Text extracted from opening pages of book: THE CHANGING MAP OF ASIA A Political Geography Edited by W. GORDON EAST Professor of Geography in the University of London and O. H. K. SPATE Reader in Geography in the University of London It is often saidMoreText extracted from opening pages of book: THE CHANGING MAP OF ASIA A Political Geography Edited by W.
GORDON EAST Professor of Geography in the University of London and O. H. K. SPATE Reader in Geography in the University of London It is often said that geography does not change. In truth the geography changes as rapidly as ideas and technologies change- that is, the meaning of geographical conditions changes. DR. ISAIAH BOWMAN WITH 34 MAPS LONDON: METHUEN & CO. LTD. NEW YORK: E. P. DUTTON & CO. INC. First published in ig^ o CATALOGUE NO. 4253/ U ( METHUEN) HUNTED IN GREAT BRITAIN B Bahrein C Cyprus f Israel K Kvtragt SL Syria & Lebanon.
g IQQ ( J Jordan Scale of Miles Kg. i. THE ASIAN REALMS The Roman figures refer to the chapters of the text PREFACE WHILST in its social texture Asia retains so much that is traditional and slow to change, its economy, long subjected to the powerful alien forces of the world market and of modern industrialism, has now embarked, in many areas, upon a more autonomous development. Moreover, during this last decade of - war and revolution, spectacular changes have been wrought in its political structure, changes strikingly displayed on the political map.
The destruction of the Japanese Empire- the abandonment by Britain of imperial and mandatory responsibilities in India, Burma, Ceylon, and Palestine- the partition of the Indian sub-continent and the mediatization of most of the congeries of states which lived in the favour of the British Raj- the dash of cultures in the Levant and in Malaya, with the incalculably significant emergence of the state of Israel in the former area- the planned development of Siberia- new forms and phases of the perennial conflict between the old and the new, between localism and integration, in China- the stormy struggles of nationalism in Indo-China and Indonesia these are some of the dramatic political changes now working themselves out in this greatest of continents.
Behind these events lies the impulse to build up independent economic power, an impulse manifested in the almost universal demand of Asiatic publicists for planned industrialization. More fundamental, perhaps, are those acute agrarian problems from which hardly any country of Asia is free. While some of the older colonial powers are still struggling, and perhaps not without success, to retain their old dominion, other ex traneous interests find a large field for manoeuvre and conflict in Asia which, with its wealth of raw materials or war materials, cannot remain aloof from the great contention which divides the world in our time of troubles.
Asia is re-shaping against a geopolitical background in which the Soviet Union and the United States are engaged in a many-fronted contest. Since Asia includes within its borders over half of mankind, its problems are clearly of vital importance to the world as a - whole. But these infinitely serious and complex problems are too often discussed in terms of political personalities and popular movements only, against but a vague and shadowy background of landscape and resources. This book seeks to present the setting of the stage, to give a fuller content to those names of peoples and of places which too often remain mere names in the headlines.
It brings together contributions by authors who have studied the environ VI THE CHANGING MAP OF ASIA 4 mental problems of Asia either at first hand, or in their academic or war time work, or in a combination of these activities. So far as may be political narrative is eschewed, and the attempt is made to survey broadly the political geography of Asia and its major divisions as a basis for closer study of the complex internal and international problems of the continent.
The several authors have, however, naturally interpreted their terms of reference with reasonable latitude. It would be futile to attempt to write political geography without touching on current politics- hence in some sections matter not inherently geograp