Portal:Asia Information

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Asia ( /ˈʒə, ˈʃə/ ( About this sound 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, 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 () constitute roughly 60% of the world's population.

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.

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, and for many the legendary wealth and prosperity of the ancient culture of India personified Asia, 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. 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.

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150pxTaj Mahal world heritage site in Agra, India.
Credit: David Castor

The Taj Mahal (Hindi: ताज महल, from Persian/Urdu: تاج محل "crown of palaces") is a white Marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage." Taj Mahal is the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Turkish and Indian architectural styles.

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Emirates Airbus A380
Credit: Julian Herzog

Emirates is an airline based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is the largest airline in the Middle East, operating over 3,600 flights per week from its hub at Dubai International Airport, to more than 150 cities in 80 countries across six continents..

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Flag of South Korea.svg

South Korea ( Korean: 한국/ 韓國, RR: Hanguk; literally 남한/ 南韓, RR: Namhan, or 남조선, MR: Namchosŏn in North Korean usage), officially the Republic of Korea (ROK; Korean: 대한민국/ 大韓民國, RR: Daehan Minguk), is a country in East Asia, constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula, and sharing a land border with North Korea. 25 million people, over half of the country's population of more than 51 million people, live in the Seoul Capital Area, the fifth-largest metropolitan area in the world.

The Korean Peninsula was inhabited as early as the Lower Paleolithic period. Its first kingdom was noted in Chinese records in the early 7th century BCE. Following the unification of the Three Kingdoms of Korea into Silla and Balhae in the late 7th century, Korea was ruled by the Goryeo dynasty (918–1392) and the Joseon dynasty (1392–1897). The succeeding Korean Empire was annexed into the Empire of Japan in 1910. After World War II, Korea was divided into Soviet and U.S.-administered zones, with the latter becoming the Republic of Korea in August 1948. In 1950, a North Korean invasion began the Korean War and after its end in 1953, the country's economy began to soar, recording the fastest rise in average GDP per capita in the world between 1980 and 1990. The June Struggle led to the end of authoritarian rule in 1987 and the country is now the most advanced democracy and has the highest level of press freedom in Asia. South Korea is a member of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee, the G20 and the Paris Club. Read more...

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A three-quarter view portrait of General Urip Sumoharjo, the first chief of staff of the Indonesian National Armed Forces. He is wearing a peci hat, also called a songkok, and faces towards the viewer's left.
Oerip in uniform, c. 1947

Oerip Soemohardjo ( [uˈrɪp sumoˈhardʒo]; Perfected Spelling: Urip Sumoharjo, 22 February 1893 – 17 November 1948) was an Indonesian general and the first chief of staff of the Indonesian National Armed Forces. He received several awards from the Indonesian government, including the title National Hero of Indonesia in 1964.

Born in Purworejo, Dutch East Indies, Oerip exhibited leadership skills from an early age. As his parents wanted him to become a regent, after elementary school Oerip was sent to the School for Native Government Employees in Magelang. His mother died during his second year at the school, and Oerip left to undertake military training in Meester Cornelis, Batavia (modern-day Jatinegara, Jakarta). Upon graduating in 1914, he became a lieutenant in the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army; during almost 25 years of service he was stationed on three different islands and promoted several times, eventually becoming the highest-ranking Native officer in the country. Read more...

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The time allocated for running scripts has expired. Updated: 17:33, 28 October 2020

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The Roman Empire and the Han Empire around AD 1

Sino-Roman relations comprised the mostly indirect contact, flow of trade goods, information, and occasional travellers between the Roman Empire and Han Empire of China, as well as between the later Eastern Roman Empire and various Chinese dynasties. These empires inched progressively closer in the course of the Roman expansion into the ancient Near East and simultaneous Han Chinese military incursions into Central Asia. Mutual awareness remained low, and firm knowledge about each other was limited. Only a few attempts at direct contact are known from records. Intermediate empires such as the Parthians and Kushans, seeking to maintain lucrative control over the silk trade, inhibited direct contact between these two Eurasian powers. In 97 AD, the Chinese general Ban Chao tried to send his envoy Gan Ying to Rome, but Gan was dissuaded by Parthians from venturing beyond the Persian Gulf. Several alleged Roman emissaries to China were recorded by ancient Chinese historians. The first one on record, supposedly from either the Roman emperor Antoninus Pius or his adopted son Marcus Aurelius, arrived in 166 AD. Others are recorded as arriving in 226 and 284 AD, with a long absence until the first recorded Byzantine embassy in 643 AD.

The indirect exchange of goods on land along the Silk Road and sea routes included Chinese silk, Roman glassware and high-quality cloth. Roman coins minted from the 1st century AD onwards have been found in China, as well as a coin of Maximian and medallions from the reigns of Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius in Jiaozhi in modern Vietnam, the same region at which Chinese sources claim the Romans first landed. Roman glassware and silverware have been discovered at Chinese archaeological sites dated to the Han period. Roman coins and glass beads have also been found in Japan. Read more...
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Updated: 11:33, 28 October 2020

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