Taiwan

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GENERAL INFORMATION

 

Population - Local time - Languages - Religion - Political context - Climate - Tourism - Food


Population


Total population (millions): 21.2
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Urban population: 57.30%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Average annual population growth: 1.00%
Source : World Bank - World Development Indicators

Surface area (km²) : 36,000


Population origin

Origin of the population % Of the population
Taiwanese
Mainland Chinese
Indigeneous
84%
14 %
2 %.



Main Cities Population
Taipei 2 622 472
Kaohsiung 1 512 677
Taichung 1 021 292
Tainan 754 917
Panchiao 541 512



Local time

It is  %T:%M %A  in Taipei (GMT+8 ).



Languages
Official language: Chinese mandarin, although the Min Nan Hua Taiwanese (dialect of the South of Fujian) and the Hakka (indigenous language) are widely spoken.
Business language: English.

Free translation tools

Babel Fish
Free English-Chinese-English translation of texts and web sites

Zhongwen
Free English-Chinese dictionary





Religion
Religious practises : Buddhism: 43% of the population, Confucianism: 31%, Taoïsm: 21% and Christianism : 7%


Political context

Taiwan has for all practical purposes been independent for half a century but China considers it as a part of its territory and wants it re-united with the mainland. Legally, most nations and even the United Nations (UN) acknowledge the position of the Chinese government that Taiwan is a province of China. However in reality Taiwan (official name: Republic of China) is an independent republic state based on parliamentary democracy and has a semi-presidential form of government.
President is the chief of state and is elected by popular vote for a four-year term. President is the commander in chief of the armed forces and enjoys the real executive powers The president is responsible for concluding treaties, declaring war, promulgation of laws and declaring martial law. Prime Minister is appointed by the President as head of the government to serve a three year term. The cabinet called ‘Executive Yuan’ is also appointed by the President. The official duties of the Prime Minister include presenting administrative policies and reports to the Legislative Yuan, and responding to the interpellations of the parliamentary legislators. Laws and decrees promulgated by the President must also be countersigned by the Prime Minister.
As a result of the constitutional amendments approved by the parliament in June 2005, the legislature in Taiwan will become unicameral from the elections of 2007. Also, the parliament called Legislative Yuan will have 113 seats (instead of the 225 seat presently) and its members will be elected through a popular vote to serve four year terms (presently having three-year terms). In the past one decade the parliament has become more powerful and has evolved into a genuine forum for debate and policy development, including initiating constitutional amendments. The government is directly or indirectly dependent on the support of the parliament, often expressed through a vote of confidence. President does not have the power to veto the acts of the legislature. The people of Taiwan have considerable political rights.
The judiciary in Taiwan is largely independent, and trials are public and generally fair. The main source of the law is the constitution of December 1946 (amended many times, latest major amendment made in 2005). The country’s legal system is based on civil law system. The judicial language used in the country is Mandarin Chinese, having an interpreter is possible.
Taiwan is largely ruled by law, though a certain level of political and organised crime exits in the country. Foreigners cannot be guaranteed an impartial trial from the country’s judicial system. Taiwan is not completely free from corruption (it particularly exists in country’s police force and judiciary) but it is still under control. Vote buying is a common practice at the time of elections, though government is taking necessary measures to crack it down.


Major political parties

Taiwan is developing into a multi-party system. The primary political axis in Taiwan involves the issue of Taiwan Independence versus Chinese re-unification. The important political parties in the country are:
- DPP (Democratic Progressive Party) – a pro-independence party, supports social welfare;
- KMT (Nationalist Party of China) – a centre-right political party, supports re-unification with China;
- TSU (Taiwan Solidarity Union) – a nationalist party, supports independence of Taiwan;
- PFP (People First Party) – a conservative party, supports re-unification with China.


Major political leaders

President : CHEN Shui-bian (since May 2000, re-elected in March 2004) – DPP
Prime Minister (also called President of the Executive Yuan): SU Tseng-chang (since January 2006) -DPP


Next political election dates

Presidential: March 2008
Legislative Yuan (parliamentary): December 2007




Climate

 

 

 


Tourism


Number of visitors in Taiwan 2004 2005 2006 World rank
Number of visitors (1000) 2,950 3,378 3,520
Source : World Tourisme Organization, data available in November 2005

 

Tourist sites
-The Jade Mountain
-The national Palace Museum
-The Alishan Mountain .

For more information about tourism in Taiwan , check out the following web site(s) :
China Tourism Bureau



Food


Traditional dishes
The hundred years eggs: it is a popular dish and in great demand. Eggs are left ageing for two months or more in a mixture of mud, which is rich in lime, tea, ash and bicarbonate of sodium. Their flesh then becomes translucent, of a green - bluish color. They are often served as a starter. The Shanghaï's hundred years eggs are famous in the world. You will find them in Asian food stores.
Spring rolls: small pancakes stuffed with rice. The stuffing depends on the available ingredients, the chef's tastes, etc. As a matter of fact, there is no definite recipe and it can go from the most simple to the most elaborate dish.
Peking duck : the original recipe is very complicated. First of all some air is inserted between the skin and the flesh. The duck is then coated with a sugar syrup and then dried in open air and cooked in the oven. The drying in open air is then repeated and the duck is then roasted.
Spareribs in black beans sauce: pork-based recipe, it is very tasty, this dish is light in fat. The red hot peppers are optional, according to the preference for spicy food or not. It is generally served with a white rice.


Food-related taboos
Culinary taboos are different from one religion to another.

Last modified on December 2006

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