Asia

Asia

Afghanistan

Afghanistan

Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country in South Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south; Iran to the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north; and China to the northeast. Occupying 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi), it is a mountainous country with plains in the north and southwest. Kabul is the capital and largest city. The population is around 32 million, mostly composed of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks. Human habitation in Afghanistan dates back to the Middle Paleolithic Era, and the country's strategic location along the Silk Road connected it to the cultures of the Middle East and other parts of Asia. Afghanistan is a unitary presidential Islamic republic. The country has high levels of terrorism, poverty, child malnutrition, and corruption.

Armenia

Armenia

Armenia, officially the Republic of Armenia, is a landlocked country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located in Western Asia, on the Armenian Highlands, it is bordered by Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, the de facto independent Republic of Artsakh and Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and Azerbaijan's exclave of Nakhchivan to the south. Armenia is a unitary, multi-party, democratic nation-state with an ancient cultural heritage. Between the 16th and 19th centuries, the traditional Armenian homeland composed of Eastern Armenia and Western Armenia came under the rule of the Ottoman and Iranian empires, repeatedly ruled by either of the two over the centuries. By the 19th century, Eastern Armenia had been conquered by the Russian Empire, while most of the western parts of the traditional Armenian homeland remained under Ottoman rule. During World War I, Armenians living in their ancestral lands in the Ottoman Empire were systematically exterminated in the Armenian Genocide. The modern Republic of Armenia became independent in 1991 during the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan, officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. The exclave of Nakhchivan is bounded by Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, and has an 11 km (6.8 mi) long border with Turkey in the northwest. The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic proclaimed its independence in 1918 and became the first secular democratic Muslim-majority state. The modern Republic of Azerbaijan proclaimed its independence on 30 August 1991, shortly before the dissolution of the USSR in the same year. Azerbaijan is a unitary semi-presidential republic.

Bahrain

Bahrain

Bahrain, officially the Kingdom of Bahrain, is a sovereign state in the Persian Gulf. The island nation comprises a small archipelago made up of 33 natural islands and an additional 51 artificial islands, centered around Bahrain Island which makes up around 83 percent of the country's landmass. The country is situated between the Qatar peninsula and the north eastern coast of Saudi Arabia, to which it is connected by the 25-kilometre (16 mi) King Fahd Causeway. According to the 2010 census, Bahrain's population is over 1.2 million, of which around half are non-nationals. At 780 square kilometres (300 sq mi) in size, it is the third-smallest nation in Asia. The capital and largest city is Manama. Bahrain is the site of the ancient Dilmun civilization. It has been famed since antiquity for its pearl fisheries, which were considered the best in the world into the 19th century. Formerly an emirate, Bahrain was declared an Islamic constitutional monarchy in 2002.

Bangladesh

Bangladesh

Bangladesh, officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh, is a country in South Asia. It is the eighth-most populous country in the world, with a population exceeding 161 million people. In terms of land mass, Bangladesh ranks 92nd, spanning 147,570 square kilometres (56,980 sq mi), making it one of the most densely-populated countries in the world. Bangladesh shares land borders with India to the west, north, and east, Myanmar to the southeast, and the Bay of Bengal to the south. Dhaka, the capital and largest city, is the nation's economic, political and cultural hub. Chittagong, the largest sea port, is the second largest city. With numerous criss-crossing rivers and inland waterways, the dominant geographic feature of Bangladesh is the Ganges delta. Speakers of the official Bengali language, who form the Bengali ethnic group, make up 98% of the population. Its large Muslim population makes Bangladesh the fourth-largest Muslim-majority country in the world. The constitution declares Bangladesh a secular, Muslim-majority country.

Bhutan

Bhutan

Bhutan, officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked country in South Asia. Located in the Eastern Himalayas, it is bordered by the Tibet Autonomous Region of China in the north, the Chumbi Valley of Tibet, China and the Indian states of Sikkim and West Bengal in the west, and the Indian states of Assam, West Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh in the south and east. Bhutan is geopolitically in South Asia and is the region's second-least-populous nation after the Maldives. Thimphu is its capital and largest city, while Phuntsholing is its financial center. Bhutan's independence has endured for centuries. It has never been colonized in its history. Situated on the ancient Silk Road between Tibet, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, the Bhutanese state developed a distinct national identity based on Buddhism. The government is a parliamentary democracy; the head of state is the King of Bhutan, known as the "Dragon King."

Brunei

Brunei

Brunei, officially the Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace, is a country located on the north coast of the island of Borneo in Southeast Asia. Apart from its coastline with the South China Sea, the country is completely surrounded by the insular Malaysian state of Sarawak. Brunei is the only sovereign state completely on the island of Borneo; the remainder of the island's territory is divided between the nations of Malaysia and Indonesia. Brunei gained its independence from the United Kingdom on 1 January 1984. It has developed wealth from extensive petroleum and natural gas fields. The government is an absolute monarchy under the Sultan which implements sharia law and directs Islamic practices.

Cambodia

Cambodia

Cambodia, officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest. The official religion is Theravada Buddhism, practised by approximately 95 percent of the population. Cambodia's minority groups include Vietnamese, Chinese, Chams and 30 hill tribes. The capital and largest city is Phnom Penh, the political, economic and cultural centre of Cambodia. The kingdom is an elective constitutional monarchy with a monarch, chosen by the Royal Council of the Throne as head of state. The head of government is the Prime Minister. According to several foreign organisations, the country has widespread poverty, pervasive corruption, lack of political freedoms, low human development and a high rate of hunger. Constitutionally a multi-party liberal democracy, the country is effectively governed under one-party rule. Cambodia has one of the fastest growing economies in Asia.

China

China

China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.428 billion in 2017. Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometres (3.7 million mi2), it is the world's third or fourth largest country by area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Chongqing), and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China is a unitary one-party socialist republic and is one of the few existing socialist states. Political dissidents and human rights groups have denounced and criticized the Chinese government for widespread human rights abuses, including suppression of religious and ethnic minorities, censorship and mass surveillance, and cracking down on protests such as in 1989. China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP. China is also the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods.

East Timor

East Timor

East Timor or Timor-Leste, officially the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, is a country in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island surrounded by Indonesian West Timor. Australia is the country's southern neighbour, separated by the Timor Sea. The country's size is about 15,007 km2 (5,794 sq mi). In 1999, following the United Nations-sponsored act of self-determination, Indonesia relinquished control of the territory. East Timor became the first new sovereign state of the 21st century on 20 May 2002. It is one of only two predominantly Christian nations in Southeast Asia, the other being the Philippines.