Taiwan

source : World Fact Book 2008 (October 2008)

SEE UPDATED INFORMATION HERE

   Introduction    Taiwan
Background:
Definition Field Listing 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 local 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.
   Geography    Taiwan
Location:
Definition Field Listing 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
Geographic coordinates:
Definition Field Listing 23 30 N, 121 00 E
Map references:
Definition Field Listing Southeast Asia
Area:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 35,980 sq km
land: 32,260 sq km
water: 3,720 sq km
note: includes the Pescadores, Matsu, and Quemoy islands
Area - comparative:
Definition Field Listing slightly smaller than Maryland and Delaware combined
Land boundaries:
Definition Field Listing 0 km
Coastline:
Definition Field Listing 1,566.3 km
Maritime claims:
Definition Field Listing territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Climate:
Definition Field Listing tropical; marine; rainy season during southwest monsoon (June to August); cloudiness is persistent and extensive all year
Terrain:
Definition Field Listing eastern two-thirds mostly rugged mountains; flat to gently rolling plains in west
Elevation extremes:
Definition Field Listing lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: Yu Shan 3,952 m
Natural resources:
Definition Field Listing small deposits of coal, natural gas, limestone, marble, and asbestos
Land use:
Definition Field Listing arable land: 24%
permanent crops: 1%
other: 75% (2001)
Irrigated land:
Definition Field Listing NA
Total renewable water resources:
Definition Field Listing 67 cu km (2000)
Natural hazards:
Definition Field Listing earthquakes and typhoons
Environment - current issues:
Definition Field Listing air pollution; water pollution from industrial emissions, raw sewage; contamination of drinking water supplies; trade in endangered species; low-level radioactive waste disposal
Environment - international agreements:
Definition Field Listing 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
Geography - note:
Definition Field Listing strategic location adjacent to both the Taiwan Strait and the Luzon Strait
   People    Taiwan
Population:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 22,920,946 (July 2008 est.)
Age structure:
Definition Field Listing 0-14 years: 17.3% (male 2,057,458/female 1,900,449)
15-64 years: 72.3% (male 8,362,038/female 8,204,834)
65 years and over: 10.5% (male 1,167,476/female 1,228,691) (2008 est.)
Median age:
Definition Field Listing total: 36 years
male: 35.5 years
female: 36.6 years (2008 est.)
Population growth rate:
Definition Field Listing 0.238% (2008 est.)
Birth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 8.99 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Death rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 6.65 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Net migration rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0.04 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)
Sex ratio:
Definition Field Listing at birth: 1.09 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.08 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.95 male(s)/female
total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2008 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 5.45 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 5.75 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 5.11 deaths/1,000 live births (2008 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total population: 77.76 years
male: 74.89 years
female: 80.89 years (2008 est.)
Total fertility rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 1.13 children born/woman (2008 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order NA
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order NA
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order NA
Nationality:
Definition Field Listing noun: Taiwan (singular and plural)
note: example - he or she is from Taiwan; they are from Taiwan
adjective: Taiwan
Ethnic groups:
Definition Field Listing Taiwanese (including Hakka) 84%, mainland Chinese 14%, indigenous 2%
Religions:
Definition Field Listing mixture of Buddhist and Taoist 93%, Christian 4.5%, other 2.5%
Languages:
Definition Field Listing Mandarin Chinese (official), Taiwanese (Min), Hakka dialects
Literacy:
Definition Field Listing definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.1%
male: NA
female: NA (2003)
Education expenditures:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order NA
   Government    Taiwan
Country name:
Definition Field Listing conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Taiwan
local long form: none
local short form: T'ai-wan
former: Formosa
Government type:
Definition Field Listing multiparty democracy
Capital:
Definition Field Listing name: Taipei
geographic coordinates: 25 03 N, 121 30 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions:
Definition Field Listing includes main island of Taiwan plus smaller islands nearby 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)
note: Taiwan uses a variety of romanization systems; while a modified Wade-Giles system still dominates, the city of Taipei has adopted a Pinyin romanization for street and place names within its boundaries; other local authorities use different romanization systems; names for administrative divisions that follow are taken from the Taiwan Yearbook 2007 published by the Government Information Office in Taipei.
