East Asian civilizations have been considered remote and secluded for a long time, even though they received multiple and intense cultural influences from abroad all through their history. This influence came from other Asian cultures — particularly from India and the Southeast Asian world, West Asia as far as the Middle East — as well as from Europe, especially with regards the transmission of cultural, technical and scientific knowledge, and some kind of artistic manufacture. Due to self–protectionism and a strong sense of nationalism, up to the half of the 19th century China, Korea and Japan made efforts to halt Western expansion. They attempted to defend themselves against the continuous and unavoidable commercial and political assaults of foreign powers. Nevertheless, cross–cultural exchange, cooperation and technological transfer — according to the different approaches of each country — were an interesting and advantageous outcome of that encounter/clash of Eastern–Western civilizations.
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