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Indonesia

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The history of the Indonesian archipelago has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. It has been a valuable region for trade since at least the 7th century when Srivijaya and then later Majapahit traded with entities from mainland China and the Indian subcontinent. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign influences from the early centuries and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. 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. Although sometimes interrupted by the Portuguese, French and British, the Dutch were the foremost European power for much of their 350-year presence in the archipelago. In the early 20th century, the concept of "Indonesia" as a nation-state emerged, and independence movements began to take shape. During the decolonisation of Asia after World War II, Indonesia achieved independence in 1949 following an armed and diplomatic conflict with the Netherlands.

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