counties: Changhua, Chiayi [county], Hsinchu, Hualien, Kaohsiung [county], Kinmen, Lienchiang, Miaoli, Nantou, Penghu, Pingtung, Taichung, Tainan, Taipei [county], Taitung, Taoyuan, Yilan, and Yunlin
municipalities: Chiayi [city], Hsinchu, Keelung, Taichung, Tainan
special municipalities: Kaohsiung [city], Taipei [city]
National holiday:
Definition Field Listing Republic Day (Anniversary of the Chinese Revolution), 10 October (1911)
Constitution:
Definition Field Listing 25 December 1947; amended in 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2005
note: constitution adopted on 25 December 1946; went into effect on 25 December 1947
Legal system:
Definition Field Listing based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Suffrage:
Definition Field Listing 20 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
Definition Field Listing chief of state: President MA Ying-jeou (since 20 May 2008); Vice President Vincent SIEW (since 20 May 2008)
head of government: Premier (President of the Executive Yuan) LIO Chao-shiuan (since 20 May 2008); Vice Premier (Vice President of Executive Yuan) Paul CHIU (CHANG-hsiung) (since 20 May 2008)
cabinet: Executive Yuan - (ministers appointed by president on recommendation of premier)
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 22 March 2008 (next to be held in March 2012); premier appointed by the president; vice premiers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the premier
election results: MA Ying-jeou elected president on 22 March 2008; percent of vote - MA Ying-jeou 58.45%, Frank HSIEH 41.55%; MA Ying-jeou takes office on 20 May 2008
Legislative branch:
Definition Field Listing unicameral Legislative Yuan (113 seats - 73 district members elected by popular vote, 34 at-large members elected on basis of proportion of islandwide votes received by participating political parties, 6 elected by popular vote among aboriginal populations; to serve four-year terms); parties must receive 5% of vote to qualify for at-large seats
elections: Legislative Yuan - last held 12 January 2008 (next to be held in January 2012)
election results: Legislative Yuan - percent of vote by party - KMT 53.5%, DPP 38.2%, NPSU 2.4%, PFP 0.3%, others 1.6%, independents 4%; seats by party - KMT 81, DPP 27, NPSU 3, PFP 1, independent 1
Judicial branch:
Definition Field Listing Judicial Yuan (justices appointed by the president with consent of the Legislative Yuan)
Political parties and leaders:
Definition Field Listing Democratic Progressive Party or DPP [TSAI Ing-wen]; Kuomintang or KMT (Nationalist Party) [WU Po-hsiung]; Non-Partisan Solidarity Union or NPSU [CHANG Po-ya]; People First Party or PFP [James SOONG]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Definition Field Listing Organization for Taiwan Nation Building; World United Formosans for Independence
other: environmental groups; independence movement; various business groups
note: debate on Taiwan independence has become acceptable within the mainstream of domestic politics on Taiwan; political liberalization and the increased representation of opposition parties in Taiwan's legislature have opened public debate on the island's national identity; a broad popular consensus has developed that the island currently enjoys sovereign independence and - whatever the ultimate outcome regarding reunification or independence - that Taiwan's people must have the deciding voice; public opinion polls consistently show a substantial majority of Taiwan people supports maintaining Taiwan's status quo for the foreseeable future; advocates of Taiwan independence oppose the stand that the island will eventually unify with mainland China; goals of the Taiwan independence movement include establishing a sovereign nation on Taiwan and entering the UN
International organization participation:
Definition Field Listing ADB, APEC, BCIE, ICC, IOC, ITUC, WCL, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US:
Definition Field Listing none; unofficial commercial and cultural relations with the people of the US are maintained through an unofficial instrumentality, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), which has its headquarters in Taipei and in the US in Washington, DC; there are also branch offices called Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in 12 other US cities
Diplomatic representation from the US:
Definition Field Listing none; unofficial commercial and cultural relations with the people on Taiwan are maintained through an unofficial instrumentality - the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) - which has offices in the US and Taiwan; US office at 1700 N. Moore St., Suite 1700, Arlington, VA 22209-1996, telephone: [1] (703) 525-8474, FAX: [1] (703) 841-1385); Taiwan offices at #7 Lane 134, Hsin Yi Road, Section 3, Taipei, Taiwan, telephone: [886] (2) 2162-2000, FAX: [886] (2) 2162-2251; #2 Chung Cheng 3rd Road, 5th Floor, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, telephone: [886] (7) 238-7744, FAX: [886] (7) 238-5237; and the American Trade Center, Room 3208 International Trade Building, Taipei World Trade Center, 333 Keelung Road Section 1, Taipei, Taiwan 10548, telephone: [886] (2) 2720-1550, FAX: [886] (2) 2757-7162
