Tuesday 04 Oct 2022 | 11:22 | SYDNEY
Tuesday 04 Oct 2022 | 11:22 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: What is Asia?

3 August 2010 10:16

Richard Green responds to The Economist's Banyan columnist, whose attempt to define Asia was the subject of a recent Graeme Dobell post:

Banyan's effort at finding a definition of Asia is a fair stab at defending the concept. Whilst it excludes the Middle East (The original 'Asia'), Central Asia and parts of South Asia by it's focus on optimism, growth, dynamism and expectations of change, it also interestingly excludes Japan, who in her malaise must seem far more Western.

On the other hand, the only thing that appears to exclude Australia (which remains far more positive than any of her apparent peers in the 'West') from Asia by Banyan's standard is the lack of a history of violently insane governments that gives Banyan pause whenever they see arrogance arising. I don't think we are alone in Asia in this, or maybe we could claim indigenous history on our membership form.

So maybe Asia exists, and the West exists, but if they do Australia and Japan are in unexpected camps.