China the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since China has expanded, re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin established the first Chinese empire; the succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements.
The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty and Northern Song completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution; the Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity.
China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget; the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, the G20. In recent times, scholars have argued that it will soon be a world superpower, rivaling the United States; the word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves, it has been traced through Portuguese and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cīna, used in ancient India."China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn, in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna.
Cīna was first used including the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu. In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived from the name of the Qin dynasty. Although this derivation is still given in various sources, it is complicated by the fact that the Sanskrit word appears in pre-Qin literature; the word may have referred to a state such as Yelang. The meaning transferred to China as a whole; the origin of the Sanskrit word is still a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China"; the shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing, it was used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.
Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 2.24 million and 250,000 years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; the fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800–5400 BCE, Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE; some scholars have suggested. According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE; the dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period; the succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE.
Their oracle bone script
The Senkaku Islands are a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. They are located due east of Mainland China, northeast of Taiwan, west of Okinawa Island, north of the southwestern end of the Ryukyu Islands, they are known as the Diaoyu Islands in Mainland China, the Diaoyutai Islands in Taiwan, the Pinnacle Islands. As a result of the discovery of potential undersea oil reserves in 1968 in the area and the 1971 transfer of administrative control of the islands from the United States to Japan, the latter's sovereignty over the territory is disputed by both the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China. China claims the discovery and ownership of the islands from the 14th century, while Japan maintained ownership of the islands from 1895 until its surrender at the end of World War II; the United States administered the islands as part of the United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands from 1945 until 1972, when the islands returned to Japanese control under the Okinawa Reversion Agreement between the United States and Japan.
The islands are disputed between Japan and Taiwan. Despite the diplomatic stalemate between mainland China and Taiwan, both governments agree that the islands are part of Taiwan as part of Toucheng Township in Yilan County. Japan regards the islands as a part of the city of Ishigaki in Okinawa Prefecture and acknowledges the claims of neither China nor Taiwan, but has not allowed the Ishigaki administration to develop the islands. Records of these islands date back to as early as the 15th century when they were referred as Diaoyu in books such as Voyage with a Tail Wind and Record of the Imperial Envoy's Visit to Ryūkyū. Adopted by the Chinese Imperial Map of the Ming Dynasty, the Chinese name for the island group and the Japanese name for the main island both mean "fishing". In 1171, Wang Dayou, who guarded Fujian Province, established a military camp in Penghu, sent his generals to control the islands. Taiwan and its affiliated islands, including Diaoyu Island, were under the military jurisdiction of Penghu and administered by Jinjiang, Fujian Province.
In the 1470s, China had implemented effective jurisdiction over the Diaoyu Islands and other islands, patrolling the sea could be a strong proof of the actual jurisdiction. In the fifth year of Hongwu, the Ming Dynasty ordered Zhejiang and Fujian to build sea boats to prevent Japan; the Records of Ming Taizu recorded that Zhang He and Wu Zhen, both voyagers of Jinghai, had led boat divisions to the "Ryukyu Ocean". The Qing court not only incorporated the Diaoyu Dao Islands into the scope of China's coastal defense as the Ming court did, but clearly placed the islands under the jurisdiction of the local government of Taiwan. Official documents of the Qing court, such as A Tour of Duty in the Taiwan Strait and Annals of Taiwan Prefecture all gave detailed accounts concerning China's administration over Diaoyu Dao. Volume 86 of Recompiled General Annals of Fujian, a book compiled by Chen Shouqi and others in 1871, included Diaoyu Dao as a strategic location for coastal defense and placed the islands under the jurisdiction of Gamalan, Taiwan.
