Eurasia's Different Faces

What is Eurasia?

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Geology of Eurasia

Nearly all of Eurasia sits upon the Eurasian Plate, one of several large plates that cover our planet.

This map shows the world's plates and it is clear that there is no geologic boundary between Europe and Asia - they are combined as Eurasia. Part of eastern Russia lies on the North American Plate, India lies on the Indian Place and the Arabian Peninsula lies on the Arabian Plate.

Physical Geography of Eurasia
The Ural Mountains have long been the unofficial dividing line between Europe and Asia. This 1500-mile-long chain is hardly a barrier geologically or geographically. The highest peak of the Ural Mountains is 6,217 feet (1,895 meters), far shorter than the peaks of the Alps in Europe or the Caucasus Mountains in southern Russia. The Urals have served as a marker between Europe and Asia for generations but it is not a natural division between land masses. Additionally, the Ural Mountains do not extend very far south at all, they stop well short of the Caspian Sea and throw the Caucasus region into question as to whether they are "European" or "Asian" countries as the coutries in Caucasus area - Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
The Ural Mountains are simply not a good dividing line between Europe and Asia.
Eurasia stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the west with bordering countries of Portugal and Spain in the west (and perhaps Ireland, Iceland, and Great Britain as well) to Russia's easternmost point, at the Bering Strait between the Arctic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean in the east.
Eurasia's northern frontier consists of Russia, Finland, and Norway bordering the Arctic Ocean in the north. Eurasia's southern boundaries are the Mediterranean Sea, Africa, and the Indian Ocean. Southern border countries of Eurasia include Spain, Israel, Yemen, India, and continental Malaysia. Eurasia also commonly includes island countries associated with the Eurasian continent such as Sicily, Crete, Cyprus, Sri Lanka, Japan, Philippines, island Malaysia, and perhaps even Indonesia. There is considerable confusion as to the division of the island of New Guinea between Asian Indonesia and Papua New Guinea, often considered part of Oceania.

Number of Countries
As of 2012, there are 93 independent countries in Eurasia. This includes all 48 countries of Europe (including the island countries of Cyprus, Iceland, Ireland, and the United Kingdom), 17 countries of the Middle East, 27 countries of Asia (including Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Philippines, and Taiwan), and one new country now often associated with Oceania - East Timor. Thus, nearly half of the world's 196 independent countries are in Eurasia.

Population of Eurasia
As of 2012, the population of Eurasia is nearly five billion, about 71% of the planet's population. This includes about 4.2 billion people in Asia and 740 million people in Europe, as those subregions of Eurasia are commonly understood. The remainder of the world's population lives in Africa, North and South America, and Oceania.

Capitals
To define the capital cities of Eurasia is challenging when the continent is divided up into 93 independent countries. However, some capital cities are simply much more powerful and well-placed among the capitals of the world than others. I therefore define four capital cities of Eurasia.
I would suggest that the capitals of Eurasia consist of Beijing, Moscow, London, and Brussels. Beijing is the capital of Eurasia's most populous country, China. China is rapidly increasing in its prominence and power on the world stage. China holds vast power over Asia and the Pacific Rim.
Moscow is old Europe's easternmost powerful capital and remains the capital city of Eurasia's and the world's largest country in area. Russia remains a powerful country politically, despite its falling population. Moscow maintains significant influence over the fourteen former non-Russian republics that were part of the Soviet Union but are now independent countries.
The modern history of the United Kingdom is not to be underestimated - the United Kingdom (like Russia and China) sits on the United Nations Security Council and the Commonwealth of Nations is still a viable entity.
Finally, Brussels is the capital of the European Union, an supranational agglomeration of 27 member states that holds considerable power throughout Eurasia.
Ultimately, if one is going to insist on dividing the planet into continents, Eurasia should be considered as a continent instead of Asia and Europe.


Eurasian continent with its different faces


The western view & the eastern view
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

Eurasia covers around 55,000,000 square kilometres (21,000,000 sq mi), or around 36.2% of the Earth's total land area. The landmass contains around 5.0 billion people, equating to approximately 70% of the human population. Humans first settled in Eurasia between 60,000 and 125,000 years ago. Some island countries, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland, Japan, Philippines and Indonesia, are included under the popular definition of Eurasia, in spite of being separate from the massive landmass.

OVERVIEW
Physiographically, Eurasia is a single continent. The concepts of Europe and Asia as distinct continents date back to antiquity and their borders are geologically arbitrary, with the Ural and Caucasus ranges being the main delimiters between the two.
Eurasia is connected to Africa at the Suez Canal, and Eurasia is sometimes combined with Africa as the supercontinent Afro-Eurasia.[5] Due to the vast landmass and differences in latitude, Eurasia exhibits all types of climate under the Köppen classification – including the harshest types of hot and cold temperatures, high and low precipitation and various types of nature.

HISTORY
Eurasia has been the host of many ancient civilizations, including those based in Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley and China. In the Axial Age (mid-First Millennium BC) a continuous belt of civilizations stretching through the Eurasian subtropical zone from the Atlantic to the Pacific. This belt became the mainstream of world history for two millennia.
Through this belt passed the famous  Silk Road which symbolizes trade and cultural exchange linking Eurasian cultures through history and has been an increasingly popular topic. Over recent decades the idea of a greater Eurasian history has developed with the aim of investigating the genetic, cultural and linguistic relationships between European and Asian cultures of antiquity, which had long been considered distinct.

GEOLOGY
Eurasia formed 375 to 325 million years ago with the merging of Siberia (once a separate continent), Kazakhstania, and Baltica, which was joined to Laurentia, now North America, to form Euramerica. Chinese cratons collided with Siberia's southern coast.


