East Asia is the eastern subregion of the Asian continent, which can be defined in either geographical or pan-ethno-cultural terms. Geographically and geopolitically, it includes China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan; it covers about 12,000,000 km2 (4,600,000 sq mi), or about 28% of the Asian continent. GDP(PPP) of East Asia is 32.4 trillion while Nominal GDP is 19.1 trillion USD.
|• Total||11,839,074 km2 (4,571,092 sq mi)|
|Population (2016)[note 2]|
|• Density||140/km2 (360/sq mi)|
|Languages and language families|
|Vietnamese alphabet||Đông Á|
|Mongolian||Зүүн Ази (Dzuun Azi)
East Asians comprise around 1.6 billion people. About 38% of the population of Asia and 22%, or over one fifth, of world's population lives in East Asia. Although the coastal and riparian areas of the region form one of the world's most populated places, the population in Mongolia and Western China, both landlocked areas, is very sparsely distributed, with Mongolia having the lowest population density of a sovereign state. The overall population density of the region is 133 inhabitants per square kilometre (340/sq mi), about three times the world average of 45/km2 (120/sq mi).
Historically, societies in East Asia have been part of the Chinese cultural sphere, and East Asian vocabulary and scripts are often derived from Classical Chinese and Chinese script. Major religions include Buddhism (mostly Mahayana), Confucianism or Neo-Confucianism, Taoism, Chinese folk religion in China and Taiwan, Shinto in Japan, Korean shamanism in Korea. Shamanism is also prevalent among Mongolians and other indigenous populations of northern East Asia such as the Manchus and Ewenki. Islam is popular in Northwest China and Kazaks in Mongolia.The Chinese calendar is the root from which many other East Asian calendars are derived.
The Chinese Dynasties dominated this region culturally and militarily for a lengthy period of time. Cultural and religious exchange between the Chinese and other regional East Asian Dynasties and Kingdoms occurred.
As connections with the Western world strengthened, China's power began to diminish. Around the same time, Japan solidified itself as a nation state. During World War II, Korea, Taiwan, much of eastern China, Hong Kong, and Vietnam all fell under Japanese control. Following Japan's defeat in the war, the Korean peninsula became independent but then it was divided into two rival states, while Taiwan became the main territory of de facto state Republic of China after the latter lost mainland China to the People's Republic of China in the Chinese Civil War.
United Nations Statistics DivisionEdit
The UNSD definition of East Asia is based on statistical convenience, but also other common definitions of East Asia contain the entirety of China (including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau) Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
There are mixed debates around the world whether these countries or regions should be considered in East Asia or not.
- Vietnam (officially part of Southeast Asia geographically, although culturally it is a part of the East Asian cultural sphere, politically, it is related to both Southeast Asia and East Asia)
- Siberia in Russia (often described as North Asia due to its location, although this part of Russia is often seen as more closely related to its East Asian neighbours)
- Sovereignty issues exist over some territories in the South China Sea.
In business and economics, "East Asia" is sometimes used to refer to a wide geographical area covering ten Southeast Asian countries in ASEAN, People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. However, in this context, the term "Far East" is often more appropriate which covers ASEAN countries and the countries in East Asia. However, being a Eurocentric term, Far East describes the region's geographical position in relation to Europe rather than its location within Asia. Alternatively, the term "Asia Pacific Region" is often used in describing East Asia, Southeast Asia as well as Oceania.
Observers preferring a broader definition of "East Asia" often use the term Northeast Asia to refer to the greater China area, Taiwan, the Korean Peninsula, and Japan, with Southeast Asia covering the ten ASEAN countries. This usage, which is seen in economic and diplomatic discussions, is at odds with the historical meanings of both "East Asia" and "Northeast Asia". The Council on Foreign Relations defines Northeast Asia as Japan and Korea.
The economy of East Asia is one of the most developed and high-tech economies of the world, being home to some of the world's largest, most technologically advanced, productive and most prosperous economies such as the industrialized developed countries of South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. Major positive factors have ranged from favorable political-legal environments for industry and commerce, through abundant natural resources of various kinds, to plentiful supplies of relatively low-cost, skilled and adaptable labor.
