World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide



Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of Countries
Map of Far East

Taiwan Travelling Guide
Taiwan Travelling Guide

General background: 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. This culminated in 2000, when Taiwan underwent its first peaceful transfer of power from the Nationalist to the Democratic Progressive Party. Throughout this period, the island has prospered to become 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.

Area comparative: Slightly smaller than Maryland and Delaware combined.

Climate: Tropical; marine; rainy season during southwest monsoon (June to August); cloudiness is persistent and extensive all year.

Terrain: Eastern two-thirds mostly rugged mountains; flat to gently rolling plains in west.

Population: 22,548,009 (July 2002 est.)

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

Religions: Mixture of Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist 93%, Christian 4.5%, other 2.5%

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

Government type: Multiparty democratic regime headed by popularly elected president and unicameral legislature.

Capital: Taipei

Legal system: Based on civil law system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations.

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 privatised. Real growth in GDP has averaged about 8% during the past three decades. Exports have provided the primary impetus for industrialization. The trade surplus is substantial, and foreign reserves are the world's third largest. Agriculture contributes 2% to GDP, down from 35% in 1952. Traditional labour-intensive industries are steadily being moved offshore and replaced with more capital- and technology-intensive industries. Taiwan has become a major investor in China, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam; 50,000 Taiwanese businesses are established in China. Because of its conservative financial approach and its entrepreneurial strengths, Taiwan suffered little compared with many of its neighbours from the Asian financial crisis in 1998-99. The global economic downturn, however, combined with poor policy coordination by the new administration and increasing bad debts in the banking system, pushed Taiwan into recession in 2001, the first whole year of negative growth since 1947. Unemployment also reached a level not seen since the 1970s oil crisis.

Communication/Telephone system: Provides telecommunications service for every business and private need.

Places of interest:

Travel tips: