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Taiwan - Country facts


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Country flag: Taiwan




new Taiwan dollar (TWD)

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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


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.


tropical; marine; rainy season during southwest monsoon (June to August); cloudiness is persistent and extensive all year


eastern two-thirds mostly rugged mountains; flat to gently rolling plains in west


22,894,384 (July 2005 est.)

Ethnic Groups

Taiwanese (including Hakka) 84%, mainland Chinese 14%, aborigine 2%


mixture of Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist 93%, Christian 4.5%, other 2.5%


Mandarin Chinese (official), Taiwanese (Min), Hakka dialects

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