Pacific Rim Connections
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National Name:
Emperor: Akihito (1989)
Prime Minister:  Shinzo ABE  (since Dec. 2012)
Current government officials
Land area: 152,411 sq mi (394,744 sq km); total area: 145,882 sq mi (377,835 sq km)
Population (2015 est.): 126, 919, 659  (growth rate: 0.0%); birth rate: 9.2/1000; infant mortality rate: 3.2/1000; life expectancy: 81.4;               density per sq mi: 836
Capital and largest city (2015 est.): Tokyo, 38,001,000 (metro. area), 9,483,050 (city proper)
Other large cities: Yokohama, 3,494,900 (part of Tokyo metro. area); Osaka, 11,286,000 (metro. area), 2,597,000 (city proper);       Nagoya, 2,189,700; Sapporo, 1,848,000; Kobe, 1,529,900 (part of Osaka metro. area); Kyoto, 1,470,600 (part of Osaka metro. area); Fukuoka, 1,368,900; Kawasaki, 1,276,200 (part of Tokyo metro. area); Hiroshima, 1,132,700
Monetary unit: Yen
Language: Japanese
Ethnicity/race: Japanese 98.5%; Korean 0.5%, Chinese 0.4%, other 0.6% (2015)
Religions: Shintoist and Buddhist 84%, other 16% (including Christian 0.7%)
Literacy rate: 99% (2015 est.)
Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2016 est.): $4.29 trillion; per capita $33,600. Real growth rate: 2.1%. Inflation: 0%. Unemployment: 4%. Arable land: 12%. Agriculture: rice, sugar beets, vegetables, fruit; pork, poultry, dairy products, eggs; fish. Labor force: 66.07 million; agriculture 4.6%, industry 27.8%, services 67.7% (2004). Industries: among world's largest and technologically advanced producers of motor vehicles, electronic equipment, machine tools, steel and nonferrous metals, ships, chemicals, textiles, processed foods. Natural resources: negligible mineral resources, fish. Exports: $665.7 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.): transport equipment, motor vehicles, semiconductors, electrical machinery, chemicals. Imports: $571.1billion f.o.b. (2007 est.): machinery and equipment, fuels, foodstuffs, chemicals, textiles, raw materials. Major trading partners: U.S., China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Australia, Saudi Arabia, UAE (2006).
An archipelago in the Pacific, Japan is separated from the east coast of Asia by the Sea of Japan. It is approximately the size of Montana. Japan's four main islands are Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku. The Ryukyu chain to the southwest was U.S.-occupied from 1945 to 1972, when it reverted to Japanese control, and the Kurils to the northeast are Russian-occupied.
Constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government.


Republic of Korea 

National name: Taehan Min'guk

President: Lee Myung-bak (2008)

Prime Minister: Han Seung Soo (2008)

Current government officials

Land area: 37,911 sq mi (98,189 sq km)

Population (2007 est.): 49,044,790 (growth rate: 0.4%); birth rate: 9.9/1000; infant mortality rate: 6.1/1000; life expectancy: 77.2; density per sq mi: 1,294

Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Seoul, 10,287,847 (city proper)

Other large cities: Pusan, 3,504,900; Inchon, 2,479,600 (part of Seoul metro. area); Taegu, 2,369,800

Monetary unit: won

Languages: Korean, English widely taught

Ethnicity/race: homogeneous (except for about 20,000 Chinese)

Religions: no affiliation 46%, Christian 26%, Buddhist 26%, Confucianist 1%, other 1%



Republic of China

National name: Zhonghua Minguo

President: Ma Ying-jeou (2008)

Prime Minister: Liu Chao-shiuan (2008)

Current government officials

Land area: 12,456 sq mi (32,261 sq km); total area: 13,892 sq mi (35,980 sq km)

Population (2007 est.): 23,174,294 (growth rate: 0.6%); birth rate: 12.5/1000; infant mortality rate: 6.2/1000; life expectancy: 77.6;    density per sq mi: 1,860

Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Taipei, 7,871,900 (metro. area), 2,722,600 (city proper)

Other large cities: Kaohsiung, 1,514,900; Tai Chung, 1,069,900; Tainan, 755,800; Keelung, 410,500

