Geography of Taiwan

Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is an island state in East Asia. The main island of Taiwan, known historically as Formosa, makes up 99% of the area controlled by the ROC, measuring 35,808 square kilometres (13,826 sq mi) and lying some 180 kilometres (112 mi) across the Taiwan Strait from the southeastern coast of mainland China. The East China Sea lies to its north, the Philippine Sea to its east, the Luzon Strait directly to its south and the South China Sea to its southwest. Smaller islands include a number in the Taiwan Strait including the Penghu archipelago, the Kinmen and Matsu Islands near the Chinese coast, and some of the South China Sea Islands.

The main island is a tilted fault block, characterized by the contrast between the eastern two-thirds, consisting mostly of five rugged mountain ranges parallel to the east coast, and the flat to gently rolling plains of the western third, where the majority of Taiwan's population reside. There are several peaks over 3,500 m, the highest being Yu Shan at 3,952 m (12,966 ft), making Taiwan the world's fourth-highest island. The tectonic boundary that formed these ranges is still active, and the island experiences many earthquakes, a few of them highly destructive. There are also many active submarine volcanoes in the Taiwan Straits.

The climate ranges from tropical in the south to subtropical in the north, and is governed by the East Asian Monsoon. The main island is struck by an average of four typhoons in each year. The eastern mountains are heavily forested and home to a diverse range of wildlife, while land use in the western and northern lowlands is intensive.

Geography of Taiwan
Taiwan NASA Terra MODIS 23791
Taiwan is mostly mountainous in the east, with gently sloping plains in the west. The Penghu Islands appear in the Taiwan Strait to the west of the main island.
Taiwan (orthographic projection; southeast Asia centered)
RegionEast Asia
AreaRanked 139[1]
 • Total35,980 km2 (13,890 sq mi)
 • Land89.7%
 • Water10.3%
Coastline1,566.3 km (973.3 mi)
Highest pointYu Shan, 3,952 m (12,966 ft)
Climatetropical, marine[1]
Natural Resourcessmall deposits of coal, natural gas, limestone, marble, asbestos, arable land[1]
Environmental Issuesair pollution; water pollution from industrial emissions, raw sewage; contamination of drinking water; trade in endangered species; low-level radioactive waste disposal[1]
Exclusive economic zone83,231 km2 (32,136 sq mi)
Taiwan
Taiwan
PostalTaiwan
Portuguese: (Ilha) Formosa
Literal meaningbeautiful island

Physical boundaries

Taiwan
Disputed island
Other names: Formosa
Taiwan CIA map updated
Map of the Taiwan archipelago
Geography
Rank38
Length394 km (244.82 mi)
Width144 km (89.48 mi)
Administered by
 Republic of China
Province and special municipalities
Capital cityTaipei City
Largest cityNew Taipei City (3,976,313)
Claimed by
 People's Republic of China
ProvinceTaiwan Province
Demographics
Population (as of 2017.[2])
Density648.49[2]/km²
Ethnic groupsHan Taiwanese (>95%)
  Hoklo people (70%)
  Hakka people (14%)
  Mainland Chinese (14%)[a][3]
Taiwanese aborigines (2.3%)

The total land area of Taiwan is 32,260 km2 (12,456 sq mi),[1] making it intermediate in size between Belgium and the Netherlands. It has a coastline of 1,566.3 km (973.3 mi).[1] The ROC claims an exclusive economic zone of 83,231 km2 (32,136 sq mi) with 200 nmi (370.4 km; 230.2 mi) and a territorial sea of 12 nmi (22.2 km; 13.8 mi).[1][4]

Taiwan proper, the main island of the archipelago, was known in the West until after World War II as Formosa, from the Portuguese Ilha Formosa ([ˌiʎɐ fuɾˈmɔzɐ]), "beautiful island".[5] It is 394 km (245 mi) long, 144 km (89 mi) wide[6] and has an area of 35,808 km2 (13,826 sq mi).[7] The northernmost point of the island is Cape Fugui in New Taipei's Shimen District. The central point of the island is in Puli Township, Nantou County. The southernmost point on the island is Cape Eluanbi in Hengchun Township, Pingtung County.

