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Population Patterns


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Title: Population Patterns

Population Patterns
East Asia has about 1.5 billion peopleabout 25
percent of the worlds population. Among the
regions major ethnic groups are the Han Chinese,
Tibetan, Japanese, Korean, and Mongolian.
Because much of East Asia is barren or
mountainous, the regions population is unevenly
distributed. More than 90 percent of Chinas
population lives on less than 20 percent of the
land. The East,on coastal plains and in river
valleys, contains this large population. The
interior steppes of Mongolia are home to only
four people per square mile. The tiny island
nation of Taiwan, on the other hand, is crowded
because space is limited. In Japan, forested
mountains cover the central part of the country.
Most Japanese are crowded along the coast.
In recent decades, many Chinese and South Koreans
have moved from rural areas to cities. Steady
migration from rural villages to cities has led
to urban overcrowding and farm labor shortages in
the countryside. The Chinese government hopes
that newly built rural towns with more social
services will encourage people to stay on their
farms. Since 1979, the Chinese
government used the One Child Policy. This policy
is not followed by all Chinese, but it has helped
slow population growth.
History and Government
China is the worlds oldest continuous
civilization. As a result of its geography (the
long distances that separate it from Europe and
other continents) China followed its own
Chinese History
China has been a settled society for more than
4,000 years. China was first made up of a number
of stone age societies and then it was ruled by
dynasties. Dynasty - is a series of rulers from
the same family.
The first was the Shang followed by the Zhou.
The next significant dynasty was the Qin
(Chihn) Whom gave their name to China. In 221 BC
the Qin united a number of small states under a
strong central government. This Chinese empire
would last more than 2,000 years and build the
Great Wall and the Terra Cotta Army. The Han,
Ming and Qing (Chihng) Dynasties would follow,
ruling from the Forbidden City. Outside influence
would weaken these empires.
Chinas isolation ended in the 13th century. At
that time European travelers began to visit
China. Marco Polo would venture from Venice,
Italy to China and write a book about his
adventures called The Travels of Marco Polo.
By the 1600s, western Europe had developed
shipping routes to Asia, hoping to share in the
regions rich trade in tea and silk. China,
Japan, and Korea initially rejected Western
efforts to enter their markets. Chinas weak
military and ineffective government was forced to
sign a series of treaties and by the late 1800s
large areas of China were carved up into Spheres
of Influence, controlled by Britain, France,
Germany, Russia, and Japan.
The Silk Road was an Early trade route between
China and the West.
This outside control angered China which burst
forth in the Boxer Rebellion of 1900. The end of
the dynasties and the Chinese empire would come
about 1911 when the Nationalist overthrew the
Qing Dynasty. The Qing dynasty attempted to
reform the Chinese government but it was too
late. Many individuals wanted to form a republic.
In 1912 Sun Yat-sen founded the Kuomintang, or
Nationalist Party. The republic however would be
undermined by civil war. When Sun Yat-sen died
Chang Kai-shek took control over the Nationalist
party. His troops fought against warlords and
united much of the country.
Throughout the 1920s and 1930s the Communist
Party became an increasingly powerful force in
China. In 1949, under the leadership of Mao
Zedong, the Communists defeated the Nationalists.
Mao and the Communists ruled the mainland of
China (now called the Peoples Republic of
China). Chang Kai-shek and the Nationalists fled
to the island of Taiwan. In 1976 a moderate
would come to power, in 1993 they would get their
first president, and in 1998 their first premier.
These more recent leaders have focused on economy.
History of Taiwan
Most of the people in Taiwan were originally
settlers from China, Malay, and Polynesia. The
Manchu Dynasty (of China) conquered Taiwan in
1683. The Japanese would seize Taiwan (then
called Formosa) after winning a war with China in
1895. Japan would keep it until their defeat in
WWII. Then Chinese Nationalists took control of
the island as part of their fight with the
communists for control of the mainland. When they
lost power to the communists in 1949 they moved
their government to Taiwan. There they
established the Republic of China. However, The
Peoples Republic of China has never recognized
Taiwan as a separate country.
Japanese History
In the A.D. 400s, Japans clans, or family
groups, united under the Yamato Clan. Yamato
emperors adopted Chinas writing system,
philosophy, and governmental structure.
Professional soldiers called samurai served the
great landowners and clan chiefs. In 1192, after
