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The magazine’s original intention was to be a Cantonese language magazine about Hong Kong News. However, it was surmised that this magazine would not do well without a translation of the Cantonese version – this English edition was to be called Crossroads.
The idea for Asianadian didn’t come about until later in April of 1978. Tony Chan, Cheuk Kwan, and Paul Levine (also known as Lai Bo) were sitting in Torontonian Diner, MARS FOOD, discussing social justice, activism, and criticism in the Asian Canadian community. They decided that Crossroads should expand to include such topics and gave the publication a more appropriate name: Asianadian.

The concept for Asianadian was inspired by the Asian American movement, which was spreading across university campuses in America during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The founders of Asianadian had set out to create a similar sense of cultural identity and political consciousness among Asian Canadians through this magazine, which would give the Asian community an opportunity This small group then united under what would become the aims of the Asianadian and registered a non-profit organization called "The Asianadian Resource Workshop." to speak out.