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Taiwan (2004)

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Taiwan 2004 year

Administrative divisions includes central island of Taiwan plus numerous smaller islands near central island 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)

counties: Chang-hua, Chia-i, Hsin-chu, Hua-lien, I-lan, Kao-hsiung county, Kin-men, Lien-chiang, Miao-li, Nan-t'ou, P'eng-hu, P'ing-tung, T'ai-chung, T'ai-nan, T'ai-pei county, T'ai-tung, T'ao-yuan, and Yun-lin

municipalities: Chia-i, Chi-lung, Hsin-chu, T'ai-chung, T'ai-nan

special municipalities: Kao-hsiung city, T'ai-pei city

note: Taiwan generally uses Wade-Giles system for romanization; special municipality of Taipei adopted standard pinyin romanization for street and place names within city boundaries, other local authorities have selected a variety of romanization systems
Age structure 0-14 years: 19.9% (male 2,359,467; female 2,167,438)

15-64 years: 70.7% (male 8,149,231; female 7,924,774)

65 years and over: 9.4% (male 1,091,473; female 1,057,455) (2004 est.)
Agriculture - products rice, corn, vegetables, fruit, tea; pigs, poultry, beef, milk, fish
Airports 40 (2003 est.)
Airports - with paved runways total: 37

over 3,047 m: 8

2,438 to 3,047 m: 8

1,524 to 2,437 m: 12

914 to 1,523 m: 8

under 914 m: 1 (2004 est.)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 3

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

under 914 m: 2 (2004 est.)
Area total: 35,980 sq km

land: 32,260 sq km

water: 3,720 sq km

note: includes the Pescadores, Matsu, and Quemoy
Area - comparative slightly smaller than Maryland and Delaware combined
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 native 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.
Birth rate 12.7 births/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Budget revenues: $56.58 billion

expenditures: $69.21 billion, including capital expenditures of $14.4 billion (2003 est.)
Capital Taipei
Climate tropical; marine; rainy season during southwest monsoon (June to August); cloudiness is persistent and extensive all year
Coastline 1,566.3 km
Constitution 25 December 1946, amended in 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, and 2000
Country name conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Taiwan

local long form: none

local short form: T'ai-wan

former: Formosa
Currency new Taiwan dollar (TWD)
Death rate 6.29 deaths/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Debt - external $53.44 billion (2003)
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, Kao-hsiung, 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
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) in the US with headquarters in Taipei and field offices in Washington and 12 other US cities
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 asserted claims to the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands (Diaoyu Tai) with increased media coverage and protest actions
Economy - overview Taiwan has a dynamic capitalist economy with gradually decreasing guidance of investment and foreign trade by government authorities. In keeping with this trend, some large government-owned banks and industrial firms are being privatized. Exports have provided the primary impetus for industrialization. The trade surplus is substantial, and foreign reserves are the world's third largest. Agriculture contributes 2% to GDP, down from 32% in 1952. While Taiwan is a major investor throughout Southeast Asia, China has become the largest destination for investment and has overtaken the US to become Taiwan's largest export market. Because of its conservative financial approach and its entrepreneurial strengths, Taiwan suffered little compared with many of its neighbors from the Asian financial crisis in 1998. The global economic downturn, combined with problems in policy coordination by the administration and bad debts in the banking system, pushed Taiwan into recession in 2001, the first year of negative growth ever recorded. Unemployment also reached record levels. Output recovered moderately in 2002 in the face of continued global slowdown, fragile consumer confidence, and bad bank loans. Growing economic ties with China are a dominant long-term factor. Exports to China - mainly parts and equipment for the assembly of goods for export to developed countries - drove Taiwan's economic recovery in 2002. Although the SARS epidemic, Typhoon Maemi, corporate scandals, and a drop in consumer spending caused GDP growth to contract to 3.2% in 2003, increasingly strong export performance kept Taiwan's economy on track, and the government expects Taiwan's economy to grow 4.1% in 2004.
Electricity - consumption 140.5 billion kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports 0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - production 151.1 billion kWh (2001)
Elevation extremes lowest point: South China Sea 0 m