The Chinese had used the uninhabited islands as navigational markers in making the voyage to the Ryukyu Kingdom upon commencement of diplomatic missions to the kingdom, "resetting the compass at a particular isle in order to reach the next one". The first published description of the islands in Europe appears in a book imported by Isaac Titsingh in 1796, his small library of Japanese books included Sangoku Tsūran Zusetsu by Hayashi Shihei. This text, published in Japan in 1785, described the Ryūkyū Kingdom. Hayashi followed convention in giving the islands their Chinese names in his map in the text, where he coloured them in the same pink as China. In 1832, the Oriental Translation Fund of Great Britain and Ireland supported the posthumous abridged publication of Titsingh's French translation; the name, "Pinnacle Isles" was first used by James Colnett, who charted them during his 1789-1791 voyage in the Argonaut. William Robert Broughton sailed past them in November 1797 during his voyage of discovery to the North Pacific in HMS Providence, referred to Diaoyu Island/Uotsuri Island as "Peaks Island".
Reference was made to the islands in Edward Belcher's 1848 account of the voyages of HMS Sammarang. Captain Belcher observed that "the names assigned in this region have been too hastily admitted." Belcher reported anchoring off Pinnacle Island in March 1845. In the 1870s and 1880s, the English name Pinnacle Islands was used by the British navy for the rocks adjacent to the largest island Uotsuri-shima / Diaoyu Dao. A Japanese navy record issued in 1886 first started to identify the islets using equivalents of the Chinese and English terms employed by the British; the name "Senkaku Retto" is not found in any Japanese historical document before 1900, first appeared i
The Daitō Islands are an archipelago consisting of three isolated coral islands in the Philippine Sea southeast of Okinawa. The islands have a total area of 44.427 square kilometres and a population of 2,107. Administratively, the whole group belongs to Shimajiri District of Okinawa Prefecture, is divided between the villages of Minamidaitō and Kitadaitō, with uninhabited Okidaitōjima island administered as part of Kitadaitō municipality, although physically located closer to Minamidaitōjima. Kita and oki means "north", "south", "offshore" while daitō means "great east"; these islands have long been known in Okinawa as Ufuagari. The islands were first sighted by the Spanish navigator Bernardo de la Torre on 25 September 1543 and a few days still in September, during his abortive attempt to reach New Spain from the Philippines with the San Juan de Letran, they were visited by European explorers of various nations, were known as the Borodino Islands after a Russian vessel surveyed them in 1820.
The islands remained uninhabited until formally claimed by the Empire of Japan in 1885. In 1900, a team of pioneers from Hachijōjima, one of the Izu Islands located 287 kilometres south of Tokyo led by Tamaoki Han'emon, started a settlement on Minamidaitōjima, began cultivating sugar cane, he subsequently led colonization efforts on Okidaitōjima. Those two islands had substantial deposits of guano, mined for phosphate-based fertilizer and gunpowder. By 1919 the population was more than 4000 people. During World War II, Minamidaitōjima was attacked by the United States Navy. After World War II all of the islands were occupied by the United States, administered as part of the United States Civil Administration of the Ryukyu Islands from 1950; the islands were returned to Japan in 1972. Being separated for more than 300 km from Ryukyu Islands, the nearest landmass, a unique and isolated ecosystem holding endemic species was established on Daitō Islands which doesn't include habu vipers unlike many of Ryukyu Islands.
Lack of snakes caused introduced and invasive toads to rampant. Three main islands of Kita and Oki were covered by virgin forests, however human activities including military exercise damaged and resulted in disappearing of forests and extinction of endemic species most notably on Okidaitōjima. Aside from eels, any fresh water fish and amphibians had not been recorded in pre-exploration periods. Entire archipelago excluding Okidaitōjima and smaller islands is listed as a Wildlife Protection Areas in Japan extending for 4,251 hectare with a special protection zone of 234 hectare. Many of flora and fauna were named after the islands including Daito fruit bat, Daito buzzard, Daito Neolitsea, Daito scops owl, Daito Stag Beetle, Daito Figulus binodulus, Daito Euterpnosia, Daito Little grebe, Daito Bulbul, Daito Mejiro, Daito Livistona, Daito Excoecaria, Daito Crepidiastrum. Several of these such as Daito bush warbler, Daito varied tit, Daito wren became extinct. Migratory and oceanic species that breed on the islands include such as Laysan albatross, Black-winged stilt, skipjack tuna, Japanese Spanish mackerel, manta rays, Japanese spiny lobster, sea turtles and Humpback whales.
