Asia

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Asia
Asia (orthographic projection).svg
Area44,579,000 km2 (17,212,000 sq mi)  (1st) [1]
Population4,462,676,731 (2016; 1st) [2]
Population density100/km2 (260/sq mi)
GDP (nominal)$30.22 trillion (2018; 1st) [3]
GDP (PPP)$61.25 trillion (2018; 1st) [3]
GDP per capita$7,090 (2018; 5th) [3]
Demonym Asian
Countries 49 UN members,
1 UN observer, 5 other states
Dependencies
Non-UN states
Languages List of languages
Time zones UTC+2 to UTC+12
Internet TLD .asia
Largest cities
UN M.49 code 142 – Asia
001World
Excludes North Asia

Asia ( /ˈʒə, ˈʃə/ ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern and Northern Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the continent of Europe and the continental landmass of Afro-Eurasia with both Europe and Africa. Asia covers an area of 44,579,000 square kilometres (17,212,000 sq mi), about 30% of Earth's total land area and 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area. The continent, which has long been home to the majority of the human population, [4] was the site of many of the first civilizations. Asia is notable for not only its overall large size and population, but also dense and large settlements, as well as vast barely populated regions. Its 4.5 billion people (as of June 2019) constitute roughly 60% of the world's population. [5]

Earth Third planet from the Sun in the Solar System

Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. According to radiometric dating and other sources of evidence, Earth formed over 4.5 billion years ago. Earth's gravity interacts with other objects in space, especially the Sun and the Moon, Earth's only natural satellite. Earth orbits around the Sun in 365.26 days, a period known as an Earth year. During this time, Earth rotates about its axis about 366.26 times.

Continent Very large landmass identified by convention

A continent is one of several very large landmasses of the world. Generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest in area to smallest, they are: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.

Eastern Hemisphere half of the Earth that is east of the prime meridian and west of 180° longitude

The Eastern Hemisphere is a geographical term for the half of Earth which is east of the prime meridian and west of the antimeridian. It is also used to refer to Afro-Eurasia and Australia, in contrast with the Western Hemisphere, which includes mainly North and South America. The Eastern Hemisphere may also be called the "Oriental Hemisphere". In addition, it may be used in a cultural or geopolitical sense as a synonym for the "Old World".

Contents

In general terms, Asia is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean, and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. The border of Asia with Europe is a historical and cultural construct, as there is no clear physical and geographical separation between them. It is somewhat arbitrary and has moved since its first conception in classical antiquity. The division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East–West cultural, linguistic, and ethnic differences, some of which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The most commonly accepted boundaries place Asia to the east of the Suez Canal separating it from Africa; and to the east of the Turkish Straits, the Ural Mountains and Ural River, and to the south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black Seas, separating it from Europe. [6]

Classical antiquity Age of the ancient Greeks and Romans

Classical antiquity is the period of cultural history between the 8th century BC and the 6th century AD centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome known as the Greco-Roman world. It is the period in which Greek and Roman society flourished and wielded great influence throughout Europe, North Africa and Western Asia.

East–West dichotomy cultural, historical and political divide

In sociology, the East–West dichotomy is the perceived difference between the Eastern and Western worlds. Cultural rather than geographical in division, the boundaries of East and West are not fixed, but vary according to the criteria adopted by individuals using the term. Historically, Asia was regarded as the East, and Europe was regarded as the West. Today, the "West" usually refers to Australasia, Europe, and America. Used in discussing such studies as management, economics, international relations, and linguistics, the concept is criticized for overlooking regional hybridity.

Suez Canal canal in Egypt between the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea

The Suez Canal is a sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez. Constructed by the Suez Canal Company between 1859 and 1869, it was officially opened on 17 November 1869. The canal offers watercraft a more direct route between the North Atlantic and northern Indian oceans via the Mediterranean and Red seas, thus avoiding the South Atlantic and southern Indian oceans and thereby reducing the journey distance from the Arabian Sea to, for example, London by approximately 8,900 kilometres (5,500 mi). It extends from the northern terminus of Port Said to the southern terminus of Port Tewfik at the city of Suez. Its length is 193.30 km (120.11 mi), including its northern and southern access channels. In 2012, 17,225 vessels traversed the canal.

China and India alternated in being the largest economies in the world from 1 to 1800 CE. China was a major economic power and attracted many to the east, [7] [8] [9] and for many the legendary wealth and prosperity of the ancient culture of India personified Asia, [10] attracting European commerce, exploration and colonialism. The accidental discovery of a trans-Atlantic route from Europe to America by Columbus while in search for a route to India demonstrates this deep fascination. The Silk Road became the main east–west trading route in the Asian hinterlands while the Straits of Malacca stood as a major sea route. Asia has exhibited economic dynamism (particularly East Asia) as well as robust population growth during the 20th century, but overall population growth has since fallen. [11] Asia was the birthplace of most of the world's mainstream religions including Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, as well as many other religions.

Indian subcontinent Peninsular region in south-central Asia south of the Himalayas

The Indian subcontinent, is a southern region and peninsula of Asia, mostly situated on the Indian Plate and projecting southwards into the Indian Ocean from the Himalayas. Geologically, the Indian subcontinent is related to the land mass that rifted from Gondwana and merged with the Eurasian plate nearly 55 million years ago. Geographically, it is the peninsular region in south-central Asia delineated by the Himalayas in the north, the Hindu Kush in the west, and the Arakanese in the east. Politically, the Indian subcontinent includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Silk Road Trade routes through Asia connecting Chinza to the Mediterranean Sea

The Silk Road was a network of trade routes which connected the East and West, and was central to the economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions between these regions from the 2nd century BCE to the 18th century. The Silk Road primarily refers to the terrestrial routes connecting East Asia and Southeast Asia with South Asia, Persia, the Arabian Peninsula, East Africa and Southern Europe.

Hinduism is an Indian religion and dharma, or way of life, widely practised in the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, and some practitioners and scholars refer to it as Sanātana Dharma, "the eternal tradition", or the "eternal way", beyond human history. Scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion or synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots and no founder. This "Hindu synthesis" started to develop between 500 BCE and 300 CE, after the end of the Vedic period, and flourished in the medieval period, with the decline of Buddhism in India.

