The Himalayas are a mountain range that may be found in six different countries: Afghanistan, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. This mountain range also comprises the outlying subranges.
The continents of East and Southeast Asia are home to some of the world’s earliest and most advanced civilizations, as well as the most populated nation and metropolitan region on the planet. It is also an area that has significant internal inequities and a terrain that has been and is still being changed by forces that are physical, political, and economic in nature.
Although East Asia and Southeast Asia are sometimes considered to be two distinct areas, they really have a shared economic and political past, and the global geopolitical forces that continue to shape this domain are transforming it even more.
There are a number of severe physical obstacles that separate the East and Southeast Asian area from the rest of the continent of Asia. The area is separated from Russia by the Altay Mountains of Mongolia, the Mongolian Plateau, and the Gobi Desert near the territory’s northernmost point. Mount Everest, the tallest peak in the world, is located in the Himalaya Mountains, which are located to the south of China and separate China from South Asia.
These mountains are so tall that they actually contribute to the formation of the Gobi Desert. They do this by obstructing the flow of precipitation from South Asia into Central Asia.
Southeast Asia is separated from the rest of the continent by the Arkan Mountains and Naga Hills, which are located in both Myanmar and India, as well as the undulating hills of China’s Yunnan Plateau. In general, this region has a high degree of relief, which refers to the large differences in elevation that may be seen throughout the terrain.
Even the islands in this area have a terrain that is rather rough, with examples ranging from Mount Fuji in Japan to Mount Carstensz in Indonesia. Both ancient and contemporary populations in this area have relied on the region’s rivers as a source of support due to the rivers’ ability to provide irrigation for agriculture, river transportation, and in some instances, electricity.
The Yangtze, the longest river in Asia, passes through the middle of China; the economic activity around its river valley is responsible for about one-fifth of the gross domestic product produced in the whole nation (GDP).
The Three Gorges Dam, which was completed in 2003 and spans the river, is the biggest hydroelectric power facility in the world. It was developed by the Chinese government.
The Huang He River, usually referred to as the Yellow River, is another significant river that originates in China and makes its way through the highlands of Western China before emptying into the waters of Northeastern China.
The beginnings of Chinese civilisation may be traced back to the banks of the Huang He River. Both the Mekong and the Irrawaddy Rivers play a significant role in the geography of Southeast Asia. The ecology of the region has been negatively impacted by extensive damming of the Mekong River, which is one of the most biodiverse rivers in the world.
Currently, there are plans in place to dam the Irrawaddy in many locations. In addition, China is the birthplace of both the Mekong and the Irrawaddy rivers, which raises questions over the flow of the rivers and who owns them.
Tectonic collisions have sculpted the physical landforms found in East and Southeast Asia and provide a number of natural risks. These collisions have occurred across the area. Volcanoes in this area are known to erupt often, and it was really a variety of historical eruptions that resulted in the formation of many of the islands in this region.
The picturesque Mount Fuji, which sits atop Japan’s greatest mountain range, is an active volcano that produced its most recent eruption in the early 18th century. Mount Tambora in Indonesia, which is one of that country’s hundreds of active volcanoes, saw an eruption in 1815 that was so strong that it lowered world temperatures and caused crop failures as far away as Egypt and France.
In 1883, the volcanic island of Krakatoa, which is located between the islands of Java and Sumatra in Indonesia, saw an eruption that was so severe that it literally caused the island to collapse. It took many years for the worldwide weather patterns to return to normal after it caused the deaths of tens of thousands of people.
It is believed that the sound of the eruption was the loudest sound ever recorded in modern history. The sound could be heard from a distance of more than 4,800 kilometres (3,000 miles).
The Eurasian Plate is being subducted, or moved below, by the Australian Plate, which is sliding under it along the islands of Indonesia. Because of this, a subduction zone has formed to the west of the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, which is a region with a high seismic activity.
This subduction occurred in 2004, and as a consequence, a major earthquake occurred under the ocean. The earthquake was so strong that it literally shortened the day by a fraction of a second. The earthquake was responsible for a series of tsunamis, which are large sea waves, that ravaged coastal towns in fourteen different nations and resulted in the deaths of 230,000 people.
Tsunamis are caused by the displacement of water and may be triggered by a number of events, including landslides, meteor impacts, or volcanic eruptions that occur deep below the ocean’s surface. However, earthquakes are the most typical cause of damage of this kind.
The most powerful earthquake that has ever struck Japan was a magnitude event that occurred in 2011, and it caused tsunami waves that were over 40 metres (131 feet) high in certain regions. More than 15,000 people were killed when an earthquake and the ensuing tsunami struck, and hundreds of thousands of structures were destroyed.
