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Taiwan, [I] officially the Republic of China (ROC), [II] is a country in East Asia. It shares maritime borders with the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. The main island of Taiwan has an area of 35,808 square kilometres (13,826 sq mi), with mountain ranges dominating the eastern two-thirds and plains in the western third, where its highly urbanised population is concentrated. The capital is Taipei, which, along with New Taipei and Keelung, forms the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Other major cities include Kaohsiung, Taichung, Tainan and Taoyuan. With 23.57 million inhabitants, Taiwan is among the most densely populated countries in the world.

Austronesian-speaking ancestors of Taiwanese indigenous peoples settled the island around 6,000 years ago. In the 17th century, large-scale Han Chinese immigration to western Taiwan began under a Dutch colony and continued under the Kingdom of Tungning. The island was annexed in 1683 by the Qing dynasty of China, and ceded to the Empire of Japan in 1895. The Republic of China, which had overthrown the Qing in 1911, took control of Taiwan on behalf of the World War II Allies following the surrender of Japan in 1945. The resumption of the Chinese Civil War resulted in the ROC's loss of mainland China to forces of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and retreat to Taiwan in 1949. Its effective jurisdiction has since been limited to Taiwan and numerous smaller islands.

In the early 1960s, Taiwan entered a period of rapid economic growth and industrialisation called the " Taiwan Miracle". In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the ROC transitioned from a one-party military dictatorship to a multi-party democracy with a semi-presidential system. Taiwan's export-oriented industrial economy is the 21st-largest in the world by nominal GDP, and 20th-largest by PPP measures, with major contributions from steel, machinery, electronics and chemicals manufacturing. Taiwan is a developed country, ranking 15th in GDP per capita. It is ranked highly in terms of political and civil liberties, education, health care and human development.

The political status of Taiwan is contentious. The ROC no longer represents China as a member of the United Nations, after UN members voted in 1971 to recognize the PRC instead. Meanwhile, the ROC continued to claim to be the legitimate representative of China and its territory, although this has been downplayed since its democratization in the 1990s. Taiwan is claimed by the PRC, which refuses diplomatic relations with countries that recognise the ROC. Taiwan maintains official diplomatic relations with 14 out of 193 UN member states and the Holy See, though many others maintain unofficial diplomatic ties with Taiwan through representative offices and institutions that function as de facto embassies and consulates. International organisations in which the PRC participates either refuse to grant membership to Taiwan or allow it to participate only on a non-state basis under various names. Domestically, the major political contention is between parties favouring eventual Chinese unification and promoting a pan-Chinese identity contrasted with those aspiring to formal international recognition and promoting a Taiwanese identity, although both sides have moderated their positions to broaden their appeal. ( Full article...)

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The most commonly used home language in Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, 2010. (blue 'cmn' = "Mandarin", green 'nan' = "Hokkien"/"Min Nan", hot-pink 'hak' = "Hakka", burgundy 'map' = Austronesian languages)

The languages of Taiwan consist of several varieties of languages under the families of Austronesian languages and Sino-Tibetan languages. The Formosan languages, a branch of Austronesian languages, have been spoken by the Taiwanese aborigines in Taiwan for thousands of years. Owing to the wide internal variety of the Formosan languages, research on historical linguistics recognizes Taiwan as the Urheimat (homeland) of the whole Austronesian languages family. In the last 400 years, several waves of Chinese emigrations brought several different Sino-Tibetan languages into Taiwan. These languages include Taiwanese Hokkien, Hakka, and Mandarin, which have become the major languages spoken in Taiwan nowadays.

Formosan languages were the dominant language of prehistorical Taiwan. Taiwan's long colonial and immigration history brought in several languages such as Dutch, Spanish, Hokkien, Hakka, Japanese, and Mandarin. Due to its colonial history, Japanese influences the language in Taiwan, for example, as many loanwords in several languages in Taiwan are derived from Japanese. ( Full article...)

Selected biography

Chou in 2016

Jay Chou ( traditional Chinese: 周杰倫; simplified Chinese: 周杰伦; pinyin: Zhōu Jiélún; born 18 January 1979) is a Taiwanese singer, songwriter, rapper, record producer, actor, film director, businessman and magician. Dubbed the " King of Mandopop", and having sold over 30 million records, Chou is one of the best-selling artists in the Greater China Area and is known for his work with lyricist Vincent Fang, with whom he has frequently collaborated on his music.

In 2000, Chou released his debut studio album, Jay (2000), under the record company Alfa Music to moderate success. Chou rose to fame with the release of his second studio album, Fantasy (2001), which combined Western and Eastern music styles. The album won five Golden Melody Awards, including Album of the Year. He has since further released twelve more studio albums, spawning a string of hit singles and gaining significant prominence in Asian communities such as Taiwan, mainland China, Hong Kong,

Singapore and Malaysia. Chou has embarked on six world tours, performing in cities around the world to more than 10 million spectators as of 2019. ( Full article...)

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Taipei East Gate (0395).JPG

The East Gate of the historical walled city of Taipei

Photo credit: User:Jiang

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Hsu Tain-tsair in 2015

Hsu Tain-tsair ( Chinese: 許添財; pinyin: Xǔ Tiāncái; Wade–Giles: Hsǔ Tiēn-tsái; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Khó͘ Thiam-châi; born 23 January 1953) is a Taiwanese politician who served as the mayor of Tainan City from 2001 to 2010. Born in Tainan County (now part of Tainan City), Hsu got his PhD candidacy in economics in the United States, where he started participating in the independence movement of Taiwan. He was placed on the blacklist of Kuomintang and was not allowed to return to Taiwan until 1990.

When Hsu returned to Taiwan, he joined the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Having been elected legislator three times, Hsu is considered a privy councilor to the DPP in the field of economics. He was nominated to run for the mayor of Tainan and was elected in 2001. During his terms as mayor, Hsu worked on public projects and encouraged tourism. For example, a police unit was established to facilitate tourists in 2007, and he also improved the environment of the city. ( Full article...)

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The following are images from various Taiwan-related articles on Wikipedia.

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In the news

20 July 2021 – Lithuania–Taiwan relations
Taiwan announces that it will be opening a representative office in Vilnius, Lithuania. This comes amid warming relations between the two nations and the opening of a Lithuanian office in Taipei. The office will be known as the Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania, making it the first Taiwanese diplomatic mission in Europe to include Taiwan in its name. (Taiwan News)
26 June 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Taiwan
Taiwan reports its first six locally transmitted cases of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant involving people living or having come into contact with an unlicensed taxicab driver from Pingtung County. (Focus Taiwan)
20 June 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
COVID-19 pandemic in Taiwan
COVID-19 vaccination in Taiwan, Taiwan–United States relations
The United States sends 2.5 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine to Taiwan. (Time)



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