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Taiwan

 
Flag of Taiwan
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Coordinates:
23.50 N  121.00 E

 
 
Introduction  Geography  People  Government  Economy
 
Communications  Transportation  Military  Transnational Issues

Map of Taiwan

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Legend: DefinitionDefinition Field ListingField Listing Rank OrderRank Order
   Introduction    Taiwan Top of Page
Background:
Definition Field Listing
In 1895, military defeat forced China to cede Taiwan to Japan. Taiwan reverted to Chinese control after World War II. Following the Communist victory on the mainland in 1949, 2 million Nationalists fled to Taiwan and established a government using the 1946 constitution drawn up for all of China. Over the next five decades, the ruling authorities gradually democratized and incorporated the native population within the governing structure. In 2000, Taiwan underwent its first peaceful transfer of power from the Nationalist to the Democratic Progressive Party. Throughout this period, the island prospered and became one of East Asia's economic "Tigers." The dominant political issues continue to be the relationship between Taiwan and China - specifically the question of eventual unification - as well as domestic political and economic reform.
   Geography    Taiwan Top of Page
Location:
Definition Field Listing
Eastern Asia, islands bordering the East China Sea, Philippine Sea, South China Sea, and Taiwan Strait, north of the Philippines, off the southeastern coast of China
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing
23 30 N, 121 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing
Southeast Asia
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 35,980 sq km
land: 32,260 sq km
water: 3,720 sq km
note: includes the Pescadores, Matsu, and Quemoy
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing
slightly smaller than Maryland and Delaware combined
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing
0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing
1,566.3 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing
tropical; marine; rainy season during southwest monsoon (June to August); cloudiness is persistent and extensive all year
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing
eastern two-thirds mostly rugged mountains; flat to gently rolling plains in west
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing
lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: Yu Shan 3,952 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing
small deposits of coal, natural gas, limestone, marble, and asbestos
Land use:
Definition Field Listing
arable land: 24%
permanent crops: 1%
other: 75% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing
NA
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing
earthquakes and typhoons
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing
air pollution; water pollution from industrial emissions, raw sewage; contamination of drinking water supplies; trade in endangered species; low-level radioactive waste disposal
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing
party to: none of the selected agreements because of Taiwan's international status
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements because of Taiwan's international status
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing
strategic location adjacent to both the Taiwan Strait and the Luzon Strait
   People    Taiwan Top of Page
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
23,036,087 (July 2006 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing
0-14 years: 19.4% (male 2,330,951/female 2,140,965)
15-64 years: 70.8% (male 8,269,421/female 8,040,169)
65 years and over: 9.8% (male 1,123,429/female 1,131,152) (2006 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing
total: 34.6 years
male: 34.1 years
female: 35 years (2006 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing
0.61% (2006 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
12.56 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
6.48 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing
at birth: 1.1 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.09 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.99 male(s)/female
total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2006 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 6.29 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 6.97 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.55 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total population: 77.43 years
male: 74.67 years
female: 80.47 years (2006 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
1.57 children born/woman (2006 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing
noun: Taiwan (singular and plural)
note: example - he or she is from Taiwan; they are from Taiwan
adjective: Taiwan
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing
Taiwanese (including Hakka) 84%, mainland Chinese 14%, aborigine 2%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing
mixture of Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist 93%, Christian 4.5%, other 2.5%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing
Mandarin Chinese (official), Taiwanese (Min), Hakka dialects
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.1%
male: NA%
female: NA% (2003)
   Government    Taiwan Top of Page
Country name:
Definition Field Listing
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Taiwan
