Northeast Asia or East Asia is the eastern subregion of the Asian continent, which can be defined in either geographical or pan-ethno-cultural terms. Geographically and geopolitically, it includes Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea and South Korea.
The region was the cradle of various ancient civilizations such as Ancient China, ancient Japan, ancient Korea, and the Mongol Empire. East Asia was one of the cradles of world civilization, with China, an ancient East Asian civilization being one of the earliest cradles of civilization in human history. For thousands of years, China largely influenced East Asia as it was principally the leading civilization in the region exerting it's enormous prestige and influence on it's neighbors. 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), Confucianism or Neo-Confucianism, Taoism, Chinese folk religion in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau 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 the Manchus and Ewenki. 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.
East Asians comprise around 1.6 billion people. About 38% of the population of Asia and 22%, or over one fifth, of world's population lives in East Asia. The region is to home to major world metropolises such as Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei, and Tokyo. 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).
|• Total||11,839,074 km2 (4,571,092 sq mi)|
|Population (2016)[note 2]|
|• Density||140/km2 (360/sq mi)|
|Languages and language families|
|Vietnamese alphabet||Đông Á|
In comparison with the profound influence of the Ancient Greeks and Romans on Europe and the Western World, China would already possess an advanced civilization nearly half a millennia before Japan and Korea. Succeeding Chinese Dynasties exerted enormous influence across East Asia culturally, economically, politically and militarily for over two millennia. Cultural and religious interaction between the Chinese and other regional East Asian dynasties and kingdoms occurred. As Chinese civilization existed for about 1500 years before other East Asian civilizations emerged into history, China would exert enormous cultural, economic, technological, and political muscle on its neighbors. The Imperial Chinese tributary system shaped much of East Asia's history for over 2000 years due to Imperial China's economic and cultural dominance over the region, and thus played a huge role in the history of East Asia in particular. The transmission of advanced Chinese cultural practices and ways of thinking greatly shaped the region up until the 19th century.
As East Asia's connections with Europe and the Western world strengthened during the late 19th century, China's power began to decline. U.S.Commodore Matthew C. Perry would open Japan to Western ways, and the country would expand in earnest after the 1860s. Around the same time, Japan with its rush to modernity transformed itself from an isolated feudal samurai state into East Asia's first industrialized nation. The modern and powerful Japan would galvanize it's position in the Orient as East Asia's greatest power with a global mission poised to advance to lead the entire world. With its newly found international status, Japan would begin to inextricably take a more active position in East Asia and leading role in world affairs at large. Flexing its nascent political and military might, Japan soundly defeated the stagnant Qing Dynasty during the First Sino-Japanese War as well as vanquishing imperial rival Russia in 1905; the first major military victory in the modern era of an East Asian power over a European one. It's hegemony was the heart of an empire that would include Taiwan and Korea. During World War II, Japanese expansionism with its imperialist aspirations through the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere would incorporate Korea, Taiwan, much of eastern China and Manchuria, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia under its control. After a century of exploitation by Europeans and the Japanese and colonialists, post-colonial East Asia saw the defeat and occupation of Japan by the victorious Allies as well as the division of China and Korea in the Cold 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. During the latter half of the twentieth century, the region would see the post war economic miracle of Japan, the economic rise of South Korea and Taiwan, and the integration of Mainland China into the global economy through its entry in the World Trade Organization while enhancing its emerging international status as a potential world power.
Broader definitions, such as that used by the World Bank refer to the "three major Northeast Asian economies, i.e. China, Japan, and South Korea", as well as Mongolia, North Korea, the Russian Far East and Siberia. The Council on Foreign Relations includes the Russia Far East, Mongolia, and Nepal. The World Bank also acknowledges the roles of sub-national or de facto states, such as Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. The Economic Research Institute for Northeast Asia defines the region as "China, Japan, the Koreas, Nepal, Mongolia, and eastern regions of the Russian Federation".
