February 7, 2010


Taiwan, also known as Formosa, is the largest island of the Republic of China in East Asia.
Population 23,100,000
Area 35,980 km2

The island of Taiwan lies some 180 kilometers off the southeastern coast of China, across the Taiwan Strait, and has an area of 35,801 km2 (13,822.8 sq mi). The East China Sea lies to the north, the Philippine Sea to the east, the Luzon Strait directly to the south and the South China Sea to the southwest. The island is characterized by the contrast between the eastern two-thirds, consisting mostly of rugged mountains running in five ranges from the northern to the southern tip of the island, and the flat to gently rolling plains in the west that are also home to most of Taiwan's population. Taiwan's highest point is Yu Shan at 3,952 meters, and there are five other peaks over 3,500 meters. This makes it the world's fourth-highest island. Taroko National Park, located on the mountainous eastern side of the island, has good examples of mountainous terrain, gorges and erosion caused by a swiftly flowing river.

Taiwan's climate is marine tropical. The northern part of the island has a rainy season that lasts from January through late March during the northeast monsoon, and experiences meiyu in May. The entire island experiences hot, humid weather from June through September. The middle and southern parts of the island do not have an extended monsoon season during the winter months. Natural hazards such as typhoons and earthquakes are common in the region.

With its high population density and many factories, some areas in Taiwan suffer from heavy pollution.

Taiwan has significant coal deposits and some insignificant petroleum and natural gas deposits. Electrical power generation is nearly 55% coal-based, 18% nuclear power, 17% natural gas, 5% oil, and 5% from renewable energy sources.

Taiwan's quick industrialization and rapid growth during the latter half of the twentieth century, has been called the "Taiwan Miracle" (台灣奇蹟) or "Taiwan Economic Miracle". As it has developed alongside Singapore, South Korea, and Hong Kong, Taiwan is one of the industrialized developed countries known as the "Four Asian Tigers".

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