Asia: Taiwan

About Taiwan

In 1895, military defeat forced China to cede Taiwan to Japan, however it 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 1947 constitution drawn up for all of China. Over the next five decades, the ruling authorities gradually democratized and incorporated the native population within its governing structure. Throughout this period, the island has prospered to become one of East Asia's economic "Tigers." The dominant political issue continues to be the relationship between Taiwan and China and the question of eventual reunification.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: Taipei
Population: 22,370,461 (July 2001 est.)
Percent below poverty: 1% (1999 est.)
Language: Mandarin Chinese (official), Taiwanese (Min), Hakka dialects
Date of independence: Republic Day (Anniversary of the Ch
Form of government: multiparty democratic regime headed
Title of Leader: President
Natural Resources: small deposits of coal, natural gas, limestone, marble, and asbestos
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
Agricultural Products: rice, corn, vegetables, fruit, tea; pigs, poultry, beef, milk; fish
Imports: machinery and electrical equipment 51%, minerals, precision instruments
Exports: machinery and electrical equipment 51%, metals, textiles, plastics, chemicals
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: Japan 27.5%, US 17.9%, Europe 13.6% (2000)
EXPORTS: US 23.5%, Hong Kong 21.1%, Europe 16%, ASEAN 12.2%, Japan 11.2% (2000)


Taiwan Headlines


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