highest point: Yu Shan 3,952 m
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
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
Ethnic groups Taiwanese (including Hakka) 84%, mainland Chinese 14%, aborigine 2%
Exchange rates new Taiwan dollars per US dollar - 34.418 (2003), 34.575 (2002), 33.8 (2001), 33.09 (2000), 31.6 (1999)
Executive branch chief of state: President CHEN Shui-bian (since 20 May 2000) and Vice President Annette LU (LU Hsiu-lien) (since 20 May 2000)

head of government: Premier (President of the Executive Yuan) Frank HSIEH (since 1 February 2005) and Vice Premier (Vice President of the Executive Yuan) YEH Chu-lan (since 20 May 2004)

cabinet: Executive Yuan appointed by the president

elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms; election last held 20 March 2004 (next to be held in March 2008); premier appointed by the president; vice premiers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the premier

election results: CHEN Shui-bian re-elected president; percent of vote - CHEN Shui-bian (DPP) 50.1%, LIEN Chan (KMT) 49.9%
Exports 0 kWh (2001)
Exports $143 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Exports 410 million cu m (2001 est.)
Exports NA (2001)
Exports - commodities computer products and electrical equipment, metals, textiles, plastics and rubber products, chemicals (2002)
Exports - partners China 25.3%, US 20.5%, Japan 9.2% (2002)
Fiscal year 1 July - 30 June (up to FY98/99); 1 July 1999 - 31 December 2000 for FY00; calendar year (after FY00)
Flag description red with a dark blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing a white sun with 12 triangular rays
GDP purchasing power parity - $528.6 billion (2003 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 1.8%

industry: 30.3%

services: 67.9% (2003)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $23,400 (2003 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 3.2% (2003 est.)
Geographic coordinates 23 30 N, 121 00 E
Geography - note strategic location adjacent to both the Taiwan Strait and the Luzon Strait
Heliports 3 (2003 est.)
Highways total: 35,931 km

paved: 31,583 km (including 608 km of expressways)

unpaved: 4,348 km (2000)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 6.7%

highest 10%: 41.1% (2002 est.)
Illicit drugs regional transit point for heroin and methamphetamine; major problem with domestic consumption of methamphetamine and heroin; renewal of domestic methamphetamine production is a problem
Imports 0 kWh (2001)
Imports $119.6 billion f.o.b. (2003 est.)
Imports 6.3 billion cu m (2001 est.)
Imports NA (2001)
Imports - commodities machinery and electrical equipment 44.5%, minerals, precision instruments (2002)
Imports - partners Japan 24.2%, US 16.1%, China 7.1%, South Korea 6.9% (2002)
Industrial production growth rate 8.4% (2003)
Industries electronics, petroleum refining, chemicals, textiles, iron and steel, machinery, cement, food processing
Infant mortality rate total: 6.52 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 7.21 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 5.77 deaths/1,000 live births (2004 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) -0.3% (2003 est.)
International organization participation APEC, AsDB, BCIE, ICC, ICFTU, IOC, WCL, WTO
Irrigated land NA sq km
Judicial branch Judicial Yuan (justices appointed by the president with consent of the Legislative Yuan)
Labor force 10.08 million (2003)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 7.5%, industry 35%, services 57% (2001 est.)
Land boundaries 0 km
Land use arable land: 24%

permanent crops: 1%

other: 75% (2001)
Languages Mandarin Chinese (official), Taiwanese (Min), Hakka dialects
Legal system based on civil law system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations
Legislative branch unicameral Legislative Yuan (225 seats - 168 elected by popular vote, 41 elected on basis of proportion of islandwide votes received by participating political parties, 8 elected from overseas Chinese constituencies on basis of proportion of island-wide votes received by participating political parties, 8 elected by popular vote among aboriginal populations; members serve three-year terms) and unicameral National Assembly (300 seat nonstanding body; delegates nominated by parties and elected by proportional representation six to nine months after Legislative Yuan calls to amend Constitution, impeach president, or change national borders)

