East Asia
East Asia
Location of East Asia
Major cities
Area[note 1]
 o Total 11,839,074 km2 (4,571,092 sq mi)
Population (2016)[note 2]
 o Total 1,641,908,531
 o Density 140/km2 (360/sq mi)
Languages and language families
East Asia
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese ??/????
Traditional Chinese ??/????
Tibetan name
Tibetan ????????????
Vietnamese name
Vietnamese alphabet ?ông Á
Korean name
Hangul ????/????/??
Hanja ????/????/??
Mongolian name
Mongolian ???? ??? (Dzuun Azi)
????? ???
Japanese name
Kanji ????(????)/??
Kana ??????/???
Ky?jitai ????/??
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[2] or ethno-cultural[3] 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.

The East Asian people comprise around 1.6 billion people. About 38% of the population of Asia and 22%, or over one fifth, of all the people in the world live 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[4]), 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 Manchus, Ewenki,even large Han in this area.[5][6] 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 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:[7]
  East Asia

The UNSD definition of East Asia is based on statistical convenience,[7] 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.[2][8]

Culturally, China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam are commonly seen as being encompassed by cultural East Asia (East Asian cultural sphere).[3][9][10][11]

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".[12][13][14] The Council on Foreign Relations defines Northeast Asia as Japan and Korea.[15]


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.[]

State/Territory GDP nominal
billions of USD[16]
GDP nominal per capita
billions of USD[16]
GDP PPP per capita
 China 17,100.063 12,117 28,920.974 20,493
 Hong Kong 405.781 53,813 525.547 69,695
 Macau 55.502 91,376 80.765 142,599
 Japan 4,746.880 38,174 5,512.220 44,329
 North Korea 25.000 1,000 40.000 1,800
 South Korea 1,898.763 36,749 2,408.301 46,611
 Mongolia 17.871 5,586 53.003 16,569
 Taiwan 650.902 27,350 1,413.195 59,381

Territory and region 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 ?? Japan ???
North Korea North Korea ?? Democratic People's Republic of Korea ??????????? (???????????)
South Korea South Korea ?? Republic of Korea ???? (????)
Mongolia Mongolia ?????? ??? Mongolia ?????? ???(??????
Taiwan Taiwan ?? or ?? Republic of China ????


State/Territory Area km2 Population[17]
Population density
per km2
HDI Capital
 China 9,640,011[18] 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
 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

