Geography of Asia
There is no absolute consensus in the usage of this term. Usually, Central Asia includes:
- The Central Asian republics of Kazakhstan (excluding its small European territory), Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan
- Afghanistan, Mongolia and the western regions of China are also sometimes included
- Former Soviet states
Central Asia is currently geopolitically important because international disputes and conflicts over oil pipelines, Chechnya, and as well the presence of U.S. and U.K. military forces in Afghanistan.
This area includes:
- North and South Korea on the Korean Peninsula.
- China, but sometimes only the eastern regions
More informally, Southeast Asia is included in East Asia on some occasions.
This term is rarely used by geographers, but usually it refers to the larger Asian part of Russia, also known as Siberia. Sometimes the northern parts of other Asian nations, such as Kazakhstan or Mongolia, are also included in North Asia. The term “Northern Eurasia” is sometimes used as an apolitical term that includes all the nations of the former U.S.S.R.
This region is made up of:
- Mainland Southeast Asia which includes the countries Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
- Maritime Southeast Asia which includes Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia and East Timor.
West Asia is often called the Middle East by Europeans and Americans. Middle East (to some interpretations) is often used to also refer to some countries in North Africa. West Asia can be further divided into:
- Anatolia (i.e. Asia Minor), constituting the Asian part of Turkey
- The island nation of Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea
- The Levant or Near East, which includes Syria, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and the Asian portion of Egypt
- The Arabian Peninsula, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Yemen and Kuwait
- The Caucasus region (which straddles both Asia and Europe), namely Transcaucasia, inclu,ding a small portion of Russia , Nagorno-Karabakh, and arguably most if not all of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan
- The Iranian Plateau, including Iran and parts of Afghanistan