a dialect of Chinese, is a de facto official language of Macau, as Macau's constitution does not specify which dialect of Chinese is the territory's official language. ^   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. ^ figures do not include Irian Jaya
Irian Jaya
and Maluku Islands, frequently reckoned in Oceania
(Melanesia/Australasia). ^    Russia
is generally considered a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe
(UN region) and Northern Asia; population and area figures are for Asian portion only. ^ a b Only includes the area of Far Eastern Federal District.


Ankerl, Guy (2000). Coexisting Contemporary Civilizations: Arabo-Muslim, Bharati, Chinese, and Western. Geneva: INU Press. ISBN 2-88155-004-5. Whitaker, Brian (February 23, 2004). "From Turkey to Tibet". The Guardian.

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