Among Ryukyu Islands, green pheasant is only present on Daitō Islands followed by corals and coral fish that are rare in the rest of the archipelago most notably Chaetodon auripes, regarded as endemic to the islands and Hemitaurichthys thompsoni was only recorded in Bonin Islands. Black Jacks and knifejaws that have become rarer in Japanese waters still occur as well. First sighted by Spanish navigator Bernardo de la Torre in late September 1543. Charted as Abreojos in the case of Okidaitōjima and Las dos hermanas, referring to Minamidaitōjima and Kitadaitōjima. There is little doubt that the two small Islas sin Probecho, sighted by the Spanish navigator Pedro de Unamuno on 28 July 1587, are the Daitō Islands; the island of “Amsterdam”, which can be found to the west of “Malabrigo” on the maps of Quast, Martini and Nolin, according to Dahlgren, appears for the first time on a map of 1635. It was still searched for unsuccessfully by Beechey in 1827 and is a longitudinal misplacement of Rasa Island, i.e. Okidaitōjima.
The Breskens-Eylant discovered on the Dutch expedition of Maarten Gerritszoon Vries and Hendrik Corneliszoon Schaep on 8 May 1643 at 24°43'N and 151°31' 30" E of Teneriffa, a low lying little island about c. 1.5 mylen long, is identical with Isla Rasa, now Okidaitōjima. On Quast’s chart, used on the Vries expedition, the island of "Malabrigo" is situated 21 mylen to the west of "Breskens-Eylant". In the Daghregister of the Batavia port authority for 14 December 1643, on Vries’ voyage back, this discovery is called "Malabriga". On an 1817 London chart, at c. 24°45 N. Dolores 1773" which doubtless goes back to a sighting from a Spanish Manila galleon on her way from the Philippines to New Spain. We know that in 1773 the Spanish vessel Nuestra Señora de Consolación with Felipe Tompson as pilot sailed from Manila to California via New Guinea. On that voyage Helen Reef and Oroluk in the Caroline Islands were sighted. Tompson’s southern route may not go against a sighting of the Daitos in the same year, but indicates that he tried to pursue the same course as his compatriot Francisco
The Ryukyu Islands known as the Nansei Islands or the Ryukyu Arc, are a chain of Japanese islands that stretch southwest from Kyushu to Taiwan: the Ōsumi, Amami and Sakishima Islands, with Yonaguni the westernmost. The larger are high islands and the smaller coral; the largest is Okinawa Island. The climate of the islands ranges from humid subtropical climate in the north to tropical rainforest climate in the south. Precipitation is high, is affected by the rainy season and typhoons. Except the outlying Daitō Islands, the island chain has two major geologic boundaries, the Tokara Strait between the Tokara and Amami Islands, the Kerama Gap between the Okinawa and Miyako Islands; the islands beyond the Tokara Strait are characterized by their coral reefs. The Ōsumi and Tokara Islands, the northernmost of the islands, fall under the cultural sphere of the Kyushu region of Japan; the Amami, Okinawa and Yaeyama Islands have a native population collectively called the Ryukyuan people, named for the former Ryukyu Kingdom that ruled them.