Monetary unit: Taiwan dollar

Languages: Chinese (Mandarin, official), Taiwanese (Min), Hakka dialects

Ethnicity/race: Taiwanese (including Hakka) 84%, mainland Chinese 14%, aborigine 2%

Religions: mixture of Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist 93%, Christian 4.5%, other 2.5%

Literacy rate: 96.1% (2003)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $695.4 billion; per capita $30,100. Real growth rate: 5.7%. Inflation: 1.8%. Unemployment: 3.9%. Arable land: 24%. Agriculture: rice, corn, vegetables, fruit, tea; pigs, poultry, beef, milk; fish. Labor force: 10.78 million; agriculture 5.3%, industry 36.8%, services 57.9%. Industries: electronics, petroleum refining, armaments, chemicals, textiles, iron and steel, machinery, cement, food processing, vehicles, consumer products, pharmaceuticals. Natural resources: small deposits of coal, natural gas, limestone, marble, asbestos. Exports: $189.4 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.): computer products and electrical equipment, metals, textiles, plastics and rubber products, chemicals (2002). Imports: $181.6 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.): machinery and electrical equipment 44.5%, minerals, precision instruments (2002). Major trading partners: China, U.S., Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea (2005).


The Republic of China today consists of the island of Taiwan, an island 100 mi (161 km) off the Asian mainland in the Pacific; two off-shore islands, Kinmen (Quemoy) and Matsu; and the nearby islets of the Pescadores chain. It is slightly larger than the combined areas of Massachusetts and Connecticut.


Multiparty democracy.

                                             Hong Kong


Status:   Special Administrative Region of China

Chief Executive: Donald Tsang (2005)

Land area: 382 sq mi (989 sq km); total area: 422 sq mi (1,092 sq km)

Population (2007 est.): 6,980,412 (growth rate: 0.6%); birth rate: 7.3/1000; infant mortality rate: 2.9/1000; life expectancy: 81.7; Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with an overall density of 18,280 people  per sq mi..

Hong Kong consists of the island of Hong Kong (32 sq mi; 83 sq km), Stonecutters' Island, Kowloon Peninsula, and the New Territories on the adjoining mainland. The island of Hong Kong was ceded to Britain in 1841. Stonecutters' Island and Kowloon were annexed in 1860, and the New Territories, which are mainly agricultural lands, were leased from China in 1898 for 99 years. On July 1, 1997, Hong Kong was returned to China. The vibrant capitalist enclave retains its status as a free port, with its laws to remain unchanged for 50 years. Its first chief executive, Tung Chee-hwa, formulated a policy agenda based on the concept of “one country, two systems,” thus preserving Hong Kong's economic independence.


People:  Cantonese, the official Chinese language in Hong Kong, is spoken by most of the population. English, also an official language, is widely understood. It is spoken by more than one-third of the population. Every major religion is practiced freely in Hong Kong. All children are required by law to be in full-time education between the ages of 6 and 15.



Hong Kong is one of the world's most open and dynamic economies. Hong Kong per capita GDP is comparable to other developed countries. Real GDP expanded by 6.8% in 2006 year-on-year, driven by thriving exports, vibrant inbound tourism and strong consumer spending. The unemployment rate has declined to 4.3% in December 2006-February 2007, the lowest level since mid-1998. The surplus for fiscal year 2006-07 was $7.1 billion or 3.7% of GDP, attributed to the robust economy, increased corporate profits and salaries, the buoyant stock market, and a stable property market.

Hong Kong enjoys a number of economic strengths, including accumulated public and private wealth from decades of unprecedented growth, a sound banking system, virtually no public debt, a strong legal system, and an able and rigorously enforced anti-corruption regime.  Hong Kong is endeavoring to improve its attractiveness as a commercial and trading center, especially after China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), and continues to refine its financial architecture. U.S. companies have a generally favorable view of Hong Kong's business environment, including its legal system and the free flow of information, low taxation, and infrastructure. The American Chamber of Commerce's annual business confidence survey, released in December 2006, showed 100% of respondents had a "good" or "satisfactory" outlook for 2007. Survey results indicated a positive economic outlook through 2009.

