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The latest article is now up at Brooks Foreign Policy Review, here.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), founded 42 years ago, was created to provide a framework to advance regional stability in Southeast Asia at a time when the withdrawal of colonial powers had created a vacuum. This placed the newly independent states of the region in danger of succumbing to ethnic strife and communist insurgencies. Since the conclusion of the Cold War, ASEAN has embarked on a series of free trade initiatives, linking it to some of the Asian-Pacific regions most dynamic economies.

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The image “https://i1.wp.com/www.historyforkids.org/learn/china/clothing/pictures/tangyinming.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.I have often often seen on the web, especially on minority sites (particularly black American) comments accusing East Asians of wanting to be white because they favor light skin in their women or eyes with double lids.

The latest example is this:

I saw this today posted on Booker Rising, a site I regularly post on, owned by a person named Shay, who I admire, but sometimes she lets some of her personal hangups eat away at her ability to reason (which is usually vast). My response to her comments and the original writer of the post, John Hope Bryant:

I lived in Shanghai, China in 1999, and also in Tokyo, Japan from 2001-2002. While in Japan I managed to visit Taiwan and South Korea too.

South Koreans, like Japanese, and Chinese have had a white skin fetish for their women that preexisted any Western European contact.

You can see this reflected in Tang Dynasty China which was roughly the same time as the later part of the Western Roman Empire. There were envoys that were exchanged, but for most Chinese had never seen a European.

http://library.thinkquest.org/C005742/tang%20-%20zhou%20fang%201.jpg

There are some East Asian women naturally as pale as in the link (my sister in law is, the younger one), but most are not. Typical make up was used and in later centuries, Geisha, in Japan, also pained their faces white, as it was considered beautiful.

Geisha go back a long time before any Dutch or Portuguese contact with Japan, which would be the initial sustained European contact in the mid-16th century:

http://www.danhagerman.com/images/Pseudo%20Geisha.jpg

This is true in Korea as well:

http://www.askasia.org/images/teachers/display/670.jpg

The explanation I have heard is that the upper classes did not do physical labor and stayed in doors so they were lighter, many Asians are naturally pale but unlike many Europeans they do not burn easily, but tan darker (yellowish-brown), so being dark became a sign of being low class.

This goes back to at least the time of Confucius in China (over 2,000 years, around the 6th century BCE)…maybe longer, but that is based on the art I have seen. It is likely more ancient.

So sorry, no it is not about white people.

As far as “big eyes”…
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