East Asia
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East Asia
East Asia
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese /?
Traditional Chinese /?
Tibetan name
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese alphabet ?ông Á
Ch? Hán
Korean name
Hangul ?/?/
Hanja ?/?/
Mongolian name
Mongolian ?
Japanese name
Kana /
Ky?jitai ?/
Shinjitai ?(?)/
Uyghur name
Russian name
Russian ?
Romanization Vostochnaja Azija

East Asia is the eastern subregion of the Asian continent, which can be defined in either geographical[3] or pan-ethno-cultural[4] terms. Geographically and geopolitically, it includes China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Mongolia, South Korea, North 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.

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[5]), 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.[6][7] 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 Division

East Asia map of Köppen climate classification.
UNSD geoscheme for Asia based on statistic convenience rather than implying any assumption regarding political or other affiliation of countries or territories:[8]
  East Asia

The UNSD definition of East Asia is based on statistical convenience,[8] but also other common definitions of East Asia contain the entirety of China (including Mainland, Hong Kong, Macau), Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.[3][9]

Culturally, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam are commonly seen as being encompassed by cultural East Asia (East Asian cultural sphere).[4][10][11][12]

Alternative definitions

There are mixed debates around the world whether these countries or regions should be considered in East Asia or not.

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".[13][14][15] The Council on Foreign Relations defines Northeast Asia as Japan and Korea.[16]


State/Territory GDP nominal
billions of USD (2017)[17]
GDP nominal per capita
USD (2017)[17]
GDP PPP (2017)
billions of USD (2017)[17]
GDP PPP per capita
USD (2017)[17]
 China 11,937.562 8,583 23,122.027 16,624
 Hong Kong 334.104 44,999 453.019 61,015
 Macau 51.160 79,563 73.579 114,430
 Japan 4,884.489 38,550 5,405.072 42,659
 North Korea N/A N/A N/A N/A
 South Korea 1529.743 29,730 2,026.651 39,387
 Mongolia 10.869 3,553 38.395 12,551
 Taiwan 571.453 24,227 1,175.308 49,827

Territorial and regional data


Flag Common Name Official Name
Exonym Endonym Exonym Endonym
China China People's Republic of China ?
Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
of the People's Republic of China
Macau Macau Macao Special Administrative Region
of the People's Republic of China
Japan Japan State of Japan
Mongolia Mongolia Mongolia (?
North Korea North Korea Democratic People's Republic of Korea ()
South Korea South Korea Republic of Korea ? (?)
Taiwan Taiwan[18] / Republic of China ?


State/Territory Area km2 Population[19]
Population density
per km2
HDI Capital
 China 9,640,011[20] 1,403,500,365 138 0.727 Beijing
 Hong Kong 1,104 7,302,843 6,390 0.912 Hong Kong
 Macau 30 612,167 18,662 0.892 Macau
 Japan 377,930 127,748,513 337 0.891 Tokyo
 North Korea 120,538 25,368,620 198 0.595 Pyongyang[21]
 South Korea 100,210 50,791,919 500 0.898 Seoul
 Mongolia 1,564,100 3,027,398 2 0.698 Ulaanbaatar
 Taiwan 36,188 23,556,706 639 0.884 Taipei[22]

