Taiwan Background

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1.0 Introduction

Geographic & Climate
The island of Taiwan is located 120 kilometers off southeastern coast of Mainland China. Its geographical area coverage is bout 13,823 square miles. It is surrounded by the East China Sea on its north, South China Sea to southeast and Philippine Sea to the east. The shape of the island is similar to a sweet potato, therefore they sometimes refers themselves as “Children of the Sweet Potato”

The terrain of Taiwan consists mostly of rugged mountains. Taroko National Park which is located eastern side of the mountainous terrain has a decent example of mountainous terrain. Towards the west of the island consists mostly flat lands which host most of its population. Due to its geographical location on the globe, it is highly exposed to typhoons and earthquakes in the region.

Taiwan’s climate is marine tropical. From June till September, Taiwan experiences hot humid weather, however the northern landscape of the island undergo rainy season that lasts from January to late March during the southwest monsoon season. During and after the Lunar New Year, the middle and southern parts of the island may experience several weeks of rain.

Natural & Energy Resources
The country has uncovered many mineral resources such a coal, gold, marble and also the natural landscape that provides wild animal reserves has been harvested during its intensive exploitation throughout its pre-modern and modern history and now, its virtually exhausted. The current remaining forest does not contribute much of a timber production due to concerns over environmental issues and regulation and also production costs. However, Taiwan has produced ‘Camphor oil’ and also exported ‘cane sugar’ during the late 19th century till early 20th century.

Few natural resources with significant economic value are found in Taiwan these days. Many of the natural resources are being challenged by foreign imports since Taiwan’s accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001, the countries agriculture now depends in the promotion and exportation of specialty fruits such as guava, banana, wax apple, high mountain tea and lychee.

The country still posses an adequate amount of energy resources such as coal, oil and gas deposits. However, the countries transportation consumption of energy resources are imported. Existing energy resources are used to generate electricity, with 55% coal based, 17% natural gas, 18% nuclear power, and oil and renewable energy contributing 5% each. Due to its heavy dependency on imported energy resources for its transportation energy consumption, Taiwan is highly sensitive to fluctuations in energy prices.

As the resources of Taiwan is getting scarce, the fact that the country experiences typhoons and stormy weathers has given the country a source of energy that is derived from wind which is rich both on-shore and off-shore. The country is currently focusing on the research and development on renewable energy and hopes to develop it into an export market.

Recent History of Taiwan
Taiwan has been colonized by several countries in the past, such as the Dutch in 1624, the Qing Dynasty (China) in 1662 and the Japanese in 1895 that ruled Taiwan for 51 years until they lost in World War II and removed themselves from the country.

The country was then ruled by the Republic of China led by ‘Chiang Kai-shek’ in 1945 also known as the Kuomintang Martial Law period. Many complex internal conflicts which consist of corruption and communism rein the lands of Taiwan for over a decade. But later on the country slowly started to prosper into a dynamically economic country with an authoritarian single party government and becoming one of the Asian’s Four Tigers.

In the 1980’s, his successor – ‘Chiang Ching-kuo’ began to liberalize Taiwan’s political system with the establishment of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which was formed illegally became the first opposition party to go against the...
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