Taiwan,[upper-roman 2][lower-alpha 14] officially the Republic of China (ROC),[upper-roman 1][lower-alpha 15] is a country[28] in East Asia, at the junction of the East and South China Seas in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, with the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. The territories controlled by the ROC consist of 168 islands,[lower-alpha 16] with a combined area of 36,193 square kilometres (13,974 sq mi).[17][39] The main island of Taiwan, also known as Formosa, has an area of 35,808 square kilometres (13,826 sq mi), with mountain ranges dominating the eastern two-thirds and plains in the western third, where its highly urbanised population is concentrated. The capital, Taipei, forms along with New Taipei City and Keelung the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Other major cities include Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan, and Kaohsiung. With around 23.9 million inhabitants, Taiwan is among the most densely populated countries in the world.

Republic of China
Zhōnghuá Mínguó Guógē
"National Anthem of the Republic of China"
Flag anthem: 
Zhōnghuá Míngúo Gúoqígē
"National Flag Anthem of the Republic of China"
National seal:
Seal of the Republic of China

National flower:
Plum blossom
CapitalTaipei[lower-alpha 1][2]
25°04′N 121°31′E
Largest cityNew Taipei City
Official languagesStandard Chinese[lower-alpha 2][5][6][7]
Official scriptTraditional Chinese[8]
National languages[lower-alpha 3]
Ethnic groups
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary constitutional republic under a semi-presidential system[lower-alpha 7][15]
Tsai Ing-wen
Lai Ching-te
Su Tseng-chang
You Si-kun
Chen Chu
Hsu Tzong-li
Huang Jong-tsun
LegislatureLegislative Yuan[lower-alpha 8]
c. August 1624 [16]
14 June 1661
5 September 1683
17 April 1895[lower-alpha 9]
10 October 1911[lower-alpha 10]
 Taiwan and Penghu restored to ROC rule[lower-alpha 11]
25 October 1945
25 December 1947
20 May 1948
7 December 1949
25 October 1971
31 July 1992
36,197 km2 (13,976 sq mi)[17][14]
 1 July 2022 estimate
23,894,394[18] (56th)
 2010 census
650/km2 (1,683.5/sq mi) (10th)
GDP (PPP)2022 estimate
$1.621 trillion[20] (19th)
 Per capita
$69,500[20] (14th)
GDP (nominal)2022 estimate
$828.659 billion[20] (21st)
 Per capita
$35,513[20] (29th)
Gini (2017) 34.1[21]
HDI (2021) 0.926[lower-alpha 13][25]
very high · 19th
CurrencyNew Taiwan dollar (NT$) (TWD)
Time zoneUTC+8 (National Standard Time)
Date format
Driving sideright
Calling code+886
ISO 3166 codeTW
Internet TLD

Taiwan has been settled for at least 25,000 years. Ancestors of Taiwanese indigenous peoples settled the island around 6,000 years ago. In the 17th century, large-scale Han Chinese (specifically the Hakkas and Hoklos) immigration to western Taiwan began under a Dutch colony and continued under the Kingdom of Tungning. The island was annexed in 1683 by the Qing dynasty of China and ceded to the Empire of Japan in 1895. The Republic of China, which had overthrown the Qing in 1911, took control of Taiwan on behalf of the Allies of World War II following the surrender of Japan in 1945. The immediate resumption of the Chinese Civil War resulted in the loss of the Chinese mainland to Communist forces who established the People's Republic of China, and the flight of the ROC central government to Taiwan in 1949. The effective jurisdiction of the ROC has since been limited to Formosa, Penghu, and smaller islands.

In the early 1960s, Taiwan entered a period of rapid economic growth and industrialisation called the "Taiwan Miracle".[40] In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the ROC transitioned from a one-party military dictatorship to a multi-party democracy with democratically elected presidents since 1996. Taiwan's export-oriented industrial economy is the 21st-largest in the world by nominal GDP and 19th-largest by PPP measures, with a focus on steel, machinery, electronics and chemicals manufacturing. Taiwan is a developed country,[41][42] ranking 20th on GDP per capita. It is ranked highly in terms of civil liberties,[43] healthcare,[44] and human development.[lower-alpha 13][25]

The political status of Taiwan is contentious.[45] The ROC no longer represents China as a member of the United Nations, after UN members voted in 1971 to recognize the PRC instead.[46] The ROC maintained its claim of being the sole legitimate representative of China and its territory, although this has been downplayed since its democratization in the 1990s. Taiwan is claimed by the PRC, which refuses diplomatic relations with countries that recognise the ROC. Taiwan maintains official diplomatic relations with 13 out of 193 UN member states and the Holy See,[46][47][48] though many others maintain unofficial diplomatic ties through representative offices and institutions that function as de facto embassies and consulates. International organisations in which the PRC participates either refuse to grant membership to Taiwan or allow it to participate only on a non-state basis under various names. Domestically, the major political contention is between parties favouring eventual Chinese unification and promoting a pan-Chinese identity, contrasted with those aspiring to formal international recognition and promoting a Taiwanese identity; into the 21st century, both sides have moderated their positions to broaden their appeal.[49][50]

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