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Southeast Asia

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Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia (orthographic projection).svg
Area 4,493,944 km2 (1,735,121 sq mi)
Population (2016) 641,775,797[1]
Population rank 3rd (World)
Density 135.6km2 (351sq mi)
Countries
Sovereign states (11)[show]
Other territories (2+1)[show]
GDP (Nominal; 2016) $2.557 trillion (exchange rate)[2]
GDP per capita (2016) $4,018 (exchange rate)[2]
Languages
Official languages[show]
Other languages[show]
Time Zones
UTC+530 to UTC+9[show]
Capital cities
[show]
Largest cities
[show]
Southeast Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the
countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea
and north of Australia.[3] Southeast Asia is bordered to the north by East Asia, to
the west by South Asia and Bay of Bengal, to the east by Oceania and Pacific Ocean,
and to the south by Australia and Indian Ocean. The region is the only part of Asia
that lies within the Southern Hemisphere. In contemporary definition, Southeast
Asia consists of two geographic regions

Mainland Southeast Asia, also known historically as Indochina, comprising Vietnam,


Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), and West Malaysia.
Maritime Southeast Asia, also known historically as the East Indies and Malay
Archipelago, comprising Indonesia, East Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, East
Timor, Brunei, Christmas Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Cocos (Keeling)
Islands.
The region lies near the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic and
volcanic activities. The Sunda Plate is the main plate of the region, features
almost all Southeast Asian countries except Myanmar, northern Thailand, northern
Vietnam, and northern Luzon of the Philippines. The mountain ranges in Myanmar,
Thailand, and peninsular Malaysia are part of the Alpide belt, while the islands of
the Philippines are part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Both seismic belts meet in
Indonesia, making the region has relatively high occurrences of earthquake and
volcanic eruption.[4]

Southeast Asia covers about 4.5 million km2 (1.7 million mi2), which is 10.5% of
Asia or 3% of earth's total land area. Its total population is more than 641
million, about 8.5% of world's population. It is the third most populous
geographical region in the world after South Asia and East Asia. The region is
culturally and ethnically diverse, with hundreds of languages spoken by different
ethnic groups.[5] Ten countries in the region are members of ASEAN, a regional
organisation established for economic, political, military, educational and
cultural integration amongst its members.[6]

Contents [hide]
1 Definitions
1.1 Political divisions
1.1.1 Sovereign states
1.1.2 Dependent territories
1.1.3 Administrative subdivisions
1.2 Geographical divisions
2 History
2.1 Prehistory
2.2 Indianised kingdoms era
2.3 Spread of Islam
2.4 Trade and foreign colonisation
2.4.1 China
2.4.2 Europe
2.4.3 Japan
2.5 Contemporary history
3 Geography
3.1 Boundaries
3.2 Climate
3.3 Environment
4 Economy
5 Demographics
5.1 Ethnic groups
5.2 Religion
5.3 Languages
5.4 Cities
6 Culture
6.1 Influences
6.2 Arts
6.2.1 Music
6.2.2 Writing
7 See also
8 References
9 Further reading
10 External links
Definitions[edit]
The region, together with part of South Asia, was well known by the Europeans as
the East Indies or simply the Indies until the 20th century. Chinese sources
referred the region as ?? (Nanyang), which literally means the Southern Ocean. The
mainland section of Southeast Asia is referred as Indochina by European geographer
due to its location between China and Indian subcontinent and cultural influences
from both neighboring regions. In the 20th century however, the term became more
restricted to former French Indochina territory (Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam). The
maritime section of Southeast Asia is also known as Malay Archipelago, a term
derived from the European concept of a Malay race.[7] Another term for Maritime
Southeast Asia is Insulindia (Indian Islands), used to describe the region between
Indochina and Australasia.[8]

The term Southeast Asia was first used in 1839 by an American pastor Howard Malcolm
in his book entitled Travels in South-Eastern Asia. Malcolm only included the
Mainland section and excluded the Maritime section in his definition of Southeast
Asia.[9] The term then officially used in the midst of World War II by the Allies,
through the formation of South East Asia Command in 1943.[10] From cultural and
linguistic perspectives, definitions of Southeast Asia may vary, but the most
common definitions include the area represented by the countries (sovereign states
and dependent territories) listed below.

Ten of eleven states of Southeast Asia are members of the Association of Southeast
Asian Nations (ASEAN), while East Timor is an observer state. Papua New Guinea has
stated that it might join ASEAN, and is currently an observer. Sovereignty issues
exist over some territories in the South China Sea.

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