note: the number of seats in the legislature may be reduced from 225 to 113 beginning with the election in 2007 if a proposed constitutional amendment is approved

elections: Legislative Yuan - last held 11 December 2004 (next to be held in December 2007) according to proposed constitutional amendment

election results: Legislative Yuan - percent of vote by party - DPP 38%, KMT 35%, PFP 15%, TSU 8%, other parties and independents 4%; seats by party - DPP 89, KMT 79, PFP 34, TSU 12, other parties 7, independents 4
Life expectancy at birth total population: 77.06 years

male: 74.31 years

female: 80.08 years (2004 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 96.1% (2003)
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
Map references Southeast Asia
Maritime claims territorial sea: 12 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
Merchant marine total: 130 ships (1,000 GRT or over) 3,417,768 GRT/5,617,318 DWT

by type: bulk 36, cargo 23, chemical tanker 2, combination bulk 3, container 37, petroleum tanker 17, refrigerated cargo 10, roll on/roll off 2

foreign-owned: Cuba 1, Hong Kong 4

registered in other countries: 457 (2004 est.)
Military branches Army, Navy (including Marine Corps), Air Force, Coast Guard Administration, Armed Forces Reserve Command, Combined Service Forces Command, Armed Forces Police Command
Military expenditures - dollar figure $7,611.7 million (2003)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 2.7% (2003)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 6,556,484 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 4,992,737 (2004 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males: 182,677 (2004 est.)
National holiday Republic Day (Anniversary of the Chinese Revolution), 10 October (1911)
Nationality noun: Chinese/Taiwanese (singular and plural)

adjective: Chinese/Taiwanese
Natural hazards earthquakes and typhoons
Natural resources small deposits of coal, natural gas, limestone, marble, and asbestos
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2004 est.)
Pipelines condensate 25 km; gas 435 km (2004)
Political parties and leaders Democratic Progressive Party or DPP [SU Tseng-chang, chairman]; Kuomintang or KMT (Nationalist Party) [LIEN Chan, chairman]; People First Party or PFP [James SOONG (SOONG Chu-yu), chairman]; Taiwan Solidarity Union or TSU [SU Chin-chiang, chairman]; other minor parties including the Chinese New Party or CNP
Political pressure groups and leaders Taiwan independence movement, various business and environmental 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 Taiwan currently enjoys de facto independence and - whatever the ultimate outcome regarding reunification or independence - that Taiwan's people must have the deciding voice; 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; other organizations supporting Taiwan independence include the World United Formosans for Independence and the Organization for Taiwan Nation Building
Population 22,749,838 (July 2004 est.)
Population below poverty line 1% (2000 est.)
Population growth rate 0.64% (2004 est.)
Ports and harbors Chi-lung (Keelung), Hua-lien, Kao-hsiung, Su-ao, T'ai-chung
Radio broadcast stations AM 218, FM 333, shortwave 50 (1999)
Railways total: 2,544 km

narrow gauge: 1,108 km 1.067-m gauge (519 km electrified)

note: 1,400 km .762-m gauge (belonging to the Taiwan Sugar Corporation and to the Taiwan Forestry Bureau used to haul products and limited numbers of passengers (2003)
Religions mixture of Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist 93%, Christian 4.5%, other 2.5%
Sex ratio at birth: 1.1 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.09 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 1.03 male(s)/female

total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2004 est.)
Suffrage 20 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: provides telecommunications service for every business and private need

domestic: thoroughly modern; completely digitalized

international: country code - 886; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Pacific Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean); submarine cables to Japan (Okinawa), Philippines, Guam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Australia, Middle East, and Western Europe (1999)
Telephones - main lines in use 13.355 million (2003)
Telephones - mobile cellular 25,089,600 (2003)
Television broadcast stations 29 (plus two repeaters) (1997)
Terrain eastern two-thirds mostly rugged mountains; flat to gently rolling plains in west
Total fertility rate 1.57 children born/woman (2004 est.)
Unemployment rate 5% (2003 est.)
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