Special Collections of On-line Stuff about Taiwan

On-line Gorgeous Maps of Taiwan
Flags of Taiwan
On-line Taiwanese Movie Posters
On-line Scenic pictures of Taiwan

Taiwan Information

Useful Web Sites/Information about Taiwan[NEW]
FAQ about Taiwan (from Unknown Taiwan)[NEW]
Research Bibliography on Taiwan Independence Movement (Courtesy of Clyde Kiang)[NEW]
New Release on Taiwan Research (Courtesy of Wei-Der Shu)[NEW]

A NEW TAIWAN

The following information about Taiwan is compiled and distributed by Taiwanese American Citizens League -Greater Los Angeles Southeast Chapter
Geography and Climate
Demography and History
Languages and Culture
Government and Politics
Trade and Economy

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chiueh@usc.edu

Geography and Climate


Taiwan sits one hundred miles off the coast of China, between Japan and the Philippines. Its 14,000 square miles make it slightly larger than Massachusetts and Connecticut combined. As with other countries on the Rim of Fire that encircles the Pacific, earthquakes are frequent, but its many volcanoes are either dormant or dead. Much of Taiwan is covered by high mountains, some rising to over 13,000 feet. The remainder, most of it on the western seaboard, is as flat as it is fertile. With abundant rainfall of over 100 inches annually, the subtropical climate is much like that of Hawaii. Because of their homeland's potato-like shape, many Taiwanese call themselves "sweet potatoes."
Maps of Taiwan
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Demography and History


Of Taiwan's 21 million people, fewer than 400,000 are of proto-Malayan stock originating in prehistoric times from the Pacific islands to the south. They were slowly displaced by immigrants from southeast China. Despite official ban by the Chinese government, Han Chinese immigration continued until 1895, when the Ching Dynasty ceded Taiwan to Japan. By the mid-twentieth century, the descendants of these Han immigrants, calling themselves the "native Taiwanese," numbered over six million. In 1949-50 they were joined by more than a million refugees who accompanied the Kuomintang(KMT) when it lost China to communist control. With over 70% of the people living in the major cities and their suburbs, the great majority live on the western plain. Taiwan first began to assume some importance in Asian history in the seventeenth century with the influx of settlers form China. These Han pioneers came from either Fujian or Kuangtong. In 1661, several decades of Spanish and Dutch control gave way to the refugee regime of the Ham admiral, Koxinga. By the early eighteenth century, with Taiwan under Manchu(Ching Dynasty) control, immigration continued, and exports of rice, sugar and camphor made the island one of the most thriving export economies in the Far East. Chinese control remained tenuous however, and it was popularly said that "every five years a major rebellion, every three years a minor one." After the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95, Taiwan was ceded to Japan, which developed it as frontline outpost in its expanding empire. With Japan's 1945 surrender at the end of World War II, it gave up title to Taiwan, without specifying to whom. In 1949, China was embroiled in civil war. Driven from China by the Communists, the KMT set up government in Taipei, establishing martial law and ruling with a hand every bit as harsh as the Japanese before. The Taiwanese people, having never accepted subjugation, continued to resist outside control; debate over the rightful status of Taiwan continues to this day.

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Languages and Culture


Taiwan's original inhabitants, the indigenous tribes have lost much of their original culture, but many have managed to retain their languages in the mountain areas where they predominate. Hunting and gathering has mow given way to farming of small plots, while many send their sons and daughters to the lowland cities to seed jobs. Meanwhile, the native Taiwanese, about 85% of the population, continue to speak the Holo of Hakka dialects of their ancestors. With the arrival of the KMT and its army in 1949, Chinese Mandarin became the official language. Today it is not at all uncommon to find a family where the grandparents speak Holo or Hakka; Japanese, learned in the pre-1945 Japanese schools of their childhood; and Mandarin, picked up from television and listening to their grandchildren Religious customs, too, came to Taiwan in various waves, so that, on top of the spiritual animism of the indigenous people, Taoist, Buddhist, Confucianist, Matsuist, Moslem, Christian and other religious influences all vie for acceptance. Like America, Taiwan has truly become a "salad bowl" of languages, religions and culture.
Taiwanese Culture Web Site
http://twserv.csie.nctu.edu.tw/
Academic Research in Taiwan: Academia Sinica WWW Service Home Page
http://www.sinica.edu.tw/
Printing Media: Magazines, Journals in Taiwan
http://supertag.com.tw/weekly/default.htm
Taiwanese History:
http://www.sinica.edu.tw/as/intro/ith.html
Holo Taiwanese language: struggle to survive
http://www.formosa.com/taibun/ Taibun Thong-Sin, Taiwanese Writing Forum
http://www.cs.washington.edu/homes/chou/taiwanese.html Taiwanese Language Page
http://www.umdnj.edu/~chenchen/main.html Am-Kong-Chiau e hom-pei-chi
http://www.digita.org:9227/cgi-bin/ken/huhebi/g149 Holok Huhebi Introduction
Hakka: An endangered language/culture in Taiwan
telnet twserv.csie.nctu.edu.tw(login:gopher)
Taiwanese Hakka Association of USA Home Page[New]
http://www.ganet.net/~ITTI/Hakka/intro.html

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Government and Politics

The "Republic of China" get its name form the fact that the KMT considers itself, and not the Beijing regime, as the only legitimate government of all China-and Tibet and Mongolia, too. In 1949, when the communists drove the KMT from China and established the People's Republic of China in Beijing, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek took over Taiwan, intended a launch base for retaking China. Martial law was declared and a political reign of terror kept all opposition in check. Opposition parties were banned, the press controlled. As Taiwan proseed, however, its entry into the global economy brought greater openness. Thanks to the valiant struggle for freedom and democracy of thousands, including clergy from the Presbyterian Church, by the end of the 1980s martial law had beed abrogated, the ban on opposition parties lifted, and a wide variety of political ideas allowed to circulate. Meanwhile reforms of the last decade have made it possible for native Taiwanese to seed office and influence policy. Where until 1986, there was only one party, now there are dozens, with the main contender, the Democratic Progressive party(DPP), routinely winning 30-40% of the vote. Today, Taiwan is one of the freest societies in Asia, if not world. Homepages of political parties in Taiwan
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Trade and Economy


With the influx of Han immigrant labor in the 17th century, Taiwan became a major exporter of deerskins. A hunting-and-gathering economy was gradually supplanted by the Han agrarian pioneers. In the first half of this century the Japanese developed a modern infrastructure, and Taiwan became a major exporter of rice, sugar and tea. Transformed into an "economic miracle," as of late 1993 the island ranked 21st in the world in GNP and 13the in trade volume. In May 1994, Taiwan boasted the second largest foreign reserves in the world. Economic success is driving further conversion from a labor to a capital intensive arrangement. Its quality, high-end electronic goods, textiles, plastics and other manufactures now go to the far reaches of the globe. President Lee Teng-Hui has named 2000 as the year in which per-capita income will top US $21,000 annually.
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