local long form: none
local short form: T'ai-wan
former: Formosa
Government type:
Definition Field Listing
multiparty democracy
Capital:
Definition Field Listing
Taipei
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing
includes central island of Taiwan plus numerous smaller islands near central island and off coast of China's Fujian Province; Taiwan is divided into 18 counties (hsien, singular and plural), 5 municipalities (shih, singular and plural), and 2 special municipalities (chuan-shih, singular and plural)
counties: Chang-hua, Chia-i, Hsin-chu, Hua-lien, I-lan, Kao-hsiung (county), Kin-men, Lien-chiang, Miao-li, Nan-t'ou, P'eng-hu, P'ing-tung, T'ai-chung, T'ai-nan, T'ai-pei (county), T'ai-tung, T'ao-yuan, and Yun-lin
municipalities: Chia-i, Chi-lung, Hsin-chu, T'ai-chung, T'ai-nan
special municipalities: Kao-hsiung city, T'ai-pei city
note: Taiwan generally uses Wade-Giles system for romanization; special municipality of Taipei adopted standard pinyin romanization for street and place names within city boundaries, other local authorities have selected a variety of romanization systems
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing
Republic Day (Anniversary of the Chinese Revolution), 10 October (1911)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing
25 December 1946; amended in 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2005
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing
based on civil law system
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing
20 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing
chief of state: President CHEN Shui-bian (since 20 May 2000) and Vice President Annette LU (LU Hsiu-lien) (since 20 May 2000)
head of government: Premier (President of the Executive Yuan) SU Tseng-chang (since 25 January 2006) and Vice Premier (Vice President of the Executive Yuan) TSAI Ing-wen (since 25 January 2006)
cabinet: Executive Yuan appointed by the president
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held 20 March 2004 (next to be held in March 2008); premier appointed by the president; vice premiers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the premier
election results: CHEN Shui-bian re-elected president; percent of vote - CHEN Shui-bian (DPP) 50.1%, LIEN Chan (KMT) 49.9%
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing
Legislative Yuan (225 seats - 168 elected by popular vote, 41 elected on basis of proportion of islandwide votes received by participating political parties, eight elected from overseas Chinese constituencies on basis of proportion of island-wide votes received by participating political parties, eight elected by popular vote among aboriginal populations; members serve three-year terms); National Assembly (300 seat nonstanding body; delegates nominated by parties and elected by proportional representation six to nine months after Legislative Yuan calls to amend Constitution, impeach president, or change national borders) - see note
note: as a result of constitutional amendments approved by National Assembly in June 2005, number of seats in legislature will be reduced from 225 to 113 beginning with election in 2007; amendments also eliminated National Assembly thus giving Taiwan a unicameral legislature
elections: Legislative Yuan - last held 11 December 2004 (next to be held in December 2007); National Assembly - last held 14 May 2005; dissolved in June 2005
election results: Legislative Yuan - percent of vote by party - DPP 38%, KMT 35%, PFP 15%, TSU 8%, other parties and independents 4%; seats by party - DPP 89, KMT 79, PFP 34, TSU 12, other parties 7, independents 4; National Assembly - percent of vote by party - DPP 42.5%, KMT 38.9%, TSU 7%, PFP 6%, others 6.6%; seats by party - DPP 127, KMT 117, TSU 21, PFP 18, others 17 (2005)
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing
Judicial Yuan (justices appointed by the president with consent of the Legislative Yuan)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Democratic Progressive Party or DPP [YU Shyi-kun]; Kuomintang or KMT (Nationalist Party) [MA Ying-jeou]; People First Party or PFP [James SOONG (SOONG Chu-yu)]; Taiwan Solidarity Union or TSU [SU Chin-chiang]; other minor parties including the Chinese New Party or NP
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing
Taiwan independence movement, various business and environmental groups
note: debate on Taiwan independence has become acceptable within the mainstream of domestic politics on Taiwan; political liberalization and the increased representation of opposition parties in Taiwan's legislature have opened public debate on the island's national identity; a broad popular consensus has developed that Taiwan currently enjoys de facto independence and - whatever the ultimate outcome regarding reunification or independence - that Taiwan's people must have the deciding voice; advocates of Taiwan independence oppose the stand that the island will eventually unify with mainland China; goals of the Taiwan independence movement include establishing a sovereign nation on Taiwan and entering the UN; other organizations supporting Taiwan independence include the World United Formosans for Independence and the Organization for Taiwan Nation Building
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing
APEC, AsDB, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IFRCS, IOC, WCL, WTO
