Brief History of Taiwan:Taiwan is an island nation located in the Pacific Ocean off the southeast coast of China.
The island of Taiwan has been inhabited for thousands of years. It was first discovered by Europeans in 1544 by the Portuguese. They called island Formosa meaning ?beautiful island?. In 1624 the Dutch made the island a colony and established settlements there. In 1683 the Chinese defeated the Dutch and eventually Taiwan would become a full province of the Chinese Empire.
After a war between China and Japan, Japan gained control of the island in 1895. Japan did a lot to help develop Taiwan's economy. However, Taiwan went back to Chinese rule after Japan was defeated in World War II. At the same time, a civil war was being fought between the communists, led by Mao Zedong, and the KMT government, let by Chiang Kai-shek. When the communists won, 2 million refuges fled mainland China to Taiwan. Chiang Kai-shek established the People's Republic of China on the Island of Taiwan in 1949.
Taiwan leadership managed to transition the island's economy from agriculture to industry over the next several years. Taiwan has become a major international economy.
The Geography of TaiwanTotal Size: 35,980 square km
Size Comparison: slightly smaller than Maryland and Delaware combined
Geographical Coordinates: 23 30 N, 121 00 E
World Region or Continent: Southeast Asia
General Terrain: eastern two-thirds mostly rugged mountains; flat to gently rolling plains in west
Geographical Low Point: South China Sea 0 m
Geographical High Point: Yu Shan 3,952 m
Climate: tropical; marine; rainy season during southwest monsoon (June to August); cloudiness is persistent and extensive all year
The People of TaiwanType of Government: multiparty democracy
Languages Spoken: Mandarin Chinese (official), Taiwanese (Min), Hakka dialects
Independence: 10 October (1911)
National Holiday: Republic Day (Anniversary of the Chinese Revolution), 10 October (1911)
Nationality: Taiwan (singular and plural)
Religions: mixture of Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist 93%, Christian 4.5%, other 2.5%
National Symbol: white, 12-rayed sun on blue field
National Anthem or Song: Zhonghua Minguo guoge (National Anthem of the Republic of China)
Economy of TaiwanMajor Industries: electronics, petroleum refining, armaments, chemicals, textiles, iron and steel, machinery, cement, food processing, vehicles, consumer products, pharmaceuticals
Agricultural Products: rice, corn, vegetables, fruit, tea; pigs, poultry, beef, milk; fish
Natural Resources: small deposits of coal, natural gas, limestone, marble, and asbestos
Major Exports: computer products and electrical equipment, metals, textiles, plastics and rubber products, chemicals (2002)
Major Imports: machinery and electrical equipment 44.5%, minerals, precision instruments (2002)
Currency: new Taiwan dollar (TWD)
National GDP: $875,900,000,000
** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.
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