The Far East is an English term (with equivalents in various languages of Europe and Asia; Chinese: pinyin: yuan dong; literally: "far east") mostly describing East Asia (including Northeast Asia), Southeast Asia, and the Russian Far East (part of North Asia, a.k.a. Siberia) with South Asia sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons. The term came into use in European geopolitical discourse in the 12th century, denoting the Far East as the "farthest" of the three "easts", beyond the Near East and the Middle East. For the same reason, Chinese people in the 19th and early 20th centuries called Western countries "Tàixi —i.e. anything further west than the Arab world. The term is less commonly used than in the past as it allegedly connotes the "orientalism" of the 19th century more explicitly than East Asia. Since the 1960s, terms like East Asia and the Orient have become increasingly common. East Asia remains the most common media term for the region today.
East Asia or Eastern Asia is the eastern subregion of the Asian continent, which can be defined in geographical or cultural terms. Geographically and geopolitically, it covers about 12,000,000 km2 (4,600,000 sq mi), or about 28% of the Asian continent, about 15% bigger than the area of Europe. More than 1.5 billion people, about 38% of the population of Asia and 22% or over one fifth of all the people in the world, live in East Asia. The region is one of the world's most populated places, with a population density of 133 inhabitants per square kilometre (340/sq mi), being about three times the world average of 45/km2 (120/sq mi), although Mongolia has the lowest population density of a sovereign state. Using the UN subregion definitions, East Asia ranks second in population only to Southern Asia. Historically, many societies in East Asia have been part of the Chinese cultural sphere, and East Asian vocabulary and scripts are often derived from Classical Chinese and Chinese script. Sometimes Northeast Asia is used to denote Japan and Korea. Major religions include Buddhism (mostly Mahayana), Confucianism or Neo-Confucianism, Taoism, Chinese folk religion in China and Taiwan, Shinto in Japan, Shamanism in Korea, Mongolia and other indigenous populations of northern East Asia, and recently Christianity in South Korea. The Chinese Calendar is the root from which many other East Asian calendars are derived.
Russian Far East The Russian Far East (Russian: tr. Dal’niy Vostok Rossii; IPA: stok) is the Russian part of the Far East, i.e. the extreme east parts of Russia, between Lake Baikal in Eastern Siberia and the Pacific Ocean. The Far Eastern Federal District, which covers this area, borders with the Siberian Federal District in the west.
South Asia or Southern Asia is a term created about 50–60 years ago to replace the centuries older term Indian Subcontinent, used to represent the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities, adjoining countries to the west and east. Topographically, it is dominated by the Indian Plate, which rises above sea level as northern parts of India south of the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush. South Asia is bounded on the south by the Indian Ocean and on land (clockwise, from west) by West Asia, Central Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia.
Central Asia is the core region of the Asian continent and stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China in the east and from Afghanistan in the south to Russia in the north. It is also sometimes referred to as Middle Asia, and, colloquially, "the 'stans" (as the six countries generally considered to be within the region all have names ending with the Persian suffix "-stan", meaning "land of") and is within the scope of the wider Eurasian continent. The region, along with Russia, is also part of "the great pivot" as per the Heartland Theory of Halford Mackinder, which says that the power which controls Central Asia—richly endowed with natural resources—shall ultimately be the "empire of the world". In modern contexts, all definitions of Central Asia include these five republics of the former Soviet Union: Kazakhstan (pop. 17 million), Kyrgyzstan (5.7 million), Tajikistan (8.0 million), Turkmenistan (5.2 million), and Uzbekistan (30 million), for a total population of about 66 million as of 2013–2014. Afghanistan (pop. 31.1 million) is also sometimes included.