Where Is Borneo Located?

borneo-located Credit: Mint Images - Frans Lanting/Mint Images/Getty Images

Borneo, the third-largest island worldwide, lies on the equator and is located within the Malay Archipelago between Southeast Asia to the North and Australia to the south. The 287,000-square-mile tropical island is surrounded by the South China Sea and is divided between the Sultanate of Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia. The largest and southernmost portion of the island is part of the Republic of Indonesia.

Prior to World War II, Borneo was divided between the British and Dutch empires as part of the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824. The island was later occupied by Japanese forces between 1941 and 1945. The wartime occupation decimated local populations and resulted in the execution of intellectuals. The island was also used by the Japanese to hold Allied prisoners of war. In its current administration by three separate nations, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Sultanate of Brunei, the island is the only one in the world divided in this manner.