Given its size and diversity, the concept of Asia—a name dating back to classical antiquity—may actually have more to do with human geography than physical geography.[ citation needed ] Asia varies greatly across and within its regions with regard to ethnic groups, cultures, environments, economics, historical ties and government systems. It also has a mix of many different climates ranging from the equatorial south via the hot desert in the Middle East, temperate areas in the east and the continental centre to vast subarctic and polar areas in Siberia.

Toponymy is the study of place names (toponyms), their origins, meanings, use, and typology.

Human geography The study of cultures, communities and activities of peoples of the world

Human geography or anthropogeography is the branch of geography that deals with the study of people and their communities, cultures, economies, and interactions with the environment by studying their relations with and across space and place. Human geography attends to human patterns of social interaction, as well as spatial level interdependencies, and how they influence or affect the earth's environment. As an intellectual discipline, geography is divided into the sub-fields of physical geography and human geography, the latter concentrating upon the study of human activities, by the application of qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Physical geography The study of processes and patterns in the natural environment

Physical geography is one of the two major sub-fields of geography. Physical geography is the branch of natural science which deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere, as opposed to the cultural or built environment, the domain of human geography.

Definition and boundaries

Asia–Africa boundary

The boundary between Asia and Africa is the Red Sea, the Gulf of Suez, and the Suez Canal.[ citation needed ] This makes Egypt a transcontinental country, with the Sinai peninsula in Asia and the remainder of the country in Africa.

Red Sea Arm of the Indian Ocean between Arabia and Africa

The Red Sea is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. The connection to the ocean is in the south through the Bab el Mandeb strait and the Gulf of Aden. To the north lie the Sinai Peninsula, the Gulf of Aqaba, and the Gulf of Suez. The Red Sea is a Global 200 ecoregion. The sea is underlain by the Red Sea Rift which is part of the Great Rift Valley.

Gulf of Suez gulf of the Red Sea separating African Egypt from the Sinai Peninsula

The Gulf of Suez is a gulf at the northern end of the Red Sea, to the west of the Sinai Peninsula. Situated to the east of the Sinai Peninsula is the smaller Gulf of Aqaba. The gulf was formed within a relatively young but now inactive Gulf of Suez Rift rift basin, dating back about 26 million years. It stretches some 300 kilometres (190 mi) north by northwest, terminating at the Egyptian city of Suez and the entrance to the Suez Canal. Along the mid-line of the gulf is the boundary between Africa and Asia. The entrance of the gulf lies atop the mature Gemsa oil and gas field.

Asia–Europe boundary

Statue representing Asia at Palazzo Ferreria, in Valletta, Malta Palazzo Ferreria statue.jpeg
Statue representing Asia at Palazzo Ferreria, in Valletta, Malta

The border between Asia and Europe was historically defined by European academics. [12] The Don River became unsatisfactory to northern Europeans when Peter the Great, king of the Tsardom of Russia, defeating rival claims of Sweden and the Ottoman Empire to the eastern lands, and armed resistance by the tribes of Siberia, synthesized a new Russian Empire extending to the Ural Mountains and beyond, founded in 1721. The major geographical theorist of the empire was actually a former Swedish prisoner-of-war, taken at the Battle of Poltava in 1709 and assigned to Tobolsk, where he associated with Peter's Siberian official, Vasily Tatishchev, and was allowed freedom to conduct geographical and anthropological studies in preparation for a future book.[ citation needed ]

Peter the Great Tsar and 1st Emperor, founder of the Russian Empire

Peter the Great, Peter I or Peter Alexeyevich ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from 7 May [O.S. 27 April] 1682 until his death in 1725, jointly ruling before 1696 with his elder half-brother, Ivan V. Through a number of successful wars, he expanded the Tsardom into a much larger empire that became a major European power and also laid the groundwork for the Russian navy after capturing ports at Azov and the Baltic Sea. He led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist and medieval social and political systems with ones that were modern, scientific, Westernised and based on the Enlightenment. Peter's reforms made a lasting impact on Russia, and many institutions of Russian government trace their origins to his reign. He is also known for founding and developing the city of Saint Petersburg, which remained the capital of Russia until 1917.

Tsardom of Russia former country  (1547-1721)

The Tsardom of Russia, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth called the Russian state Tsardom of Muscovy, was the centralized Russian state from the assumption of the title of Tsar by Ivan IV in 1547 until the foundation of the Russian Empire by Peter the Great in 1721.

Sweden constitutional monarchy in Northern Europe

Sweden, formal name: the Kingdom of Sweden, is a Scandinavian Nordic country in Northern Europe. It borders Norway to the west and north and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund, a strait at the Swedish-Danish border. At 450,295 square kilometres (173,860 sq mi), Sweden is the largest country in Northern Europe, the third-largest country in the European Union and the fifth largest country in Europe by area. Sweden has a total population of 10.2 million of which 2.5 million have a foreign background. It has a low population density of 22 inhabitants per square kilometre (57/sq mi). The highest concentration is in the southern half of the country.

In Sweden, five years after Peter's death, in 1730 Philip Johan von Strahlenberg published a new atlas proposing the Urals as the border of Asia. Tatishchev announced that he had proposed the idea to von Strahlenberg. The latter had suggested the Emba River as the lower boundary. Over the next century various proposals were made until the Ural River prevailed in the mid-19th century. The border had been moved perforce from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea into which the Ural River projects. [13] The border between the Black Sea and the Caspian is usually placed along the crest of the Caucasus Mountains, although it is sometimes placed further north. [12]

Asia–Oceania boundary

The border between Asia and the region of Oceania is usually placed somewhere in the Malay Archipelago. The Maluku Islands in Indonesia are often considered to lie on the border of southeast Asia, with New Guinea, to the east of the islands, being wholly part of Oceania. The terms Southeast Asia and Oceania, devised in the 19th century, have had several vastly different geographic meanings since their inception. The chief factor in determining which islands of the Malay Archipelago are Asian has been the location of the colonial possessions of the various empires there (not all European). Lewis and Wigen assert, "The narrowing of 'Southeast Asia' to its present boundaries was thus a gradual process." [14]

Ongoing definition

Afro-Eurasia shown in green Afro-Eurasia (orthographic projection).svg
Afro-Eurasia shown in green

