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Background: 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.
Common Name: Taiwan Local Official Name: T'ai-wan
Abbreviated Name: Taiwan Official Name: Taiwan
Official Script Name: Taiwan Local Common Name: Taiwan
Former Name: Formosa Territory of: NA
Head of State: President CHEN Shui-bian
Government Type: multiparty democracy
Independence: NA
Constitution: 1946 December 25; amended in 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2005
National Holiday: Republic Day (Anniversary of the Chinese Revolution), 10 Octomber
International Organization Participation: 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
Administrative Divisions: 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
Dependent Areas: NA
Legal System: based on civil law system
Suffrage: 20 years
Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches: Executive Branch: 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: 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. Judicial Branch: Judicial Yuan (justices appointed by the president with consent of the Legislative Yuan)
Party Leaders: 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
International Disputes: 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: Regional transit point for heroin and methamphetamine; major problem with domestic consumption of methamphetamine and heroin; renewal of domestic methamphetamine production is a problem. 
  Taiwan Facts |  Taiwan Information | Taiwan Statistics  
Location of Taiwan: 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
Continent: Asia Land Area Total: 35,980 sq km 
Region: Southeast Asia Land Area Land: 32,260 sq km
Capitol City: Taipei Land Area Water: 3,720 sq km
Latitude: 023 30 N Border Boundary Land: 0 km
Longitude: 121 00 E Border Boundary Coastline: 1,566 km 
Arable Land: 24.00 % Pastures: 0.00 %
Crops: 1.00 % Woodlands and Forests: 0.00
Highest Elevation: 3,952 m Location: Yu Shan
Lowest Elevation: 0 m Location: South China Sea
Largest City in Taiwan: Largest City Population: 0
Threatened Species: 0
Environmental Issues: air pollution; water pollution from industrial emissions, raw sewage; contamination of drinking water supplies; trade in endangered species; low-level radioactive waste disposal
Environmental Agreements: 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
Irrigated Land: 0
Bordering Countries: NA
Natural Resources: small deposits of coal, natural gas, limestone, marble, and asbestos
Geographical Terrain: eastern two-thirds mostly rugged mountains; flat to gently rolling plains in west
Comparative Area of Taiwan: slightly smaller than Maryland and Delaware combined
Taiwan's Geography: strategic location adjacent to both the Taiwan Strait and the Luzon Strait

  Taiwan Facts |  Taiwan Information | Taiwan Statistics  
General Climate: tropical; marine; rainy season during southwest monsoon (June to August); cloudiness is persistent and extensive all year
Natural Hazards: earthquakes and typhoons
  Taiwan Facts |  Taiwan Information | Taiwan Statistics  
Economic Overview: 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: $613,200,000 USD Currency: new Taiwan dollar
GDP per Capita: $27,600 USD Currency Code: TWD
GDP Growth Rate: 3.80 %
Currency Exchange Rate History: new Taiwan dollars per US dollar - 31.71 (2005), 34.418 (2004), 34.575 (2003), 33.8 (2002), 33.09 (2001)
GDP of Agriculture: 1.80 % GDP of Industry: 25.90 %
GDP of Services: 72.30 %  
Inflation Rate: 2.30 % Population in Poverty: 0.90 %
Unemployment Rate: 4.10 % Tourism: 0.00 visitors each year
Consumption by lowest 10%: 6.70 % Budget Revenue in USD: $41,670,000,000 USD
Consumption by upper 10%: 41.10 % Budget Expenditures in USD: $50,260,000,000 USD
Electricity Production: 218,300,000,000 kWh Electricity Exports: 0 kWh
Electricity Consumption: 206,100,000,000 kWh Electricity Imports: 0 kWh

