• Unit 10: East Asia

    East Asia is home to one fifth of the entire world population. China is the largest country in the region, and is bordered by Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Japan. East Asia's location on the Pacific Rim has given it easy access to the global economy. Manufacturing industry has fueled the high-tech engines of the Pacific Rim economies, which have taken advantage of the massive labor pool of the Chinese heartland.

    The island of Taiwan, off the eastern coast of China, has an independent government that has been separated from mainland China since the end of the second World War. Hong Kong, a former British possession with one of the best ports in Asia, is on the southern coast of China. The former Portuguese colony of Macau, which has also been returned to Chinese control, is just west of Hong Kong. The autonomous region of Tibet, referred to by its Chinese name Xizang, is in western China. Tibet has been controlled by China since 1949, shortly after the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was declared a country.

    In this unit, we will first study the wonderfully diverse physical geography of East Asia. East Asia is surrounded by a series of mountain ranges in the west, Mongolia and Russia to the north, and Southeast Asia to the south. The Himalayan Mountains are among the highest mountain ranges in the world, and Mt. Everest is the planet's tallest peak at over 29,000 feet. These high ranges create a rain-shadow effect that dominates western China. Next, we will analyze the impact of colonialism in China, and identify how some of its regions were controlled by colonial interests. We will also explore the physical, political, economic, and cultural characteristics of China, including its population dynamics and the "One Child Only" policy. We will end the unit by looking at the physical and cultural characteristics of Japan, North Korea, and South Korea.

    Completing this unit should take you approximately 4 hours.

    • MapCheck: East Asia

    • 10.1: Introducing East Asia

    • 10.2: Emerging China

    • 10.3: China's Periphery

    • 10.4: Japan, North Korea, and South Korea