Geographical Asia is a cultural artifact of European conceptions of the world, beginning with the Ancient Greeks, being imposed onto other cultures, an imprecise concept causing endemic contention about what it means. Asia does not exactly correspond to the cultural borders of its various types of constituents. [15]

From the time of Herodotus a minority of geographers have rejected the three-continent system (Europe, Africa, Asia) on the grounds that there is no substantial physical separation between them. [16] For example, Sir Barry Cunliffe, the emeritus professor of European archeology at Oxford, argues that Europe has been geographically and culturally merely "the western excrescence of the continent of Asia". [17]

Geographically, Asia is the major eastern constituent of the continent of Eurasia with Europe being a northwestern peninsula of the landmass. Asia, Europe and Africa make up a single continuous landmass—Afro-Eurasia (except for the Suez Canal)—and share a common continental shelf. Almost all of Europe and the better part of Asia sit atop the Eurasian Plate, adjoined on the south by the Arabian and Indian Plate and with the easternmost part of Siberia (east of the Chersky Range) on the North American Plate.

Etymology

Ptolemy's Asia Gulf5..JPG
Ptolemy's Asia

The idea of a place called "Asia" was originally a concept of Greek civilization, [18] though this might not correspond to the entire continent currently known by that name. The English word comes from Latin literature, where it has the same form, "Asia". Whether "Asia" in other languages comes from Latin of the Roman Empire is much less certain, and the ultimate source of the Latin word is uncertain, though several theories have been published. One of the first classical writers to use Asia as a name of the whole continent was Pliny. [19] This metonymical change in meaning is common and can be observed in some other geographical names, such as Scandinavia (from Scania).

Bronze Age

Before Greek poetry, the Aegean Sea area was in a Greek Dark Age, at the beginning of which syllabic writing was lost and alphabetic writing had not begun. Prior to then in the Bronze Age the records of the Assyrian Empire, the Hittite Empire and the various Mycenaean states of Greece mention a region undoubtedly Asia, certainly in Anatolia, including if not identical to Lydia. These records are administrative and do not include poetry.

The Mycenaean states were destroyed about 1200 BCE by unknown agents although one school of thought assigns the Dorian invasion to this time. The burning of the palaces baked clay diurnal administrative records written in a Greek syllabic script called Linear B, deciphered by a number of interested parties, most notably by a young World War II cryptographer, Michael Ventris, subsequently assisted by the scholar, John Chadwick. A major cache discovered by Carl Blegen at the site of ancient Pylos included hundreds of male and female names formed by different methods.

Some of these are of women held in servitude (as study of the society implied by the content reveals). They were used in trades, such as cloth-making, and usually came with children. The epithet lawiaiai, "captives", associated with some of them identifies their origin. Some are ethnic names. One in particular, aswiai, identifies "women of Asia". [20] Perhaps they were captured in Asia, but some others, Milatiai, appear to have been of Miletus, a Greek colony, which would not have been raided for slaves by Greeks. Chadwick suggests that the names record the locations where these foreign women were purchased. [21] The name is also in the singular, Aswia, which refers both to the name of a country and to a female of it. There is a masculine form, aswios. This Aswia appears to have been a remnant of a region known to the Hittites as Assuwa, centered on Lydia, or "Roman Asia". This name, Assuwa, has been suggested as the origin for the name of the continent "Asia". [22] The Assuwa league was a confederation of states in western Anatolia, defeated by the Hittites under Tudhaliya I around 1400 BCE.

Alternatively, the etymology of the term may be from the Akkadian word (w)aṣû(m), which means 'to go outside' or 'to ascend', referring to the direction of the sun at sunrise in the Middle East and also likely connected with the Phoenician word asa meaning east. This may be contrasted to a similar etymology proposed for Europe, as being from Akkadian erēbu(m) 'to enter' or 'set' (of the sun).

T.R. Reid supports this alternative etymology, noting that the ancient Greek name must have derived from asu, meaning 'east' in Assyrian (ereb for Europe meaning 'west'). [18] The ideas of Occidental (form Latin Occidens 'setting') and Oriental (from Latin Oriens for 'rising') are also European invention, synonymous with Western and Eastern. [18] Reid further emphasizes that it explains the Western point of view of placing all the peoples and cultures of Asia into a single classification, almost as if there were a need for setting the distinction between Western and Eastern civilizations on the Eurasian continent. [18] Kazuo Ogura and Tenshin Okakura are two outspoken Japanese figures on the subject. [18]

Classical antiquity

The province of Asia highlighted (in red) within the Roman Empire. Roman Empire - Asia (125 AD).svg
The province of Asia highlighted (in red) within the Roman Empire.

Latin Asia and Greek Ἀσία appear to be the same word. Roman authors translated Ἀσία as Asia. The Romans named a province Asia, located in western Anatolia (in modern-day Turkey). There was an Asia Minor and an Asia Major located in modern-day Iraq. As the earliest evidence of the name is Greek, it is likely circumstantially that Asia came from Ἀσία, but ancient transitions, due to the lack of literary contexts, are difficult to catch in the act. The most likely vehicles were the ancient geographers and historians, such as Herodotus, who were all Greek. Ancient Greek certainly evidences early and rich uses of the name. [23]

The first continental use of Asia is attributed to Herodotus (about 440 BCE), not because he innovated it, but because his Histories are the earliest surviving prose to describe it in any detail. He defines it carefully, [24] mentioning the previous geographers whom he had read, but whose works are now missing. By it he means Anatolia and the Persian Empire, in contrast to Greece and Egypt.

Herodotus comments that he is puzzled as to why three women's names were "given to a tract which is in reality one" (Europa, Asia, and Libya, referring to Africa), stating that most Greeks assumed that Asia was named after the wife of Prometheus (i.e. Hesione), but that the Lydians say it was named after Asies, son of Cotys, who passed the name on to a tribe at Sardis. [25] In Greek mythology, "Asia" (Ἀσία) or "Asie" (Ἀσίη) was the name of a "Nymph or Titan goddess of Lydia". [26]

In ancient Greek religion, places were under the care of female divinities, parallel to guardian angels. The poets detailed their doings and generations in allegoric language salted with entertaining stories, which subsequently playwrights transformed into classical Greek drama and became "Greek mythology". For example, Hesiod mentions the daughters of Tethys and Ocean, among whom are a "holy company", "who with the Lord Apollo and the Rivers have youths in their keeping". [27] Many of these are geographic: Doris, Rhodea, Europa, Asia. Hesiod explains: [28]

For there are three-thousand neat-ankled daughters of Ocean who are dispersed far and wide, and in every place alike serve the earth and the deep waters.

