Background: In 1895, defeat in the war forced China to cede Taiwan to Japan, but after World War II, Taiwan returned to Chinese control. After the victory of the Communists on the mainland in 1949, 2 million nationalists fled to Taiwan and formed a government there, guided by the all-Chinese constitution of 1947. Over the course of five decades, the ruling circles were gradually democratized and the local population was involved in state structures. During this period, the island’s economy developed rapidly, with Taiwan becoming one of the economic “tigers” of East Asia. The most important political issue remains the issue of relations between Taiwan and China and their final unification.
Location: East Asia, islands in the East China Sea, Philippine Sea, South China Sea and Taiwan Strait, north of the Philippines, off the southeast coast of China.
Geographic coordinates: 23° 30′ N. latitude, 121° 00′ E
Reference map: Southeast Asia.
Area: total: 35,980 km2; land surface area: 32,260 km2; water surface area: 3,720 km2; note: includes Pescadores, Matsu and Quemoy.
Comparative area: slightly smaller than the states of Maryland and Delaware combined.
Land borders: 0 km.
Coastline: 1,566.3 km.
Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles; territorial waters: 12 nautical miles.
Climate: tropical; nautical; rainy season during the southwest monsoon (June to August); persistent and heavy cloud cover throughout the year.
Relief: in the east, two-thirds of the territory is occupied by rocky mountains; plain in the west.
Maximum and minimum heights: lowest point: South China Sea 0 m; highest point: Mount Yushan 3,997 m.
Natural resources: small reserves of coal, natural gas, limestone, marble and asbestos.
Land use: arable land: 24%; cultivated land: 1%; pastures: 5%; forests and plantations: 55%; others: 15%.
Irrigated land: no data.
Natural hazards: earthquakes and typhoons.
Current environmental issues: air pollution; water pollution by industrial and agricultural effluents; contamination of drinking water sources; trade in rare animals; disposal of weakly radioactive waste.
International agreements on environmental protection: participant: no; signed but not ratified: no.
Note to the section “Geography”:
Population: 22,370,461 (July 2001 est.).
Age structure: under 14: 21.22% (male 2,470,270; female 2,276,108); 15 to 64 years old: 69.97% (male 7,944,451; female 7,707,250); over 65: 8.81% (male 1,034,230; female 938,152) (2001 est.).
Population growth: 0.8% (2001 est.).
Birth rate: 14.31 newborns / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Mortality: 6 deaths / 1000 people. (2001 est.).
Migration: -0.34 people / 1000 people (2001 est.).
Sex ratio: at birth: 1.09 male/female; under 15: 1.09 male/female; from 15 to 64 years old: 1.03 male/female; over 65: 1.1 male/female; for the general population: 1.05 male/female (2001 est.).
Child mortality: 6.93 deaths/1000 live births (2001 est.).
Life expectancy: for the general population: 76.54 years; men: 73.81 years; women: 79.51 years (2001 est.).
General birth rate: 1.76 children/wives. (2001 est.).
Proportion of the adult population infected with HIV: no data available.
Number of people infected with HIV: no data.
Mortality due to AIDS: no data available.
Nationality: noun: Chinese; adjective: Chinese.
Ethnic groups: Taiwanese (including Hakka) 84%, Mainland Chinese 14%, Aboriginal 2%.
Believers: Buddhists, Confucians and Taoists 93%, Christians 4.5%, others 2.5%.
Languages): Mandarin Chinese (official), Taiwanese (Min), Hakka dialects.
Literacy: definition: persons aged 15 and over who can read and write; for the general population: 86% (1980 est.); note – according to official reports, the literacy rate of the population has increased to 94% (1998 est.); men: 93% (1980 est.); women: 79% (1980 est.). State Name:
Common long form: no;
conventional short form: Taiwan; local long form: no; local short form: T’ai-wan.
State structure: a multi-party democratic regime headed by a popularly elected president. See politicsezine.com to know more about Taiwan Political System.
Administrative division: since in the past the authorities claimed to be the government of all of China, the administrative units are Fujian (about 20 offshore islands of Fujian province, including Quemoy and Matsu) and Taiwan (Taiwan Island and the Pescadores Islands); note – the administrative division of Taiwan Province is of greater importance – 16 districts (hsien), 5 municipalities * (shin) and 2 special municipalities ** (chuan-shih): Kaohsiung, Kaohsiung **, Yilan, Miaoli, Nantou, Pingtung, Penghu, Hsinchu, Hsin-zhu*, Taipei, Taipei**, Taidong, Tainan, Tai-nan*, Taichung, Taichung*, Taoyuan, Hualien, Jilong*, Chiayi, Chiayi*, Zhanghua, Yunlin; the provincial capital is in Chungxingsincun; note: Taiwan uses the Wade-Giles system for romanization of hieroglyphic writing.
