|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
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.
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
The brief autumn from October to mid-November
is considered the most pleasant time of the year.
||Republic of China
|Type of Government:
||Democratic republic; political parties
legalized in March 1989
||36,000 sq km
|Major Ethnic Groups:
||Taiwanese, Mainland Chinese, Aboriginals
||Mandarin Chinese, Taiwanese, Hakka,
||Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity
|Unit of Currency:
||New Taiwan dollar
||Red with a dark blue rectangle in
the upper left hand corner bearing a white sun with 12 triangular rays