Taiwan is an island in the Pacific Ocean located off the Eastern coast of China between Japan and the Philippines. In the 16th century, Portuguese sailors called Taiwan Ilha formosa, the beautiful island.

 Taiwan is surrounded by six bodies of water: the East China Sea, the Pacific Ocean, the Bashi Channel, the South China Sea, the Philippine Sea, and the Taiwan Strait.

Mountains and hills cover two-thirds of Taiwan. The Central Mountain Range runs from north to south with many peaks that are more than 3000 metres above sea level. Yu Shan or Jade Mountain in central Taiwan is the highest peak in northeast Asia. The eastern slope of the Central Mountain Range has some of the world's highest sea cliffs. The western slope gradually descends into a broad, coastal plain. More than 250 centimetres of rain fall every year. The northern mountain area of Taiwan receives some of the heaviest rainfall in the world. Earthquakes and tremors are common.
Did you know? 

The capital of Taiwan, Taipei, is built in a big, flat basin that used to be a lake.

Winter begins in November and ends in March or early April. Low clouds, drizzle, fog and gusty winds often characterize the winter season. The spring lasts from April to June and is mostly sunny and mild. Heavy rain falls throughout the island, especially in the months of May and June. In the summer, July through September, it is usually very hot and humid. This is also the time when typhoons hit the island. They cause flooding, uprooting of trees, landslides and damage to buildings and crops.

 The brief autumn from October to mid-November is considered the most pleasant time of the year.

Summary Fact Sheet

Official Name: Republic of China
Capital:  Taipei 
Type of Government: Democratic republic; political parties legalized in March 1989
Population:  21.4 million
Area:  36,000 sq km
Major Ethnic Groups:  Taiwanese, Mainland Chinese, Aboriginals
Languages:  Mandarin Chinese, Taiwanese, Hakka, other dialects
Religions:  Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity
Unit of Currency:  New Taiwan dollar
National Flag:  Red with a dark blue rectangle in the upper left hand corner bearing a white sun with 12 triangular rays