A New Definition for Southeast Asia

Austronesian Asia? Nusantaria? These are not familiar terms. Yet they define the common bonds of some 400 million people whose ancestors for several millennia occupied the islands and nearby coasts more commonly known as “Maritime Southeast Asia.” These terms now cover most of Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia and once included Taiwan and much of the coast of Vietnam with old links across the Indian Ocean to Madagascar. This is a region with its own identity separate from mainland Asia.

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