Taiwan

country in East Asia

Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. The Republic of China, originally based in mainland China, now governs the island of Taiwan, which constitutes more than 99% of its territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and other minor islands, following its loss of the mainland China territory in 1949 in the Chinese Civil War. This remaining area is also constitutionally called the "Free area of the Republic of China" which is not ruled by the Communist Party of China in Beijing. Neighboring states include the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the west (mainland China), Japan to the east and northeast, and the Philippines to the south. Taiwan is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Taipei is the seat of the central government, and together with the surrounding cities of New Taipei and Keelung forms the largest metropolitan area on the island.

It is hard to think of a state less deserving of pariah status than Taiwan: a country that evolved from dictatorship to become a splendid example of liberal democracy in a region sorely in need of such an example. ~ Jay Nordlinger

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Quotes

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  • A catastrophe also separates the fragile from the resilient and the antifragile―Nassim Taleb's wonderful word to describe something that gains under stress (Remember Nietzsche: "What doesn't kill me makes me stronger.") Some cities, corporations, states, and empires collapse under the force of the shock. Others survive, though weakened. But a third, Nietzschean category emerges stronger. I suspect that, despite appearances, the United States in category two, not one, while the People's Republic of China may ultimately prove to be in category one, not two, much less three. The Republic of China, Taiwan is in category three―unless Beijing annexes it.
  • But democracies also took root because they generally outperformed autocracies in raising living standards. Markets do not always require democracy in order to function: South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and China all developed successful economies under less than democratic conditions. The Cold War experience showed, though, that it is not easy to keep markets open and ideas constrained at the same time. And since markets proved more efficient than command economies in allocating resources and enhancing productivity, the resulting improvement in people s lives, in turn, strengthened democracies.
  • At the time, Wu's young son was starting first grade, and he worried about Taiwan's sky-high rates of myopia. Around 90 percent of teens there have it by the end of high school. Wu says the academic culture in Taiwan's primary schools didn't allow for much outdoor recess. "Many teachers want students to practice their homework during recess," he says.
    But Wu convinced his son's elementary school to increase outdoor time. He also recruited a control school. A year later, his son's school had half as many new myopia cases as the other school. "We saw the results – they were very successful," Wu says.
    He did more research, at more schools, and eventually convinced Taiwan's Ministry of Education to encourage all primary schools to send students out doors for at least 2 hours a day, every day. The program launched in September 2010. And after decades of trending upward, the rate of myopia among Taiwan's elementary school students began falling – from an all-time high of 50% in 2011 down to 45.1% by 2015. It's a major achievement, says Ian Morgan.
    "Certainly the people who have led the field are the people in Taiwan," Morgan says.
  • We reiterated to President Yu and President Chen that we love Taiwan, stand for Taiwan against international threats, and appreciate Taiwan’s effort to prove to the world that Chinese tradition and culture are fully compatible with democracy.
    On the other hand, we noted that no country is perfect, including our own countries in the West, and unsolved issues of human rights and freedom of religion or belief exist everywhere.
    If we noted some in Taiwan, it is precisely because we are Taiwan’s friends and care for its international image.
  • At the end of last month of January, I attended in Washington DC the International Religious Freedom Summit. It was a wonderful event where many religious liberty issues were presented. Yet, I remained with the impression that there is an unwritten rule in these American gatherings that Taiwan’s domestic religious liberty problems should not be mentioned. The only (and understandable) concern is protecting Taiwan from Mainland China. This explains the problems in bringing the Tai Ji Men case to the attention of the worthy American agencies dealing with freedom of religion.
    While the situation in today’s democratic Taiwan obviously cannot be compared to the White Terror or the Martial Law period, in a way [George H.] Kerr’s American dilemma is still there. Should cases such as Tai Ji Men be ignored based on the [notion] that Taiwan’s government should never be criticized? My answer is no. History has vindicated [George H.] Kerr’s position. Yet, there is a risk that the same mistakes will continue to be committed.
  • On Formosa, the government of the Republic of China has had the opportunity to refute by action much of the malicious gossip which so undermined the strength of its leadership on the Chinese mainland. The Formosan people are receiving a just and enlightened administration with majority representation on the organs of government, and politically, economically, and socially they appear to be advancing along sound and constructive lines.
  • We got used to dividing the world into industrialized countries and developing countries – rich and poor. However, four East Asian tigers would soon disrupt our worldview. The British colony of Hong Kong and the city-state of Singapore did the opposite of all other countries, and opened their economies wide, without trade barriers. The experts claimed that free trade would knock out the small manufacturing sectors they had, but, on the contrary, they industrialized at a record pace and shocked the outside world by becoming even richer than the old colonial master, Britain. Taiwan and South Korea learned from this and began to liberalize their economies with amazing results. Their rapid growth took them from being some of the poorest countries in the world to some of the richest in a few generations. It was a global wake-up call because it was so easy to compare what the Chinese in Taiwan achieved compared to the Chinese in Mao’s China, and what the Koreans in the capitalist south created compared to the Koreans in the communist north. In the mid-1950s, Taiwan was only marginally richer than China. In 1980, it was four times richer. In 1955, North Korea was richer than South Korea. (The north was, after all, where mineral resources and power generation were located when the country was partitioned.) Today, South Korea is twenty times richer than North Korea.
    • Johan Norberg, The Capitalist Manifesto: Why the Global Free Market Will Save the World (2023)
  • People in quarantine should not think they won't be fined for leaving their hotel room
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Wikivoyage
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for:
  •   Encyclopedic article on Taiwan on Wikipedia
  •   The dictionary definition of Taiwan on Wiktionary
  •   Media related to Taiwan on Wikimedia Commons
  •   Works related to Portal:Taiwan on Wikisource