World Facts

Which Countries Are Part of East Asia?

East Asia is generally understood to consist of China, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau.

East Asia is the region occupied by the easternmost countries of the Asian continent. It is generally accepted to consist of Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mongolia, and Macau. The term ‘’East Asia” can either be geographical or cultural. Vietnam is politically and culturally closely related to East Asia although it is geographically part of Southeast Asia. The Far Eastern Federal District of Russia is geographically part of North Asia but it is often associated with East Asia. East Asia should not be confused with the Far East which is a term used to describe the proximity of Asia countries to Europe rather than a specific region of Asia. The Asia Pacific Region consists of Southeast Asia, East Asia, and Oceania.

​History And Culture Of East Asia

East Asia was the cradle of several ancient civilizations including Ancient Korea, Japan, and China. Ancient China is regarded among the earliest form of civilization in history. China exerted its military, cultural and economic might in the region for thousands of years and it was this influence that shaped the other countries. Historically, the societies of East Asia are based on Chinese cultural spheres while the vocabulary of the region is based on classical Chinese scripts. By the late 19th century, China’s dominance in East Asia began to diminish as Japan began embracing western culture. Japan quickly developed and became East Asia’s largest economy as Chinese influence in the region continued to deteriorate. By the beginning of the 20th-century Japan had exerted itself as the regional powerhouse and took the role of representing the region in world affairs. In the mid-20th century China bounced back and by the beginning of the 21st century it had taken over the role from Japan.

East Asia is home to about 1.6 billion people, 1.4 billion of whom are in China. The region’s population makes up 38% of Asia's population and 22% of the global population. Some of the world’s largest metropolitans including Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Seoul, are also found in East Asia. Major religions in the region include Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Shintoism, and Ancestral worship.

Economy Of East Asia

East Asia is among the fastest growing regions of the world with a GDP of about $19 trillion. China and Japan are the second and third largest economies respectively and contribute to the growth of the region. The development can be attributed to the relative peace experienced in the region after the end of the Korean War although tension remains high between North and South Korea. China is set to become the world’s largest economy by 2030 if it maintains the current growth rate, a feature that will certainly boost the economy of East Asia.

Which Countries Are Part of East Asia?

RankCountries of East Asia
1China
2Mongolia
3North Korea
4South Korea
5Japan
6Hong Kong
7Taiwan
8Macau

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