East Asia: China, Mongolia, Korea, Japan, Tibet
Culturally, East Asia incorporates not just the immense nation of China but also North and South Korea, Japan, and Mongolia. Although disputed, Tibet and Taiwan are also parts of China, the latter remaining independent as the Republic of China. Geographically, East Asia also encompasses the eastern half of Russia, including Siberia, which constitutes Northeast Asia. East Asia is home to roughly one quarter of the earth’s population: China has 1.38 billion people, the Koreas 71 million, Taiwan 23 million, and Japan 127 million, for a total of 1.56 billion. The other areas, including Mongolia and eastern Russia, have very slight populations spread over a vast territory. Tibet, an autonomous region of China, is often viewed by outsiders as a distinct nation under Chinese occupation while the Chinese government views it as an integral part of China.