The Iliad (attributed by the ancient Greeks to Homer) mentions two Phrygians (the tribe that replaced the Luvians in Lydia) in the Trojan War named Asios (an adjective meaning "Asian"); [29] and also a marsh or lowland containing a marsh in Lydia as ασιος. [30]

History

The Silk Road connected civilizations across Asia Silkroutes.jpg
The Silk Road connected civilizations across Asia
The Mongol Empire at its greatest extent. The gray area is the later Timurid Empire. Mongol dominions1.jpg
The Mongol Empire at its greatest extent. The gray area is the later Timurid Empire.

The history of Asia can be seen as the distinct histories of several peripheral coastal regions: East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, linked by the interior mass of the Central Asian steppes.

The coastal periphery was home to some of the world's earliest known civilizations, each of them developing around fertile river valleys. The civilizations in Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley and the Yellow River shared many similarities. These civilizations may well have exchanged technologies and ideas such as mathematics and the wheel. Other innovations, such as writing, seem to have been developed individually in each area. Cities, states and empires developed in these lowlands.

The central steppe region had long been inhabited by horse-mounted nomads who could reach all areas of Asia from the steppes. The earliest postulated expansion out of the steppe is that of the Indo-Europeans, who spread their languages into the Middle East, South Asia, and the borders of China, where the Tocharians resided. The northernmost part of Asia, including much of Siberia, was largely inaccessible to the steppe nomads, owing to the dense forests, climate and tundra. These areas remained very sparsely populated.

The center and the peripheries were mostly kept separated by mountains and deserts. The Caucasus and Himalaya mountains and the Karakum and Gobi deserts formed barriers that the steppe horsemen could cross only with difficulty. While the urban city dwellers were more advanced technologically and socially, in many cases they could do little in a military aspect to defend against the mounted hordes of the steppe. However, the lowlands did not have enough open grasslands to support a large horsebound force; for this and other reasons, the nomads who conquered states in China, India, and the Middle East often found themselves adapting to the local, more affluent societies.

The Islamic Caliphate's defeats of the Byzantine and Persian empires led to West Asia and southern parts of Central Asia and western parts of South Asia under its control during its conquests of the 7th century. The Mongol Empire conquered a large part of Asia in the 13th century, an area extending from China to Europe. Before the Mongol invasion, Song dynasty reportedly had approximately 120 million citizens; the 1300 census which followed the invasion reported roughly 60 million people. [32]

The Black Death, one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, is thought to have originated in the arid plains of central Asia, where it then travelled along the Silk Road. [33]

The Russian Empire began to expand into Asia from the 17th century, and would eventually take control of all of Siberia and most of Central Asia by the end of the 19th century. The Ottoman Empire controlled Anatolia, most of the Middle East, North Africa and the Balkans from the mid 16th century onwards. In the 17th century, the Manchu conquered China and established the Qing dynasty. The Islamic Mughal Empire and the Hindu Maratha Empire controlled much of India in the 16th and 18th centuries respectively. [34] The Empire of Japan controlled most of East Asia and much of Southeast Asia, New Guinea and the Pacific islands until the end of World War II.

Geography and climate

The Himalayan range is home to some of the planet's highest peaks. Himalayas.jpg
The Himalayan range is home to some of the planet's highest peaks.

Asia is the largest continent on Earth. It covers 9% of the Earth's total surface area (or 30% of its land area), and has the largest coastline, at 62,800 kilometres (39,022 mi). Asia is generally defined as comprising the eastern four-fifths of Eurasia. It is located to the east of the Suez Canal and the Ural Mountains, and south of the Caucasus Mountains (or the Kuma–Manych Depression) and the Caspian and Black Seas. [6] [36] It is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. Asia is subdivided into 48 countries, three of them (Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkey) having part of their land in Europe.

Asia has extremely diverse climates and geographic features. Climates range from arctic and subarctic in Siberia to tropical in southern India and Southeast Asia. It is moist across southeast sections, and dry across much of the interior. Some of the largest daily temperature ranges on Earth occur in western sections of Asia. The monsoon circulation dominates across southern and eastern sections, due to the presence of the Himalayas forcing the formation of a thermal low which draws in moisture during the summer. Southwestern sections of the continent are hot. Siberia is one of the coldest places in the Northern Hemisphere, and can act as a source of arctic air masses for North America. The most active place on Earth for tropical cyclone activity lies northeast of the Philippines and south of Japan. The Gobi Desert is in Mongolia and the Arabian Desert stretches across much of the Middle East. The Yangtze River in China is the longest river in the continent. The Himalayas between Nepal and China is the tallest mountain range in the world. Tropical rainforests stretch across much of southern Asia and coniferous and deciduous forests lie farther north.

Main regions

Climate change

A survey carried out in 2010 by global risk analysis farm Maplecroft identified 16 countries that are extremely vulnerable to climate change. Each nation's vulnerability was calculated using 42 socio, economic and environmental indicators, which identified the likely climate change impacts during the next 30 years. The Asian countries of Bangladesh, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan and Sri Lanka were among the 16 countries facing extreme risk from climate change. Some shifts are already occurring. For example, in tropical parts of India with a semi-arid climate, the temperature increased by 0.4 °C between 1901 and 2003. A 2013 study by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) aimed to find science-based, pro-poor approaches and techniques that would enable Asia's agricultural systems to cope with climate change, while benefitting poor and vulnerable farmers. The study's recommendations ranged from improving the use of climate information in local planning and strengthening weather-based agro-advisory services, to stimulating diversification of rural household incomes and providing incentives to farmers to adopt natural resource conservation measures to enhance forest cover, replenish groundwater and use renewable energy. [37]