a struggle between two powerful clans, the
Japanese emperor created the position of shogun.
The shogun was the general of the emperors army
with the powers of a military dictator.
In 1853, the shoguns received Commodore Matthew
Perry from the United States. Perrys arrival
ended Japans isolation. During the late 1800s,
Japans government began bringing Japan into the
modern age. In the first part of the 1900s,
Japan expanded its empire through diplomacy and
military force. In the 1930s the western world
was occupied with War in Europe. Japan attempted
to expand its empire into China. As a result the
United States set up an embargo on oil exports to
Japan. This caused the Japanese to decide to
commence the planned takeover of oil supplies in
On December 7, 1941, the Japanese made a surprise
attack on the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in
Hawaii. The attack brought the United States into
World War II. The war ended with Japans defeat
and surrender in 1945.
After its defeat in World War II, Japan lost all
these acquisitions but rebuilt its economy and is
today a global economic power. Japan became a
democracy with a parliamentary government.
The ancestors of todays Koreans probably
migrated into the peninsula from Manchuria
North China. Over the course of centuries
different clans or tribes controlled different
parts of the country. Around 100 B.C. China
conquered the northern half of the peninsula.
This began the history of invasions by China and
Japan. Because of its location, Korea has been a
buffer between the two. The Koreans would
gradually win back the land conquered by the
Chinese. In 1392 a general by the name of Yi
Songgye became ruler of Korea. The dynasty he
would found would last until 1910 (when Japan
took control of the entire peninsula). The
Japanese would control the peninsula until they
were defeated in WWII.
Korean History
After Japans defeat in the war the Northern part
was controlled by the Soviet Union and the
southern half was supported by the U.S. In 1950
Korean troops from the North invaded the South
starting the Korean War. The war ended three
years later with a treaty that divided the
peninsula into two countries, one communist, the
other democratic. They remained hostile for
decades but in 2000 they began discussion about
The Mongols were Nomadic Herders for thousands of
years. Genghis Khan (Which means supreme
conqueror) united the Mongol Clan in the 1200s
the continued to conquer all of Central
Asia. However by the 1300s the Mongol empire
began to break up. Eventually the Chinese would
come to rule Mongolia in 17th century. It was not
until 1911 before Mongolians would finally be
able to push them out. Under Russian influence,
Mongolia became the Mongolian Peoples Republic
in 1924. For about 72 years, the soviets ruled
Mongolia. Around 1989 they began moving toward
political democracy and free-enterprise economy.
History of Mongolia
Culture and Lifestyles
East Asians speak languages from several language
families. More than 1.2 billion people in China
speak Sino-Tibetan languages, which include
Chinese and Tibetan. Chinese languages use
ideograms pictures or symbols that stand for
ideas. Each ideogram has one meaning. When two or
more are combined, they take on a new meaning.
Spoken Chinese languages also depend on tone or
pitch. Syllables can change meaning depending on
their spoken intonation.
Although the Japanese language developed in
isolation, experts believe it may be distantly
related to Korean and Mongolian. Japans first
writing system was based on Chinese characters.
In more recent times, Western languages, such as
English, have influenced the Korean and Japanese
Traditional religions and philosophies in East
Asia include Buddhism, Taoism, and
Confucianism. Confucianism was founded by
Confucius a Chinese philosopher who believed in
respect for ones past and for ones ancestors.
He thought in an orderly society, children should
obey their parents and parents should obey the
government or emperor. He also stressed
educations. His teachings about order, education,
and hierarchy in a well-ordered society make up
Confucianism. Taoism is based on the teachings
of Lao-tzu who believed in the importance of
preserving and restoring harmony in the
individual and in the universe. He also thought
government should leave the people alone and do
as little as possible. A key belief in Taoism is
that individuals should seek harmony with
nature. Buddhism came to China from India.
Meditation and rebirth are important ideas to
this religion.
Buddhist Pagodas (temples)
  • Shintoism is an ancient Japanese religion that
    emphasizes reverence for nature.
  • Christianity is widespread in Korea.
  • Communist governments in China and North Korea
    discourage all religious practices. In Tibet, the
    Chinese government has placed harsh restrictions
    on the Buddhist population.
  • The Dalai Lama, Tibets spiritual leader, leads a
    worldwide movement in support of Tibetan rights
    from his place of exile in neighboring India.