The most notable effect of the tsunami was the damage it caused to Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, which resulted in a number of nuclear meltdowns and the discharge of radioactive material.
China is where records of human habitation in East and Southeast Asia first started to be found. There is evidence in the region that dates back more than 80,000 years indicating that modern people formerly inhabited the area. During the Neolithic Period, commonly referred to as the New Stone Age, China saw the emergence of a number of distinct cultural groupings around the year 10,000 B.C.
During this time period, significant advances in early human technology were made, including the use of pottery, the husbandry of plants and animals, and the domestication of plants and animals. Rice was initially cultivated by people about the year 6500 BCE along the Yangtze River in China. Later on, hamlets, walled cities, and powerful dynasties, sometimes known as royal families, came into existence.
Following the shoreline, some early people probably travelled to Southeast Asia more than 50,000 years ago, while others remained in East Asia and continued their journey. This occurred during the glacial era that is often referred to as the Ice Age. The average temperature of the earth was far lower, and enormous sheets of ice blanketed the continents of Asia, Europe, and North America.
Due to the fact that so much water was preserved inside these enormous glaciers, the levels of the oceans were far lower than they are now. Sunda was the name of a single continent that formerly included Indonesia, Malaysia, and the other islands of Southeast Asia..
Those cultural groups that had expertise of sailing kept moving forwards and eventually populated Australia and the islands in its vicinity. The southern islands of Japan were linked to the rest of Eurasia during the Ice Age, which made it possible for the original peoples of Japan to move from what is now the Chinese mainland.
Throughout a significant portion of East Asia’s history, the political landscape was largely determined by the many Chinese dynasties. They built a powerful force and created links with both Korea and Japan in addition to establishing commercial lines.
The Han dynasty, which governed China from 206 BCE to 220 CE, is regarded as the golden era in Chinese history since it was the time during which China became a united state. The Han dynasty lasted from 206 BCE to 220 CE. The Han people, who make up the majority of China’s population, got their name from this particular royal dynasty. Also during this historical period, Confucianism was established as the official religion of China.
The great Chinese philosopher and teacher Kong Fuzi (551-479 BCE), who is more well known by the Latinized form of his name, Confucius, gave his name to the philosophical school that bears his name today. Confucianism is a religion that emphasises human goodness and self-reflection rather than the worship of a divine being.
One of the key teachings of Confucius was the importance of relationships, both within the family and within society as a whole. Relationships are important both within the family and within society as a whole. Education was another topic that Confucius addressed, and his ideas have been influential in Chinese society for millennia.
Isolationism was a prevalent theme throughout most of China’s historical dynasties. The Himalayas, the harsh western highlands, and the Gobi Desert are some of the natural barriers that divide China from the rest of Asia. China is also geographically isolated by the Bohai Sea. The only part of the country that could easily be invaded was the northeastern part. In this region, the reigning dynasties of China constructed a series of barriers that are collectively referred to as the Great Wall of China today.
The Japanese government took notice of these activities of the imperial court. The Japanese Emperor Meiji put an end to the shogunate and launched a series of changes that came to be known as the Meiji Restoration in the year 1868 CE.
As a component of the reform, the government of Japan undertook an in-depth analysis of the practises of other industrialised nations in order to expedite Japan’s rate of modernisation and industrialisation. What factors led to the rise of some nations to a higher level of power and industrialisation than others?
For instance, Britain, which like Japan is an island nation, was once regarded as the most powerful nation on the planet, despite the fact that it was also an island. Education and industrial technology were both essential, but the leaders of Japan thought that Britain’s colonial aspirations, or its ability to directly manage the resources of other regions, was the most important factor in the country’s success.
Significant political shifts occurred in East and Southeast Asia in the latter part of the 20th century. The countries that were formerly colonies of Japan were successful in emancipating themselves from Japan’s colonial rule and achieving independence. However, similar to the situation in many other regions of the world, the attainment of independence frequently coincided with the outbreak of political conflict.
Following the conclusion of World War II, Japan entered a time of tremendous economic development and westernisation as a culture. The process of embracing aspects of Western culture and values, notably those of the United States and Europe, is referred to as westernisation.
The nation of Japan recently revised its constitution and committed to democratic ideals. It proceeded on its path towards industrialisation and would eventually become a world leader in the manufacturing of electronics and automobiles. Today, Japan has the world’s fourth highest gross domestic product (GDP), falling behind only China, the European Union, and the United States.
In several other regions of East and Southeast Asia, the political developments that took place in the region after World War II leant towards communism. Communism is a social, political, and economic system that seeks common control of the means of production. Marxism, a study of social class and struggle based on the writings of Karl Marx, is linked to communism.