Economy

Singapore has one of the busiest ports in the world and is the world's fourth largest foreign exchange trading center. 1 singapore city skyline dusk panorama 2011.jpg
Singapore has one of the busiest ports in the world and is the world's fourth largest foreign exchange trading center.
RankCountry GDP (PPP, Peak Year)
millions of USD
Peak Year
1Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 27,331,1662019
2Flag of India.svg  India 11,468,0222019
3Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 5,749,5502019
4Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 4,357,7592019
5Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia 3,743,1592019
6Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 2,292,5112018
7Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea 2,229,7792019
8Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia 1,924,2532019
9Flag of Iran.svg  Iran 1,639,5612017
10Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand 1,390,4842019
RankCountry GDP (nominal, Peak Year)
millions of USD
Peak Year
1Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg  China 14,216,5032019
2Flag of Japan.svg  Japan 6,203,2122012
3Flag of India.svg  India 2,971,9962019
4Flag of Russia.svg  Russia 2,289,2442013
5Flag of South Korea.svg  South Korea 1,656,6742019
6Flag of Indonesia.svg  Indonesia 1,100,9112019
7Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey 950,3282013
8Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg  Saudi Arabia 782,4832018
9Flag of the Republic of China.svg  Taiwan 601,4312019
10Flag of Iran.svg  Iran 577,2142011

Asia has the largest continental economy by both GDP Nominal and PPP in the world, and is the fastest growing economic region. [38] As of 2018, the largest economies in Asia are China, Japan, India, Russia, South Korea, Indonesia and Turkey based on GDP in both nominal and PPP. [39] Based on Global Office Locations 2011, Asia dominated the office locations with 4 of the top 5 being in Asia: Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Seoul. Around 68 percent of international firms have office in Hong Kong. [40]

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the economies of China [41] and India have been growing rapidly, both with an average annual growth rate of more than 8%. Other recent very-high-growth nations in Asia include Israel, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Mongolia, Uzbekistan, Cyprus and the Philippines, and mineral-rich nations such as Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Brunei, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman.

According to economic historian Angus Maddison in his book The World Economy: A Millennial Perspective, India had the world's largest economy during 0 BCE and 1000 BCE. [42] [43] China was the largest and most advanced economy on earth for much of recorded history, [44] [45] [46] until the British Empire (excluding India) overtook it in the mid-19th century. For several decades in the late twentieth century Japan was the largest economy in Asia and second-largest of any single nation in the world, after surpassing the Soviet Union (measured in net material product) in 1986 and Germany in 1968. (NB: A number of supernational economies are larger, such as the European Union (EU), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or APEC). This ended in 2010 when China overtook Japan to become the world's second largest economy.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Japan's GDP was almost as large (current exchange rate method) as that of the rest of Asia combined. [47] In 1995, Japan's economy nearly equaled that of the US as the largest economy in the world for a day, after the Japanese currency reached a record high of 79 yen/US$. Economic growth in Asia since World War II to the 1990s had been concentrated in Japan as well as the four regions of South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore located in the Pacific Rim, known as the Asian tigers, which have now all received developed country status, having the highest GDP per capita in Asia. [48]

Mumbai is one of the most populous cities on the continent. The city is an infrastructure and tourism hub, and plays a crucial role in the Economy of India. Mumbai 03-2016 10 skyline of Lotus Colony.jpg
Mumbai is one of the most populous cities on the continent. The city is an infrastructure and tourism hub, and plays a crucial role in the Economy of India.

It is forecasted that India will overtake Japan in terms of nominal GDP by 2020. [49] By 2027, according to Goldman Sachs, China will have the largest economy in the world. Several trade blocs exist, with the most developed being the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Asia is the largest continent in the world by a considerable margin, and it is rich in natural resources, such as petroleum, forests, fish, water, rice, copper and silver. Manufacturing in Asia has traditionally been strongest in East and Southeast Asia, particularly in China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, India, the Philippines, and Singapore. Japan and South Korea continue to dominate in the area of multinational corporations, but increasingly the PRC and India are making significant inroads. Many companies from Europe, North America, South Korea and Japan have operations in Asia's developing countries to take advantage of its abundant supply of cheap labour and relatively developed infrastructure.

According to Citigroup 9 of 11 Global Growth Generators countries came from Asia driven by population and income growth. They are Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Mongolia, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. [50] Asia has three main financial centers: Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore. Call centers and business process outsourcing (BPOs) are becoming major employers in India and the Philippines due to the availability of a large pool of highly skilled, English-speaking workers. The increased use of outsourcing has assisted the rise of India and the China as financial centers. Due to its large and extremely competitive information technology industry, India has become a major hub for outsourcing.

In 2010, Asia had 3.3 million millionaires (people with net worth over US$1 million excluding their homes), slightly below North America with 3.4 million millionaires. Last year Asia had toppled Europe. [51] Citigroup in The Wealth Report 2012 stated that Asian centa-millionaire overtook North America's wealth for the first time as the world's "economic center of gravity" continued moving east. At the end of 2011, there were 18,000 Asian people mainly in Southeast Asia, China and Japan who have at least $100 million in disposable assets, while North America with 17,000 people and Western Europe with 14,000 people. [52]

Tourism

Wat Phra Kaeo in the Grand Palace is among Bangkok's major tourist attractions. Grand Palace Bangkok.jpg
Wat Phra Kaeo in the Grand Palace is among Bangkok's major tourist attractions.

With growing Regional Tourism with domination of Chinese visitors, MasterCard has released Global Destination Cities Index 2013 with 10 of 20 are dominated by Asia and Pacific Region Cities and also for the first time a city of a country from Asia (Bangkok) set in the top-ranked with 15.98 international visitors. [53]

Demographics

Historical populations
YearPop.±%
1500 243,000,000    
1700 436,000,000+79.4%
1900 947,000,000+117.2%
1950 1,402,000,000+48.0%
1999 3,634,000,000+159.2%
20164,462,676,731+22.8%
Source: "UN report 2004 data" (PDF).
The figure for 2016 is provided by the 2017 revision of the World Population Prospects [2] .
Graph showing population by continent as a percentage of world population (1750-2005) WorldPopulation.png
Graph showing population by continent as a percentage of world population (1750–2005)

