Portal:Asia
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Portal:Asia
The Asia Portal
Asia (orthographic projection).svg

Asia 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.

Selected panorama

150pxTaj Mahal world heritage site in Agra, India.
Credit: David Castor

The Taj Mahal (Hindi: , from Persian/Urdu: "crown of palaces") is a white Marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage." Taj Mahal is the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Turkish and Indian architectural styles.

Featured picture

Mount Everest
Credit: Luca Galuzzi

The north face of Mount Everest, as seen from Tibet. Everest is the highest mountain on Earth, as measured by the height of its summit above sea level, which is 8,848 metres (29,029 ft). In 1865, Everest was given its official English name by the Royal Geographical Society upon recommendation of Andrew Waugh, the British Surveyor General of India at the time.

Selected Country

Flag of Malaysia.svg

Malaysia ( m?-LAY-zee-?, -⁠zh?; Malay: [m?lejsi?]) is a country in Southeast Asia. The federal constitutional monarchy consists of thirteen states and three federal territories, separated by the South China Sea into two regions, Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo's East Malaysia. Peninsular Malaysia shares a land and maritime border with Thailand and maritime borders with Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia. East Malaysia shares land and maritime borders with Brunei and Indonesia and a maritime border with the Philippines and Vietnam. Kuala Lumpur is the national capital and largest city while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government. With a population of over 32 million, Malaysia is the world's 43rd-most populous country. The southernmost point of continental Eurasia is in Tanjung Piai. In the tropics, Malaysia is one of 17 megadiverse countries, home to a number of endemic species.

Malaysia has its origins in the Malay kingdoms which, from the 18th century, became subject to the British Empire, along with the British Straits Settlements protectorate. Peninsular Malaysia was unified as the Malayan Union in 1946. Malaya was restructured as the Federation of Malaya in 1948 and achieved independence on 31 August 1957. Malaya united with North Borneo, Sarawak, and Singapore on 16 September 1963 to become Malaysia. In 1965, Singapore was expelled from the federation. Read more...

Featured biography

A painting of the statue of Tiridates I in the Louvre Museum by Panos Terlemezian

Tiridates I (Parthian: , T?rid?t; Greek: , Tiridátes) was King of Armenia beginning in 53 and the founder of the Arsacid dynasty of Armenia. The dates of his birth and death are unknown. His early reign was marked by a brief interruption towards the end of the year 54 and a much longer one from 58 to 63. In an agreement to resolve the Roman-Parthian conflict in and over Armenia, Tiridates I (one of the brothers of Vologases I of Parthia) was crowned king of Armenia by the Roman emperor Nero in 66; in the future, the king of Armenia was to be a Parthian prince, but his appointment required approval from the Romans. Even though this made Armenia a client kingdom, various contemporary Roman sources thought that Nero had de facto ceded Armenia to the Parthian Empire.

In addition to being a king, Tiridates I was also a Zoroastrian priest and was accompanied by other magi on his journey to Rome in 66. In the early 20th century, Franz Cumont speculated that Tiridates was instrumental in the development of Mithraism which ultimately became the main religion of the Roman Army and spread across the whole empire. Furthermore, during his reign, he started reforming the administrative structure of Armenia, a reform which was continued by his successors, and which brought many Iranian customs and offices into it. Read more...

In the news

25 June 2020 - Iraqi insurgency (2017-present)
Iraqi security forces raid the headquarters of the Iranian-backed Kata'ib Hezbollah, detaining three high-ranking commanders of the group, and at least 20 other fighters. (Reuters)
25 June 2020 -
At least 100 people are killed by lightning strikes as a monsoon storm batters India's northeastern states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. (Reuters)
25 June 2020 - COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Iraq
Iraq confirms 107 new deaths from the virus, bringing the death toll to 1,437. (Anadolu Agency)
25 June 2020 -
Kosovo formally designates Lebanese political party Hezbollah and its paramilitary wing as a terrorist organization. (Al Arabiya)
Leader of the Labour Party (UK) Keir Starmer sacks his Shadow Secretary of State for Education Rebecca Long-Bailey for sharing an article on social media that said that American police were trained by the Israeli military. (The Guardian)

Updated: 2:33, 26 June 2020

Featured article

Three Marines patrolling through an Iraqi town near a river as the sun sets.

The Iraq War in Al Anbar Governorate, also known as the Al Anbar campaign, consisted of fighting between the United States military, together with Iraqi Government forces, and Sunni insurgents in the western Iraqi governorate of Al Anbar. The Iraq War lasted from 2003 to 2011, but the majority of the fighting and counterinsurgency campaign in Anbar took place between April 2004 and September 2007. Although the fighting initially featured heavy urban warfare primarily between insurgents and U.S. Marines, insurgents in later years focused on ambushing the American and Iraqi security forces with improvised explosive devices (IED's), large scale attacks on combat outposts, and car bombings. Almost 9,000 Iraqis and 1,335 Americans were killed in the campaign, many in the Euphrates River Valley and the Sunni Triangle around the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi.

Al Anbar, the only Sunni-dominated province in Iraq, saw little fighting in the initial invasion. Following the fall of Baghdad it was occupied by the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division. Violence began on 28 April 2003 when 17 Iraqis were killed in Fallujah by U.S. soldiers during an anti-American demonstration. In early 2004 the U.S. Army relinquished command of the governorate to the Marines. By April 2004 the governorate was in full-scale revolt. Savage fighting occurred in both Fallujah and Ramadi by the end of 2004, including the Second Battle of Fallujah. Violence escalated throughout 2005 and 2006 as the two sides struggled to secure the Western Euphrates River Valley. During this time, Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) became the governorate's main Sunni insurgent group and turned the provincial capital of Ramadi into its stronghold. The Marine Corps issued an intelligence report in late 2006 declaring that the governorate would be lost without a significant additional commitment of troops. Read more...

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Updated: 10:33, 25 June 2020

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The following are images from various Asia-related articles on Wikipedia.

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