Flag description:
Definition Field Listing red field with a dark blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing a white sun with 12 triangular rays
   Economy    Taiwan
Economy - overview:
Definition Field Listing Taiwan has a dynamic capitalist economy with gradually decreasing guidance of investment and foreign trade by the authorities. In keeping with this trend, some large, state-owned banks and industrial firms are being privatized. Exports have provided the primary impetus for industrialization. The island runs a large trade surplus, and its foreign reserves are among the world's largest. Despite restrictions on cross-strait links, China has overtaken the US to become Taiwan's largest export market and its second-largest source of imports after Japan. China is also the island's number one destination for foreign direct investment. Strong trade performance in 2007 pushed Taiwan's GDP growth rate above 5%, and unemployment is below 4%.
GDP (purchasing power parity):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $698.6 billion (2007 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate):
Definition Field Listing $383.3 billion (2007 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 5.7% (2007 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $30,100 (2007 est.)
GDP - composition by sector:
Definition Field Listing agriculture: 1.4%
industry: 27.5%
services: 71.1% (2007 est.)
Labor force:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 10.71 million (2007 est.)
Labor force - by occupation:
Definition Field Listing agriculture: 5.3%
industry: 36.8%
services: 57.9% (2007 est.)
Unemployment rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 3.9% (2007 est.)
Population below poverty line:
Definition Field Listing 0.95% (2007 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
Definition Field Listing lowest 10%: 6.7%
highest 10%: 41.1% (2002 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 1.8% (2007 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 21.2% of GDP (2007 est.)
Budget:
Definition Field Listing revenues: $76.2 billion
expenditures: $75.65 billion (2007 est.)
Public debt:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 27.9% of GDP (2007 est.)
Agriculture - products:
Definition Field Listing rice, corn, vegetables, fruit, tea; pigs, poultry, beef, milk; fish
Industries:
Definition Field Listing electronics, petroleum refining, armaments, chemicals, textiles, iron and steel, machinery, cement, food processing, vehicles, consumer products, pharmaceuticals
Industrial production growth rate:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 9.2% (2007 est.)
Electricity - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 235 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 221 billion kWh (2006)
Electricity - exports:
Definition Field Listing 0 kWh (2007 est.)
Electricity - imports:
Definition Field Listing 0 kWh (2007)
Oil - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 600 bbl/day (2007 est.)
Oil - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 816,700 bbl/day (2006 est.)
Oil - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 289,200 bbl/day (2006)
Oil - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 1.208 million bbl/day (2006)
Oil - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 3 million bbl (1 January 2007 est.)
Natural gas - production:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 462.9 million cu m (2006)
Natural gas - consumption:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 10.28 billion cu m (2006)
Natural gas - exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 0 cu m (2007)
Natural gas - imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 10.16 billion cu m (2006)
Natural gas - proved reserves:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 13.55 billion cu m (2007 est.)
Current account balance:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $32.88 billion (2007 est.)
Exports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $246.5 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Exports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing electronic and electrical products, metals, textiles, plastics, chemicals, auto parts (2002)
Exports - partners:
Definition Field Listing China 32.4%, US 12.9%, Hong Kong 8.5%, Japan 6.4%, Singapore 5% (2007)
Imports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $215.1 billion f.o.b. (2007 est.)