In modern high-technology dependent societies, a high level of structural differentiation, functional specialization, and autonomy of the economic system from an efficient government is a major contributor to industrial-commercial growth and prosperity. Currently in East Asia, trading systems are relatively open; and zero or low duties on imports of consumer and capital goods etc. have considerably helped stimulate cost-efficiency and change. Free and flexible labor and other markets are other important factors making for high levels of business-economic performance. East Asian populations have demonstrated highly positive work ethics. There are relatively large and fast-growing markets for consumer goods and services of all kinds.
billions of USD
|GDP nominal per capita
billions of USD
|GDP PPP per capita
Territorial and regional dataEdit
|Flag||Common Name||Official Name|
|China||中国||People's Republic of China||中华人民共和国|
|Hong Kong||香港||Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
of the People's Republic of China
|Macau||澳門||Macao Special Administrative Region
of the People's Republic of China
|Japan||日本||State of Japan||日本国|
|Mongolia||Монгол Улс||Mongolia||Монгол Улс（ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠤᠯ
|North Korea||조선||Democratic People's Republic of Korea||조선민주주의인민공화국 (朝鮮民主主義人民共和國)|
|South Korea||한국||Republic of Korea||대한민국 (大韓民國)|
|Taiwan||臺灣 / 台灣||Republic of China||中華民國|
|Hong Kong||1,104||7,302,843||6,390||0.912||Hong Kong|
Major ethnic groupsEdit
|Ethnicity||Native name||Population||Mother Tongues (No Second Language Listed)||Native Writing languages||Major states/territories*||Appearance|
|Han/Chinese||漢人 or 汉人, 漢族 or 汉族||1,310,000,000||Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghainese, Hokkien, Hakka, Gan, Hsiang||Simplified Han characters, Traditional Han characters||( )|
|125,117,000||Japanese||Han characters (Kanji), Katakana, Hiragana|
|79,432,225||Korean||Hangul, Han characters (Hanja)|
|8,942,528||Mongolian||Mongol script, Cyrillic script|
|Zhuang||壮族/Bouxcuengh||18,000,000||Zhuang, Cantonese, Southwestern Mandarin, etc.||Simplified Han characters, Latin script|
|Manchus||满族/ᠮᠠᠨᠵᡠ||10,422,873||Northeastern Mandarin, Manchurian (endangered), etc.||Simplified Han characters, Mongol script|
|Hui||回族/回回||10,586,087||Northwestern Mandarin, other Chinese Dialects，Huihui language etc.||Simplified Han characters|
|Uyghurs||ئۇيغۇر||10,069,346||Uyghur||Arabic script，Latin script(auxiliary)|||
|Hmong||Ghaob Xongb/Hmub/Mongb||9,426,007||Hmong, Southwestern Mandarin||Latin script, Simplified Han characters|
|Tibetans||བོད་པ་||6,500,000||Tibetan, Rgyal Rong, Rgu, etc.||Tibetan script|
|Bai||白族||1,858,063||Bai, Southwestern Mandarin||Latin script, Simplified Han characters|
|Yi||ꆈꌠ/彝族||8,714,393||Various Loloish, Southwestern Mandarin||Yi script, Simplified Han characters|
|Tujia||土家族||8,353,912||Northern Tujia, Southern Tujia||Simplified Han characters|
|Tu||土族/Monguor||289,565||Tu, Northwestern Mandarin||Simplified Han characters|
|Daur||达斡尔族/ᠳᠠᠭᠤᠷ||131,992||Daur, Northeastern Mandarin||Mongol script, Simplified Han characters|
|Russians||русские||15,393||Russian, Northwestern Mandarin||Cyrillic script, Simplified Han characters|
|Mountain Tajiks||تاجيک||3,556||Sarikoli, Wakhi||Arabic script|
|Taiwanese Aborigines||Pangcah, etc.||533,600||Austronesian languages (Amis, Yami), etc.||Latin script, Traditional Han characters|
*Note: The order of states/territories follows the population ranking of each ethnicity, within East Asia only.