On the international front, Hong Kong is a separate and active member of the WTO and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, where it is an articulate and effective champion of free markets and the reduction of trade barriers. Hong Kong residents across the political spectrum supported China's accession to the WTO, believing this would open new opportunities on the mainland for local firms and stabilize relations between Hong Kong's two most important trade and investment partners, the United States and China






Kingdom of Thailand

Ruler: King Bhumibol Adulyadej (1946)

Prime Minister: Samak Sundaravej (2008)

Current government officials

Land area: 197,595 sq mi (511,771 sq km); total area: 198,455 sq mi (514,000 sq km)

Population (2007 est.): 65,068,149 (growth rate: 0.7%); birth rate: 13.7/1000; infant mortality rate: 18.9/1000; life expectancy: 72.6; density per sq mi: 329

Capital and largest city (2000): Bangkok, 6,320,174 (city proper)

Other large cities: Nonthanburi, 304,700; Chiang Mai, 175,500

Monetary unit: baht

Languages: Thai (Siamese), English (secondary language of the elite), ethnic and regional dialects

Ethnicity/race: Thai 75%, Chinese 14%, other 11%

Religions: Buddhist 95%, Islam 5%, Christian 1% (2000)

Literacy rate: 96% (2003 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $519.4 billion; per capita $7,900. Real growth rate: 4.8%. Inflation: 2.2%. Unemployment: 1.4%. Arable land: 28%. Agriculture: rice, cassava (tapioca), rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, soybeans. Labor force: 36.9 million; agriculture 49%, industry 14%, services 37% (2000 est.). Industries: tourism, textiles and garments, agricultural processing, beverages, tobacco, cement, light manufacturing such as jewelry and electric appliances, computers and parts, integrated circuits, furniture, plastics, automobiles and automotive parts; world's second-largest tungsten producer and third-largest tin producer. Natural resources: tin, rubber, natural gas, tungsten, tantalum, timber, lead, fish, gypsum, lignite, fluorite, arable land. Exports: $105.8 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.): textiles and footwear, fishery products, rice, rubber, jewelry, automobiles, computers and electrical appliances. Imports: $107 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.): capital goods, intermediate goods and raw materials, consumer goods, fuels. Major trading partners: U.S., Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan (2004).


Thailand occupies the western half of the Indochinese peninsula and the northern two-thirds of the Malay Peninsula in southeast Asia. Its neighbors are Burma (Myanmar) on the north and west, Laos on the north and northeast, Cambodia on the east, and Malaysia on the south. Thailand is about the size of France.


Constitutional Monarchy.


Republic of the Philippines

National name: Republika ng Pilipinas

President: Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (2001)

Current government officials

Land area: 115,124 sq mi (298,171 sq km); total area: 115,830 sq mi (300,000 sq km)

Population (2007 est.): 91,077,287 (growth rate: 1.8%); birth rate: 24.5/1000; infant mortality rate: 22.1/1000; life expectancy: 70.5; density per sq mi: 791

Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Manila, 10,677,000 (metro. area), 1,581,082 (city proper)

Other large cities: Quezon City (2000 est.), 1,669,776 (part of Manila metro. area); Cebu (2003 est.), 761,900

Monetary unit: Peso

Languages: Filipino (based on Tagalog), English (both official); eight major dialects: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango, and Pangasinense

Ethnicity/race: Tagalog 28.1%, Cebuano 13.1%, Ilocano 9%, Bisaya/Binisaya 7.6%, Hiligaynon Ilonggo 7.5%, Bikol 6%, Waray 3.4%, other 25.3% (2000)

Religions: Roman Catholic 81%, Evangelical 3%, Iglesia ni Kristo 2%, Aglipayan 2%, other Christian 5%, Islam 5% (2000)

Literacy rate: 96% (2003 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $299.6 billion; per capita $3,400. Real growth rate: 7.3%. Inflation: 2.8%. Unemployment: 7.3%. Arable land: 19%. Agriculture: sugarcane, coconuts, rice, corn, bananas, cassavas, pineapples, mangoes; pork, eggs, beef; fish. Labor force: 36.22 million; agriculture 35%, industry 15%, services 50% (2007 est.). Industries: electronics assembly, garments, footwear, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, wood products, food processing, petroleum refining, fishing. Natural resources: timber, petroleum, nickel, cobalt, silver, gold, salt, copper. Exports: $48.38 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.): electronic equipment, machinery and transport equipment, garments, optical instruments, coconut products, fruits and nuts, copper products, chemicals. Imports: $53.96 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.): raw materials, machinery and equipment, fuels, vehicles and vehicle parts, plastic, chemicals, grains. Major trading partners: Japan, U.S., Netherlands, Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, South Korea (2004).