GEOPOLITICS
Originally, “Eurasia” is a geographical notion: in this sense, it is simply the biggest continent; the combined landmass of Europe and Asia. However, geopolitically, the word has several different meanings, reflecting the specific geopolitical interests of each nation.
“Eurasia” is one of the most important geopolitical concepts; as Zbigniew Brzezinski observed:
“... how America "manages" Eurasia is critical. A power that dominates “Eurasia” would control two of the world’s three most advanced and economically productive regions. A mere glance at the map also suggests that control over “Eurasia” would almost automatically entail Africa’s subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania geopolitically peripheral to the world’s central continent. About 75 per cent of the world’s people live in “Eurasia”, and most of the world’s physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. “Eurasia” accounts for about three-fourths of the world’s known energy resources.
In the widest possible sense, the geopolitical definition of “Eurasia” is consistent with its geographical area. This is sometimes the way the word is understood in countries located at the fringes of, or outside, this area, and it is generally what is meant by “Eurasia” in political circles (see Zbigniew Brzezinski) in the USA, Japan and India.
In Western Europe when political scientists talk about “Eurasia”, they generally mean Russia (including Ukraine) integrated into Europe, economically, politically, and even militarily. Since Napoleon, European strategists have understood the importance of allying with Russia, and the potential consequences of failing to do so. At the moment one of the most prominent projects of European Union is Russia - EU Four Common Spaces Initiative. A political and economic union of former Soviet states named the Eurasian Union is scheduled for establishment in 2015, similar in concept to the European Union. As of 2014 neither encompasses all states within Eurasia.

The Russian concept of “Eurasia” is very different from the European one. It is a view that has older roots than the European one - not surprisingly, considering Russia's geographic position Russian politologists traditionally view Russia itself, being both European and Asian, as “Eurasian.” The geopolitical area of the Russian concept of “Eurasia” corresponded initially more or less to the land area of Imperial Russia in 1914, including parts of Eastern Europe. There is undeniably an influence of Panslavism in this definition; originally the idea of “Eurasia” was more romantically rooted in natural geography. It was the idea that the people scattered across the land called “Eurasia” shared common spiritual values due to its geographic traits, such as a flat land with few coastlines but important rivers, a particular climate (continental, often harshly so), and a certain landscape (steppe, taiga, tundra). This idea was more or less realised, but with difficulty, during the last phases of the Russian Empire and was then realised again with the Soviet Union after 1945, though not stably enough for enduring success.
Today, though this Russian geopolitical interest still exists, the physical area of the Russian “Eurasia” is now more realistically assessed. The Russian view today is that “Eurasia” consists of the land lying between Europe and Asia proper; namely, those made up of Western and Central Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, part of Caucasus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan (see Eurasian Economic Union). Just as in the case of the European concept of “Eurasia,” the Russian version of “Eurasia” is a geopolitical interest that underpins foreign policy in that part of the world. Thus, it is not surprising that today one of Russia's main geopolitical interests lies in ever closer integration with those countries that it considers part of “Eurasia.

 

Members of the ASEM
Every two years since 1996 a meeting of most Asian and European countries is organised as the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).

History of the Europe and Asia division
In ancient times, the Greeks classified Europe (derived from the mythological Phoenician princess Europa) and Asia (derived from Asia, a woman in Greek mythology) as separate "lands". Where to draw the dividing line between the two regions is still a matter of discussion. Especially whether the Kuma-Manych Depression or the Caucasus Mountains form the southeast boundary is disputed, since Mount Elbrus would be part of Europe in the latter case, making it (and not Mont Blanc) Europe's highest mountain. Most accepted is probably the boundary as defined by Philip Johan von Strahlenberg in the 18th century. He defined the dividing line along the Aegean Sea, Dardanelles, Sea of Marmara, Bosporus, Black Sea, Kuma–Manych Depression, Caspian Sea, Ural River, and Ural Mountains.

Geography
Eurasia is considered a supercontinent, part of the supercontinent of Afro-Eurasia or simply a continent in its own right. In plate tectonics, the Eurasian Plate includes Europe and most of Asia but not the Indian subcontinent, the Arabian Peninsula or the area of the Russian Far East east of the Chersky Range.
Post-Soviet countries

Eurasian world for Eurasians political movement

Single markets in European and post Soviet countries; European Economic Area and Common Economic Space
Eurasia  is also sometimes used in geopolitics to refer to organizations of or affairs concerning the post-Soviet states, in particular, Russia, the Central Asian republics, and the Transcaucasian republics. A prominent example of this usage is in the name of the Eurasian Economic Community, the organization including Kazakhstan, Russia, and some of their neighbors, and headquartered in Moscow, Russia, and Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.
The word "Eurasia" is often used in Kazakhstan to describe its location. Numerous Kazakh institutions have the term in their names, like the L. N. Gumilev Eurasian National University (Kazakh: Л. Н. Гумилёв атындағы Еуразия Ұлттық университеті; Russian: Евразийский Национальный университет имени Л. Н. Гумилёва)[11] (Lev Gumilev's Eurasianism ideas having been popularized in Kazakhstan byOlzhas Suleimenov), the Eurasian Media Forum,   the Eurasian Cultural Foundation (Russian: Евразийский фонд культуры), the Eurasian Development Bank (Russian: Евразийский банк развития), and the Eurasian Bank.] In 2007 Kazakhstan's President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, proposed building a "Eurasia Canal" to connect the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea via Russia's Kuma-Manych Depression in order to provide Kazakhstan and other Caspian-basin countries with a more efficient path to the ocean than the existing Volga-Don Canal.