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In business and economics, "East Asia" is sometimes used to refer to a wide geographical area covering ten Southeast Asian countries in ASEAN, People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.
The Imperial Chinese tributary system shaped much of East Asia's foreign policy and trade for over 2000 years due to Imperial China's economic and cultural dominance over the region, and thus played a huge role in the history of East Asia in particular.
The culture of East Asia has largely been influenced by China, as it was the civilization that had the most dominant influence in the region throughout the ages that ultimately laid the foundation for East Asian civilization.
The vast knowledge and ingenuity of Chinese civilization and the classics of Chinese literature and culture were seen as the foundations for a civilized life in East Asia.
East Asia was one of the cradles of world civilization, with China, an ancient East Asian civilization being one of the earliest cradles of civilization in human history.
For thousands of years, China largely influenced East Asia as it was principally the leading civilization in the region exerting it's enormous prestige and influence on its neighbors.
The Korean peninsula became independent but then it was divided into two rival states, while Taiwan became the main territory of de facto state Republic of China after the latter lost Mainland China to the People's Republic of China in the Chinese Civil War.
During the latter half of the twentieth century, the region would see the post war economic miracle of Japan, the economic rise of South Korea and Taiwan, and the integration of Mainland China into the global economy through its entry in the World Trade Organization while enhancing its emerging international status as a potential world power.
China served as a vehicle through which the adoption of Confucian ethical philosophy, Chinese calendar system, political and legal systems, architectural style, diet, terminology, institutions, religious beliefs, imperial examinations that emphasized a knowledge of Chinese classics, political philosophy and culture, as well as historically sharing a common writing system reflected in the histories of Japan and Korea.
The Imperial Chinese tributary system was the bedrock of network of trade and foreign relations between China and its East Asian tributaries, which helped to shape much of East Asian affairs during the ancient and medieval eras.
The Chinese calendar is the root from which many other East Asian calendars are derived. About 38% of the population of Asia and 22%, or over one fifth, of world's population lives in East Asia.
The region is to home to major world metropolises such as Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei, and Tokyo.
During World War II, Japanese expansionism with its imperialist aspirations through the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere would incorporate Korea, Taiwan, much of eastern China and Manchuria, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia under its control.