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Southeast Asia and Oceania nation located between the Indian and Pacific seas, Indonesia is the world's third most populous country. This archipelago of about seventeen thousand islands includes the islands of Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, and sections of Borneo and New Guinea as well as the islands of the Pacific Ocean. In terms of size, Indonesia is the world's largest island nation and the 14th-largest country overall, with a total land area of 1,904,569 square kilometres (735,358 square miles). Indonesia is the fourth-most populous nation in the world, and it is also the most populous Muslim-majority country, with over 270 million inhabitants. Java, the world's most populated island, is home to more than half of Indonesia's inhabitants, making it the country's most populous province.

Indonesia is a presidential, constitutional republic with a legislature that is chosen by the people. It is divided into 34 provinces, five of which have unique status. Jakarta, the country's capital, is the world's second-most populated metropolitan region after New York City. On the ground, Indonesia is bordered by Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and the eastern half of Malaysia. On the water, Indonesia has a marine border with Singapore and Vietnam as well as with the Philippines, Australia, Palau, and India (Andaman and Nicobar Islands). The country of Indonesia includes enormous expanses of wildness that are home to one of the world's greatest concentrations of biodiversity, despite its massive population and heavily inhabited regions.

Since at least the 7th century, when Srivijaya and subsequently Majapahit dealt with groups from mainland China and the Indian subcontinent, the Indonesian archipelago has proven to be a profitable trading zone. Since the early years, local monarchs had gradually assimilated foreign influences, resulting in the flourishing of Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms. Islam was spread to the world by Sunni merchants and Sufi thinkers, while Christianity was brought to the world primarily by European explorers. While the Portuguese, French, and British intervened from time to time, the Dutch remained the dominant colonial power in the archipelago throughout the most of their 350-year occupation of the region. The notion of "Indonesia" as a nation-state first arose in the early twentieth century, culminating in the declaration of Indonesian independence in 1945, which marked the beginning of the modern era. However, after an armed and diplomatic battle between the two countries, it was not until 1949 that the Dutch officially recognised Indonesia's sovereignty.