The Philippine Islands are an archipelago of over 7,000 islands lying about 500 mi (805 km) off the southeast coast of Asia. The overall land area is comparable to that of Arizona. Only about 7% of the islands are larger than one square mile, and only one-third have names. The largest are Luzon in the north (40,420 sq mi; 104,687 sq km), Mindanao in the south (36,537 sq mi; 94,631 sq km), and Samar (5,124 sq mi; 13,271 sq km). The islands are of volcanic origin, with the larger ones crossed by mountain ranges. The highest peak is Mount Apo (9,690 ft; 2,954 m) on Mindanao.








Head of State: Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin ibni al-Marhum Sultan Mahmud (2006)

Prime Minister: Abdullah Badawi (2003)

Current government officials

Land area: 126,853 sq mi (328,549 sq km); total area: 127,316 sq mi (329,750 sq km)

Population (2007 est.): 24,821,286 (growth rate: 1.8%); birth rate: 22.7/1000; infant mortality rate: 16.6/1000; life expectancy: 72.8; density per sq mi: 196

Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Kuala Lumpur, 3,688,200 (metro. area), 1,403,400

Other large cities: Kelang, 683,200; Johor Bharu, 682,100

Monetary unit: Ringgit

Languages: Bahasa Melayu (Malay, official), English, Chinese dialects (Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan, Foochow), Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Panjabi, Thai; several indigenous languages (including Iban, Kadazan) in East Malaysia

Ethnicity/race: Malay 50.4%, Chinese 23.7%, Indigenous 11%, Indian 7.1%, others 7.8% (2004 est.)

Religions: Muslim, Buddhist, Daoist, Hindu, Christian, Sikh; Shamanism (East Malaysia)

Literacy rate: 89% (2003 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $357.4 billion; per capita $13,300. Real growth rate: 6.3%. Inflation: 2.1%. Unemployment: 3.2%. Arable land: 5%. Agriculture: Peninsular Malaysia—rubber, palm oil, cocoa, rice; Sabah—subsistence crops, rubber, timber, coconuts, rice; Sarawak—rubber, pepper, timber. Labor force: 10.67 million; agriculture 14.5%, industry 36%, services 49.5% (2000 est.). Industries: Peninsular Malaysia—rubber and oil-palm processing and manufacturing, light manufacturing industry, electronics, tin mining and smelting, logging, timber processing; Sabah—logging, petroleum production; Sarawak—agriculture processing, petroleum production and refining, logging. Natural resources: tin, petroleum, timber, copper, iron ore, natural gas, bauxite. Exports: $147.1 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.): electronic equipment, petroleum and liquefied natural gas, wood and wood products, palm oil, rubber, textiles, chemicals. Imports: $118.7 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.): electronics, machinery, petroleum products, plastics, vehicles, iron and steel products, chemicals. Major trading partners: U.S., Singapore, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea, Germany, Indonesia (2004).

Member of Commonwealth of Nations


Malaysia is on the Malay Peninsula in southeast Asia. The nation also includes Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo to the east. Its area slightly exceeds that of New Mexico.

Most of Malaysia is covered by forest, with a mountain range running the length of the peninsula. Extensive forests provide ebony, sandalwood, teak, and other woods.


Constitutional monarchy.