The UNSD definition of East Asia is based on statistical convenience, but also other common definitions of East Asia contain the entirety of China (including Mainland, Hong Kong, Macau), Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
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 used by the Europeans to cover 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". The Council on Foreign Relations defines Northeast Asia as Japan and Korea.
billions of USD (2017)
|GDP nominal per capita
billions of USD (2017)
|GDP PPP per capita
|Flag||Common Name||Official Name|
|China||中国||People’s Republic of China||中华人民共和国|
|Hong Kong||香港||Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
of the People’s Republic of China
|Macau||澳門||Macao Special Administrative Region
of the People’s Republic of China
Região Administrativa Especial de Macau
da República da China
|Japan||日本||State of Japan||日本国|
|Mongolia||Монгол улс||Mongolia||Монгол Улс（ᠮᠣᠩᠭᠤᠯ
|North Korea||조선||Democratic People’s Republic of Korea||조선민주주의인민공화국 (朝鮮民主主義人民共和國)|
|South Korea||한국||Republic of Korea||대한민국 (大韓民國)|
|Taiwan||臺灣 / 台灣||Republic of China||中華民國|
|Hong Kong||1,104||7,302,843||6,390||0.912||Hong Kong|
*Note: The order of states/territories follows the population ranking of each ethnicity, within East Asia only.
The culture of East Asia has largely been influenced by China, as it was the civilization that had the most dominant influence in the region throughout the ages that ultimately laid the foundation for East Asian civilization. The vast knowledge and ingenuity of Chinese civilization and the classics of Chinese literature and culture were seen as the foundations for a civilized life in East Asia. China served as a vehicle through which the adoption of Confucian ethical philosophy, Chinese calendar system, political and legal systems, architectural style, diet, terminology, institutions, religious beliefs, imperial examinations that emphasized a knowledge of Chinese classics, political philosophy and culture, as well as historically sharing a common writing system reflected in the histories of Japan and Korea. The Imperial Chinese tributary system was the bedrock of network of trade and foreign relations between China and its East Asian tributaries, which helped to shape much of East Asian affairs during the ancient and medieval eras. Through the tributary system, the various dynasties of Imperial China facilitated frequent economic and cultural exchange that influenced the cultures of Japan and Korea and drew them into a Chinese international order. The Imperial Chinese tributary system shaped much of East Asia's foreign policy and trade for over 2000 years due to Imperial China's economic and cultural dominance over the region, and thus played a huge role in the history of East Asia in particular. The relationship between China and it's cultural influence on East Asia has been compared to the historical influence of Greco-Roman civilization on Europe and the Western World.
|Religion||Native name||Denomination||Major book||Type||Est. Followers||Ethnic groups||States/territories|
|Chinese religion||none, various classifications including 民間信仰, 神教/神道, etc.||Taoism, Confucianism, folk salvationist sects, Wuism, Nuo||Chinese classics, Huangdi Sijing, precious scrolls, etc.||Pantheism/polytheism||~900,000,000||Han, Hmong, Qiang, Tujia (worship of the same ancestor-gods)||( )|
|Taoism||道教||Zhengyi, Quanzhen||Tao Te Ching||Pantheism/polytheism||~20,000,000||Han, Zhuang, Hmong, Yao, Qiang, Tujia||( )|
|Confucianism||儒教||Cheng-Zhu, Lu-Wang||Four Books and Five Classics||Immanent transcendence/pantheism||N/A||Han, Joseon, Yamato||( )|
|East Asian Buddhism||漢傳佛教 or 汉传佛教||Mahayana||Diamond Sutra||Non-God||~300,000,000||Han, Joseon, Yamato||( )|
|Tibetan Buddhism||བོད་བརྒྱུད་ནང་བསྟན།||Mahayana||Anuttarayoga Tantra||Non-God||~10,000,000||Tibetans, Manchus, Mongols|
|Shamanism and Bon, etc||Бөө мөргөл , བོན||N/A||N/A||Polytheism/pantheism||N/A||Tibetans, Manchus, Mongols, Oroqen|