East Asia had by far the strongest overall Human Development Index (HDI) improvement of any region in the world, nearly doubling average HDI attainment over the past 40 years, according to the report's analysis of health, education and income data. China, the second highest achiever in the world in terms of HDI improvement since 1970, is the only country on the "Top 10 Movers" list due to income rather than health or education achievements. Its per capita income increased a stunning 21-fold over the last four decades, also lifting hundreds of millions out of income poverty. Yet it was not among the region's top performers in improving school enrollment and life expectancy. [54]
Nepal, a South Asian country, emerges as one of the world's fastest movers since 1970 mainly due to health and education achievements. Its present life expectancy is 25 years longer than in the 1970s. More than four of every five children of school age in Nepal now attend primary school, compared to just one in five 40 years ago. [54]
Hong Kong ranked highest among the countries grouped on the HDI (number 7 in the world, which is in the "very high human development" category), followed by Singapore (9), Japan (19) and South Korea (22). Afghanistan (155) ranked lowest amongst Asian countries out of the 169 countries assessed. [54]

Languages

Asia is home to several language families and many language isolates. Most Asian countries have more than one language that is natively spoken. For instance, according to Ethnologue, more than 600 languages are spoken in Indonesia, more than 800 languages spoken in India, and more than 100 are spoken in the Philippines. China has many languages and dialects in different provinces.

Religions

Many of the world's major religions have their origins in Asia, including the five most practiced in the world (excluding irreligion), which are Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Chinese folk religion (classified as Confucianism and Taoism), and Buddhism respectively. Asian mythology is complex and diverse. The story of the Great Flood for example, as presented to Jews in the Hebrew Bible in the narrative of Noah—and later to Christians in the Old Testament, and to Muslims in the Quran—is earliest found in Mesopotamian mythology, in the Enûma Eliš and Epic of Gilgamesh . Hindu mythology similarly tells about an avatar of Vishnu in the form of a fish who warned Manu of a terrible flood. Ancient Chinese mythology also tells of a Great Flood spanning generations, one that required the combined efforts of emperors and divinities to control.

Abrahamic

The Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem Westernwall2.jpg
The Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
Pilgrims in the annual Hajj at the Kaabah in Mecca. Beyt-i Haram.jpg
Pilgrims in the annual Hajj at the Kaabah in Mecca.

The Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Bahá'í Faith originated in West Asia.

Judaism, the oldest of the Abrahamic faiths, is practiced primarily in Israel, the indigenous homeland and historical birthplace of the Hebrew nation: which today consists both of those Israelites who remained in Asia/North Africa and those who returned from diaspora in Europe, North America, and other regions; [55] though various diaspora communities persist worldwide. Jews are the predominant ethnic group in Israel (75.6%) numbering at about 6.1 million, [56] although the levels of adherence to Jewish religion vary. Outside of Israel there are small ancient Jewish communities in Turkey (17,400), [57] Azerbaijan (9,100), [58] Iran (8,756), [59] India (5,000) and Uzbekistan (4,000), [60] among many other places. In total, there are 14.4–17.5 million (2016, est.) [61] Jews alive in the world today, making them one of the smallest Asian minorities, at roughly 0.3 to 0.4 percent of the total population of the continent.

Christianity is a widespread religion in Asia with more than 286 million adherents according to Pew Research Center in 2010, [62] and nearly 364 million according to Britannica Book of the Year 2014. [63] Constituting around 12.6% of the total population of Asia. In the Philippines and East Timor, Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion; it was introduced by the Spaniards and the Portuguese, respectively. In Armenia, Cyprus, Georgia and Asian Russia, Eastern Orthodoxy is the predominant religion. In the Middle East, such as in the Levant, Syriac Christianity (Church of the East) and Oriental Orthodoxy are prevalent minority denominations, which are both Eastern Christian sects mainly adhered to Assyrian people or Syriac Christians. Saint Thomas Christians in India trace their origins to the evangelistic activity of Thomas the Apostle in the 1st century. [64]

Islam, which originated in the Hejaz located in modern-day Saudi Arabia, is the second largest and most widely-spread religion in Asia with at least 1 billion Muslims constituting around 23.8% of the total population of Asia. [65] With 12.7% of the world Muslim population, the country currently with the largest Muslim population in the world is Indonesia, followed by Pakistan (11.5%), India (10%), Bangladesh, Iran and Turkey. Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem are the three holiest cities for Islam in all the world. The Hajj and Umrah attract large numbers of Muslim devotees from all over the world to Mecca and Medina. Iran is the largest Shi'a country.

The Bahá'í Faith originated in Asia, in Iran (Persia), and spread from there to the Ottoman Empire, Central Asia, India, and Burma during the lifetime of Bahá'u'lláh. Since the middle of the 20th century, growth has particularly occurred in other Asian countries, because Bahá'í activities in many Muslim countries has been severely suppressed by authorities. Lotus Temple is a big Baha'i Temple in India.

Indian and East Asian religions

The Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple in Delhi, according to the Guinness World Records is the World's Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple Akshardham Lotus.jpg
The Swaminarayan Akshardham Temple in Delhi, according to the Guinness World Records is the World's Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple

Almost all Asian religions have philosophical character and Asian philosophical traditions cover a large spectrum of philosophical thoughts and writings. Indian philosophy includes Hindu philosophy and Buddhist philosophy. They include elements of nonmaterial pursuits, whereas another school of thought from India, Cārvāka, preached the enjoyment of the material world. The religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism originated in India, South Asia. In East Asia, particularly in China and Japan, Confucianism, Taoism and Zen Buddhism took shape.

As of 2012, Hinduism has around 1.1 billion adherents. The faith represents around 25% of Asia's population and is the largest religion in Asia. However, it is mostly concentrated in South Asia. Over 80% of the populations of both India and Nepal adhere to Hinduism, alongside significant communities in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Bali, Indonesia. Many overseas Indians in countries such as Burma, Singapore and Malaysia also adhere to Hinduism.

Spring Temple Buddha in Lushan County, Henan, China is the world's second-tallest statue. Spring Temple Buddha picturing Vairocana, in Lushan County, Henan, China.png
Spring Temple Buddha in Lushan County, Henan, China is the world's second-tallest statue.

