kokopuffs is on the correct path.
Why? Because wheat was/is not a major crop, just as cattle was/is not abundant resulting in limited use of dairy products.
You have to consider the resources which are readily available in those countries. In Asian countries, the primary crop and source of flour is rice so they don't have a long history with wheat products - although that is slowly changing; Japan won first place in the most recent World Baking Cup competition.
While we may view their expertise as primitive in your description of "pastry" they have in their own right perfected deserts using ingredients common to their regions, those using ingredients such as rice flour and beans. Many people consider their deserts to be extremely refined. It's all relative.
As for chocolate, especially in Asian countries... if you've ever sampled true Asian deserts, you'd understand why. Asian deserts are simply not as sweet as American deserts. It's all about tradition, what you grow up with, are exposed to, and develop a taste for. They may wonder why American's have not mastered their own deserts.
It is all slowly changing... "Chocolate consumption in China alone has increased by forty percent since 1992." Chocolate developed for those areas are less sweet to accomodate their tastes. There are tidbits of information regarding the issues of chocolate in Asian countries online. Here is one
Look here for a Timeline on Chocolate