|Shinto||神道||Shinto sects||Kojiki, Nihon Shoki||Polytheism/pantheism||N/A||Yamato|
|Sindo/Muism||신도 or 무교||Sindo sects||N/A||Polytheism/pantheism||N/A||Joseon|
|Festival||Native Name||Other name||Calendar||Date||Gregorian date||Activity||Religious practices||Food||Major ethnicities||Major states/territories|
|Chinese New Year||春節 or 春节||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.||()|
|New Year||元旦||Yuan Dan||Gregorian||1 Jan||1 Jan||Fireworks||N/A||N/A||N/A||()|
|Losar or Tsagaan Sar||ལོ་གསར་ or Цагаан сар||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.|
|Lantern Festival||元宵節 or 元宵节||Upper Yuan Festival (上元节)||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||() *|
|Qingming Festival||清明節 or 清明节||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||()|
|Dragon Boat Festival||端午節 or 端午节||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||() *|
|Ghost Festival||中元節 or 中元节||Mid Yuan Festival||Chinese||Month 7 Day 15||Ancestors Worship, Tomb Sweeping||Birthdate of the God of Earth-officer||Han, Joseon, Yamato||() *|
|Mid-Autumn Festival||中秋節 or 中秋节||中秋祭||Chinese||Month 8 Day 15||Family Reunion, Enjoying Moon view||Worship the Moon Goddess||Mooncake||Han, Joseon, Yamato||() *|
|Double Ninth Festival||重陽節 or 重阳节||Double Positive Festival||Chinese||Month 9 Day 09||Climbing Mountain, Taking care of elderly, Wearing Cornus.||Worship various Gods||Han, Joseon, Yamato||() *|
|Lower Yuan Festival||下元節 or 下元节||N/A||Chinese||Month 10 Day 15||Ancestors Worship, Tomb Sweeping||Birthdate of the God of Water-officer||Ciba||Han, Joseon||()|
|Small New Year||小年||Jizao (祭灶)||Chinese||Month 12 Day 23||Cleaning Houses||Worship the God of Hearth||tanggua||Han, Mongols||()|
|International Labor Day||N/A||N/A||Gregorian||1 May||1 May||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||()|
|International Women's Day||N/A||N/A||Gregorian||8 Mar||8 Mar||Taking care of women||N/A||N/A||N/A||()|
*Japan switched the date to the Gregorian calendar after the Meiji Restoration.
*Not always on that Gregorian date, sometimes April 4.
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, the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games), and the West Asian Games. All nigh East Asian States/Territories join this Game.
|Name of agreement||Parties||Leaders at the time||Negotiation begins||Signing date||Starting time||Current status|
|China–South Korea FTA||Xi Jinping, Park Geun-hye||May, 2012||Jun 01, 2015||Dec 30, 2015||Enforced|
|China–Japan–South Korea FTA||Xi Jinping, Shinzō Abe, Park Geun-hye||Mar 26, 2013||N/A||N/A||10 round negotiation|
|Japan-Mongolia EPA||Shinzō Abe, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj||-||Feb 10, 2015||-||Enforced|
|China-Mongolia FTA||Xi Jinping, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj||N/A||N/A||N/A||Officially proposed|
|Mainland-HK CEPA||Jiang Zemin, Tung Chee-hwa||-||Jun 29, 2003||-||Enforced|
|Mainland-Macau CEPA||Jiang Zemin, Edmund Ho Hau-wah||-||Oct 18, 2003||-||Enforced|
|Hong Kong-Macau CEPA||Carrie Lam, Fernando Chui||Oct 09, 2015||N/A||N/A||Negotiating|
|ECFA||Hu Jintao, Ma Ying-jeou||Jan 26, 2010||Jun 29, 2010||Aug 17, 2010||Enforced|
|CSSTA (Based on ECFA)||Xi Jinping, Ma Ying-jeou||Mar, 2011||Jun 21, 2013||N/A||Abolished|
|CSGTA (Based on ECFA)||Hu Jintao, Ma Ying-jeou||Feb 22, 2011||N/A||N/A||Suspended|
|Name||Abbr.||Parties within the region|
|Shanghai Cooperation Organisation||SCO||()|
|General Security of Military Information Agreement||GSOMIA|
|Sino-North Korean Mutual Aid and Cooperation Friendship Treaty||-||()|
|Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan||-||()|
|Mutual Defense Treaty Between the United States and the Republic of Korea||-||()|
|Taiwan Relations Act (Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty before 1980)||TRA (SAMDT)||()|
|Major non-NATO ally (Global Partners of NATO)||-||()|
the countries and regions of Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Mongolia, South Korea, North Korea and Japan.