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BACKGROUND 1895-Military defeat forced China to cede Taiwan to Japan. It 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 1947 constitution drawn up for all of China. Over the next 5 decades, the ruling authorities gradually democratized and incorporated the native population within the governing structure. BACKGROUND In 2000, Taiwan underwent its first peaceful transfer of power from the Nationalist to the Democratic Progressive Party. Taiwan became one of East Asia’s economic “ Tigers.” GEOGRAPHY 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. Slightly smaller than Maryland and Delaware combined. Natural Resources Small deposits of coal, natural gas, limestone, marble, and asbestos People Population 22,603,001 (July 2003) Age Structure 0-14 years:20.1% (male 2,366,560; female 2,175,886) 15-64 years:70.6% (male 8,095,741; female 7,871,954) 65 years and over:9.3% (male 1,074,112; female 1,018,747) Religions Mixture of Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist 93%, Christian 4.5%, other 2.5% freedom of religion is guaranteed as a right of all people in Taiwan. To be recognized, religious groups must apply and register with the Civil Affairs Department of the Ministry of the Interior, after meeting stipulated requirements, including a minimum number of local believers, organizations, and sufficient funds. LANGUAGES Official language is Mandarin Chinese Taiwanese Hakka dialects GOVERNMENT Taiwan is part of the Republic of China Multiparty democratic regime headed by popularly-elected president Chief of state- President CHEN Shui-bien Vice President- Annette LU LEGAL SYSTEM Based on civil law system ECONOMY Taiwan has a dynamic capitalist economy with gradually decreasing guidance on investment and foreign trade by government authorities. 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. ECONOMY 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. BUDGET Revenues: $ 36 billion Expenditures: $ 36.1 billion INDUSTRIES Electronics Petroleum refining Chemicals Textiles Iron and Steel Machinery Cement Food Processing EXPORTS PARTNERS Hong Kong 23.9% U.S 20.8% Japan 9.3% China 7.7% IMPORTS PARTNERS Japan 24.3% U.S 16.1% China 7.1% South Korea 6.9% CURRENCY New Taiwan dollar (TWD) 1 United States Dollar = 33.68001 Taiwan Dollar TRANSPORTATION Highways Pipelines Ports and Harbors Airports PUBLIC HEALTH There are an extensive network of hospitals and clinics in Taiwan Public medical care institutions consist of 96 hospitals and 492 clinics Private medical care institutions consist of 543 hospitals and 17,136 clinics. The control of infectious diseases in Taiwan has greatly improved. 40 years ago, acute infectious diseases were the number one killer in the Taiwan area. HEALTH INSURANCE March 1, 1995- government launched the National Health Insurance (NHI) program This system incorporated the medical insurance coverage provided by the original 13 public health insurance plans and further extended coverage to the 7.99 million citizens who were formerly uninsured, mainly the elderly, children, students, housewives, and the disabled. Culture of Taiwan Taiwanese culture is very similar to that of China. Taiwanese opera are seen to be the half-sibling of Chinese opera. Health and longevity is also very important for Taiwanese. Many practise taijiquan, slow motion shadow boxing for exercise and as an art form. The Taiwanese are very superstitious about death, and they avoid its symbols (white and the number four), and never talk about dying or accidents.
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