of Indonesia and Australia
Indonesia and Australia are nations
located southeast of Asia, separated by the Timor Sea and the Java Trench.
Both have undergone challenges in economy, government, and demography that
are both similar and quite different from the other. Indonesia is"the world ’s most expansive archipelagic (fragmented) state" (Blij 503)
with multiple heritages and cultures. Australia has been slowly declining
over the past century and continues to economically disintegrate.
According to records kept on the economy, government, and demography, both
Australia and Indonesia are continuing to be recognized as similar and
distinct in their own right.
DEMOGRAPHY AND LAND STRUCTURE
The 275 million people of Indonesia
are spread across the 13,000 islands it encompasses. It holds position
as the fourth most populated nation in the world, containing a diversity
of people including Javanese, Sudanese, Malays, and Balinese and other
smaller groups which make up fifty-five percent of the population.
Four of its largest islands are known as the Greater Sunda Islands .
Jawa has the smallest area but is largest in population density (with about
120 million), Sumatera is in the west across from Malaysia, Kalimantan
(which shares land space with Malaysia on Borneo), and Sulawesi , which
is also called Celebes, the "wishbone – shaped" island of the east.
The fifth largest island is New Guinea, which is not primarily a part of
Indonesian cultural ties although half of its western side of the island
is under Indonesian control.
Australia is approximately 10 times
the size of Texas, with a population of eighteen million. 85 percent
live in cities, with about 300,000 consisting in the Aboriginal population.
Most of the population is concentrated in the core area to the east and
southeast, facing the Pacific Ocean. This area is more humid and
extends between the Great Dividing Range and the east coast. The
eastern, less populous area consists of desert or steppe, which is not
primary for living conditions but contains mineral deposits.
RESOURCES AND PRODUCTION
Indonesia has a wide variety of
natural resources, consisting of petroleum, palm oil, rubber, lumber, tin,
coffee, tea, and other cash crops. However, the population continues
on an upward climb that will have a doubling time of 43 years. This
creates a much longer-term threat to the country’s future than anything
does else does. With this steep climb in population, the nation has
already been forced to import large amounts of rice and wheat to feed its
people. The land is extremely fertile, consisting of great
mountainous areas, tropical rainforests, volcanic soil, deltas, and heavy
seasons of rainfall. This creates a problem as well, for although
plant life flourishes, the crops that will bring money into the country
are not the best for the area. Therefor, the natives must live from
what they can grow on the land and by imported goods. Jawa is the
most populated island and is also the most agriculturally productive of
the five. Jakarta, a port in Jawa, is also one of the Pacific Rims
busiest harbors. Large businesses and trading companies flock to
this harbor because the high levels of supplies and the amount of cheap
labor that can be found.
Australia has been described as
a coastal nation with cities, towns, and farms, which meets the dryer,
less hospitable area often called the Outback. To the west, the grassland
pastures sent Australia into commercial trading. One of the largest
herds of sheep consisting of over 160 million animals, produce more than
1/5 of the worlds wool. Cattle are ranched to the east and north,
where the climate is moist. This is the part of Australia that has
been raising livestock for more than two centuries. Wool, meat, and
wheat have long been the nations largest exports. Along the Murray
River, rice, grapes, and other citrus fruits are irrigated. Minerals
are also one of the nations greatest assets, such as the 10-year gold rush
in 1851, where Australia was producing more than 40 percent of the worlds
gold. The result of such abundance led to the search and discovery
of oil and natural gas, on and of the coast. Coal, before the prices
fell, was also a great asset.
POLITICS AND ECONOMY
Unity has been the most up front
concept that the leaders of Indonesia have tried to solve politically.
The government went so far as to relocate its people from Jawa to the less
populated islands in order to spread out the numbers and de-centralize
the island nation. The concept of unity is difficult because of the
type of land Indonesia is spread across. With the oceans and mountains
and dense forests, the people are very segregated. With over 300
discrete ethnic clusters and approximately 250 languages, there continues