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TAIWAN
 
   
   
 

Taiwan Identity Card

Country name:
~ conventional form: Taiwan
~ local form: T'ai-wan
 
Area: 35,980 sq km
Coastline: 1,566.3 km
Highest point: Yu Shan 3,952 m
Population: 22,894,384
Density: 636/km2
Population growth rate: 0.63%
Official Language: Mandarin Chinese
Religions: mixture of Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist 93%, Christian 4.5%, other 2.5%
Government type: multiparty democratic regime headed by popularly-elected president and unicameral legislature
Capital: Taipei
GDP - per capita: $25,300
Inflation rate: 1.7%
Currency (code): new Taiwan dollar (TWD)
Vehicle Country Id-Code: RC
ISO CODE Alpha2: TW
ISO CODE Alpha3: TWN
ISO NUMERIC CODE: 158
Calling code: +886
Internet country code: .tw
Time Zone: + 8.0 H

 
 
 
 

Buddha Statue at Buddha Light Mountain

Taiwan is a land of pleasant surprises that packs an unexpected wealth of diversity into its conglomeration of little islands. A drive through this East Asian nation takes you to sleepy countryside where suddenly a sunny seaside pops up with a splendid view of the horizon. The cultural mosaic of Taiwan is decked up with gigantic temples and monuments along with vibrant festivities and a multi-ethnic society. Located, around 200 km off the south eastern coast of China Taiwan serves as a perfect launching point for further travels to East Asia. Also the country’s diverse topography and heritage juxtaposed with a thriving commercial environment makes it a choice destination for vacationers and business travellers alike. The capital city of Taiwan is Taipei. Kaohsiung is the second largest city, the island's most important port and one of the biggest container ports in the world.
A prominent blend of Japanese and Chinese cultural jargons is still evident in the slumbering hamlets and insomniac city life of Taiwan. Though entangled in a diplomatic tug of war between the Republic of China of Taiwan (ROC) and People’s Republic of China of mainland China (PRC), there remains much to explore in the country. The emerald-peaked mountains, long stretches of coast, greenery of rice fields and density of the rain forests of Taiwan are sure to mesmerise you for a long time.

Geography

Taiwan is located roughly equidistant from Japan and Korea to the north, the Philippines to the south, and mainland China to the west. It is an archipelago of nearly sixty islands that include small islets, the Pescadores and the island groups of Quemoy and Matsu. The maritime boundaries of Taiwan are comprised of the East China Sea to the north, the Philippine Sea to the east, the Luzon Strait directly to the south and the South China Sea to the southwest and the Taiwan Strait on the west. The terrain of Taiwan is bereft of multi-natural features and is subdivided in a mountainous eastern front and fertile and rolling plains of the western regions. The mountains cover the country from north to south and roll down the eastern shoreline. The tallest peak of Taiwan is the Yu Shan at 3,952 meters. Spread over an area of 35,801 square kilometers (13,823 square miles), Taiwan houses majority of its population and agriculture on the western fertile lands. Dense tropical forests are also commonplace in Taiwan.


Chiang Kai-shek Memorial, Taipei

Climate

Due to its strategic positioning along the Tropic of Cancer, Taiwan has a semitropical climate and is prone to earthquakes and typhoons. It experiences rainfall ranging from moderate to heavy between the months of June to August.

History

View of Kaohsiung Harbor

The aboriginal population of Taiwan is presently dominated by an overwhelming majority of the Chinese who generally speak the Mandarin, Amoy, or Hakka dialects. Apart from this, one can find some descents of Japanese, Dutch and Spanish culture in the Taiwanese population. Moreover, numerous religions are practiced in Taiwan, including Taoism, Buddhism, Confucianism, shamanism, and Christianity. This cultural diversity of Taiwan finds its roots in the pages of history when the Chinese emigrants from the provinces of Fukien and Kwangtung, which lies in mainland opposite to Taiwan, began settling here in the 7th century. Taiwan was christened as Formosa or the “Beauitiful” by the Portuguese explorers who arrived in the sixteenth century. The Dutch and Spanish invaders followed in the next century and inhabited the south and north of Taiwan respectively. In the following decades the Dutch forced out the Spanish but lost to the Ming army led by Lord Koxinga. The Manchus seized the island in 1683 and established Taiwan as an independent kingdom under Chinese authority. Japan got hold of Taiwan in 1895 after its victory in the first Sino-Japanese War. The Japanese rule continued till the Second World War and faced resistance from the Nationalist Party that overthrew the last Chinese emperor. At the end of the war, Taiwan was given back to China but the Communists under Mao Tse-tung defeated Nationalist Party in 1949. Around one and a half million supporters of the National Party fled to Taiwan along with their leader Chen Yi and declared the formation of the People's Republic of China. The People Republic of China refuses to accept the ROC rule and a tension is still on regarding unification of Taiwan with mainland China administration.


Taipei 101 the tallest building in the world

Economy

The economy of Taiwan has developed enough to be regarded as one of the Asian Tigers in the field of trade and commerce. High level of privatisation in every sector of the economy on behalf of the government and swelling export-earning figures plumed the growth rate of the country. The United States, Japan, Europe and China are the chief trading partners of Taiwan that specialises in computers, electronics, and electrical products, machinery, clothing, textiles and communications equipment.

Politics

The political status of Taiwan is still under cloud as some hail it as an independent entity but others regard it as an autonomous province of China. The executive body of Taiwan is headed by the president who is popularly elected for four-year terms. The cabinet ministers function under him and are known as the Executive Yuan. The unicameral Legislative Yuan is made up of 225 seats and the unicameral National Assembly comprises of 300 seat non-standing body. The Judicial Yuan is appointed by the president of Taiwan and functions as an independent body.

 



 

 

 
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