, located primarily in the eastern
and northern hemisphere
s. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area (or 30% of its land area) and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population. During the 20th century Asia's population nearly quadrupled.
Asia is defined according to similar definitions presented by the Encyclopædia Britannica
and the National Geographic Society
as 4/5 of the landmass
– with the western portion of the latter occupied by Europe – located to the east of the Suez Canal
, east of the Ural Mountains
and south of the Caucasus Mountains
(or the Kuma-Manych Depression
) and the Caspian
and Black Sea
1492 Spain and Christopher Columbus sign the Capitulations of Santa Fe for his voyage to Asia to acquire spices.
1891 San Sebastian Church in Manila, the first all-steel church in Asia, is officially inaugurated and blessed.
1917 The Congress of the United States passes the Immigration Act of 1917 over President Woodrow Wilson's veto. Also known as the ''Asiatic Barred Zone Act'', it forbade immigration from nearly all of south and southeast Asia.
1927 The Ginza Line, the first subway line in Asia, opens in Tokyo, Japan.
1955 The Bandung Conference ends: Twenty-nine non-aligned nations of Asia and Africa finish a meeting that condemns colonialism, racism, and the Cold War.
1969 Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard Nixon declares the Nixon Doctrine, stating that the United States now expects its Asian allies to take care of their own military defense. This is the start of the "Vietnamization" of the war.
1973 The Bosporus Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey is completed, connecting the continents of Europe and Asia over the Bosporus for the first time.
1988 The Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge in Istanbul, Turkey is completed, providing the second connection between the continents of Europe and Asia over the Bosporus.
1998 Opening ceremony for the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Malaysia is the first Asian country to host the games.