Major ethnic groups

Ethnicity Native name Population Language(s) Writing system(s) Major states/territories* Appearance
Han/Han people or , or 1,220,000,000[23] Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghainese, Hokkien, Hakka, Gan, Hsiang, etc. Simplified Han characters, Traditional Han characters China (Hong KongMacau) Taiwan
Yellow and green hanfu.jpg
Yamato/Japanese ()
? (?)
125,117,000[24] Japanese Han characters (Kanji), Katakana, Hiragana Japan
Kimono lady at Gion, Kyoto.jpg
Joseon/Korean ()
79,432,225[25] Korean Hangul, Han characters (Hanja) South KoreaNorth KoreaChinaJapan
KOCIS Korea Hanbok-AoDai FashionShow 43 (9766406474).jpg
Mongols ?/?
8,942,528 Mongolian Mongol script, Cyrillic script ChinaMongolia
Hamtdaa Mongolian Arts Culture Masks - 0064 (5568565844).jpg
Zhuang /Bouxcuengh 18,000,000[26] Zhuang, Cantonese, Southwestern Mandarin, etc. Simplified Han characters, Latin script China
Zhuang's beautiful maiden in Chongzuo Fusui.jpg
Manchus / 10,422,873[27] Northeastern Mandarin, Manchurian (endangered), etc. Simplified Han characters, Mongol script China
Manchu bride. John Thomson. China, 1871-1872. The Wellcome Collection, London.jpg
Hui / 10,586,087[28] Northwestern Mandarin, other Chinese Dialects, Huihui language, etc. Simplified Han characters China
Uyghurs 10,069,346[29] Uyghur Arabic script,Latin script(auxiliary)[30] China[31]
Hmong/Miao Ghaob Xongb/Hmub/Mongb 9,426,007[32] Hmong, Southwestern Mandarin Latin script, Simplified Han characters China
(a Miao woman in Qiandongnan,Guizhou).jpg
Tibetans 6,500,000 Tibetan, Rgyal Rong, Rgu, etc. Tibetan script China
People of Tibet46.jpg
Bai 1,858,063 Bai, Southwestern Mandarin Latin script, Simplified Han characters China
Bai 5.JPG
Yi / 8,714,393 Various Loloish, Southwestern Mandarin Yi script, Simplified Han characters China
Ethnic Yi China Costume.jpg
Tujia 8,353,912 Northern Tujia, Southern Tujia Simplified Han characters China
Tujia women.jpg
Kam Gaeml 2,879,974 Gaeml Simplified Han characters, Latin script China
Ethic Dong Liping Guizhou China.jpg
Tu /Monguor 289,565 Tu, Northwestern Mandarin Simplified Han characters China
Nadun Picture 1.jpg
Daur ?/ 131,992 Daur, Northeastern Mandarin Mongol script, Simplified Han characters ChinaMongolia
Daur woman smiling.jpg
Russians ? 15,393 Russian, Northwestern Mandarin Cyrillic script, Simplified Han characters China
Three different nationalities on Kitaiskaia Street.JPG
Mountain Tajiks 3,556 Sarikoli, Wakhi Arabic script China
Taiwanese Aborigines Pangcah, etc. 533,600 Austronesian languages (Amis, Yami), etc. Latin script, Traditional Han characters Taiwan

*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 that ultimately laid the foundation for East Asian civilization.[33] The vast knowledge and ingenuity of Chinese civilization and the classics of Chinese literature and culture were seen as the foundations for a civilized life in East Asia. Evidence of this can be seen in the adoption of Confucian ethical philosophy, architectural style, diet, terminology, institutions, Chinese Buddhism, political and legal systems, and historically a common writing system reflected in the histories of Japan and Korea that is marked by Chinese influence.[34][35][36][37] 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.[38] 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.[39] 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.[36][40]


Religion Native name Denomination Major book Type Est. Followers Major ethnicities Major states/territories
Chinese religion none, various classifications including ?, /, etc. Taoism, Confucianism, ancestry religion, folk salvationist sects, Wuism, Nuo Chinese classics, Huangdi Sijing, precious scrolls, etc. Pantheism/polytheism ~900,000,000[41] Han, Hmong, Qiang, Tujia (worship of the same ancestor-gods) China (Hong Kong Macau) Taiwan
Taoism Zhengyi, Quanzhen Tao Te Ching Pantheism/polytheism ~170,000,000 (within folk religion)[41] / ~20,000,000 (strict disciples)[42] Han, Zhuang, Hmong, Yao, Qiang, Tujia China (Hong Kong Macau) Taiwan
Confucianism / Cheng-Zhu, Lu-Wang Four Books and Five Classics Immanent transcendence/pantheism N/A Han, Joseon, Yamato etc. China (Hong Kong Macau) Japan South Korea Taiwan
East Asian Buddhism ? or ? Mahayana Diamond Sutra Non-God ~300,000,000 Han, Joseon, Yamato, Manchus etc. China (Hong Kong Macau) Japan South Korea Taiwan
Tibetan Buddhism ? Mahayana Anuttarayoga Tantra Non-God ~10,000,000 Tibetans, Manchus, Mongols, Han etc. China Mongolia
Shamanism[43] and Bon, etc. , N/A N/A Polytheism/pantheism N/A Tibetans, Manchus, Mongols, Oroqen, Han etc. China Mongolia
Shinto Shinto sects Kojiki, Nihon Shoki Polytheism/pantheism N/A Yamato Japan
Sindo/Muism or Sindo sects N/A Polytheism/pantheism N/A Joseon South Korea
Islam Sunni, Shia Quran Monotheism ~25,000,000[41][42] Hui, Tajik, Uyghurs, Kazakh, Dongxiang etc. ChinaMongoliaTaiwan