The varied Ryukyuan languages are traditionally spoken on these islands, the major islands have their own distinct languages. In modern times, the Japanese language is the primary language of the islands, with the Okinawan Japanese dialect prevalently spoken; the outlying Daitō Islands were uninhabited until the Meiji period, when their development was started by people from the Izu Islands south of Tokyo, with the people there speaking the Hachijō language. Administratively, the islands are divided into Kagoshima Prefecture in the north and Okinawa Prefecture in the south, with the divide between the Amami and Okinawa Islands, with the Daitō Islands part of Okinawa Prefecture; the northern islands are collectively called the Satsunan Islands, while the southern part of the chain are called the Ryukyu Islands in Chinese. The Ryukyus are divided into two or three primary groups: either administratively, with the Northern Ryukyus being the islands in Kagoshima Prefecture and the Southern Ryukyus being the islands in Okinawa Prefecture, or geologically, with the islands north of the Tokara Strait being the Northern Ryukyus, those between the Tokara Strait and Kerama Gap being the Central Ryukyus, those south of the Kerama Gap being the Southern Ryukyus.
Following are the grouping and names used by the Hydrographic and Oceanographic Department of the Japan Coast Guard. The islands are listed from north to south. Nansei Islands Satsunan Islands Ōsumi Islands with: Tanegashima, Kuchinoerabu, Mageshima in the North-Eastern Group, Takeshima, Iōjima, Kuroshima in the North-Western Group. Tokara Islands: Kuchinoshima, Gajajima, Akusekijima, Kodakarajima, Takarajima Amami Islands: Amami Ōshima, Kakeromajima, Ukeshima, Okinoerabujima, Yoronjima Ryukyu Islands Okinawa Islands: Okinawa Island, Iheya, Aguni, Ie, Iwo Tori Shima Kerama Islands: Tokashiki, Aka, Geruma Sakishima Islands Miyako Islands: Miyakojima, Ikema, Ōgami, Shimoji, Minna, Tarama Yaeyama Islands: Iriomote, Taketomi, Kuroshima, Hatoma, Hateruma, Yonaguni Senkaku Islands: Uotsurijima, Kuba Jima, Taisho Jima, Kita Kojima, Minami Kojima Daitō Islands: Kita Daitō, Minami Daitō, Oki DaitōThe Geospatial Information Authority of Japan, another government organization, responsible for standardization of place names, disagrees with the Japan Coast Guard over some names and their extent, but the two are working on standardization.
They agreed on February 2010, to use Amami-guntō for the Amami Islands. The English and Japanese uses of the term "Ryukyu" differ. In English, the term Ryukyu may apply to the entire chain of islands, while in Japanese Ryukyu refers only to the islands that were part of the Ryūkyū Kingdom after 1624. Nansei-shotō is the official name for the whole island chain in Japanese. Japan has used the name on nautical charts since 1907. Based on the Japanese charts, the international chart series uses Nansei Shoto. Nansei means "southwest", the direction of the island chain from mainland Japan; some humanities scholars prefer the uncommon term Ryūkyū-ko for the entire island chain. In geology, the Ryukyu Arc includes subsurface structures such as the Okinawa Trough and extends to Kyushu. During the American occupation of Amami, the Japanese government objected to them being included under the name "Ryukyu" in English, because they worried that this might mean that the return of the Amami Islands to Japanese control would be delayed until the return of Okinawa.
However, the American occupational government on Amami continued to be called the "Provisional Government for th
International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is an intergovernmental organization created by the mandate of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea. It was established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, signed at Montego Bay, Jamaica, on December 10, 1982; the Convention entered into force on November 16, 1994, established an international framework for law over "all ocean space, its uses and resources". The tribunal is based in Germany; the Convention established the International Seabed Authority, with responsibility for the regulation of seabed mining beyond the limits of national jurisdiction, beyond the limits of the territorial sea, the contiguous zone and the continental shelf. There are 167 signatories, 166 states plus the European Union. According to its founding statute, the Tribunal has a set of 21 serving judges from a variety of states parties. At the request of Chile and the European Union, the Tribunal set up a special chamber composed of 5 judges to deal with the Case concerning the Conservation and Sustainable Exploitation of Swordfish Stocks in the South-Eastern Pacific Ocean.
