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11. Asia

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Chapter Summary

This chapter is concerned with that part of mainland Asia that lies east of meridian 60 east. This line lies close to the boundary separating Iran from Afghanistan and Pakistan. The evolution of political boundaries throughout this extensive region finds a unity in the relationships between China and the colonial powers of Russia, Britain, France and Japan. The main lines of political cleavage in Asia were established by European powers in two stages. First before World War I they carved out Asian empires by negotiating boundaries with China and with those Asian states such as Afghanistan, Nepal and Thailand that were not annexed. Second, before World War II Britain, France and Russia established or confirmed colonial boundaries that subdivided their empires. After World War II the British authorities moved quickly to make India, Pakistan and Burma independent states by 1948.

Keywords: Asia; boundaries; international frontiers; World War



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