Major ethnic groups

Ethnicity Race Native name Population Mother Tongues (No Second Language Listed) Native Writing languages Major states/territories* Appearance
Han/Chinese Mongoloid ??/??, ??/?? 1,310,000,000[19] Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghainese, Hokkien, Hakka, Gan, Hsiang Simplified Han characters, Traditional Han characters China (Hong KongMacau) Taiwan
Hanfu man and lady.jpg
Yamato/Japanese Mongoloid ???/?????
125,117,000[20] Japanese Han characters (Kanji), Katakana, Hiragana Japan
Joseon/Korean Mongoloid ???/???
79,432,225[21] Korean Hangul, Han characters (Hanja) South KoreaNorth KoreaChinaJapan
Mongols Mongoloid ??????????/??????????
8,942,528[22] Mongolian Mongol script, Cyrillic script ChinaMongolia
Hamtdaa Mongolian Arts Culture Masks - 0064 (5568565844).jpg
Zhuang Mongoloid ??/Bouxcuengh 18,000,000[23] Zhuang, Cantonese, Southwestern Mandarin, etc. Simplified Han characters, Latin script China
Zhuang's beautiful maiden in Chongzuo Fusui.jpg
Manchus Mongoloid ??/????? 10,422,873[24] Northeastern Mandarin, Manchurian (endangered), etc. Simplified Han characters, Mongol script China
Manchu bride. John Thomson. China, 1871-1872. The Wellcome Collection, London.jpg
Hui Mongoloid ??/?? 10,586,087[25] Northwestern Mandarin, other Chinese Dialects,Huihui language etc. Simplified Han characters China
Uyghurs Caucasoid+Mongoloid ?????? 10,069,346[26] Uyghur Arabic script,Latin script(auxiliary)[27] China[28]
Hmong Mongoloid Ghaob Xongb/Hmub/Mongb 9,426,007[29] Hmong, Southwestern Mandarin Latin script, Simplified Han characters China
?????????(a Miao woman in Qiandongnan,Guizhou).jpg
Tibetans Mongoloid ?????? 6,500,000[30] Tibetan, Rgyal Rong, Rgu, etc. Tibetan script China
People of Tibet46.jpg
Baipho/Bai Mongoloid ?? 1,858,063[31] Bai, Southwestern Mandarin Latin script, Simplified Han characters China
Bai 5.JPG
LôLô/Yi Mongoloid ??/?? 8,714,393[32] Various Loloish, Southwestern Mandarin Yi script, Simplified Han characters China
Ethnic Yi China Costume.jpg
Tujia Mongoloid ??? 8,353,912[33] Northern Tujia, Southern Tujia Simplified Han characters China
Tujia women.jpg
Kam Mongoloid Gaeml 2,879,974[34] Gaeml Latin script China
Ethic Dong Liping Guizhou China.jpg
Tu Mongoloid ??/Monguor 289,565 Tu, Northwestern Mandarin Simplified Han characters China
Nadun Picture 1.jpg
Daur Mongoloid ????/????? 131,992[35] Daur, Northeastern Mandarin Mongol script, Simplified Han characters ChinaMongolia
Daur woman smiling.jpg
Russians Caucasoid ??????? 15,393[36] Russian, Northwestern Mandarin Cyrillic script, Simplified Han characters China
Three different nationalities on Kitaiskaia Street.JPG
Mountain Tajiks Caucasoid ????? 3,556[37] Sarikoli, Wakhi Arabic script China
Austronesian Mongoloid 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 been influenced by the civilisation of China. East Asia, as well as Vietnam, share a Confucian ethical philosophy, Buddhism, political and legal structures, and historically a common writing system.[38] The relationship between China and East Asia has been compared to the historical influence of Greco-Roman civilisation on Europe.[38]


Religion Native name Denomination Major book Type Est. Followers Major ethnicities Major states/territories
Taoism ?? Zhengyi, Quanzhen Tao Te Ching Polytheism 303,320,000[39] Han, Zhuang, Hmong, Yao, Qiang, Tujia, Li China(Hong KongMacau) South Korea Taiwan
Confucianism ?? Cheng-Zhu, Lu-Wang Analects Non-God 6,300,000[40] Han, Joseon, Yamato etc. China(Hong KongMacau) Japan South Korea Taiwan
Sino-Buddhism ???? or ???? Mahayana, Hinayana Diamond Sutra Non-God 250,000,000[41] Han, Joseon, Yamato, Manchus etc. China (Hong KongMacau) Japan South Korea Taiwan
Tibetan Buddhism ??????????????????? Mahayana anuttarayoga Tantra Non-God 5,000,000[42] Tibetan, Manchus, Mongols, Han etc. ChinaMongolia
Shamanism N/A N/A N/A Primitive 50,000[43] Tibetan, Manchus, Mongols, Oroqen, Han etc. ChinaMongolia
Shinto ?? N/A N/A Primitive 2,700,000[44] Yamato Japan
Islam ????? Sunni, Shia Quran Henotheism 24,690,000[39] Hui, Tajik, Uyghurs, Kazakh, Dongxiang etc. ChinaMongolia


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 Negative 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
Dec 23 Festival ?? Small New Year 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, theSoutheast Asian Games (SEA Games), and the West Asian Games. All nigh East Asian States/Territories join this Game.[45]

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

Name Abbr. Parties within the region
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation SCO China(Hong KongMacau)
General Security of Military Information Agreement GSOMIA JapanSouth Korea
Sino-North Korean Mutual Aid and Cooperation Friendship Treaty - China(Hong KongMacau) North Korea
Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan - United States(GuamNorthern Mariana Islands) Japan
Mutual Defense Treaty Between the United States and the Republic of Korea - United States(GuamNorthern Mariana Islands) South Korea
Taiwan Relations Act TRA United States(GuamNorthern Mariana Islands) Taiwan

