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Points to know on East Asia

Physical geography

Topography – where is the Tibetan Plateau, how did it form, why is Japan mountainous and why does it have numerous earthquakes and volcanoes? Tibetan plateau in western china, highest in the world, created by collision of Indian and Asian tectonic plates. Collision of Eurasian plate and pacific plate, and Philippine plate collide between oceanic and continental plate. On the leading edge of the Eurasian plate

Climate – what kind of climate characterizes this region, which ends of China are drier/wetter, warmer/colder? Temperate country like the US. Much wetter on the east, western like deserts. Colder in the north, hotter in the south. South more rain(subtropical)

Forests – how much of this region has been deforested and why is this the case, where are the remaining forests? Eastern China deforested for farming. Remaining forests- Scattered all over

Deserts – where are China’s deserts located and why are they there? Dryer desserts in the west, mostly grasslands. Taklamakan desert. Gobi desert

Rivers – what are China’s two main rivers, what have they been used for in the past, what problems do they create, what is the Three Gorges Dam and what it is supposed to do? Yellow, Yangtea . Past used for transportation and irrigation. Problems, Floods ruin population on the banks of river. Grand Canal from north to south (bejing to Hangzhou). Three gorges dam, world’s largest dam for flood control and provide electricity.

Northern Chinese Plain – what is its historical significance (and how is this like Europe)? Part of like Europe plate, flat grassland. Key information route/ invasion route.

Isolation – what physical features isolate East Asia from other world regions? Bounded by deserts, mountains, and seas, barriers against the movement of people

Population – what is the relationship between the environment (climate, mountains, and deserts) and population distribution in East Asia? People live where there is rainfall. Denser on the East.

Farming – what are the major crops in this region and where are they located? Rice and Wheat. Wheat is grown more northerly, rice is grown more in south because its wetter.

Oil and gas – where are coal, oil and gas deposits located in this region, how abundant are they? China abundant coal and natural gas. Japan has almost none.

Environmental problems – what sort of environmental problems does this region face, why do these matter economically? Dependent on Coal, Manufacturing cheap goods. Worried about causing health problems pushing away business. Working on more renewable energy.

Linguistic geography

Families – what are the major language families and where are they located?

Religious geography

Main religions – what are the main religions of China, Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, Taiwan and North Korea?

Buddhism –what are the two main types of Buddhism, what other religions does it mix with?

Christianity and Islam – where are they located?

Population geography

Ethnic nations – how ethnically homogenous are East Asian countries?

Populations – roughly how many people live in China, who do China and Japan rank in terms of population size and how will they rank in 2050, are China, Japan, and South Korea growing or shrinking, is East Asia as a whole growing or shrinking?

Aging and baby booms – which countries are aging most rapidly, what sort of problems does this pose for them, which country has a problem with its baby boom and what is the problem it faces?

Sex ratio – what is a skewed sex ratio, which country has a skewed sex ratio, how did it come about, what problems does this create?

Political geography

Colonialism – which colonial powers controlled which areas, why were European countries unable to directly rule most East Asian areas (compared to Africa or South Asia, for example), what were the Opium Wars and what was their result?

Taiwan – what is Taiwan’s political status, how did it come to be this way, what is the U.S.’s past and continuing role in Taiwan’s political situation?

Hong Kong – what was Hong Kong’s political history, what is China’s “one country, two systems” policy for Hong Kong, how does this relate to Taiwan? British controlled 1842-1997. A treaty saying they would give it back in 1997. Hong Kong is high income compared to china. Hong Kong had more political liberties. China lets hong kong have more control for local affairs, for national affairs china takes over. Made the transistion go more smoothly, so people wouldn’t leave, and for taiwan so it could be a good example.

Separatism – where are the main separatists movements in China? Tibet, western china. Uyghurs

Korea – why is the Korean Peninsula divided into two countries?

Economic geography

China – why has the Chinese economy been able to grow so much recently, how big is the Chinese economy compared to other nations, how high are Chinese incomes compared to other nations, where is the main manufacturing/industrial region where most of China’s economic growth is taking place, which regions have experienced little growth, what factors pose problems for continued Chinese economic growth?

Having to rebuild the country’s infrastructure. Great leap forward lead to widespread famine. Communist economy until 1979 when they switched to a capitalist economy slowly. Grown rapidly since 1979. Big economy, but still middle income country. Special economic zones are mostly coastal cities. One of the fastest growing economies. Main manufacturing in coastal zone.

Japan – what led to rapid Japanese economic growth after WWII?

South Korea, Taiwan and Honk Kong economies – how were these areas able to increase per capita incomes so rapidly?

Urban geography

Major cities – what are the largest cities of the region, what countries are they in, how do they rank internationally in size, why does China have fewer large cities than India?

Percent urban – what percent of the population lives in cities, how does this vary?

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