Imports - commodities:
Definition Field Listing electronic and electrical products, machinery, petroleum, precision instruments, organic chemicals, metals (2002)
Imports - partners:
Definition Field Listing Japan 22.1%, US 13%, China 10.9%, South Korea 7.3%, Saudi Arabia 4.8%, Singapore 4.5% (2007)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $275 billion (31 December 2007)
Debt - external:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $97.85 billion (31 December 2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $92.83 billion (2007)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $108.9 billion (2007)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order $654 billion (28 December 2007)
Currency (code):
Definition Field Listing New Taiwan dollar (TWD)
Exchange rates:
Definition Field Listing New Taiwan dollars per US dollar - 32.84 (2007), 32.534 (2006), 31.71 (2005), 34.418 (2004), 34.575 (2003)
Fiscal year:
Definition Field Listing calendar year
   Communications    Taiwan
Telephones - main lines in use:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 14.313 million (2007)
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 24.302 million (2007)
Telephone system:
Definition Field Listing general assessment: provides telecommunications service for every business and private need
domestic: thoroughly modern; completely digitalized
international: country code - 886; numerous submarine cables provide links throughout Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, and the US; satellite earth stations - 2
Radio broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing AM 140, FM 229, shortwave 49
Television broadcast stations:
Definition Field Listing 76 (46 digital and 30 analog) (2007)
Internet country code:
Definition Field Listing .tw
Internet hosts:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 5.111 million (2007)
Internet users:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 14.76 million (2007)
   Transportation    Taiwan
Airports:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 41 (2007)
Airports - with paved runways:
Definition Field Listing total: 38
over 3,047 m: 8
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 11
914 to 1,523 m: 7
under 914 m: 3 (2007)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
Definition Field Listing total: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2007)
Heliports:
Definition Field Listing 4 (2007)
Pipelines:
Definition Field Listing condensate 25 km; gas 661 km (2007)
Railways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 1,588 km
standard gauge: 345 km 1.435-m gauge
narrow gauge: 1,093 km 1.067-m gauge
note: 150 km .762-m gauge (belonging primarily to Taiwan Sugar Corporation and Taiwan Forestry Bureau; some to other entities) (2007)
Roadways:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 40,262 km
paved: 38,171 km (includes 976 km of expressways)
unpaved: 2,091 km (2007)
Merchant marine:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order total: 102 ships (1000 GRT or over) 2,542,206 GRT/4,188,292 DWT
by type: bulk carrier 32, cargo 19, chemical tanker 1, container 25, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 14, refrigerated cargo 6, roll on/roll off 2
foreign-owned: 3 (Canada 2, France 1)
registered in other countries: 512 (Bolivia 1, Cambodia 1, Honduras 2, Hong Kong 11, Indonesia 2, Italy 13, Kiribati 7, Liberia 83, Malta 1, Marshall Islands 1, Panama 302, Philippines 1, Sierra Leone 1, Singapore 71, Thailand 1, UK 11, unknown 3) (2008)
Ports and terminals:
Definition Field Listing Chilung (Keelung), Kaohsiung, Taichung
   Military    Taiwan
Military branches:
Definition Field Listing Army, Navy (includes Marine Corps), Air Force, Coast Guard Administration, Armed Forces Reserve Command, Combined Service Forces Command, Armed Forces Police Command
Military service age and obligation:
Definition Field Listing 19-35 years of age for male compulsory military service; service obligation 1 year; women may enlist; women in Air Force service are restricted to noncombat roles; reserve obligation to age 30 (Army); the Ministry of Defense has announced plans to implement an incremental voluntary enlistment system beginning 2010, with 10% fewer conscripts each year thereafter, although nonvolunteers will still be required to perform alternative service or go through 3-4 months of military training (2008)
Manpower available for military service:
Definition Field Listing males age 16-49: 6,283,134
females age 16-49: 6,098,599 (2008 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
Definition Field Listing males age 16-49: 5,112,737
females age 16-49: 5,036,346 (2008 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
Definition Field Listing male: 164,883
female: 152,085 (2008 est.)
Military expenditures:
Definition Field Listing Rank Order 2.2% of GDP (2006)
   Transnational Issues    Taiwan
Disputes - international:
Definition Field Listing 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:
Definition Field Listing regional transit point for heroin, methamphetamine, and precursor chemicals; transshipment point for drugs to Japan; major problem with domestic consumption of methamphetamine and heroin; rising problems with use of ketamine and club drugs


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Source : CIA's World Fact Book 2008

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