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This phrase is invented by European, east means east from Europe,so the 中东 means middle east from Europe,that is Iraq and some countries …… There is some other words like 中东,eg,近东(seldom used),远东(referred to Korea,the area between China and Japan.), 远东 is more often replaced by “东亚”。


"中东" means "the Middle East", and "华东" means "Eastern China”

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