The dispute about where the geographical center of Asia is located cannot be easy, as it has political overtones. Several countries have placed commemorative signs on their territory marking the place where, according to the authorities, the possible center of this part of the world is located.
Asia is the largest part of the world, both in terms of population and area. Its area, together with the islands, exceeds 43 million square kilometers, and the population reaches 4.2 trillion people.
Besides, this region is the most dynamically developing economically. After all, it is here that countries such as China, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and India are located.
The huge size of the continent does not allow to determine the location of the geographical center of Asia with high accuracy, since this part of the world stretches from the Suez Canal to the Chukotka Peninsula.
Asia is washed by three oceans: the Arctic,Indian and Pacific. However, in its western part there are seas belonging to the Atlantic Ocean basin, including the Mediterranean, Caspian, Azov, Black and Marmara.
A distinctive feature of Asia is its extremely mountainous terrain, as up to three quarters of the area is occupied by mountain systems, the highest peaks of which are located in Central and Central Asia. However, one can also talk about the very contrasting relief of this part of the world, since here are the highest peak in the world - Chomolungma, and the deepest depressions - Lake Baikal and the Dead Sea, which, as you know, is 392 meters below sea level.
The name "Asia" comes from the ancient kingdom of Assuva, located in the North-West of the Anatolian Peninsula, also known as Asia Minor. Already in the era of antiquity, Greek scientists became interested in the problem of borders, between the two parts of the world, which were first named by the Greek geographer Hecateus of Miletus in his fundamental work "Earth Description".
In subsequent centuries, the borders between Europe and Asia were constantly revised in connection with the newly opened territories. It was proposed to separate the two parts of the world either along the Don, then along the Kerch Strait, then along the Georgian river Rioni.
There is no final clarity with the borders of Asia today. That is why there are differences between Russia and China in determining the exact location of the geographical center of the region.
By the middle of the twentieth century,some of the most common points of view on how the boundary should be drawn. According to one of them, the border passed along the eastern foot of the Urals and Mugodzhar, ran along the Emba River, turned along the northern coast of the Caspian Sea and along the Kumo-Manych depression went to the Kerch Strait, thus leaving the Sea of Azov in Europe.
Criticism and border disputes
Later this position was seriously criticized, as it violated the principle of geographical integrity, according to which the entire Urals had to fall into Europe.
The third position was to draw the border along the watershed of the Ural mountain range, the Ural River, along the watershed of the Caucasus Range to the Kerch Strait. Today, the final decision on the delimitation of Europe and Asia has not been made either, but in statistical calculations, the border is drawn along the eastern administrative borders of the Arkhangelsk region, Komi, Chelyabinsk and Sverdlovsk regions, as well as along the established state borders between Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation. In the Caucasus, the border is drawn along the north of Dagestan, the Stavropol and Krasnodar Territories.
However, the border between Asia and Africa is also considered problematic, although to a lesser extent. The speculative line dividing these two parts of the world was also constantly shifting, but in modern geography it is customary to draw it along the Suez Canal. Thanks to this, the Sinai Peninsula, which belongs to Egypt, falls into Asia, and the rest of the country is in Africa.
How many regions in Asia
Given the vast size of this geographic region, it is not surprising that it also includes sub-regions, which may differ from each other both in geographical conditions and in the level of economic development.
East Asia includes both Koreas, Japan with all its islands, as well as China and the Mongolian Republic. Western Asia, according to this classification, stretches from Azerbaijan and Armenia to Yemen and Kuwait. Thus, states from Cambodia to the Philippines fall into Southeast Asia.
According to the UN classification, South Asia includes:
- Sri Lanka.
And Central Asia, often called Middle Asia in Russia, includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
It is worth noting that, like all other issues related to politics and state borders, this classification is not generally recognized, since there are numerous unrecognized or only partially recognized countries in the vast expanses of Asia.
Monuments marking the center of Asia
According to the point of view widespread in Russia, the geographical center of Asia is located in the Republic of Tuva, or more precisely, in its capital - the city of Kyzyl. Despite the fact that there are other views on this problem, the Tuvans decided to mark this place with a specialcommemorative sign.
The construction of the obelisk "Center of Asia" began in Kyzyl in 1964 according to the sketch of the artist Vasily Demin. However, later it was changed somewhat. The obelisk is located on the embankment named after Kuzhuget Shoigu in Kyzyl. The author of the current version of the obelisk is Dashi Namdakov, a famous Tuvan artist.
However, China believes that the geographical center of Asia is on their territory, and also erected their own monument to mark it.