Electricity Production by Source:
Fossil Fuel Electricity Production: 69.48% Nuclear Electricity Production: 24.70%
Hydro Electricity Production: 5.82% Other Electricity Production: 0.00%
Oil Production: 8,354 barrels per day Natural Gas Production: 970,000,000 cu m
Oil Consumption: 915,000 barrels per day Natural Gas Consumption: 8,450,000,000 cu m
Oil Exports: 0 barrels per day Natural Gas Exports: 0 cu m
Oil Imports: 0 barrels per day Natural Gas Imports: 7,480,000,000 cu m
Proven Oil Reserves: 2,900,000 barrels Proven Natural Gas Reserves: 76,460,000,000 cu m
External Debt: $87,500,000,000 USD Received in economic aid: $0 USD
  Donated in economic aid: $0 USD
Agricultural Products: rice, corn, vegetables, fruit, tea; pigs, poultry, beef, milk; fish
Primary Industries: electronics, petroleum refining, armaments, chemicals, textiles, iron and steel, machinery, cement, food processing, vehicles, consumer products, pharmaceuticals
Industrial Growth Rate: 4.10 %
Import Amount in USD: $181,600,000,000 USD - machinery and electrical equipment 44.5%, minerals, precision instruments
Import Partners: Japan 25.3%, US 11.6%, China 11%, South Korea 7.3%
Export Amount in USD: $189,400,000,000 USD - computer products and electrical equipment, metals, textiles, plastics and rubber products, chemicals
Export Partners: China 21.6%, US 16.22%, Hong Kong 15.1%, Japan 7.7%
GINI Index: 0.00%
Labor Force Number of People: 10,600,000
Labor Force by Occupations: agriculture: 6%, industry: 35.8%, services: 58.2%
  Taiwan Facts |  Taiwan Information | Taiwan Statistics  
Radio Broadcast Stations: 601 Number of People with Radios: 16,000,000
Television Broadcast Stations: 29 Number of People with Televisions: 8,800,000
Number of People with Mainline Telephones: 13,529,900 Number of People with Mobile Phones: 25,089,600
Internet Service Providers: 3,838,383 Internet Users: 13,800,000
Internet Country Code: .tw Newspapers: 0
Two Letter Country Code: TW Weights and Measures:
Phone Country Code: +886 Electricity Voltage: Volts
Telephone Systems: 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
  Taiwan Facts |  Taiwan Information | Taiwan Statistics  


Highways: 35,621 km Railways: 2,497 km
Gas And Oil Pipelines: 460 km Waterways: 0 km
Airports: 38 Heliports: 3
Motor Vehicles: 0 per 1,000 people CO2 Emissions: 0 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
  Per capita CO2 emissions: 0.00 Metric Tons of CO2 per year
Merchant Marines: total: 112 ships (1000 GRT or over) 2,798,992 GRT/4,652,921 DWT by type: bulk carrier 35, cargo 22, chemical tanker 2, container 25, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 16, refrigerated cargo 7, roll on/roll off 2 foreign-owned: 3 (Hong Kong 3) registered in other countries: 463 (Bolivia 1, Cambodia 2, Honduras 2, Hong Kong 6, Italy 10, Liberia 69, Malta 2, Panama 308, Singapore 59, UK 1, US 1, unknown 2)
Ports and Harbors: Chi-lung (Keelung), Hua-lien, Kao-hsiung, Su-ao, T'ai-chung
 Taiwan PEOPLE
  Taiwan Facts |  Taiwan Information | Taiwan Statistics  
Population: 23,036,087 people type - nationality Birth Rate: 12.56 births per 1,000 people
Population Density: 0.00 people per sq km Death Rate: 6.48 deaths per 1,000 people
Population Growth: 0.61% per year Fertility Rate per Women: 1.57 babies born per woman
Population Male 0-14: 2,330,951 Population Female 0-14: 2,140,965
Population Male 15-64: 8,269,421 Population Female 15-64: 8,040,169
Population Male 65+: 1,123,429 Population Female 65+: 1,131,152
Population 0-14: 19.40% Literacy Rate: 96.10%
Population 15-64: 70.80% Literacy rate of Males: 0.00%
Population 65+: 9.80% Literacy rate of Females: 0.00%
Population that is Male: 55.00 % Population that is Female: 45.00%
Life expectancy at birth in years: 77.43 years Infant mortality rate - baby deaths per 1000 births: 6.29 Babies die per 1,000 births
Life expectancy at birth for Males: 74.67 years Life expectancy at birth for Females: 80.47 years
Rate of AIDS/HIV infection: 0.00% Number of people living with AIDS or HIV: 0
Number of people who died of AIDS: 0
Disease Risk:
Net Migration Rate per 1,000 people: 0.00
Nationality: Taiwan
Ethnic Groups: Taiwanese (including Hakka) 84%, mainland Chinese 14%, aborigine 2% 
Primary Language: Mandarin Chinese
Other Languages: Mandarin Chinese (official), Taiwanese (Min), Hakka dialects
Primary Religion: mixture of Buddhist
Other Religions: mixture of Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist 93%, Christian 4.5%, other 2.5%
  Taiwan Facts |  Taiwan Information | Taiwan Statistics  
Branches: Army, Navy (includes Marine Corps), Air Force, Coast Guard Administration, Armed Forces Reserve Command, Combined Service Forces Command, Armed Forces Police Command
Manpower Fit to Serve: 19 years
Manpower Available: 11,564,601 People
Manpower Fit to Serve: 9,394,144 People
Amount of Manpower Available each Year: 337,856 People per year
Expenditures: $7,930,000,000 USD per year
Expenditures as a Percentage of GDP: 2.40
Note: Phrasebase uses a variety of sources when compiling the facts and information presented above. This information is continually updated throughout the year.
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