ExchangeRate.com Logo
Login | Register |  My Account |   |   |   |  Suggest XR to your friends Print this page
Exchange Rate Home >> Country Info >> Taiwan

   | Post | View
Select Country:
  Taiwan   
Introduction
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Transnational
Issues
  Introduction Back To Top

Background:
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 Back To Top

Total renewable water resources:
67 cu km (2000)

Land boundaries:
0 km

Environment - international agreements:
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

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

Map references:
Southeast Asia

Geographic coordinates:
23 30 N, 121 00 E

Natural resources:
small deposits of coal, natural gas, limestone, marble, and asbestos

Elevation extremes:
lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
highest point: Yu Shan 3,952 m

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

Geography - note:
strategic location adjacent to both the Taiwan Strait and the Luzon Strait

Area:
total: 35,980 sq km
land: 32,260 sq km
water: 3,720 sq km
note: includes the Pescadores, Matsu, and Quemoy islands

Location:
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

Coastline:
1,566.3 km

Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Maryland and Delaware combined

Irrigated land:
NA

Environment - current issues:
air pollution; water pollution from industrial emissions, raw sewage; contamination of drinking water supplies; trade in endangered species; low-level radioactive waste disposal

Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

Natural hazards:
earthquakes and typhoons

Land use:
arable land: 24%
permanent crops: 1%
other: 75% (2001)

  People Back To Top

Total fertility rate:
1.13 children born/woman (2008 est.)

Sex ratio:
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.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
NA

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 77.76 years
male: 74.89 years
female: 80.89 years (2008 est.)

Literacy:
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 96.1%
male: NA
female: NA (2003)

Net migration rate:
0.04 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2008 est.)

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

Median age:
total: 36 years
male: 35.5 years
female: 36.6 years (2008 est.)

Population:
22,920,946 (July 2008 est.)

Education expenditures:
NA

Population growth rate:
0.238% (2008 est.)

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

Death rate:
6.65 deaths/1,000 population (2008 est.)

Infant mortality rate:
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.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths:
NA

Age structure:
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.)

Birth rate:
8.99 births/1,000 population (2008 est.)

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

Nationality:
noun: Taiwan (singular and plural)
note: example - he or she is from Taiwan; they are from Taiwan
adjective: Taiwan

  Government Back To Top

Diplomatic representation from the US:
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

National holiday:
Republic Day (Anniversary of the Chinese Revolution), 10 October (1911)

Suffrage:
20 years of age; universal

Government type:
multiparty democracy

Political pressure groups and leaders:
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 unification 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; advocates of eventual unification predicate their goal on the democratic transformation of the mainland

Diplomatic representation in the US:
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

International organization participation:
ADB, APEC, BCIE, ICC, IOC, ITUC, WCL, WFTU, WTO

Legislative branch:
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

Legal system:
based on civil law system; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Flag description:
red field with a dark blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing a white sun with 12 triangular rays

Country name (Goverment):
conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Taiwan
local long form: none
local short form: T'ai-wan
former: Formosa

Political parties and leaders:
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]

Capital:
name: Taipei
geographic coordinates: 25 03 N, 121 30 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Constitution:
25 December 1947; amended in 1991, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2005
note: constitution adopted on 25 December 1946; went into effect on 25 December 1947

Executive branch:
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

Administrative divisions:
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]

Judicial branch:
Judicial Yuan (justices appointed by the president with consent of the Legislative Yuan)

  Economy Back To Top

Exports - partners:
China 32.6%, US 12.9%, Hong Kong 8.6%, Japan 6.4%, Singapore 5% (2007)

Electricity - consumption:
208.7 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Central bank discount rate:
NA

Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2007 est.)

Current account balance:
$23.95 billion (2008 est.)

Debt - external:
$98.99 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Unemployment rate:
4% (2008 est.)

Oil - exports:
289,200 bbl/day (2006)

GDP - per capita (PPP):
$33,000 (2008 est.)

Investment (gross fixed):
21.3% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of domestic credit:
NA

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$757.2 billion (2008 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate):
$393.2 billion (2008 est.)

Exchange rates:
New Taiwan dollars (TWD) per US dollar - 31.47 (2008 est.), 32.84 (2007), 32.534 (2006), 31.71 (2005), 34.418 (2004)

GDP - real growth rate:
1.7% (2008 est.)

Stock of money:
NA

Labor force:
10.83 million (2008 est.)

Imports - partners:
Japan 22.7%, US 13.3%, China 11.2%, South Korea 6.6%, Saudi Arabia 4.8%, Singapore 4.6% (2007)

Inflation rate (consumer prices):
3.7% (2008 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:
agriculture: 1.5%
industry: 27.4%
services: 71.1% (2008 est.)

Oil - imports:
1.208 million bbl/day (2006)

Exports:
$273.4 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Natural gas - consumption:
11.3 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Currency (code):
New Taiwan dollar (TWD)

Economy - overview:
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 have been 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. Recently opened cross-strait travel, transportation, and tourism links are likely to increase Taiwan's economic interdependence on China, which 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. Growth fell below 2% in 2008 because of the global slowdown.

