Indonesia (/ˌɪndəˈniːʒə/ (About this sound listen) IN-də-NEE-zhə or /ˌɪndoʊˈniːziə/ IN-doh-NEE-zee-ə; Indonesian: [ɪndonesia]),[lacks stress] officially the Republic of Indonesia (Indonesian: Republik Indonesia [rɛpublik ɪndonesia]),[lacks stress] is a unitary, transcontinental sovereign state located mainly in Southeast Asia, with some territories in Oceania. Situated between the Indian and Pacific oceans, it is the world’s largest island country, with more than thirteen thousand islands. At 1,904,569 square kilometres (735,358 square miles), Indonesia is the world’s 14th largest country in terms of land area and the 7th largest in terms of combined sea and land area. With over 261 million people, it is the world’s 4th most populous country as well as the most populous Austronesian and Muslim-majority country. Java, the world’s most populous island, contains more than half of the country’s population.
Indonesia’s republican form of government includes an elected parliament and president. Indonesia has 34 provinces, of which five have special status. Its capital is Jakarta, which is the second most populous urban area in the world. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and the eastern part of Malaysia. Other neighbouring countries include Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, Australia, Palau, and India’s Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support a high level of biodiversity. The country has abundant natural resources like oil and natural gas, tin, copper and gold. Agriculture mainly produces rice, palm oil, tea, coffee, cacao, medicinal plants, spices and rubber. Indonesia’s major trading partners are China, United States, Japan, Singapore and India.
The Indonesian archipelago has been an important region for trade since at least the 7th century, when Srivijaya and then later Majapahit traded with Chinese dynasties and Indian kingdoms. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign cultural, religious and political models from the early centuries CE, and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Muslim traders and Sufi scholars brought Islam, while European powers brought Christianity and fought one another to monopolise trade in the Spice Islands of Maluku during the Age of Discovery. Following a period of Dutch colonialism starting from Amboina and Batavia, and eventually all of the archipelago including Timor and Western New Guinea, at times interrupted by Portuguese, French and British rule, Indonesia secured its independence after World War II.
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