Festival Native Name Other name Calendar Date Gregorian date Activity Religious practices Food Major ethnicities Major states/territories
Chinese New Year or 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. China(Hong KongMacau) North Korea South Korea Mongolia Taiwan
New Year Yuan Dan Gregorian 1 Jan 1 Jan Fireworks N/A N/A N/A China(Hong KongMacau) Japan North Korea South Korea Mongolia Taiwan
Losar or Tsagaan Sar ? or 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. ChinaMongolia
Lantern Festival or 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 China(Hong KongMacau) North Korea South Korea Japan Taiwan*
Qingming Festival or 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 China(Hong KongMacau) North Korea South Korea Taiwan
Dragon Boat Festival or 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 China(Hong KongMacau) North Korea South Korea Japan Taiwan*
Ghost Festival or Mid Yuan Festival Chinese Month 7 Day 15 Ancestors Worship, Tomb Sweeping Birthdate of the God of Earth-officer Han, Joseon, Yamato China(Hong KongMacau) North Korea South Korea Japan Taiwan*
Mid-Autumn Festival or Chinese Month 8 Day 15 Family Reunion, Enjoying Moon view Worship the Moon Goddess Mooncake Han, Joseon, Yamato China(Hong KongMacau) North Korea South Korea Japan Taiwan*
Double Ninth Festival or Double Positive Festival Chinese Month 9 Day 09 Climbing Mountain, Taking care of elderly, Wearing Cornus. Worship various Gods Han, Joseon, Yamato China(Hong KongMacau) North Korea South Korea Japan Taiwan*
Lower Yuan Festival or N/A Chinese Month 10 Day 15 Ancestors Worship, Tomb Sweeping Birthdate of the God of Water-officer Ciba Han China(Hong KongMacau) North Korea South Korea Taiwan
Small New Year Jizao () Chinese Month 12 Day 23 Cleaning Houses Worship the God of Hearth tanggua Han, Mongols China(Hong KongMacau) Mongolia Taiwan
International Labor Day N/A N/A Gregorian 1 May 1 May N/A N/A N/A N/A China(Hong KongMacau) Mongolia Taiwan
International Women's Day N/A N/A Gregorian 8 Mar 8 Mar Taking care of women N/A N/A N/A China(Hong KongMacau) North Korea Mongolia Taiwan

*Japan switched the date to the Gregorian calendar after the Meiji Restoration.

*Not always on that Gregorian date, sometimes April 4.


East Asian Youth Games

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, the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), and the West Asian Games. All nigh East Asian States/Territories join this Game.

Free trade agreements

Name of agreement Parties Leaders at the time Negotiation begins Signing date Starting time Current status
China-South Korea FTA China South Korea Xi Jinping, Park Geun-hye May, 2012 Jun 01, 2015 Dec 30, 2015 Enforced
China-Japan-South Korea FTA China Japan South Korea Xi Jinping, Shinz? Abe, Park Geun-hye Mar 26, 2013 N/A N/A 10 round negotiation
Japan-Mongolia EPA Japan Mongolia Shinz? Abe, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj - Feb 10, 2015 - Enforced
China-Mongolia FTA China Mongolia Xi Jinping, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj N/A N/A N/A Officially proposed
Mainland-HK CEPA China Hong Kong Jiang Zemin, Tung Chee-hwa - Jun 29, 2003 - Enforced
Mainland-Macau CEPA China Macau Jiang Zemin, Edmund Ho Hau-wah - Oct 18, 2003 - Enforced
Hong Kong-Macau CEPA Hong Kong Macau Carrie Lam, Fernando Chui Oct 09, 2015 N/A N/A Negotiating
ECFA China Taiwan Hu Jintao, Ma Ying-jeou Jan 26, 2010 Jun 29, 2010 Aug 17, 2010 Enforced
CSSTA (Based on ECFA) China Taiwan Xi Jinping, Ma Ying-jeou Mar, 2011 Jun 21, 2013 N/A Abolished
CSGTA (Based on ECFA) China Taiwan Hu Jintao, Ma Ying-jeou Feb 22, 2011 N/A N/A Suspended

Military alliances

Major cities and towns

Pass of the ISS over Mongolia, looking out west towards the Pacific Ocean, China, and Japan. As the video progresses, you can see major cities along the coast and the Japanese islands on the Philippine Sea. The island of Guam can be seen further down the pass into the Philippine Sea, and the pass ends just to the east of New Zealand. A lightning storm can be seen as light pulses near the end of the video.