Marxism was developed by Karl Marx (1818-1883 CE). In a normal society, only a small number of affluent individuals operate factories. These individuals then pay their employees a lower salary in order to maintain a profit margin. Marxism, on the other hand, envisions a society without classes, in which everyone has an equal stake in the business and, therefore, an equal part of the profits. This would be achieved in a communist society.
By the beginning of the 20th century, Marxist ideology had made its way to China, where it gained special favour among Chinese intellectuals. Marxists in China were motivated to start a communist political party after being inspired by the Communist Revolution in Russia.
Mao Zedong would ultimately take the helm of this organisation. In China, the Communist Party continued to gain support, and in 1949, after the conclusion of the country’s civil war, Mao Zedong created the People’s Republic of China as a communist state. Taiwan, which is formally known as the Republic of China and claims sovereignty of the whole mainland, was where the former government of China fled to when it was overthrown. Despite this, China continues to assert that Taiwan is a part of China.
After Mao Zedong had successfully seized governmental power of China, he set about attempting to revolutionise Chinese culture by revolving it around the principles of communism.
In contrast to the political shifts and wars that characterised the 20th century, the 21st century in East and Southeast Asia has been characterised mostly by rapid economic growth. The study of the relationship between geography and economic growth is the focus of the subfield of geography known as economic geography.
The question “Where is economic growth happening?” is just part of what economic geographers want to answer; they also want to know “Why is economic development occuring in certain places and not others?” The expansion of regional and worldwide commerce has been a primary driver of economic prosperity throughout most of East and Southeast Asia. Despite this, growth is not uniformly occuring across the area, and economic disparities are still present.
The development of strong ties with the rest of the world has been a primary factor in the East Asian and Southeast Asian economies’ recent prosperity. The majority of the commercial links that exist now were established when the nations that make up this area began doing business with the countries that are located farther out on the Pacific Rim.
A significant number of these nations are participants in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), an organisation that encourages free trade across Asia and the Pacific. The nations that make up Southeast Asia came together to establish the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, more often known as ASEAN. The organisation had the goals of fostering political stability, fostering economic expansion, and fostering social advancement among its member nations.
The histories of China and Japan, which were formerly kept relatively isolated from the rest of the world, have given way to an embrace of globalisation and global commerce. Special Economic Zones, often known as SEZs, are places inside China that have been given permission by the country’s communist government to experiment further with free market economics.
These Specific Economic Zones (SEZs) are situated along the coast of China and provide special incentives to entice investment from outside companies. Other capitalist reforms have taken place in China, including the facilitation of the establishment of US grocery stores and dining establishments inside the nation.
These Special Economic Zones (SEZs), as well as other special development areas in China, have served as growth poles, which are geographic locations that have encouraged economic growth in the surrounding area. Other special development areas in China have also served this purpose. In 2010, China overtook the United States of America to become the world’s leader in the manufacturing sector.
The area as a whole is not seeing the same level of economic growth. According to the majority of economists’ projections, North Korea would continue to be the region’s most impoverished nation in 2016, with a GDP per capita expected to be only $1,300. With the exception of Thailand, much of mainland Southeast Asia is still considered to be relatively impoverished. As of the year 2018, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam each have a GDP per capita that is lower than $8,000, and these countries continue to be much less prosperous than their more developed neighbours in the area.
People who are looking for employment tend to relocate to urban areas, which may cause population densities to rise in those areas where economic development has taken place, which is often restricted to metropolitan areas. Java, the largest island in Indonesia, has an exceptionally high population density, in contrast to the other islands in the region, which have a comparatively low population density.
In a declared attempt to relieve poverty and overpopulation, the Dutch colonists and, subsequently, the Indonesian government adopted a policy of transmigration that sought to shift people to the less densely populated islands. This strategy included moving people from one island to another. However, this scheme has been met with opposition, and the indigenous people who live on the islands in the region consider it to be a danger to their way of life.
Between the Mongolian Altai and Khangai mountains and the Himalayan Plateau is where the Gobi Desert basin may be found. This region is located in southern Mongolia and northwestern China (see map in Fig. 1). This area is a cold desert that has a continental climate with extended winters that are very cold.
Taiwan, as well as the nations of Japan, North and South Korea, and the Korean Peninsula, are examples of the islands and peninsulas that may be found off the eastern coast of the Asian continent.
The Gobi is a large desert and semiarid area that is located in Central Asia. It is also known as the Gobi Desert. The Gobi Desert, which gets its name from the Mongolian word gobi, which means “waterless area,” covers enormous swaths of territory in both Mongolia and China.
On this map, the Himalayas are indicated by the star in the upper left-hand corner. What geographic feature in Eastern Asia is this?
The Himalaya are the standout feature on the map of the physical geography of Eastern Asia.