Buddhism has a great following in mainland Southeast Asia and East Asia. Buddhism is the religion of the majority of the populations of Cambodia (96%), [67] Thailand (95%), [68] Burma (80–89%), [69] Japan (36–96%), [70] Bhutan (75–84%), [71] Sri Lanka (70%), [72] Laos (60–67%) [73] and Mongolia (53–93%). [74] Large Buddhist populations also exist in Singapore (33–51%), [75] Taiwan (35–93%), [76] [77] [78] [79] South Korea (23–50%), [80] Malaysia (19–21%), [81] Nepal (9–11%), [82] Vietnam (10–75%), [83] China (20–50%), [84] North Korea (2–14%), [85] [86] [87] and small communities in India and Bangladesh. In many Chinese communities, Mahayana Buddhism is easily syncretized with Taoism, thus exact religious statistics is difficult to obtain and may be understated or overstated. The Communist-governed countries of China, Vietnam and North Korea are officially atheist, thus the number of Buddhists and other religious adherents may be under-reported.

Jainism is found mainly in India and in oversea Indian communities such as the United States and Malaysia. Sikhism is found in Northern India and amongst overseas Indian communities in other parts of Asia, especially Southeast Asia. Confucianism is found predominantly in Mainland China, South Korea, Taiwan and in overseas Chinese populations. Taoism is found mainly in Mainland China, Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. Taoism is easily syncretized with Mahayana Buddhism for many Chinese, thus exact religious statistics is difficult to obtain and may be understated or overstated.

Modern conflicts

US forces drop Napalm on suspected Viet Cong positions in 1965 Napalm.jpg
US forces drop Napalm on suspected Viet Cong positions in 1965
Wounded civilians arrive at a hospital in Aleppo during the Syrian Civil War, October 2012 Wounded civilians arrive at hospital Aleppo.jpg
Wounded civilians arrive at a hospital in Aleppo during the Syrian Civil War, October 2012

Some of the events pivotal in the Asia territory related to the relationship with the outside world in the post-Second World War were:

Culture

Nobel prizes

Bengali polymath Rabindranath Tagore was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, and became Asia's first Nobel laureate Tagore3.jpg
Bengali polymath Rabindranath Tagore was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, and became Asia's first Nobel laureate

The polymath Rabindranath Tagore, a Bengali poet, dramatist, and writer from Santiniketan, now in West Bengal, India, became in 1913 the first Asian Nobel laureate. He won his Nobel Prize in Literature for notable impact his prose works and poetic thought had on English, French, and other national literatures of Europe and the Americas. He is also the writer of the national anthems of Bangladesh and India.

Other Asian writers who won Nobel Prize for literature include Yasunari Kawabata (Japan, 1968), Kenzaburō Ōe (Japan, 1994), Gao Xingjian (China, 2000), Orhan Pamuk (Turkey, 2006), and Mo Yan (China, 2012). Some may consider the American writer, Pearl S. Buck, an honorary Asian Nobel laureate, having spent considerable time in China as the daughter of missionaries, and based many of her novels, namely The Good Earth (1931) and The Mother (1933), as well as the biographies of her parents of their time in China, The Exile and Fighting Angel , all of which earned her the Literature prize in 1938.

Also, Mother Teresa of India and Shirin Ebadi of Iran were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their significant and pioneering efforts for democracy and human rights, especially for the rights of women and children. Ebadi is the first Iranian and the first Muslim woman to receive the prize. Another Nobel Peace Prize winner is Aung San Suu Kyi from Burma for her peaceful and non-violent struggle under a military dictatorship in Burma. She is a nonviolent pro-democracy activist and leader of the National League for Democracy in Burma (Myanmar) and a noted prisoner of conscience. She is a Buddhist and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for "his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China" on 8 October 2010. He is the first Chinese citizen to be awarded a Nobel Prize of any kind while residing in China. In 2014, Kailash Satyarthi from India and Malala Yousafzai from Pakistan were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education".

Sir C.V. Raman is the first Asian to get a Nobel prize in Sciences. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics "for his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the effect named after him".

Japan has won the most Nobel Prizes of any Asian nation with 24 followed by India which has won 13.

Amartya Sen, (born 3 November 1933) is an Indian economist who was awarded the 1998 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his contributions to welfare economics and social choice theory, and for his interest in the problems of society's poorest members.

Other Asian Nobel Prize winners include Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, Abdus Salam, Malala Yousafzai, Robert Aumann, Menachem Begin, Aaron Ciechanover, Avram Hershko, Daniel Kahneman, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin, Ada Yonath, Yasser Arafat, José Ramos-Horta and Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo of Timor Leste, Kim Dae-jung, and 13 Japanese scientists. Most of the said awardees are from Japan and Israel except for Chandrasekhar and Raman (India), Abdus Salam and Malala yousafzai, (Pakistan), Arafat (Palestinian Territories), Kim (South Korea), and Horta and Belo (Timor Leste).

In 2006, Dr. Muhammad Yunus of Bangladesh was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the establishment of Grameen Bank, a community development bank that lends money to poor people, especially women in Bangladesh. Dr. Yunus received his PhD in economics from Vanderbilt University, United States. He is internationally known for the concept of micro credit which allows poor and destitute people with little or no collateral to borrow money. The borrowers typically pay back money within the specified period and the incidence of default is very low.

The Dalai Lama has received approximately eighty-four awards over his spiritual and political career. [88] On 22 June 2006, he became one of only four people ever to be recognized with Honorary Citizenship by the Governor General of Canada. On 28 May 2005, he received the Christmas Humphreys Award from the Buddhist Society in the United Kingdom. Most notable was the Nobel Peace Prize, presented in Oslo, Norway on 10 December 1989.

