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I was wondering if it's correct to say "to the East", as in "regions to the East", meaning East Asia?

The complete sentence is:

The Catholic Monarchs of Spain decided to finance the adventure of direct access to the sources to get rid of the onerous chain of intermediaries and resellers which hoarded the spice trade, as well as that of tropical plants, mousseline and cutting weapons that came from the mysterious regions to the East.

  • For Renaissance Spanish monarchs before discovery of the oceanic routes to East Asia, the "mysterious regions to the East" would have been the Eastern Mediterranean. – StoneyB on hiatus Oct 16 '17 at 17:49
  • Was "east" in uppercase in your source, "East"? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Oct 16 '17 at 17:51
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There is a problem with either the preposition or the capitalisation.

"The East" is the name of the vaguely defined area roughly corresponding to Asia and, as a proper noun, it should be capitalised. If this is what you mean, you should say "... mysterious regions in the East."

On the other hand, "east" without a capital is a compass direction. Italy, for example, is to the east of Spain but it is not in the East.

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