Asian Studies/Printable version

Asian Studies

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How Geography Impacts Economics in Asia

Access to the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean offers shipping oprotunities to the rest of the globe. Many of Asia's largest economic powerhouses are costal cities.

The Himalaya mountains are difficult to traverse, creating difficulties for terrestrial navigation, and reducing economic activity there.


Hinduism is a major religion in the Indian subcontinant. Hindu diaspora can be found in many areas world wide, with some large communities also existing as a minority in Malaysia.


Buddhism originated in India, but is important in East Asia, especially in China and Japan.


Confucisnism is an important cultural belief system originating in China.


Toaism is an important belief system which originated in China.


Islam is an important religion in Asia, and in the world at large. Originating in Mecca as an Abrahamic religion, Islam spread throughout the Middle East, and beyond. Beyond the middle east, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and Indonesia are Asian countries with large populations of muslims. Many other countiries in Asia have large muslim minorities.

Colonialism in Asia

Contemporary Asia has been heavily shaped by a history of colonialism, both by European powers and by other Asian powers. Many colonial administrations lead to brutal conditions for native populations and to strained relations post independence.

Communism in Asia

During the Cold War, a number of conflicts in Asia lead to the rise of governments which are at least nominally communist. Notable current examples include the People's Republic of China, North Korea, Vietnam and Laos.

During the Cold War, more countries in Asia were also nominally communist. Notably, the USSR occupied much of northern Asia. Mongolia was also communist. Cambodia experienced a period of communism.

Nepal, a fully democratic nation, elected their communist party.

Some governments took on explicitly anticommunist stances, such as Malaysia during the cold war. These typically arose due to geopolitical alliances or local communist insurgencies. South Vietnam is a notable example of a government which fell to communist forces.

Globalization and Asia

Asia is a hub for globalization. Some of the world's greatest economic powers, China, Japan, India, and South Korea, are Asian nations who have benefited greatly from globalization.

Territorial Disputes in Asia

Territorial disputes are common in Asia.

A number of terrestrial territorial disputes exist, particularly around the Indian subcontinent and in the middle east.

A number of maritime territorial disputes exist, particularly in the South China Sea.



Unit 1- Geography and Identity

Unit 2- Beliefs and Values

Unit 3- Power and Conflict

Unit 4- Change and Modern Society