Independence: Taiwan, whatever the final decision on reunification is, it must be made by the Taiwanese people themselves; advocates of Taiwanese independence oppose the traditional i view that the island should eventually be united with mainland China; the goals of the Taiwan independence movement include establishing a sovereign state in Taiwan and joining the UN; organizations that support Taiwanese independence include the Formosan Independence World Association and the Taiwan Nation Building Organization.
National holiday: Republic Day (anniversary of the Chinese Revolution), October 10 (1911).
Constitution: adopted 1 January 1947, amended in 1992, 1994, 1997 and 1999
Legal system: based on the civil law system; subject to the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Suffrage: from 20 years old; universal.
chief of state: President CHEN Shui-bian (since May 20, 2000), Vice President Annette LU (since May 20, 2000);
head of government: Premier (Chairman of the Executive Yuan) CHANG Chun-hsiung (since October 2000);
government: the executive yuan is appointed by the president; elections: president and vice president elected by one ballot by popular vote for four-year terms; elections last held 18 March 2000 (next to be held in March 2004); the president appoints the prime minister; the vice-premier is appointed by the president on the recommendation of the prime minister; election results: CHENG Shui-bian elected president; percentage of votes – CHEN Shui-bian (DPP) 39.3%, James SOONG (Independent) 36.84%, LIEN Chan (KMT) 23.1%, HSU Hsin-liang ( independent) 0.63%, LEE Ao (LEE Ao) (CNP) 0.13%.
Legislature: unicameral Legislative Yuan (225 seats – 168 deputies are elected by popular vote, 41 seats are distributed among political parties in proportion to their votes, 8 deputies are elected from overseas Chinese constituencies in accordance with the proportion of votes scored by political parties in national elections, 8 by popular vote from indigenous numbers; MPs are elected for three-year terms) and a unicameral National Assembly (334 seats; MPs are elected by popular vote for four-year terms); elections: Legislative Yuan – last held 5 December 1998 (next to be held December 2001); National Assembly – last held 23 March 1996 (next to be held June 2002); election results: Legislative Yuan – distribution of votes between parties – KMT 46%, DPP 29%, CNP 7%, independents 10%, other parties 8%; distribution of seats among parties – KMT 123, DPP 70, CNP 11, independents 15, other parties 6; after the elections there were changes in the distribution of seats among parties – KMT 114, DPP 66, PFP 17, NP 9, other parties and independents 19; National Assembly o- distribution of votes by parties – KMT 55%, DPP 30%, CNP 14%, others 1%; places by party – KMT 183, DPP 99, CNP 46, others 6. National Assembly o- distribution of votes by parties – KMT 55%, DPP 30%, CNP 14%, others 1%; places by party – KMT 183, DPP 99, CNP 46, others 6. National Assembly o- distribution of votes by parties – KMT 55%, DPP 30%, CNP 14%, others 1%; places by party – KMT 183, DPP 99, CNP 46, others 6.
Judiciary: Judicial Yuan, judges are appointed by the president with the consent of the National Assembly; note – starting from 2003, judges will be appointed by the president with the consent of the Legislative Yuan.
Political parties and leaders: New China Party (CNP) (XO Lang-bin [HAU Lang-bin]); Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) (Frank HSIEH, chairman]); Kuomintang (KMT, Nationalist Party) (LIAN Chan, chairman); New Party (NP) (LI Ching-hwa); First People’s Party (PFP) (James UNOG, chairman); other small parties.
Political influence groups and their leaders: the Taiwan independence movement, various business and environmental groups; note: discussion of Taiwanese independence has become a major part of domestic politics on the island; political liberalization and increased representation of opposition parties in Taiwan’s legislative institutions initiated discussions about declaring an independent state; because now, for the most part, the people are satisfied with the existing fact
. Participation in international organizations: ARES, AsDB, BCIE, ICC, ICFTU, IFRCS, IOC, WCL, WTrO (observer).
Diplomatic representation in the USA: No; informal commercial and cultural communications with the people of the US are conducted through the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the US, a private institution headquartered in Taipei with offices in Washington DC and 12 other US cities.
US Diplomatic Mission: No; unofficial commercial and cultural ties with the people of Taiwan through the privately owned American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), headquartered in Rosslyn, Virginia; phone:  (703) 525-8474; fax: [\] (703) 841-1385); Taipei office: #7 Lane 134, Hsin Yi Road, Section 3; phone:  (2) 2709-2000; fax:  (2) 2702-7675; Kaohsiung office: #2 Chung Cheng 3d Road; phone:  (7) 224-0154 to 224-0157; fax:  (7) 223-8237; American Trade Center office: Room 3207 International Trade Building, Taipei World Trade Center, 333 Keelung Road Section 1, Taipei 10548; phone:  (2) 2720-1550; fax:  (2) 2757-7162.
Flag Description: red with a dark blue rectangle at the top of the flag hoist, which depicts a white sun with 12 triangular rays.