The Far East is an alternate geographical term in English (with equivalents in many other languages – see the infobox on the right for examples), that usually refers to East Asia (including Northeast Asia), the Russian Far East (part of North Asia), and Southeast Asia. South Asia is sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons.
Since the 1960s, East Asia has become the most common term for the region in international mass media outlets. Far East is often deprecated as archaic, offensive, and sometimes even racist. In 2010, The Economist commented:
Remember... the Far East? If so, speak softly. Labels are handy ways of sorting out countries by history or geography. But lazily conceived and out-of-date ones are offensive and misleading.... The "Far East", as East Asia used to be called, is indeed far away from Europe but quite nearby for people who live there.
In other words, "Far East" is inherently Eurocentric because it is part of a geographical paradigms in which even Western Asia is the "Near East" or "Middle East". Until the end of the 20th century, it could be argued that Europe was the "center of gravity" of the global economy, although even that is no longer true.
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. For the same reason, Chinese people in the 19th and early 20th centuries called Western countries "Tàixī (泰西)"—i.e. anything further west than the Arab world.
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