Republic of Singapore

President: S. R. Nathan (1999)

Prime Minister: Lee Hsien Loong (2004)

Current government officials

Land area: 241 sq mi (624 sq km); total area: 267 sq mi (692.7 sq km)

Population (2007 est.): 4,553,009 (growth rate: 1.3%); birth rate: 9.2/1000; infant mortality rate: 2.3/1000; life expectancy: 81.8; density per sq mi: 18,898

Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Singapore, 3,438,600

Monetary unit: Singapore dollar

Languages: Mandarin 35%, English 23%, Malay 14.1%, Hokkien 11.4%, Cantonese 5.7%, Teochew 4.9%, Tamil 3.2%, other Chinese dialects 1.8%, other 0.9% (2000)

Ethnicity/race: Chinese 76.8%, Malay 13.9%, Indian 7.9%, other 1.4% (2000)

Religions: Buddhist 43%, Islam 15%, Taoist 9%, Hindu 4%, Catholic 5%, other Christian 10%, none 15% (2000)

Literacy rate: 93% (2003 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $228.1billion; per capita $49,700. Real growth rate: 7.7%. Inflation: 2.1%. Unemployment: 2.1%. Arable land: 2%. Agriculture: rubber, copra, fruit, orchids, vegetables; poultry, eggs; fish, ornamental fish. Labor force: 2.28 million (Sept. 2005 est.); manufacturing 18%, construction 6%, transportation and communication 11%, financial, business, and other services 39%, other 26% (2003). Industries: electronics, chemicals, financial services, oil drilling equipment, petroleum refining, rubber processing and rubber products, processed food and beverages, ship repair, offshore platform construction, life sciences, entrepôt trade. Natural resources: fish, deepwater ports. Exports: $204.8 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.): machinery and equipment, mineral fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs. Imports: $188.3 billion (2005 est.): machinery and equipment, mineral fuels, chemicals, foodstuffs. Major trading partners: Malaysia, U.S., Hong Kong, China, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea (2004).

Member of Commonwealth of Nations


The Republic of Singapore consists of the main island of Singapore, off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula between the South China Sea and the Indian Ocean, and 58 nearby islands.


Parliamentary Republic  






Commonwealth of Australia

Sovereign: Queen Elizabeth II (1952)

Governor-General: Michael Jeffery (2003)

Prime Minister: Kevin Rudd (2007)

Current government officials

Land area: 2,941,283 sq mi (7,617,931 sq km); total area: 2,967,893 sq mi (7,686,850 sq km)

Population (2008 est.): 20,600,856 (growth rate: 0.8%); birth rate: 11.9/1000; infant mortality rate: 4.5/1000; life expectancy: 80.7; density per sq mi: 7

Capital (2003 est.): Canberra, 327,700

Largest cities: Sydney, 4,250,100; Melbourne, 3,610,800; Brisbane, 1,545,700; Perth, 1,375,200; Adelaide, 1,087,600

Monetary unit: Australian dollar

Languages: English 79%, native and other languages

Ethnicity/race: Caucasian 92%, Asian 7%, aboriginal and other 1%

Religions: Roman Catholic 26%, Anglican 21%, other Christian 21%, Buddhist 2%, Islam 2%, other 1%, none 15% (2001)

National Holiday: Australia Day, January 26

Literacy rate: 99%% (2003 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $766.8 billion; per capita $37,500. Real growth rate: 4%. Inflation: 3%. Unemployment: 4.4%. Arable land: 6.15%. Agriculture: wheat, barley, sugarcane, fruits; cattle, sheep, poultry. Labor force: 10.9 million; agriculture 3.6%, industry 21.2%, services 75.2% (2007 est.). Industries: mining, industrial and transportation equipment, food processing, chemicals, steel. Natural resources: bauxite, coal, iron ore, copper, tin, gold, silver, uranium, nickel, tungsten, mineral sands, lead, zinc, diamonds, natural gas, petroleum. Exports: $139.4 billion (2007 est.): coal, gold, meat, wool, alumina, iron ore, wheat, machinery and transport equipment. Imports: $152.7 billion (2007 est.): machinery and transport equipment, computers and office machines, telecommunication equipment and parts; crude oil and petroleum products. Major trading partners: China, U.S., Japan, Singapore, Germany (2006).

