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CHINA and "Asia"

The word "Asia" originally applied to the small area across the Bosphorus from Istanbul, but Western geographers extended its meaning all the way to the Pacific Ocean. The term ia not too satisfactory. Few use "West Asia" to describe the Middle East, As for the Chinese, Paul Simon says "They actually have a more conservative view of what is Asia than most of us, although they all assiduously study basic geography in school and know the textbook definition. Few Chinese really conceptually consider the Middle East to be Asia, and the language used in discussions reveals this".

Ronald Hilton - 1/3/03