In general terms, Asia is bounded on the east by the Pacific Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean, and on the north by the Arctic Ocean. The border of Asia with Europe is a historical and cultural construct, as there is no clear physical and geographical separation between them. It is somewhat arbitrary and has moved since its first conception in classical antiquity. The division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East–West cultural, linguistic, and ethnic differences, some of which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The most commonly accepted boundaries place Asia to the east of the Suez Canal separating it from Africa; and to the east of the Turkish Straits, the Ural Mountains and Ural River, and to the south of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black Seas, separating it from Europe.
China and India alternated in being the largest economies in the world from 1 to 1800 CE. China was a major economic power and attracted many to the east, and for many the legendary wealth and prosperity of the ancient culture of India personified Asia, attracting European commerce, exploration and colonialism. The accidental discovery of a trans-Atlantic route from Europe to America by Columbus while in search for a route to India demonstrates this deep fascination. The Silk Road became the main east–west trading route in the Asian hinterlands while the Straits of Malacca stood as a major sea route. Asia has exhibited economic dynamism (particularly East Asia) as well as robust population growth during the 20th century, but overall population growth has since fallen. Asia was the birthplace of most of the world's mainstream religions including Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, as well as many other religions. (Full article...)
Ketuanan Melayu (Jawi script: كتوانن ملايو; literally "Malay Supremacy") is a political concept emphasising Malay preeminence in present-day Malaysia. The Malays had claimed a special position and special rights owing to their "long domicile" on the lands that make up today's Malaysia and the fact that the present Malaysian state itself evolved from a Malay polity. The oldest political institution in Malaysia is the system of Malay rulers of the nine Malay states. The British colonial authorities transformed the system and turned it first into a system of indirect rule, then in 1948, using this culturally based institution, they incorporated the Malay monarchy into the blueprints for the independent Federation of Malaya.
The term Tanah Melayu in its name which literally means "Malay homeland", assumes proprietorship of the Malay states. In this method the colonial government strengthened Malay ethno-nationalism, Malay ethnicity and culture and Malay sovereignty in the new nation-state. Though other cultures would continue to flourish, the identity of the emerging political community was to be shaped by the "historic" political culture of its dominant Malay ethnic group. The Chinese and Indian immigrants who form a significant minority in Malaysia, are considered beholden to the Malays for granting them citizenship in return for special privileges as set out in Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia. This quid pro quo arrangement is usually referred to as the Malaysian social contract. The concept of ketuanan Melayu is usually cited by politicians, particularly those from the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). (Full article...)
Image 29India's middle-class population of 300 million is growing at an annual rate of 5%. Shown here is an upmarket area in South Mumbai. (from Asian Century)
Image 30Detail of Chinese silk from the 4th century BCE. The characteristic trade of silk through the Silk Road connected various regions from China, India, Central Asia, and the Middle East to Europe and Africa. (from History of Asia)
Image 31The third Inter-Korean Summit, which was held in 2018, between South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un. It was a historical event that symbolized the peace of Asia. (from History of Asia)
Image 54The global contribution to world's GDP by major economies from 1 AD to 2003 AD according to Angus Maddison's estimates. Before 18th century, China and India were the two largest economies by GDP output. (from Asian Century)