Identifying the Boundaries

East Asia is a large expanse of territory with China as its largest country. The nations of Mongolia, North and South Korea, and also Japan space China’s neighbors. The island the Taiwan, turn off the eastern coastline of China, has an independent government that has actually been separated native mainland China because shortly after people War II. Top top the southern coast of China is Hong Kong, a previous British possession with one of the best ports in Asia. Under an covenant of autonomy, Hong Kong and its port were turned over to the Chinese government in 1997. Next door, come the west the Hong Kong, is the former Portuguese nest of Macau, which has also been went back to Chinese control. In western China is the autonomous an ar of Tibet, described by that Chinese name, Xizang. Tibet has been regulated by Communist China because 1949, soon after the People’s Republic that China (PRC) was asserted a country. Lobbying make the efforts by the Dalai Lama and also others because that Tibetan independence have actually not been successful. The region of Tibet has actually recently become much more integrated with the nation of China since of the immigrant of a big number that Chinese people to the Tibetan region.

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Figure 10.1 eastern Asia and also Its Neighbors


China is the largest nation in eastern Asia in both physics size and also population. Other countries of east Asia encompass Mongolia, phibìc Korea, south Korea, and Japan. Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan are linked with mainland China.

Source: Updated indigenous map courtesy of university of Texas Libraries,

Japan has emerged as the financial dragon of east Asia. Japanese human being have a high standard of living, and the nation has been an industrial and financial engine for the Pacific RimThe coastal lands bordering the Pacific Ocean.. Up and also coming financial tigersQuickly emerging financial centers in Asia the now encompass South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Prefer Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and South Korea have additionally experienced strong economic growth and also are solid competitors in the global economy. Balancing the end the advances of the economic tigers and also Japan is the considerable labor base of the Chinese people, which has catapulted the Chinese economy to its place as a significant player in the an international economy. Left behind in the an ar is north Korea, which has actually isolated chin behind an authoritarian dictatorship since World war II. A variety of countries the were former opponents in human being War II are currently trading partners (e.g., China and Japan), as financial trade bridges cultural gaps with usual goods and also services. However, cultural and political differences between these countries remain.

East Asia is home to one-fifth the the human being population. The realm’s place on the Pacific in salt provides accessibility for interaction with the worldwide economy. The location of Japan, southern Korea, and Taiwan, just off the coast of mainland China, creates an industrial environment that has awakened the human entrepreneurial spirit of the realm. Production has fueled the high-tech engines the the Pacific pickled in salt economies, which have actually recently taken benefit of the enormous labor swimming pool of the Chinese heartland. Across the Pacific from east Asia space the superpower of the united States and its phibìc American cost-free Trade covenant (NAFTA) partners, countries that room both competing versus and trading with the East oriental Community (EAC). The Russian kingdom to the north of east Asia—especially its Pacific harbor of Vladivostok—continues to actively engage the East eastern nations.

Figure 10.2 Flags the the East oriental Nations and Territories


From left to right, optimal row: China, south Korea, and also North Korea. Second row: Macau, Hong Kong, and also Tibet. 3rd row: Taiwan, Japan, and Mongolia.

Sources: Flags courtesy the the CIA world Factbook, Tibetan flag courtesy of Reisio,

Learning Objectives

rundown the countries and territories that are consisted of in eastern Asia. Define the key physical features and also climate types of each country. Know the relationship in between physical geography and also human populaces in eastern Asia. Summarize the key objectives in structure the 3 Gorges Dam. Describe how colonialism influenced China. Rundown the various countries and regions that were regulated by colonial interests. Overview the three-way break-up in China after its transformation and where each the the 3 groups ended up.

Physical Geography

East Asia is surrounded by a collection of hill ranges in the west, Russia in the north, and Southeast Asia to the south. The Himalayas border Tibet and Nepal; the Karakoram Ranges, Pamirs, and also the Tian Shan Mountains shadow central Asia; and the Altay Mountains are alongside Russia. The Himalayan Mountains are amongst the greatest mountain ranges in the world, and also Mt. Everest is the planet’s tallest peak. These high ranges produce a rain shadow effect, generating the dry arid problems of kind B climates that overcome western China. The desert problems of west China give rise to a big uninhabitable an ar in that center. Melting snow from the high elevations feeds plenty of of the streams that transition into the major rivers that circulation toward the east.