Member of Commonwealth of Nations


The continent of Australia, with the island state of Tasmania, is approximately equal in area to the United States (excluding Alaska and Hawaii). Mountain ranges run from north to south along the east coast, reaching their highest point in Mount Kosciusko (7,308 ft; 2,228 m). The western half of the continent is occupied by a desert plateau that rises into barren, rolling hills near the west coast. The Great Barrier Reef, extending about 1,245 mi (2,000 km), lies along the northeast coast. The island of Tasmania (26,178 sq mi; 67,800 sq km) is off the southeast coast.


Democracy. Symbolic executive power is vested in the British monarch, who is represented throughout Australia by the governor-general.

New Zealand



Sovereign: Queen Elizabeth II (1952)

Governor-General: Anand Satyanand (2006)

Prime Minister: Helen Clark (1999)

Current government officials

Land area: 103,734 sq mi (268,671 sq km); total area: 103,737 sq mi (268,680 sq km)

Population (2007 est.): 4,115,771 (growth rate: 1.0%); birth rate: 13.6/1000; infant mortality rate: 5.7/1000; life expectancy: 79.0; density per sq mi: 40

Capital (2003 est.): Wellington, 342,500 (metro. area), 165,100 (city proper)

Largest cities: Auckland, 369,300 (metro. area), 359,500 (city proper); Christchurch, 334,100

Monetary unit: New Zealand dollar

Languages: English, Maori (both official)

Ethnicity/race: European 69.8%, Maori 7.9%, Pacific Islander 4.4%, Asian 5.7%, other 0.5%, mixed 7.8%, unspecified 3.8% (2001)

Religions: Anglican 15%, Roman Catholic 12%, Presbyterian 11%, Methodist 3%, Pentecostal 2%, Baptist 1%, other Christian 9%, none 26% (2001)

Literacy rate: 99% (2003 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $111.7 billion; per capita $26,400. Real growth rate: 3%. Inflation: 2.4%. Unemployment: 3.6%. Arable land: 6%. Agriculture: wheat, barley, potatoes, pulses, fruits, vegetables; wool, beef, lamb and mutton, dairy products; fish. Labor force: 2.23 million: services 74%, industry 19%, agriculture 7% (2006). Industries: food processing, wood and paper products, textiles, machinery, transportation equipment, banking and insurance, tourism, mining. Natural resources: natural gas, iron ore, sand, coal, timber, hydropower, gold, limestone. Exports: $28.12 billion (2007 est.): dairy products, meat, wood and wood products, fish, machinery. Imports: $29.83 billion (2007 est.): machinery and equipment, vehicles and aircraft, petroleum, electronics, textiles, plastics. Major trading partners: Australia, U.S., Japan, China, UK, Singapore, Germany (2006).

Member of Commonwealth of Nations


New Zealand, about 1,250 mi (2,012 km) southeast of Australia, consists of two main islands and a number of smaller outlying islands so scattered that they range from the tropical to the antarctic. The country is the size of Colorado. New Zealand's two main components are the North Island and the South Island, separated by Cook Strait. The North Island (44,281 sq mi; 115,777 sq km) is 515 mi (829 km) long and volcanic in its south-central part. This area contains many hot springs and beautiful geysers. South Island (58,093 sq mi; 151,215 sq km) has the Southern Alps along its west coast, with Mount Cook (12,316 ft; 3754 m) the highest point. Other inhabited islands include Stewart Island, the Chatham Islands, and Great Barrier Island. The largest of the uninhabited outlying islands are the Auckland Islands (234 sq mi; 606 sq km), Campbell Island (44 sq mi; 114 sq km), the Antipodes Islands (24 sq mi; 62 sq km), and the Kermadec Islands (13 sq mi; 34 sq km).


Parliamentary Democracy.



of Indonesia

National name: Republik Indonesia

President: Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (2004)

Current government officials

Land area: 699,548 sq mi (1,811,831 sq km); total area: 741,096 sq mi (1,919,440 sq km)

Population (2007 est.): 234,693,997 (growth rate: 1.2%); birth rate: 19.7/1000; infant mortality rate: 32.1/1000; life expectancy: 70.2; density per sq mi: 335

Capital and largest city (2003 est.): Jakarta, 13,194,000 (metro. area), 8,389,443 (city proper)

Other large cities: Surabaya, 3,038,800; Bandung, 2,733,500; Medan, 2,204,300; Semarang, 1,267,100