The culture of East Asia has largely been influenced by China, as it was the civilization that had the most dominant influence in the region throughout the ages. Evidence of this can be seen in the adoption of Confucian ethical philosophy, architectural style, diet, lexicon, Buddhism, political and legal systems, and historically a common writing system reflected in the histories of Japan and Korea. The Imperial Chinese tributary system was the bedrock of network of trade and foreign relations between China and its East Asian tributaries, which helped to shape much of East Asian affairs during the ancient and medieval eras. Through the tributary system, the various dynasties of Imperial China facilitated frequent economic and cultural exchange that influenced the cultures of Japan and Korea and drew them into a Chinese international order. The Imperial Chinese tributary system shaped much of East Asia's foreign policy and trade for over 2000 years due to Imperial China's economic and cultural dominance over the region, and thus played a huge role in the history of East Asia in particular. The relationship between China and it's cultural influence on East Asia has been compared to the historical influence of Greco-Roman civilization on Europe and the Western World.
|Religion||Native name||Denomination||Major book||Type||Est. Followers||Major ethnicities||Major states/territories|
|Taoism||道教||Zhengyi, Quanzhen||Tao Te Ching||Polytheism||303,320,000||Han, Zhuang, Hmong, Yao, Qiang, Tujia, Li||( )|
|Confucianism||儒教||Cheng-Zhu, Lu-Wang||Analects||Non-God||6,300,000||Han, Joseon, Yamato etc.||( )|
|Sino-Buddhism||漢傳佛教 or 汉传佛教||Mahayana, Hinayana||Diamond Sutra||Non-God||250,000,000||Han, Joseon, Yamato, Manchus etc.||( )|
|Tibetan Buddhism||བོད་བརྒྱུད་ནང་བསྟན།||Mahayana||anuttarayoga Tantra||Non-God||5,000,000||Tibetan, Manchus, Mongols, Han etc.|
|Shamanism||N/A||N/A||N/A||Primitive||50,000||Tibetan, Manchus, Mongols, Oroqen, Han etc.|
|Islam||إسلام||Sunni, Shia||Quran||Monotheism||24,690,000||Hui, Tajik, Uyghurs, Kazakh, Dongxiang etc.|
|Festival||Native Name||Other name||Calendar||Date||Gregorian date||Activity||Religious practices||Food||Major ethnicities||Major states/territories|
|Chinese New Year||春節 or 春节||Spring Festival||Chinese||Month 1 Day 1||21 Jan–20 Feb||Family Reunion, Ancestors Worship, Tomb Sweeping, Fireworks||Worship the King of Gods||Jiaozi||Han, Joseon, Manchus etc.||( )|
|New Year||元旦||Yuan Dan||Gregorian||1 Jan||1 Jan||Fireworks||N/A||N/A||N/A||( )|
|Losar or Tsagaan Sar||ལོ་གསར་ or Цагаан сар||White Moon||Tibetan, Mongolian||Month 1 Day 1||25 Jan–2 Mar||Family Reunion, Ancestors Worship, Tomb Sweeping, Fireworks||N/A||Chhaang or Buuz||Tibetans, Mongols, Tu etc.|
|Lantern Festival||元宵節 or 元宵节||Upper Yuan Festival||Chinese||Month 1 Day 15||4 Feb–6 Mar||Lanterns Expo, Ancestors Worship, Tomb Sweeping||Birthdate of the God of Sky-officer||Yuanxiao||Han, Joseon, Yamato||( ) *|
|Qingming Festival||清明節 or 清明节||Tomb Sweeping Day||Solar||15th day since March equinox||4 Apr–6 April||Ancestors Worship, Tomb Sweeping||Burning Hell money||Cold Food||Han, Joseon, Mongols||( )|
|Dragon Boat Festival||端午節 or 端午节||Duanwu Festival||Chinese||Month 5 Day 5||Driving poisons & plague away, Dragon Boat Race, Wearing colored lines, Hanging felon herb on the front door.||Worship various Gods||Zongzi||Han, Joseon, Yamato||( ) *|
|Ghost Festival||中元節 or 中元节||Mid Yuan Festival||Chinese||Month 7 Day 15||Ancestors Worship, Tomb Sweeping||Birthdate of the God of Earth-officer||Han, Joseon, Yamato||( ) *|
|Mid-Autumn Festival||中秋節 or 中秋节||中秋祭||Chinese||Month 8 Day 15||Family Reunion, Enjoying Moon view||Worship the Moon Goddess||Mooncake||Han, Joseon, Yamato||( ) *|
|Double Ninth Festival||重陽節 or 重阳节||Double Negative Festival||Chinese||Month 9 Day 09||Climbing Mountain, Taking care of elderly, Wearing Cornus.||Worship various Gods||Han, Joseon, Yamato||( ) *|
|Lower Yuan Festival||下元節 or 下元节||N/A||Chinese||Month 10 Day 15||Ancestors Worship, Tomb Sweeping||Birthdate of the God of Water-officer||Ciba||Han||( )|
|Dec 23 Festival||小年||Small New Year||Chinese||Month 12 Day 23||Cleaning Houses||Worship the God of Hearth||tanggua||Han, Mongols||( )|
|International Labor Day||N/A||N/A||Gregorian||1 May||1 May||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||( )|
|International Women's Day||N/A||N/A||Gregorian||8 Mar||8 Mar||Taking care of women||N/A||N/A||N/A||( )|
*Japan switched the date to the Gregorian calendar after the Meiji Restoration.