East Asians value learning. Today elementary
education is free throughout the region, and
opportunities for higher education have greatly
expanded. Japan, Taiwan, and the Koreas have
literacy rates of 95 percent or higher. China and
Mongolia have literacy rates of 82 percent.
Communist countries generally provide free health
care. As China moves toward a market economy,
however, its government no longer guarantees
equal access to health care. Many East Asians
rely on both Western medicine and traditional
herbal medicines. Centuries-old techniques like
acupuncture are widely accepted around the world.
  • Many East Asians maintain vegetarian diets or get
    protein from fish. In recent years, Western
    foods, such as beef and dairy products, have
    become popular. As a result, heart disease and
    high blood pressure are on the rise in the

Traditional East Asian sports include several
varieties of martial arts. Baseball is also very
popular, particularly in Japan. East Asian
holidays celebrate religious beliefs, seasonal
changes, and historical events. Parades and
ceremonies, such as those marking the New Year,
are common.
  • In ancient China and Japan, poetry and prose
    literature described human relationships and the
    beauty of nature.
  • East Asian music is based on a five-tone scale
    with a melody line but no harmony. Forms of drama
    include Japanese Kabuki and Chinese opera.
  • East Asian artists are known for landscape
    paintings. The Japanese also create vivid prints
    using carved wooden blocks. Other Japanese art
    forms include origami, or artistically folded
    paper objects, the tea ceremony, and formal
  • Chinese porcelain has been admired throughout the
    world for centuries. Buddhist temples throughout
    East Asia contain sculptures in stone, bronze, or
  • Brick, wood, and stone are commonly used building
    materials in East Asia. Bamboo is important in
    the architecture of Japan and southern China.

(No Transcript)
Japanese pop culture includes anime and fashion.
One well known fashion district is Harajuku, here
the Japanese express their individuality.
When the Communist Party came to power it
promised to modernize China by encouraging the
growth of industry. For the next 20 years they
tried to do this by planning all economic
activities. That approach led to more failures
than successes. Since the 1980s China has
allowed the consumers and the marketplace play a
role in the economy. Communist-ruled China and
democratic Mongolia have been moving toward mixed
economies (with both command and market
features). North Korea, with one of the worlds
few remaining command economies, is less
economically developed.
Japanese, Taiwanese, and South Korean citizens
enjoy easy access to the Internet and good
telephone systems Most people own televisions and
radios and read print materials of all kinds. In
China and North Korea, the government controls
the media and limits citizens access to
information on the Internet.
In the past 50 years, most East Asian countries
have shifted from rural-based agricultural
economies to urban-based industrial
economies. Since the 1960s, Japan, South Korea,
and Taiwan have become important industrial and
trading countries. They are known as Economic
Tigers because of their aggressive exports and
cheap labor. Together they make up an area known
as the Jakota Triangle. East Asian countries
have become more interdependent with one another
and the rest of the world. Japan must import raw
materials from which it makes its export
products. China actively seeks international
trade partners, but many countries disapprove of
its treatment of Chinese citizens who speak out
against government policies. As a result, these
countries restrict trade with China. Commercial
shipping is important to East Asias export
Japan and Taiwan have nationwide highway and rail
networks. Japan has eased traffic congestion by
investing in an efficient rapid transit system.
In Mongolia most roads are still unpaved. In
China railroads and rivers are used for long
distance travel. The Bicycle is a popular form of
transportation in the cities.
The Worst Building in the History of Mankind
  • It's the Ryugyong Hotel in North Korea, where the
    world's 22nd largest skyscraper has been vacant
    for two decades and is likely to stay that way
    ... forever.
  • Even by Communist standards, the 3,000-room hotel
    is hideously ugly, a series of three gray
    328-foot long concrete wings shaped into a steep
    pyramid. With 75 degree sides that rise to an
    apex of 1,083 feet, the Hotel of Doom (also known
    as the Phantom Hotel and the Phantom Pyramid)
    isn't the just the worst designed building in the
    world -- it's the worst-built building, too. In
    1987, Baikdoosan Architects and Engineers put its
    first shovel into the ground and more than twenty
    years later, after North Korea poured more than
    two percent of its gross domestic product to
    building this monster, the hotel remains
    unoccupied, unopened, and unfinished.

A picture doesn't lie -- the one-hundred-and-five-
story Ryugyong Hotel is hideous, dominating the
Pyongyang skyline like some twisted North Korean
version of Cinderella's castle. Not that you
would be able to tell from the official
government photos of the North Korean capital --
the hotel is such an eyesore, the Communist
regime routinely covers it up, airbrushing it to
make it look like it's open -- or Photoshopping
or cropping it out of pictures completely.
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