note: Taiwan has acquired observer status on the competition committee and special observer status on the Trade Committee of the OECD, and is seeking observer status with the backing of the US in WHO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing
none; unofficial commercial and cultural relations with the people of the US are maintained through an unofficial instrumentality, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the US with headquarters in Taipei and field offices in Washington and 12 other US cities
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing
none; unofficial commercial and cultural relations with the people on Taiwan are maintained through an unofficial instrumentality - the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) - which has offices in the US and Taiwan; US office at 1700 N. Moore St., Suite 1700, Arlington, VA 22209-1996, telephone: [1] (703) 525-8474, FAX: [1] (703) 841-1385); Taiwan offices at #7 Lane 134, Hsin Yi Road, Section 3, Taipei, Taiwan, telephone: [886] (2) 2162-2000, FAX: [886] (2) 2162-2251; #2 Chung Cheng 3rd Road, 5th Floor, Kao-hsiung, Taiwan, telephone: [886] (7) 238-7744, FAX: [886] (7) 238-5237; and the American Trade Center, Room 3208 International Trade Building, Taipei World Trade Center, 333 Keelung Road Section 1, Taipei, Taiwan 10548, telephone: [886] (2) 2720-1550, FAX: [886] (2) 2757-7162
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing
red with a dark blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing a white sun with 12 triangular rays
   Economy    Taiwan Top of Page
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing
Taiwan has a dynamic capitalist economy with gradually decreasing guidance of investment and foreign trade by government authorities. In keeping with this trend, some large, government-owned banks and industrial firms are being privatized. Exports have provided the primary impetus for industrialization. The trade surplus is substantial, and foreign reserves are the world's third largest. Agriculture contributes less than 2% to GDP, down from 32% in 1952. Taiwan is a major investor throughout Southeast Asia. China has overtaken the US to become Taiwan's largest export market and, in 2005, Taiwan's third-largest source of imports after Japan and the US. Taiwan has benefited from cross-Strait economic integration and a sharp increase in world demand to achieve substantial growth in its export sector and a seven-year-high real GDP growth of 6.1% in 2004. However, excess inventory, higher international oil prices, and rising interest rates dampened consumption in developed markets, and GDP growth dropped to 3.8% in 2005. The service sector, which accounts for 69% of Taiwan's GDP, has continued to expand, while unemployment and inflation rates have declined.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$631.2 billion (2005 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing
$323.4 billion (2005 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3.8% (2005 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$27,600 (2005 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 1.8%
industry: 25.9%
services: 72.3% (2005 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
10.6 million (2005 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing
agriculture: 6%
industry: 35.8%
services: 58.2% (2005 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.1% (2005 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing
0.9% (2005)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing
lowest 10%: 6.7%
highest 10%: 41.1% (2002 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.3% (2005 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
20.4% of GDP (2005 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing
revenues: $41.67 billion
expenditures: $50.26 billion; including capital expenditures of $14.4 billion (2005 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
33.6% of GDP (2005 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing
rice, corn, vegetables, fruit, tea; pigs, poultry, beef, milk; fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing
electronics, petroleum refining, armaments, chemicals, textiles, iron and steel, machinery, cement, food processing, vehicles, consumer products, pharmaceuticals
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
4.1% (2005 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
218.3 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
206.1 billion kWh (2004)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2004)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing
0 kWh (2004)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8,354 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
915,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
NA bbl/day
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.9 million bbl (2005 est.)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
970 million cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
8.45 billion cu m (2003 est.)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
0 cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
7.48 billion cu m (2005 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
76.46 billion cu m (2005)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$16.22 billion (2005 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$189.4 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
computer products and electrical equipment, metals, textiles, plastics and rubber products, chemicals (2002)
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