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. ^ Non-United Nations member state
  2. ^ 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, North Korea, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan. 
  3. ^ 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."
  4. ^ include Tibetan Buddhism
  5. ^ Chongho Kim, "Korean Shamanism", 2003 Ashgate Publishing
  6. ^ Andreas Anangguru Yewangoe, "Theologia crucis in Asia", 1987 Rodopi
  7. ^ a b "United Nations Statistics Division - Standard Country and Area Codes Classifications (M49)". United Nations Statistics Division. 6 May 2015. Retrieved . 
  8. ^ "Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings". United Nations Statistics Division. 11 February 2013. Retrieved 2013. 
  9. ^ R. Keith Schopper's East Asia: Identities and Change in the Modern World
  10. ^ 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
  11. ^ United Nations Environment Programme (mentions sinosphere countries) Approaches to Solution of Eutrophication [1]
  12. ^ Christopher M. Dent (2008). East Asian regionalism. London: Routledge. pp. 1-8. 
  13. ^ Charles Harvie, Fukunari Kimura, and Hyun-Hoon Lee (2005), New East Asian regionalism. Cheltenham and Northamton: Edward Elgar, pp. 3-6.
  14. ^ Peter J. Katzenstein and Takashi Shiraishi (2006), Beyond Japan: the dynamics of East Asian regionalism. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, pp. 1-33
  15. ^ "Northeast Asia." Council on Foreign Relations. Retrieved on August 10, 2009.
  16. ^ a b c d "SEA GDP". IMF. 
  17. ^ "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. 
  18. ^ Include all area which under PRC's government control(exclude "South Tibet" and disputed islands).
  19. ^ "??". ????,??????? (in Chinese). 2017-03-29. 
  20. ^ "???? - ?? 28? 12? ?" (PDF). 
  21. ^ "???". ????, ?? ??? ???? (in Korean). 2017-03-29. 
  22. ^ "Mongols". Wikipedia. 2017-03-18. 
  23. ^ "??". ????,??????? (in Chinese). 2017-03-25. 
  24. ^ "??". ????,??????? (in Chinese). 2017-02-23. 
  25. ^ "Hui people". Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 2016-02-18. 
  26. ^ "????". ????,??????? (in Chinese). 2017-03-29. 
  27. ^ http://www.like2do.com/learn?s=Uyghur_Latin_alphabet
  28. ^ Khotons in Mongolia
  29. ^ "??". ????,??????? (in Chinese). 2017-02-19. 
  30. ^ "??". ????,??????? (in Chinese). 2017-03-20. 
  31. ^ "Bai people". Wikipedia. 2017-04-15. 
  32. ^ "Yi people". Wikipedia. 2017-04-15. 
  33. ^ "Tujia people". Wikipedia. 2017-01-19. 
  34. ^ "Kam people". Wikipedia. 2017-04-06. 
  35. ^ people&oldid=685737832 "Daur people" Check |url= value (help). Wikipedia. 2017-03-18. 
  36. ^ "Russians". Wikipedia. 2017-05-03. 
  37. ^ "Tajiks of Xinjiang". Wikipedia. 2017-03-29. 
  38. ^ a b Edwin O. Reischauer, "The Sinic World in Perspective," Foreign Affairs 52.2 (January 1974): 341--348. JSTOR
  39. ^ a b "Religions in China". religions.findthedata.com. Retrieved . 
  40. ^ "World Religions - Followers, Beliefs, and More". religions.findthedata.com. Retrieved . 
  41. ^ "World Religions - Followers, Beliefs, and More". religions.findthedata.com. Retrieved . 
  42. ^ "Tibetan people". Wikipedia. 2017-05-03. 
  43. ^ "Shamanism". Wikipedia. 2017-05-04. 
  44. ^ "World Religions - Followers, Beliefs, and More". religions.findthedata.com. Retrieved . 
  45. ^ "East Asian Youth Games". Wikipedia. 2016-10-22. 

External links

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