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Between the South and East China Seas, off the southeast coast of the People's Republic of China.

36,188 sq km (13,972 sq miles).

22.7 million (2004, Government statistics).

Population Density
627.27 per sq km.

Population: 2.6 million (2004).

Republic since 1912.  
Recent history: President Chen Shui-bian, from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), was elected in 2000, ending more than 50 years of Nationalist (Kuomintang) rule. He was reelected by a very narrow margin in March 2004, after a campaign focusing on formal independence for Taiwan. As a result, Beijing, which sees constitutional change as a dangerous step towards formal statehood for Taiwan, refuses to deal with Mr Chen.
Domestic opposition has plagued Mr Chen in his second term. The Nationalist Party (Kuomintang) and its allies, who favor closer ties with Beijing, have given his DPP a drubbing in local and parliamentary polls. But the president received a boost when a reform allowing the public to vote on constitutional changes was approved in 2005. Mr Chen says a vote that could pave the way for a new charter may be held by 2007.
President Chen Shui-bian chose Su Tseng-chang, his former Chief of Staff, to replace Prime Minister Frank Hsieh, who resigned in January 2006, after less than a year in the post. Frank Hsieh, the former Premier, resigned after accepting blame for the DPP's defeat in local Government elections. Su Tseng-chang is the fifth Premier to be appointed by President Chen in the past six years, and many analysts believe that his room for maneuver will be limited, especially since the opposition parties have a Parliamentary majority. Mr Su, a possible Presidential candidate for 2008, has named a new Cabinet made up of a mix of old and new political faces.
Under the amended 1947 constitution, Taiwan has an executive who is Head of State and is directly elected for a four-year term. The Parliament has two chambers. The Li Fa Yuan (Legislative Yuan) has 225 members ? 168 elected for a three-year term in multi-seat constituencies, 41 elected by proportional representation, eight representing ethnic minorities, and six representing the overseas Chinese community. After six constitutional amendments between April 1991 and 2000, the National Assembly is now a non-standing body and its delegates are nominated by political parties on the basis of proportional representation. Most of its original functions have been transferred to the Legislative Yuan.
A 300-member non-standing body will be selected by proportional representation according to laws to be passed by the Legislative Yuan. The National Assembly's functions will be limited to voting on constitutional amendments, presidential impeachment, or alteration of national boundaries as proposed by the Legislative Yuan. Its former powers have been transferred to the Legislative Yuan.

The official language is Northern Chinese (Mandarin). Taiwanese is widely spoken, and English is taught as the first foreign language in schools.

Buddhism; also Taoism, Christianity and Islam.

GMT + 8.

110 volts AC, 60Hz.

Head of Government
Premier Su Tseng-chang since 2006.

Head of State
President Chen Shui-bian since 2000.

Full IDD is available. Country code: 886. There is an extensive internal telephone system.

Mobile Telephone
Roaming agreements exist with international mobile phone companies.

Internet cafes provide public access to Internet and e-mail services.


Airmail to Western Europe takes up to 10 days.

Daily Chinese-language papers include the United Daily News, the Central Daily News, China Times, Taiwan Daily and Liberty Times. English-language dailies include The China Post, Taipei Times and Taiwan News.

Broadcasting Corporation of China (BCC) has national and regional networks, while CBS-Radio Taiwan International,the national broadcaster, also beams services to mainland China and therest of the world with programs in various languages and Chinesedialects. Public Radio System (PRS) is Government-run and broadcasts travel, weather and social information. International Community Radio Taipei (ICRT) is the biggest English-language FM station.

Below are listed Public Holidays for the January 2007-December 2008 period.

1-3 Jan Founding of the Republic of China and New Year's Day.
18-20 Feb Chinese New Year.
28 Feb Peace Memorial Day.
5 Apr Tomb-Sweeping Day.
1 May Labor Day.
19 Jun (5th Day, 5th Moon) Dragon Boat Festival.
25 Sep (15th Day, 8th Moon) Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.
10 Oct National Day.

1-3 Jan Founding of the Republic of China and New Year's Day.
7-9 Feb Chinese New Year.
28 Feb Peace Memorial Day.
5 Apr Tomb-Sweeping Day.
1 May Labor Day.
Jun* (5th day, 5th moon) Dragon Boat Festival.
Sep* (15th day, 8th moon) Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.
10 Oct National Day.

* Date to be confirmed

Contact Information:

Taiwan Visitors' Association
5th Floor, 9F-2, 9 Minchuan East Road, Section 2, Taipei 104, Taiwan
Tel: (2) 2594 3261 (information hotline).

Taipei Representative Office in the UK
50 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1 0EB, UK
Tel: (020) 7881 2650 or 2654 (visa section) or 2653.
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0930-1230 (visa section).

Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) in the USA
4201 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016, USA
Tel: (202) 895 1800.

Taiwan Visitors' Association in the USA
1 East, 42nd Street, 9th Floor, New York, NY 10017, USA
Tel: (212) 867 1632/4.  

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