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By Milton W. Meyer

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Japanese went to China, Chinese sojourned in India, and Indians traveled Southeast Asia. In terms of overall numbers they were only a handful, but they left behind fascinating accounts, mixing fact and fiction, of the regions which they visited or heard about. , Westerners began to write with firsthand knowledge of Asia, at least about India. Their accounts were supplemented by those of Chinese Buddhist pilgrims, who traveled to the historic home of Buddhism. Later Islamic historians who accompanied the conquering Turks and Mongols added their Page 12 versions.

868. After the downfall of the Manchus in the early 1900s, local warlords arose. They alternated their allegiances between the Russians and the Chinese. After the Chinese Communists assimilated the province, Soviet influence was eliminated, although border problems continued to plague the two neighbors. In the great desert areas of Xinjiang, the People's Republic of China has conducted nuclear tests. The Mongolias The two Mongolias formed a transition zone between Chinese and nomadic culture. Inner Mongolia, periodically incorporated into Chinese territory, was sinicized.

They tried to stem the Japanese, who from 1905 gradually expanded control over all of Manchuria, and in 1932 established the puppet state of Manchukuo. In the final days of World War II, the Soviets, by international agreement, occupied all of Manchuria for one year. Upon their withdrawal, Chinese Nationalists and Communists competed to fill the political vacuum; the Communists won out. Page 27 Taiwan Taiwan, which earlier the Westerners called Formosa (Beautiful Island), lies 100 miles across the Taiwan Strait from mainland China.

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