Monetary unit: Rupiah

Languages: Bahasa Indonesia (official), English, Dutch, Javanese, and more than 580 other languages and dialects

Ethnicity/race: Javanese 45%, Sundanese 14%, Madurese 7.5%, coastal Malays 7.5%, other 26%

Religions: Islam 88%, Protestant 5%, Roman Catholic 3%, Hindu 2%, Buddhist 1% (1998)

Literacy rate: 90% (2004 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $837.8 billion; per capita $3,700. Real growth rate: 6.3%. Inflation: 6.4%. Unemployment: 9.6%. Arable land: 11%. Agriculture: rice, cassava (tapioca), peanuts, rubber, cocoa, coffee, palm oil, copra; poultry, beef, pork, eggs. Labor force: 108 million (2007 est.); agriculture 43.3%, industry 18%, services 38.7% (2004 est.). Industries: petroleum and natural gas, textiles, apparel, footwear, mining, cement, chemical fertilizers, plywood, rubber, food, tourism. Natural resources: petroleum, tin, natural gas, nickel, timber, bauxite, copper, fertile soils, coal, gold, silver. Exports: $118.4 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.): oil and gas, electrical appliances, plywood, textiles, rubber. Imports: $86.24 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.): machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels, foodstuffs. Major trading partners: Japan, U.S., Singapore, South Korea, China, Taiwan, Malaysia (2006).


Indonesia is an archipelago in Southeast Asia consisting of 17,000 islands (6,000 inhabited) and straddling the equator. The largest islands are Sumatra, Java (the most populous), Bali, Kalimantan (Indonesia's part of Borneo), Sulawesi (Celebes), the Nusa Tenggara islands, the Moluccas Islands, and Irian Jaya (also called West Papua), the western part of New Guinea. Its neighbor to the north is Malaysia and to the east is Papua New Guinea.

Indonesia, part of the “ring of fire,” has the largest number of active volcanoes in the world. Earthquakes are frequent. Wallace's line, a zoological demarcation between Asian and Australian flora and fauna, divides Indonesia.




Socialist Republic of Vietnam
National name: Công Hòa Xa Hôi Chú Nghia Viêt Nam

President: Nguyen Minh Triet (2006)

Prime Minister: Nguyen Tan Dung (2006)

Current government officials

Land area: 125,622 sq mi (325,361 sq km); total area: 127,244 sq mi (329,560 sq km)

Population (2007 est.): 85,262,356 (growth rate: 1.0%); birth rate: 16.6/1000; infant mortality rate: 24.4/1000; life expectancy: 71.1; density per sq mi: 679

Capital (2003 est.): Hanoi, 2,543,700 (metro. area), 1,396,500 (city proper)

Largest cities: Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), 5,894,100 (metro. area), 3,415,300 (city proper); Haiphong, 581,600; Da Nang, 452,700; Hué 271,900; Nha Trang, 270,100; Qui Nho'n, 199,700

Monetary unit: Dong

Languages: Vietnamese (official); English (increasingly favored as a second language); some French, Chinese, Khmer; mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)

Ethnicity/race: Kinh (Viet) 86.2%, Tay 1.9%, Thai 1.7%, Muong 1.5%, Khome 1.4%, Hoa 1.1%, Nun 1.1%, Hmong 1%, others 4.1% (1999)

Religions: Buddhist 9%, Catholic 7%, Hoa Hao 2%, Cao Dai 1%, Protestant, Islam, none 81%

Literacy rate: 94% (2003 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $221.4 billion; per capita $2,600. Real growth rate: 8.5%. Inflation: 8.3%. Unemployment: 5.3%. Arable land: 20%. Agriculture: paddy rice, coffee, rubber, cotton, tea, pepper, soybeans, cashews, sugar cane, peanuts, bananas; poultry; fish, seafood. Labor force: 46.42 million; agriculture 55.6%, industry 18.9%, services 25.5% (July 2005). Industries: food processing, garments, shoes, machine-building; mining, coal, steel; cement, chemical fertilizer, glass, tires, oil, paper. Natural resources: phosphates, coal, manganese, bauxite, chromate, offshore oil and gas deposits, forests, hydropower. Exports: $39.92 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.): crude oil, marine products, rice, coffee, rubber, tea, garments, shoes. Imports: $39.16 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.): machinery and equipment, petroleum products, fertilizer, steel products, raw cotton, grain, cement, motorcycles. Major trading partners: U.S., Japan, China, Australia, Germany, Singapore, UK, Taiwan, South Korea, Thailand, Hong Kong (2004).


