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Eastern two-thirds mostly rugged mountains; flat to gently rolling plains in west


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


Nationality: Taiwan (singular and plural)
Population: 23,299,716 (July 2013 est.), 
Languages: Mandarin Chinese (official), Taiwanese (Min), Hakka dialects  


Mixture of Buddhist and Taoist 93%, Christian 4.5%, other 2.5%


Taiwan has a dynamic capitalist economy with gradually decreasing government guidance of investment and foreign trade. Exports, led by electronics, machinery, and petrochemicals have provided the primary impetus for economic development. This heavy dependence on exports exposes the economy to fluctuations in world demand. Taiwan's diplomatic isolation, low birth rate, and rapidly aging population are major long-term challenges.

Living Conditions

Towns and cities have the yanglou, a foreign-style town house in which hierarchical elements are arranged vertically instead of horizontally; stories instead of wings are added as the family expands. On commercial streets, the ground floor is the family shop and the domestic quarters are upstairs. During the heyday of rural industry in the 1980s, family-operated workshops were located on the ground floor and whole streets became production lines.


Multiparty democracy

US Military Presence/Support






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