New Guinea World's second-largest island, part of the e Malay archipelago, in the w Pacific Ocean. Discovered in the early 16th century, New Guinea was colonized by the Dutch, the Germans and the British during the next two centuries. In 1904, the British-administered part transferred to Australia, and Australian forces seized German New Guinea during World War I. The e half eventually achieved independence as Papua New Guinea in 1975. The w half, Irian Jaya, became a province of Indonesia in 1969. The island has a tropical climate and is mountainous. Products: copra, cocoa, coffee, rubber, coconuts, tobacco. Area: 885,780sq km (342,000sq mi).
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