China 21.6%, US 16.22%, Hong Kong 15.1%, Japan 7.7% (2005)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$181.6 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing
machinery and electrical equipment 44.5%, minerals, precision instruments (2002)
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing
Japan 25.3%, US 11.6%, China 11%, South Korea 7.3% (2005)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$258 billion (2005 est.)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$87.5 billion (2005 est.)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing
new Taiwan dollar (TWD)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing
new Taiwan dollars per US dollar - 31.71 (2005), 34.418 (2004), 34.575 (2003), 33.8 (2002), 33.09 (2001)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing
1 July - 30 June (up to FY98/99); 1 July 1999 - 31 December 2000 for FY00; calendar year (after FY00)
   Communications    Taiwan Top of Page
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
13,529,900 (2004)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
25,089,600 (2003)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing
general assessment: provides telecommunications service for every business and private need
domestic: thoroughly modern; completely digitalized
international: country code - 886; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean); submarine cables to Japan (Okinawa), Philippines, Guam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Australia, Middle East, and Western Europe (1999)
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
AM 218, FM 333, shortwave 50 (1999)
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing
29 (plus two repeaters) (1997)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing
.tw
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
3,838,383 (2005)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
13.8 million (2005)
   Transportation    Taiwan Top of Page
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
42 (2005)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 38
over 3,047 m: 8
2,438 to 3,047 m: 8
1,524 to 2,437 m: 12
914 to 1,523 m: 8
under 914 m: 2 (2005)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing
total: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 3 (2005)
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing
3 (2005)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing
condensate 25 km; gas 435 km (2004)
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 2,497 km
narrow gauge: 1,097 km 1.067-m gauge (685 km electrified)
note: 1,400 km .762-m gauge (belonging to the Taiwan Sugar Corporation and to the Taiwan Forestry Bureau) used to haul products and limited numbers of passengers (2004)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 37,299 km
paved: 35,621 km (including 1,789 km of expressways)
unpaved: 1,678 km (2002)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
total: 123 ships (1000 GRT or over) 3,095,383 GRT/5,044,249 DWT
by type: barge carrier 2, bulk carrier 33, cargo 22, chemical tanker 2, container 35, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 16, refrigerated cargo 8, roll on/roll off 2
foreign-owned: 3 (Hong Kong 3)
registered in other countries: 450 (Bolivia 1, Cambodia 2, Gibraltar 1, Honduras 2, Hong Kong 8, Italy 10, Liberia 68, Malta 1, Panama 302, Philippines 2, Singapore 49, UK 1, US 1, unknown 2) (2005)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing
Chi-lung (Keelung), Hua-lien, Kao-hsiung, Su-ao, T'ai-chung
   Military    Taiwan Top of Page
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing
Army, Navy (includes Marine Corps), Air Force, Coast Guard Administration, Armed Forces Reserve Command, Combined Service Forces Command, Armed Forces Police Command
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing
19-35 years of age for military service; service obligation 16 months (to be shortened to 12 months in 2008); women in Air Force service are restricted to noncombat roles (2005)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 19-49: 5,883,828
females age 19-49: 5,680,773 (2005 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing
males age 19-49: 4,749,537
females age 19-49: 4,644,607 (2005 est.)
Manpower reaching military service age annually:
Definition Field Listing
males age 18-49: 174,173
females age 19-49: 163,683 (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
$7.93 billion (2005 est.)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order
2.4% (2005 est.)
   Transnational Issues    Taiwan Top of Page
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing
involved in complex dispute with China, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, and possibly Brunei over the Spratly Islands; the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" has eased tensions but falls short of a legally binding "code of conduct" desired by several of the disputants; Paracel Islands are occupied by China, but claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam; in 2003, China and Taiwan became more vocal in rejecting both Japan's claims to the uninhabited islands of the Senkaku-shoto (Diaoyu Tai) and Japan's unilaterally declared exclusive economic zone in the East China Sea where all parties engage in hydrocarbon prospecting
Illicit drugs:
Definition Field Listing
regional transit point for heroin and methamphetamine; major problem with domestic consumption of methamphetamine and heroin; renewal of domestic methamphetamine production is a problem

This page was last updated on 20 July, 2006


Source: CIA Factbook