*Not always on that Gregorian date, sometimes April 4.
East Asian Youth GamesEdit
Formerly the East Asian Games is a multi-sport event organised by the East Asian Games Association (EAGA) and held every four years since 2019 among athletes from East Asian countries and territories of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), as well as the Pacific island of Guam, which is a member of the Oceania National Olympic Committees.
The East Asian Games is 1 of 5 Regional Games of the OCA. The others are the East Asian Games, the Central Asian Games, the South Asian Games, theSoutheast Asian Games (SEA Games), and the West Asian Games. All nigh East Asian States/Territories join this Game.
Free trade agreementsEdit
|Name of agreement||Parties||Leaders at the time||Negotiation begins||Signing date||Starting time||Current status|
|China–South Korea FTA||Xi Jinping, Park Geun-hye||May, 2012||Jun 01, 2015||Dec 30, 2015||Enforced|
|China–Japan–South Korea FTA||Xi Jinping, Shinzō Abe, Park Geun-hye||Mar 26, 2013||N/A||N/A||10 round negotiation|
|Japan-Mongolia EPA||Shinzō Abe, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj||-||Feb 10, 2015||-||Enforced|
|China-Mongolia FTA||Xi Jinping, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj||N/A||N/A||N/A||Officially proposed|
|Mainland-HK CEPA||Jiang Zemin, Tung Chee-hwa||-||Jun 29, 2003||-||Enforced|
|Mainland-Macau CEPA||Jiang Zemin, Edmund Ho Hau-wah||-||Oct 18, 2003||-||Enforced|
|Hong Kong-Macau CEPA||Carrie Lam, Fernando Chui||Oct 09, 2015||N/A||N/A||Negotiating|
|ECFA||Hu Jintao, Ma Ying-jeou||Jan 26, 2010||Jun 29, 2010||Aug 17, 2010||Enforced|
|CSSTA (Based on ECFA)||Xi Jinping, Ma Ying-jeou||Mar, 2011||Jun 21, 2013||N/A||Abolished|
|CSGTA (Based on ECFA)||Hu Jintao, Ma Ying-jeou||Feb 22, 2011||N/A||N/A||Suspended|
|Name||Abbr.||Parties within the region|
|Shanghai Cooperation Organisation||SCO||( )|
|General Security of Military Information Agreement||GSOMIA|
|Sino-North Korean Mutual Aid and Cooperation Friendship Treaty||-||( )|
|Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan||-||( )|
|Mutual Defense Treaty Between the United States and the Republic of Korea||-||( )|
|Taiwan Relations Act (Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty before 1980)||TRA (SAMDT)||( )|
|Major non-NATO ally (Global Partners of NATO)||-||( )|
Major cities and townsEdit
- The area figure is based on the combined areas of China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Mongolia, North Korea & South Korea, Taiwan and Japan as listed at List of countries and outlying territories by total area.
- The population figure is the combined populations of China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Japan and Republic of China (Taiwan) as listed at the 2017 revision of the World Population Prospects
- Formally known as the Republic of China
- Non-United Nations member state
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