See also


  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ 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


  1. ^ Officially known as the Republic of China made in 7 the B.C
  2. ^ Non-United Nations member state
  3. ^ a b "East Asia". Encarta. Microsoft. Archived from the original on 2009-10-31. Retrieved . the countries and regions of China (Hong Kong, Macau), Mongolia, South Korea, North Korea, Japan and Taiwan. 
  4. ^ a b Columbia University - "East Asian cultural sphere" Archived 2008-02-27 at the Wayback Machine. "The East Asian cultural sphere evolves when Japan, Korea, and what is today Vietnam all share adapted elements of Chinese civilisation of this period (that of the Tang dynasty), in particular Buddhism, Confucian social and political values, and literary Chinese and its writing system."
  5. ^ include Tibetan Buddhism
  6. ^ Chongho Kim, "Korean Shamanism", 2003 Ashgate Publishing
  7. ^ Andreas Anangguru Yewangoe, "Theologia crucis in Asia", 1987 Rodopi
  8. ^ a b "United Nations Statistics Division - Standard Country and Area Codes Classifications (M49)". United Nations Statistics Division. 6 May 2015. Retrieved . 
  9. ^ "Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings". United Nations Statistics Division. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 2013. 
  10. ^ R. Keith Schopper's East Asia: Identities and Change in the Modern World
  11. ^ Joshua A. Fogel (UC Santa Barbara/University of Indiana) Nationalism, the Rise of the Vernacular, and the Conceptualization of Modernization in East Asian Comparative Perspective
  12. ^ United Nations Environment Programme (mentions sinosphere countries) Approaches to Solution of Eutrophication [1]
  13. ^ Christopher M. Dent (2008). East Asian regionalism. London: Routledge. pp. 1-8. 
  14. ^ Charles Harvie, Fukunari Kimura, and Hyun-Hoon Lee (2005), New East Asian regionalism. Cheltenham and Northamton: Edward Elgar, pp. 3-6.
  15. ^ Peter J. Katzenstein and Takashi Shiraishi (2006), Beyond Japan: the dynamics of East Asian regionalism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, pp. 1-33
  16. ^ "Northeast Asia." Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved on August 10, 2009.
  17. ^ a b c d "World Economic Outlook Database, October 2017". IMF. 
  18. ^ From 1949 to 1971, the ROC was referred as "China" or "Nationalist China".
  19. ^ "World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision". ESA.UN.org (custom data acquired via website). United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. Retrieved 2017. 
  20. ^ Include all area which under PRC's government control(exclude "South Tibet" and disputed islands).
  21. ^ Seoul was the de jure capital of the DPRK from 1948 to 1972.
  22. ^ Taipei is the ROC's seat of government by regulation. Constitutionally, there is no official capital appointed for the ROC.
  23. ^ "Han Chinese proportion in China's population drops: census data (2011-04-28)". Xinhua News (English). Retrieved 2015. 
  24. ^ "? - 28? 12? ?" (PDF). 
  25. ^ "". ?, ? (in Korean). 2017-03-29. 
  26. ^ "". ?,? (in Chinese). 2017-03-25. 
  27. ^ "". ?,? (in Chinese). 2017-02-23. 
  28. ^ "Hui people". Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 2016-02-18. 
  29. ^ "?". ?,? (in Chinese). 2017-03-29. 
  30. ^ Uyghur Latin alphabet
  31. ^ Khotons in Mongolia
  32. ^ "". ?,? (in Chinese). 2017-02-19. 
  33. ^ Lim, SK. Asia Civilizations: Ancient to 1800 AD. ASIAPAC. p. 56. ISBN 978-9812295941. 
  34. ^ Walker, Hugh Dyson (2012). East Asia: A New History. AuthorHouse. p. 2. 
  35. ^ Lewis, Mark Edward (2012). China's Cosmopolitan Empire: The Tang Dynasty. Belknap Press (published April 9, 2012). p. 156. ISBN 978-0674064010. 
  36. ^ a b Edwin O. Reischauer, "The Sinic World in Perspective," Foreign Affairs 52.2 (January 1974): 341--348. JSTOR
  37. ^ Lim, SK. Asia Civilizations: Ancient to 1800 AD. ASIAPAC. p. 89. ISBN 978-9812295941. 
  38. ^ Vohra 1999, p. 22
  39. ^ Warren I. Cohen. East Asia at the Center : Four Thousand Years of Engagement with the World. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000. ISBN 0231101082
  40. ^ Walker, Hugh Dyson (2012). East Asia: A New History. AuthorHouse. p. 2. 
  41. ^ a b c Wenzel-Teuber, Katharina (2012). "People's Republic of China: Religions and Churches Statistical Overview 2011" (PDF). Religions & Christianity in Today's China. II (3). pp. 29-54. ISSN 2192-9289. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 April 2017. 
  42. ^ a b Wenzel-Teuber, Katharina (2017). "Statistics on Religions and Churches in the People's Republic of China - Update for the Year 2016" (PDF). Religions & Christianity in Today's China. VII (2). pp. 26-53. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 July 2017. 
  43. ^ almost Manchu, Mongolian
  44. ^ Shirley Kan (December 2009). Taiwan: Major U.S. Arms Sales Since 1990. DIANE Publishing. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-4379-2041-3. 

External links

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