By agreement of the parties Ghana and Ivory Coast, the Tribunal formed a special chamber composed of 5 judges to deal with the Dispute Concerning Delimitation of the Maritime Boundary between Ghana and Côte d'Ivoire in the Atlantic Ocean. Official ITLOS Site International Foundation for the Law of the Sea Privileges and Immunities, Berlin, 14 December 2004
Russia the Russian Federation, is a transcontinental country in Eastern Europe and North Asia. At 17,125,200 square kilometres, Russia is by far or by a considerable margin the largest country in the world by area, covering more than one-eighth of the Earth's inhabited land area, the ninth most populous, with about 146.77 million people as of 2019, including Crimea. About 77 % of the population live in the European part of the country. Russia's capital, Moscow, is one of the largest cities in the world and the second largest city in Europe. Extending across the entirety of Northern Asia and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans eleven time zones and incorporates a wide range of environments and landforms. From northwest to southeast, Russia shares land borders with Norway, Estonia, Latvia and Poland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, China and North Korea, it shares maritime borders with Japan by the Sea of Okhotsk and the U. S. state of Alaska across the Bering Strait. However, Russia recognises two more countries that border it, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are internationally recognized as parts of Georgia.
The East Slavs emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. Founded and ruled by a Varangian warrior elite and their descendants, the medieval state of Rus arose in the 9th century. In 988 it adopted Orthodox Christianity from the Byzantine Empire, beginning the synthesis of Byzantine and Slavic cultures that defined Russian culture for the next millennium. Rus' disintegrated into a number of smaller states; the Grand Duchy of Moscow reunified the surrounding Russian principalities and achieved independence from the Golden Horde. By the 18th century, the nation had expanded through conquest and exploration to become the Russian Empire, the third largest empire in history, stretching from Poland on the west to Alaska on the east. Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the world's first constitutionally socialist state; the Soviet Union played a decisive role in the Allied victory in World War II, emerged as a recognized superpower and rival to the United States during the Cold War.
The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite and the launching of the first humans in space. By the end of 1990, the Soviet Union had the world's second largest economy, largest standing military in the world and the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, twelve independent republics emerged from the USSR: Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and the Baltic states regained independence: Estonia, Lithuania, it is governed as a federal semi-presidential republic. Russia's economy ranks as the twelfth largest by nominal GDP and sixth largest by purchasing power parity in 2018. Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources are the largest such reserves in the world, making it one of the leading producers of oil and natural gas globally; the country is one of the five recognized nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction.
Russia is a great power as well as a regional power and has been characterised as a potential superpower. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and an active global partner of ASEAN, as well as a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Trade Organization, as well as being the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Collective Security Treaty Organization and one of the five members of the Eurasian Economic Union, along with Armenia, Belarus and Kyrgyzstan; the name Russia is derived from Rus', a medieval state populated by the East Slavs. However, this proper name became more prominent in the history, the country was called by its inhabitants "Русская Земля", which can be translated as "Russian Land" or "Land of Rus'". In order to distinguish this state from other states derived from it, it is denoted as Kievan Rus' by modern historiography.
The name Rus itself comes from the early medieval Rus' people, Swedish merchants and warriors who relocated from across the Baltic Sea and founded a state centered on Novgorod that became Kievan Rus. An old Latin version of the name Rus' was Ruthenia applied to the western and southern regions of Rus' that were adjacent to Catholic Europe; the current name of the country, Россия, comes from the Byzantine Greek designation of the Rus', Ρωσσία Rossía—spelled Ρωσία in Modern Greek. The standard way to refer to citizens of Russia is rossiyane in Russian. There are two Russian words which are commonly
The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east. At 165,250,000 square kilometers in area, this largest division of the World Ocean—and, in turn, the hydrosphere—covers about 46% of Earth's water surface and about one-third of its total surface area, making it larger than all of Earth's land area combined; the centers of both the Water Hemisphere and the Western Hemisphere are in the Pacific Ocean. The equator subdivides it into the North Pacific Ocean and South Pacific Ocean, with two exceptions: the Galápagos and Gilbert Islands, while straddling the equator, are deemed wholly within the South Pacific, its mean depth is 4,000 meters. The Mariana Trench in the western North Pacific is the deepest point in the world, reaching a depth of 10,911 meters; the western Pacific has many peripheral seas. Though the peoples of Asia and Oceania have traveled the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times, the eastern Pacific was first sighted by Europeans in the early 16th century when Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama in 1513 and discovered the great "southern sea" which he named Mar del Sur.
