The Renaissance and the Scientific Revolution are not the same; they are distinct, separate events.
The Renaissance is an European cultural movement during the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Era, when Europe experienced a prolonged revival of interest in Classical Antiquity. It is a bit strange to ask why it took place in Europe first. the Renaissance was Europe's intellectual revitalisation, after a long era of stagnation. Similar events have happened throughout human history in many different civilisations - Western Europe's renaissance in the 12th century, for example.
Additionally, at the time of the Renaissance, the Islamic world contained some of the most advanced polities, both culturally and scientifically. The Byzantines, holding on to their roots as the Eastern Roman Empire, by and large kept its interest in the classics. It is difficult to experience a revival of interest in something you hadn't lost interest in, basically.
In any case, the Renaissance first happened in North Italy due to a combination of several factors:
- Byzantine refugees who brought to Italy classical works and ideas forgotten in the west.
- Italy's mercantile city states, which were intellectual crossroads due to trade
- Their comparative freedom in these "Republics", were more fertile grounds for thinkers
- Wealthy Patrons of the Arts from the above, who enabled and nourished the development
- And being surrounded by Roman ruins might have prompted some interest in Ancient Rome
The Scientific Revolution came on the heels of the Renaissance. It is the development of modern scientific methods, from sometime around the mid-16th century. Why it happened is a complex question with many theories, and the truth is probably in a mix of them. Some of the more notable reasons for why it happened in Western Europe:
- Luck: self-explanatory. European sciences benefited strongly from Medieval Islamic academics; the Scientific Revolution took place at a time when it became the Islam world's turn to experience stagnation. The other great centre of civilisation, China, was busy being conquered and dealing with the disastrous end of the Little Ice Age.
- Less holding back by dogma: Europe experienced a weakening of theological dogma's hold over society following the Renaissance, and further weakening of theological authority following the Protestant Reformation
- Trade and Commerce: Commercial activity not only provides an economic surplus for academic pursuits, trade routes bring together diverse people and ideas, exposing people to new ways of thinking and exchanging knowledge
- Competition: Western Europe had a fragmented political landscape, which promotes competition, which in turn means no polity could pursue a philosophy of intentional stagnation (c.f. Tokugawa Japan)
- Freedom: Europe had a comparative political freedoms and stronger limitations on government authority, which promotes academic developments and is less inclined to devastating society into focusing on basic needs (e.g. the first Ming Emperor of China was said to have bankrupted every middle-class family in the empire during one of his purges)
Because you mentioned Asia, I'll attempt to discuss the situation with China in more detail. Chinese society had a strong reverence for its forbears. If one reads the diaries of contemporary educated elites, it is all too common to see praise for those who are able to cite truly ancient texts. A sentiment fostered by successive governments since first Chinese unification in 221 B.C., and went hand in hand with its adoption of Confucianism as an official school of though.
Chinese governments thus fostered a belief in obedience and loyalty to the emperor, and emphasised the importance of order (i.e., knowing one's place). This also allowed a strong emperor, by force of will, to become an absolutist ruler. Political purges in Chinese courts were commonplace, and often destroyed whole families. The tactic of jailing people over speech is not one conductive to progress.
A strong factor in perpetuating this is the Imperial Examinations system enacted in the Tang dynasty. This system was installed for the purpose of recruiting bureaucrats (of which the empire needed many). Because serving in the government was the definition of success, the Chinese education system became geared towards producing scholars who can excel in that regard. As students everywhere probably knows, learning isn't quite the same as studying for an exam.
Unfortunately, the Imperial Examination system was clearly geared towards tradition-minded answers. While it changed throughout time, but since very early in its history, the exams had settled upon testing students based on their understanding of the Four Books and Five Classics. Later on the stifling of intellectual thought progressed more when examinee became required to write in a highly rigid, fixed style known as the Eight-Legged Essay. It was not an education system best geared towards thinking outside of the box.
I will emphasis at this point that these factors did not doom China to technological backwardness. It probably slowed it or hindered it, but it could not altogether prevent it.
Despite the Confucian dogma against merchants, commercial activity blossomed in the Southern Song Empire (A.D. 1127-1279). As was the case in Europe, commercial activity came hand in hand with a great intellectual flowering. The rationalist Neo-Confucianism, first developed centuries earlier, came into prominent during this period. It provided a marked opposition to mysticism, and believed that reality could be understood.
While I'm not saying these are in any way comparable to the scientific rationalism of modern science, I'd suggest we can detect more than slight trace of Europe's Renaissance and Enlightenment in these intellectual development. Except, then Mongols conquered China.
Centuries later when a native regime re-established itself, commercial activity slowly flourished again under an unintentional laissez faire policy that a notoriously lazy emperor allowed to happen. The traditional limitations of movements of people, and laws enforcing the hereditary occupations, fell apart. Commerce flourised and further developments in Neo-Confucianism took place, such as the School of Mind.
It was around this period that what Nathan Sivin had argued to be a "Chinese scientific revolution" occurred. Adopting new ideas from Jesuit missionaries, Chinese scholars began to radically change many methods. And then, the Manchurians conquered China.