Created by tectonic bowl action, the countless mountain varieties are also home come earthquakes and also tremors the are terrible to human livelihood. The Indian tectonic plate is still advertise northward right into the Eurasian plate, forcing the Himalayan arrays upward. With an mean elevation the fifteen thousands feet, the Tibetan Plateau is the largest plateau region of the world. It has high elevations and type H climates. The plateau is sparsely populated and the only places with human habitation are the flow valleys. Lhasa is the biggest city of the sparsely populated region. Sometimes dubbed “the Roof the the World,” the Tibetan Plateau is a land of superlatives. The small amount of precipitation that occurs frequently comes in the kind of hailstorms combined with wind. Its see is typically rocky and also barren.

The huge arid regions of west China extend into the Gobi Desert in between Mongolia and also China. Colder kind D climates conquer the Mongolian steppe and also northern China. The eastern shore of the asian continent is residence to islands and also peninsulas, which incorporate Taiwan and the nations of Japan and North and also South Korea. North Korea’s form D climates are similar to the north tier that the unified States, equivalent to phibìc Dakota. Taiwan is aside from that south, producing a warmer tropical type A climate. The mountainous islands of Japan have been developed as a result of tectonic plates and also are prone to earthquakes. Due to the fact that water moderates temperature, the coastal areas of eastern Asia have an ext moderate temperatures than the interior areas do. A kind C climate is leading in Japan, however the north has actually a colder type D climate. The densely populated fertile river valleys of central and southeastern China space matched by contrasting financial conditions. Wealthy alluvial soils and moderate temperatures create excellent farmland that provides massive food production to fuel one ever-growing population.

Most of China’s population lives in its eastern region, called China Proper, with type C climates, new water, and great soils. China appropriate has dense population clusters that correspond to the locations of type C climate that extend south native Shanghai to Hong Kong. Approximately the world, many humans have actually gravitated toward form C climates. This climates have produced fertile agricultural lands that administer an abundance of food for the massive Chinese population. To the southern the temperatures are warmer, with hot and humid summers and also dry, heat winters. The climates the China proper are conducive for person habitation, which has transformed the region into a highly populated human being community. The North China Plain in ~ the mouth of the Yellow River (Huang the River) has actually rich farmland and also is the many densely populated region in China.

Northwest the Beijing is Inner Mongolia and also the Gobi Desert, a desert that extends into the independent nation of Mongolia. Arid type B climates dominate the an ar all the means to the southern fifty percent of Mongolia. The northern half of Mongolia is chillier with continental type D climates. In the greater elevations of the highlands in western Mongolia, over there is a section of type H highland climates. The climate and also location recognize Mongolia together a landlocked country in the northern latitudes through a short level that precipitation. The locations of kind D climate that expand north from Beijing v Northeast China at time receive much more precipitation than northern Mongolia. Northeast China features China’s an excellent forests and also excellent farming land. Many of China’s abundant natural mineral resources are uncovered in this area. Balancing mineral extraction v the conservation of farming land and also timber sources is a perennial issue.

Lying north of the good Wall and also encompassing the autonomous region of inner Mongolia is the substantial Mongolian steppe, i m sorry includes broad flat grasslands that extend north into the highlands. Phibìc China has the Yellow river basin as well as the municipalities of Beijing and Tianjin. Areas about parts that the Yellow River are superb agricultural lands, including vast areas that loessExtremely well silt or soil such together that uncovered in the Yellow River container of China. That have been terraced for cultivation. Loess is very fine silt or windblown soil that is yellow in color in this region. Deciduous forests continue to exist in this region, in spite of aggressive clearcutting for farming purposes. The good Wall the China rests atop hills in this region.

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Most of western China is arid, v a type B climate. West China has big regions like the Takla Makan Desert that room uninhabited and inhospitable since of warm summers and long cold winters exacerbated by the cold winds sweeping down from the north. In a regional Uyghur language, the surname Takla Makan method “You will certainly go in yet you will not walk out.” come the far west room the high hills bordering main Asia the restrict travel and also trade v the remainder of the continent. Northwestern China is a mountainous region featuring glaciers, deserts, and also basins.