The ocean's current name was coined by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan during the Spanish circumnavigation of the world in 1521, as he encountered favorable winds on reaching the ocean. He called it Mar Pacífico, which in both Portuguese and Spanish means "peaceful sea". Important human migrations occurred in the Pacific in prehistoric times. About 3000 BC, the Austronesian peoples on the island of Taiwan mastered the art of long-distance canoe travel and spread themselves and their languages south to the Philippines and maritime Southeast Asia. Long-distance trade developed all along the coast from Mozambique to Japan. Trade, therefore knowledge, extended to the Indonesian islands but not Australia. By at least 878 when there was a significant Islamic settlement in Canton much of this trade was controlled by Arabs or Muslims. In 219 BC Xu Fu sailed out into the Pacific searching for the elixir of immortality. From 1404 to 1433 Zheng He led expeditions into the Indian Ocean; the first contact of European navigators with the western edge of the Pacific Ocean was made by the Portuguese expeditions of António de Abreu and Francisco Serrão, via the Lesser Sunda Islands, to the Maluku Islands, in 1512, with Jorge Álvares's expedition to southern China in 1513, both ordered by Afonso de Albuquerque from Malacca.
The east side of the ocean was discovered by Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa in 1513 after his expedition crossed the Isthmus of Panama and reached a new ocean. He named it Mar del Sur because the ocean was to the south of the coast of the isthmus where he first observed the Pacific. In 1519, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan sailed the Pacific East to West on a Spanish expedition to the Spice Islands that would result in the first world circumnavigation. Magellan called the ocean Pacífico because, after sailing through the stormy seas off Cape Horn, the expedition found calm waters; the ocean was called the Sea of Magellan in his honor until the eighteenth century. Although Magellan himself died in the Philippines in 1521, Spanish Basque navigator Juan Sebastián Elcano led the remains of the expedition back to Spain across the Indian Ocean and round the Cape of Good Hope, completing the first world circumnavigation in a single expedition in 1522. Sailing around and east of the Moluccas, between 1525 and 1527, Portuguese expeditions discovered the Caroline Islands, the Aru Islands, Papua New Guinea.
In 1542–43 the Portuguese reached Japan. In 1564, five Spanish ships carrying 379 explorers crossed the ocean from Mexico led by Miguel López de Legazpi, sailed to the Philippines and Mariana Islands. For the remainder of the 16th century, Spanish influence was paramount, with ships sailing from Mexico and Peru across the Pacific Ocean to the Philippines via Guam, establishing the Spanish East Indies; the Manila galleons operated for two and a half centuries, linking Manila and Acapulco, in one of the longest trade routes in history. Spanish expeditions discovered Tuvalu, the Marquesas, the Cook Islands, the Solomon Islands, the Admiralty Islands in the South Pacific. In the quest for Terra Australis, Spanish explorations in the 17th century, such as the expedition led by the Portuguese navigator Pedro Fernandes de Queirós, discovered the Pitcairn and Vanuatu archipelagos, sailed the Torres Strait between Australia and New Guinea, named after navigator Luís Vaz de Torres. Dutch explorers, sailing around southern Africa engaged in discovery and trade.
In the 16th and 17th centuries Spain considered the Pacific Ocean a mare clausum—a sea closed to other naval powers. As the only known entrance from the Atlantic, the Strait of Magellan was at times patrolled by fleets sent to prevent entrance of non-Spanish ships. On the western side of the Pacific Ocean the Dutch threatened the Spanish Philippines; the 18th cen