Portal:Asia
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Portal:Asia
The Asia Portal
Asia (orthographic projection).svg

Asia 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.

Selected panorama

150pxA panoramic view of the Hong Kong skyline just after sunset
Credit: David Iliff

The night skyline of Hong Kong, Victoria Harbour and Kowloon, as seen from Victoria Peak, the tallest mountain on Hong Kong Island. Hong Kong is located on China's south coast on the Pearl River Delta, and borders Guangdong province in the north and faces the South China Sea in the east, west and south. It has a population of 6.9 million people, and is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.

Featured picture

Phong Nha-Ke Bang cave
Credit: [Tycho]

Phong Nha-K? Bàng is a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site in the B? Tr?ch and Minh Hóa districts of central Qu?ng Bình Province in the North Central Coast region of Vietnam. The park was created to protect one of the world's two largest karst regions with 300 caves and grottoes and also protects the ecosystem of limestone forest of the Annamite Range region in North Central Coast of Vietnam.

Selected Country

Flag of North Korea.svg

North Korea (Korean: , MR: Chos?n; literally , MR: Pukchos?n, or /, RR: Bukhan in South Korean usage), officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK or DPR Korea; Korean: , Chos?n Minjuju?i Inmin Konghwaguk), is a country in East Asia constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. The country is bordered to the north by China and by Russia along the Amnok (known as the Yalu in Chinese) and Tumen rivers, and to the south by South Korea, with the heavily fortified Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two. North Korea, like its southern counterpart, claims to be the legitimate government of the entire peninsula and adjacent islands. Pyongyang is the country's capital and largest city.

In 1910, Korea was annexed by Imperial Japan. At the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II in 1945, Korea was divided into two zones, with the north occupied by the Soviet Union and the south occupied by the United States. Negotiations on reunification failed, and in 1948, separate governments were formed: the socialist Democratic People's Republic of Korea in the north, and the capitalist Republic of Korea in the south. An invasion initiated by North Korea led to the Korean War (1950-1953). The Korean Armistice Agreement brought about a ceasefire, but no peace treaty was signed. Read more...

Featured biography

Zenobia as empress on the obverse of an antoninianus (272 AD)
Septimia Zenobia (Palmyrene: (Btzby), pronounced Bat-Zabbai; c. 240 - c. 274 AD) was a third-century queen of the Palmyrene Empire in Syria. Many legends surround her ancestry; she was probably not a commoner and she married the ruler of the city, Odaenathus. Her husband became king in 260, elevating Palmyra to supreme power in the Near East by defeating the Sassanians and stabilizing the Roman East. After Odaenathus' assassination, Zenobia became the regent of her son Vaballathus and held de facto power throughout his reign. Read more...

In the news

25 June 2020 - Iraqi insurgency (2017-present)
Iraqi security forces raid the headquarters of the Iranian-backed Kata'ib Hezbollah, detaining three high-ranking commanders of the group, and at least 20 other fighters. (Reuters)
25 June 2020 -
At least 100 people are killed by lightning strikes as a monsoon storm batters India's northeastern states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. (Reuters)
25 June 2020 - COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Iraq
Iraq confirms 107 new deaths from the virus, bringing the death toll to 1,437. (Anadolu Agency)
25 June 2020 -
Kosovo formally designates Lebanese political party Hezbollah and its paramilitary wing as a terrorist organization. (Al Arabiya)
Leader of the Labour Party (UK) Keir Starmer sacks his Shadow Secretary of State for Education Rebecca Long-Bailey for sharing an article on social media that said that American police were trained by the Israeli military. (The Guardian)

Updated: 2:33, 26 June 2020

Featured article

Vergina Sun WIPO.svg

Macedonia (; Ancient Greek: , Makedonía), also called Macedon , was an ancient kingdom on the periphery of Archaic and Classical Greece, and later the dominant state of Hellenistic Greece. The kingdom was founded and initially ruled by the royal Argead dynasty, which was followed by the Antipatrid and Antigonid dynasties. Home to the ancient Macedonians, the earliest kingdom was centered on the northeastern part of the Greek peninsula, and bordered by Epirus to the west, Paeonia to the north, Thrace to the east and Thessaly to the south.

Before the 4th century BC, Macedonia was a small kingdom outside of the area dominated by the great city-states of Athens, Sparta and Thebes, and briefly subordinate to Achaemenid Persia. During the reign of the Argead king PhilipII (359-336 BC), Macedonia subdued mainland Greece and the Thracian Odrysian kingdom through conquest and diplomacy. With a reformed army containing phalanxes wielding the sarissa pike, PhilipII defeated the old powers of Athens and Thebes in the Battle of Chaeronea in 338BC. PhilipII's son Alexander the Great, leading a federation of Greek states, accomplished his father's objective of commanding the whole of Greece when he destroyed Thebes after the city revolted. During Alexander's subsequent campaign of conquest, he overthrew the Achaemenid Empire and conquered territory that stretched as far as the Indus River. For a brief period, his empire was the most powerful in the world – the definitive Hellenistic state, inaugurating the transition to a new period of Ancient Greek civilization. Greek arts and literature flourished in the new conquered lands and advances in philosophy, engineering, and science spread throughout much of the ancient world. Of particular importance were the contributions of Aristotle, tutor to Alexander, whose writings became a keystone of Western philosophy. Read more...

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Updated: 10:33, 25 June 2020

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The following are images from various Asia-related articles on Wikipedia.

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