Portal:Asia

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Asia (/ˈʒə, ˈʃə/ (About this soundlisten)) 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.

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150pxA panoramic view of Bangalore from Corporation Circle
Credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

Bangalore, is the capital of the Indian state of Karnataka. It has a population of over ten million, making it a megacity and the third-most populous city and fifth-most populous urban agglomeration in India.

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Kaohsiung Taiwan Kaohsiung-Confucius-Temple
Credit: Cccefalon

The Confucius Temple of Kaohsiung is a temple dedicated to the memory of Confucius near Lotus Lake, Zuoying District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The temple was originally constructed in 1684, and renovated during the Qing Dynasty. However, during the Japanese colonial period, the temple fell into disuse and disrepair. A new temple was constructed in 1976, now on the northwest corner of Lotus Lake.

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Palestine is located in Asia

Palestine usually refers to:

  • Palestine (region), a geographical and historical region in the Middle East
  • State of Palestine, a de jure sovereign state in the Middle East recognized by 136 UN members and with non-member observer state status in the United Nations
  • Palestinian territories, occupied or controlled by Israel, comprising the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip
  • Palestinian National Authority established by the Oslo Accords and governs Palestinians in the West Bank

Palestine, Palaestina, or Filastin may also refer to: Read more...

Featured biography

Freida Pinto is sitting with her legs crossed and looking towards her left
Pinto at the Youth For Change event in July 2014

Freida Selena Pinto (born 18 October 1984) is an Indian actress who has appeared mainly in American and British films. Born and raised in Mumbai, India, Pinto gained an interest in acting at an early age and took part in amateur theatre while she was a student at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai, where she majored in English literature and minored in psychology and economics. Following graduation, she worked as a model and hosted the international travel show Full Circle (2006) on Zee TV.

Pinto rose to prominence with her film debut in the British drama Slumdog Millionaire (2008), for which she was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Performance, and Teen Choice Award for Choice Movie Actress – Drama, and won the Palm Springs International Film Festival Award for Breakthrough Performance. Her biggest commercial success came with the science fiction film Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011). Her performance as the title character in Michael Winterbottom's Trishna (2011) garnered her widespread recognition and praise. She portrayed Cretan princess Phaedra in the epic fantasy action film Immortals (2011), narrated the documentary Girl Rising (2013), and starred in the biographical drama Desert Dancer (2014), for which she received critical acclaim. In 2017, she starred in the Showtime miniseries Guerrilla, and in 2018 she had starring roles in the Indian drama Love Sonia and the fantasy adventure film Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle. Read more...

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R. s. sondaicus in the London Zoo from March 1874 until January 1885

The Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus), also known as the Sunda rhinoceros or lesser one-horned rhinoceros, is a very rare member of the family Rhinocerotidae and one of five extant rhinoceroses. It belongs to the same genus as the Indian rhinoceros, and has similar mosaic, armour-like skin, but at 3.1–3.2 m (10–10 ft) in length and 1.4–1.7 m (4.6–5.6 ft) in height, it is smaller (closer in size to the black rhinoceros of the genus Diceros). Its horn is usually shorter than 25 cm (9.8 in), and is smaller than those of the other rhino species. Only adult males have horns; females lack them altogether.

Once the most widespread of Asian rhinoceroses, the Javan rhinoceros ranged from the islands of Java and Sumatra, throughout Southeast Asia, and into India and China. The species is critically endangered, with only one known population in the wild, and no individuals in captivity. It is possibly the rarest large mammal on Earth, with a population of as few as 58 to 61 in Ujung Kulon National Park at the western tip of Java in Indonesia. The Javan rhinoceros population in Vietnam's Cat Tien National Park was declared to be extinct in 2011. The decline of the Javan rhinoceros is attributed to poaching, primarily for their horns, which are highly valued in traditional Chinese medicine, fetching as much as US$30,000 per kg on the black market. As European presence in their range increased, trophy hunting also became a serious threat. Loss of habitat, especially as the result of wars, such as the Vietnam War, in Southeast Asia, has also contributed to the species' decline and hindered recovery. The remaining range is within one nationally protected area, but the rhinos are still at risk from poachers, disease, and loss of genetic diversity leading to inbreeding depression. Read more...

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Updated: 10:30, 18 November 2019

In the news

18 November 2019 – 2019 Hong Kong protests
Police seal off and trap hundreds of students and protesters inside Hong Kong Polytechnic University amid fears of a crackdown. After a police officer is injured, security forces threaten to fire live bullets if protesters do not give up lethal weapons. (Reuters)
Protesters manage to escape from the university by shimmying down plastic hosing from a bridge and fleeing on waiting motorbikes as the police fire projectiles. (Reuters)
18 November 2019 – Yemeni Civil War (2015–present)
A South Korean oil drilling rig is seized by Houthi rebels. It is unknown how many sailors were on board. (Al Jazeera) (The Guardian)
18 November 2019 – 2019 Iranian fuel protests
Revolutionary Guard commander vows decisive action to restore calm to Iran. (Newsweek)
The death toll in the protest rises to 12, but reports vary. (BBC)
18 November 2019 –
Japan opens its first military arms show, as it tries to improve its military technology to combat external threats from China and North Korea. (Reuters)

Updated: 3:30, 19 November 2019

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