Natural gas - exports:
0 cu m (2007 est.)

Imports - commodities:
electronic and electrical products, machinery, petroleum, precision instruments, organic chemicals, metals (2002)

Industries:
electronics, petroleum refining, armaments, chemicals, textiles, iron and steel, machinery, cement, food processing, vehicles, consumer products, pharmaceuticals

Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2007)

Population below poverty line:
0.95% (2007 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate:
NA

Stock of quasi money:
NA

Electricity - production:
216.6 billion kWh (2006 est.)

Imports:
$254.6 billion f.o.b. (2008 est.)

Oil - proved reserves:
2.38 million bbl (1 January 2008 est.)

Labor force - by occupation:
agriculture: 5.3%
industry: 36.8%
services: 57.9% (2007 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves:
6.229 billion cu m (1 January 2008 est.)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$280.9 billion (31 December 2008 est.)

Oil - consumption:
950,500 bbl/day (2006 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad:
$107.9 billion (2008 est.)

Public debt:
28.2% of GDP (2008 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home:
$92.83 billion (2007)

Market value of publicly traded shares:
$654 billion (28 December 2007)

Currency code:
TWD

Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 6.7%
highest 10%: 41.1% (2002 est.)

Exports - commodities:
electronic and electrical products, metals, textiles, plastics, chemicals, auto parts (2002)

Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 71.4%
hydro: 6%
nuclear: 22.6%
other: 0% (2001)

Natural gas - imports:
10.9 billion cu m (2007 est.)

Natural gas - production:
400 million cu m (2007 est.)

Budget:
revenues: $83.11 billion
expenditures: $89.98 billion (2008 est.)

Fiscal year:
calendar year

Oil - production:
10,600 bbl/day (2007 est.)

  Communications Back To Top

Internet users:
14.76 million (2007)

Telephones - main lines in use:
14.313 million (2007)

Televisions:
8.8 million (1998)

Internet country code:
.tw

Radio broadcast stations:
AM 140, FM 229, shortwave 49

Radios:
16 million (1994)

Telephones - mobile cellular:
24.302 million (2007)

Television broadcast stations:
76 (46 digital and 30 analog) (2007)

Telephone system:
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

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
8 (2000)

Internet hosts:
5.225 million (2008)

  Transportation Back To Top

Pipelines:
condensate 25 km; gas 661 km (2007)

Railways:
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)

Ports and terminals:
Chilung (Keelung), Kaohsiung, Taichung

Heliports:
4 (2007)

Merchant marine:
total: 102
by type: bulk carrier 32, cargo 19, chemical tanker 1, container 24, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 14, refrigerated cargo 7, roll on/roll off 2
foreign-owned: 3 (Canada 2, France 1)
registered in other countries: 536 (Bolivia 1, Cambodia 1, Honduras 2, Hong Kong 11, Indonesia 2, Italy 13, Kiribati 5, Liberia 91, Marshall Islands 1, Panama 320, Philippines 1, Sierra Leone 1, Singapore 72, Thailand 1, UK 11, unknown 3) (2008)

Airports - with paved runways:
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)

Roadways:
total: 40,262 km
paved: 38,171 km (includes 976 km of expressways)
unpaved: 2,091 km (2007)

Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 2 (2007)

Airports:
41 (2007)

  Military Back To Top

Military service age and obligation:
19-35 years of age for male compulsory military service; service obligation 14 months (reducing to 1 year in 2009); 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:
males age 16-49: 6,283,134
females age 16-49: 6,098,599 (2008 est.)

Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 5,112,737
females age 16-49: 5,036,346 (2008 est.)

Military branches:
Army, Navy (includes Marine Corps), Air Force, Coast Guard Administration, Armed Forces Reserve Command, Combined Service Forces Command, Armed Forces Police Command

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 164,883
female: 152,085 (2008 est.)

Military expenditures:
2.2% of GDP (2006)

  Transnational Issues Back To Top

Disputes - international:
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:
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

Got something to say on this page? Feel free to post your comments ! Please limit your comments to discussions about the subject matter of the content. To report bugs or problems with the ExchangeRate.com web site, please use our contact form here. Thank You!

Quiz #4
  1. Which is the largest ocean in the world?
  Atlantic ocean
  Artctic ocean
   Pacific ocean
  Indian ocean
Content, information, data, material, services, or products comprising this web-site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without written permission from ExchangeRate.com Inc.. The information supplied by this web-site is believed to be accurate, but ExchangeRate.com Inc. does not warrant or guarantee such accuracy. Users are always advised to verify information with their financial and accounting advisors or with the appropriate government agencies before relying on any such information. Information contained in this web-site is intended for your personal, non-commercial use. All other uses are expressly unauthorized and prohibited to the maximum extent allowed by law.
Copyright © ExchangeRate.com Inc. 1998 - 2012