Vietnam occupies the eastern and southern part of the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia, with the South China Sea along its entire coast. China is to the north and Laos and Cambodia are to the west. Long and narrow on a north-south axis, Vietnam is about twice the size of Arizona. The Mekong River delta lies in the south.


Communist State.





People's Republic of China

National name: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo

President: Hu Jintao (2003)

Prime Minister: Wen Jiabao (2003)

Current government officials

Land area: 3,600,927 sq mi (9,326,411 sq km); total area: 3,705,407 sq mi (9,596,960 sq km)1

Population (2008 est.): 1,330,044,605 (growth rate: 0.6%); birth rate: 13.7/1000; infant mortality rate: 21.1.1/1000; life expectancy: 73.1; density per sq mi: 142

Capital (2003 est.): Beijing, 10,849,000 (metro. area), 8,689,000 (city proper)

Largest cities: Shanghai, 12,665,000 (metro. area), 10,996,500 (city proper); Tianjin (Tientsin), 9,346,000 (metro. area), 4,333,900 (city proper); Wuhan, 3,959,700; Shenyang (Mukden), 3,574,100; Guangzhou, 3,473,800; Haerbin, 2,904,900; Xian, 2,642,100; Chungking (Chongquing) 2,370,100; Chengdu, 2,011,000; Hong Kong (Xianggang), 1,361,200

Monetary unit: Yuan/Renminbi

Languages: Standard Chinese (Mandarin/Putonghua), Yue (Cantonese), Wu (Shanghaiese), Minbei (Fuzhou), Minnan (Hokkien-Taiwanese), Xiang, Gan, Hakka dialects, minority languages

Ethnicity/race: Han Chinese 91.9%, Zhuang, Uygur, Hui, Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Manchu, Mongol, Buyi, Korean, and other nationalities 8.1%

National Holiday: Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China, October 1

Religions: Officially atheist; Daoist (Taoist), Buddhist, Christian 3%–4%, Muslim 1%–2% (2002 est.)

Literacy rate: 90.9% (2006 est.)

Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2007 est.): $6.991 trillion; per capita $5,300. Real growth rate: 11.4% (official data). Inflation: 4.8%. Unemployment: 4% official registered unemployment in urban areas; substantial unemployment and underemployment in rural areas. Arable land: 15%. Agriculture: rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, peanuts, tea, millet, barley, apples, cotton, oilseed; pork; fish. Labor force: 798 million (2006); agriculture 45%, industry 24%, services 31% (2006 est.). Industries: mining and ore processing, iron, steel, aluminum, and other metals, coal; machine building; armaments; textiles and apparel; petroleum; cement; chemicals; fertilizers; consumer products, including footwear, toys, and electronics; food processing; transportation equipment, including automobiles, rail cars and locomotives, ships, and aircraft; telecommunications equipment, commercial space launch vehicles, satellites. Natural resources: coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin, tungsten, antimony, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, uranium, hydropower potential (world's largest). Exports: $974 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.): machinery and equipment, plastics, optical and medical equipment, iron and steel. Imports: $777.9 billion f.o.b. (2006 est.): machinery and equipment, oil and mineral fuels, plastics, optical and medical equipment, organic chemicals, iron and steel. Major trading partners: U.S., Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Germany, Taiwan (2004).

Communications: Telephones: main



The greater part of the country is mountainous. Its principal ranges are the Tien Shan, the Kunlun chain, and the Trans-Himalaya. In the southwest is Tibet, which China annexed in 1950. The Gobi Desert lies to the north. China proper consists of three great river systems: the Yellow River (Huang He), 2,109 mi (5,464 km) long; the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang), the third-longest river in the world at 2,432 mi (6,300 km); and the Pearl River (Zhu Jiang), 848 mi (2,197 km) long.


Communist State.











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