Political geography

From 1841 to 1997, Hong Kong was a British colony. 20091002 Hong Kong 6269.jpg
From 1841 to 1997, Hong Kong was a British colony.
Flag Symbol Name Population [2]
(2016)
Area
(km²)
Capital
Flag of Afghanistan.svg National emblem of Afghanistan.svg Afghanistan 34,656,032647,500 Kabul
Flag of Armenia.svg Arms of Armenia.svg Armenia 2,924,81629,743 Yerevan
Flag of Azerbaijan.svg Insigne Atropatenae.svg Azerbaijan [89] 9,725,37686,600 Baku
Flag of Bahrain.svg Emblem of Bahrain.svg Bahrain 1,425,171760 Manama
Flag of Bangladesh.svg National emblem of Bangladesh.svg Bangladesh 162,951,560147,570 Dhaka
Flag of Bhutan.svg Emblem of Bhutan.svg Bhutan 797,76538,394 Thimphu
Flag of Brunei.svg Emblem of Brunei.svg Brunei 423,1965,765 Bandar Seri Begawan
Flag of Cambodia.svg Arms of Cambodia.svg Cambodia 15,762,370181,035 Phnom Penh
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg National Emblem of the People's Republic of China (2).svg China (PRC) 1,403,500,3659,596,961Beijing
Flag of Cyprus.svg Lesser coat of arms of Cyprus.svg Cyprus 1,170,1259,251 Nicosia
Flag of East Timor.svg Shield Coat of arms of East Timor.png East Timor 1,268,67114,874 Dili
Flag of Egypt.svg Insigne Aegyptium.svg Egypt [89] 95,688,6811,010,408Cairo
Flag of Georgia.svg Arms of Georgia.svg Georgia [89] 3,925,40569,700 Tbilisi
Flag of Hong Kong.svg Regional Emblem of Hong Kong.svg Hong Kong 7,448,9001,108 Hong Kong
Flag of India.svg Emblem of India.svg India 1,324,171,3543,287,263 New Delhi
Flag of Indonesia.svg Pancasila Perisai.svg Indonesia [89] 261,115,4561,904,569Jakarta
Flag of Iran.svg Emblem of Iran.svg Iran 80,277,4281,648,195 Tehran
Flag of Iraq.svg Arms of Iraq.svg Iraq 37,202,572438,317 Baghdad
Flag of Israel.svg Emblem of Israel.svg Israel 8,191,82820,770 Jerusalem (disputed)
Flag of Japan.svg Imperial Seal of Japan.svg Japan 127,748,513377,915Tokyo
Flag of Jordan.svg Arms of Jordan.svg Jordan 9,455,80289,342 Amman
Flag of Kazakhstan.svg Emblem of Kazakhstan.svg Kazakhstan [89] 17,987,7362,724,900 Nur-Sultan
Flag of Kuwait.svg Insigne Cuvaiti.svg Kuwait 4,052,58417,818 Kuwait City
Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg National emblem of Kyrgyzstan.svg Kyrgyzstan 5,955,734199,951 Bishkek
Flag of Laos.svg Emblem of Laos.svg Laos 6,758,353236,800 Vientiane
Flag of Lebanon.svg Coat of Arms of Lebanon.svg Lebanon 6,006,66810,400 Beirut
Flag of Malaysia.svg Arms of Malaysia.svg Malaysia 31,187,265329,847 Kuala Lumpur
Flag of Maldives.svg Emblem of Maldives.svg Maldives 427,756298 Malé
Flag of Mongolia.svg State emblem of Mongolia.svg Mongolia 3,027,3981,564,116 Ulaanbaatar
Flag of Myanmar.svg Insigne Birmaniae.svg Myanmar 52,885,223676,578 Naypyidaw
Flag of Nepal.svg Emblem of Nepal.svg Nepal 28,982,771147,181 Kathmandu
Flag of North Korea.svg Emblem of North Korea.svg North Korea 25,368,620120,538 Pyongyang
Flag of Oman.svg National emblem of Oman.svg Oman 4,424,762309,500 Muscat
Flag of Pakistan.svg Arms of Pakistan.svg Pakistan 211,103,000881,913 Islamabad
Flag of Palestine.svg Coat of arms of Palestine.svg Palestine 4,790,7056,220 Ramallah
( Jerusalem ) (claimed)
Flag of Papua New Guinea.svg National Emblem of Papua New Guinea.svg Papua New Guinea [89] 8,084,991462,840 Port Moresby
Flag of the Philippines.svg Arms of the Philippines.svg Philippines 103,320,222343,448 Manila
Flag of Qatar.svg Emblem of Qatar.svg Qatar 2,569,80411,586 Doha
Flag of Russia.svg Coat of Arms of the Russian Federation.svg Russia [89] 143,964,51317,098,242Moscow
Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg Emblem of Saudi Arabia.svg Saudi Arabia 32,275,6872,149,690 Riyadh
Flag of Singapore.svg Blason Singapour.svg Singapore 5,622,455697Singapore
Flag of South Korea.svg Emblem of South Korea.svg South Korea 50,791,919100,210 Seoul
Flag of Sri Lanka.svg Emblem of Sri Lanka.svg Sri Lanka 20,798,49265,610 Colombo
Flag of Syria.svg Insigne Syriae.svg Syria 18,430,453185,180 Damascus
Flag of the Republic of China.svg National Emblem of the Republic of China.svg Taiwan (ROC) 23,556,70636,193 Taipei
Flag of Tajikistan.svg Emblem of Tajikistan.svg Tajikistan 8,734,951143,100 Dushanbe
Flag of Thailand.svg Emblem of Thailand.svg Thailand 68,863,514513,120 Bangkok
Flag of Turkey.svg Emblem of Turkey.svg Turkey [90] 79,512,426783,562 Ankara
Flag of Turkmenistan.svg Emblem of Turkmenistan.svg Turkmenistan 5,662,544488,100 Ashgabat
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg Arms of the United Arab Emirates.svg United Arab Emirates 9,269,61283,600 Abu Dhabi
Flag of Uzbekistan.svg Emblem of Uzbekistan.svg Uzbekistan 31,446,795447,400 Tashkent
Flag of Vietnam.svg Emblem of Vietnam.svg Vietnam 94,569,072331,212 Hanoi
Flag of Yemen.svg Emblem of Yemen.svg Yemen 27,584,213527,968 Sana'a

Within the above-mentioned states are several partially recognized countries with limited to no international recognition. None of them are members of the UN:

Flag Symbol Name Population
Area
(km²)
Capital
Flag of the Republic of Abkhazia.svg Coat of arms of Abkhazia.svg Abkhazia 242,8628,660 Sukhumi
Flag of Artsakh.svg Coat of arms of Artsakh.svg Artsakh 146,57311,458 Stepanakert
Flag of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.svg Arms of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.svg Northern Cyprus 285,3563,355 Nicosia
Flag of South Ossetia.svg Coat of arms of South Ossetia.svg South Ossetia 51,5473,900 Tskhinvali

See also

References to articles:

Special topics:

Lists:

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Bibliography

Further reading