The island of Taiwan is separated from the southeast coast of China by the Taiwan Strait, which ranges from 220 km (140 mi) at its widest point to 130 km (81 mi) at its narrowest. Part of the continental shelf, the Strait is no more than 100 m (330 ft) deep, and has become a land bridge during glacial periods.[8]

To the south, the island of Taiwan is separated from the Philippine island of Luzon by the 250 km (155 mi)-wide Luzon Strait. The South China Sea lies to the southwest, the East China Sea to the north, and the Philippine Sea to the east.[9]

Smaller islands of the archipelago include the Penghu islands in the Taiwan Strait 50 km (31 mi) west of the main island, with an area of 127 km2 (49 sq mi), the tiny islet of Xiaoliuqiu off the southwest coast, and Orchid Island and Green Island to the southeast, separated from the northernmost islands of the Philippines by the Bashi Channel. The islands of Kinmen and Matsu near the coast of Fujian across the Taiwan Strait have a total area of 180 km2 (69 sq mi);[10] the Pratas and Taiping islets in the South China Sea are also administered by the ROC, but are not part of the Taiwanese archipelago.

Geology

Philippine Sea Plate br
Taiwan lies on the western edge of the Philippine Plate

The island of Taiwan was formed approximately 4 to 5 million years ago at a complex convergent boundary between the Philippine Sea Plate and the Eurasian Plate. In a boundary running the length of the island and continuing southwards in the Luzon Volcanic Arc (including Green Island and Orchid Island), the Eurasian Plate is sliding under the Philippine Sea Plate.

Most of the island comprises a huge fault block tilted to the west.[11] The western part of the island, and much of the central range, consists of sedimentary deposits scraped from the descending edge of the Eurasian Plate. In the northeast of the island, and continuing eastwards in the Ryukyu Volcanic Arc, the Philippine Sea Plate slides under the Eurasian Plate.[12][13]

The tectonic boundary remains active, and Taiwan experiences 15,000 to 18,000 earthquakes each year, of which 800 to 1,000 are noticed by people. The most catastrophic recent earthquake was the magnitude-7.3 Chi-Chi earthquake, which occurred in the center of Taiwan on 21 September 1999, killing more than 2,400 people.[14] On 4 March 2010 at about 01:20 UTC, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake hit southwestern Taiwan in the mountainous area of Kaohsiung County.[15] Another major earthquake occurred on 6 February 2016, with a magnitude of 6.4. Tainan was damaged the most, with 117 deaths, most of them caused by the collapse of a 17-story apartment building.[16]

Terrain

Taiwan map large
A relief map of Taiwan

The terrain in Taiwan is divided into two parts: the flat to gently rolling plains in the west, where 90% of the population lives, and the mostly rugged forest-covered mountains in the eastern two-thirds.

The eastern part of the island is dominated by five mountain ranges, each running from north-northeast to south-southwest, roughly parallel to the east coast of the island. As a group, they extend 330 km (210 mi) from north to south and average about 80 kilometres (50 mi) from east to west. They include more than two hundred peaks with elevations of over 3,000 m (9,800 ft).[7]

The Central Mountain Range extends from Su'ao in the northeast to Eluanbi at the southern tip of the island, forming a ridge of high mountains and serving as the island's principal watershed. The mountains are predominantly composed of hard rock formations resistant to weathering and erosion, although heavy rainfall has deeply scarred the sides with gorges and sharp valleys. The relative relief of the terrain is usually extensive, and the forest-clad mountains with their extreme ruggedness are almost impenetrable. The east side of the Central Mountain Range is the steepest mountain slope in Taiwan, with fault scarps ranging in height from 120 to 1,200 m (390 to 3,900 ft). Taroko National Park, on the steep eastern side of the range, has good examples of mountainous terrain, gorges and erosion caused by a swiftly flowing river.

The East Coast Mountain Range extends down the east coast of the island from the mouth of the Hualien River in the north to Taitung County in the south, and chiefly consist of sandstone and shale. It is separated from the Central Range by the narrow Huatung Valley, at an altitude of 120 m (390 ft). Although Hsinkangshan (新港山), the highest peak, reaches an elevation of 1,682 m (5,518 ft), most of the range is composed of large hills. Small streams have developed on the flanks, but only one large river cuts across the range. Badlands are located at the western foot of the range, where the ground water level is the lowest and rock formations are the least resistant to weathering. Raised coral reefs along the east coast and the frequent occurrences of earthquakes in the rift valley indicate that the fault block is still rising.

The ranges to the west of the Central range are divided into two groups separated by the Sun Moon Lake Basin in the centre of the island. The Dadu and Zhuoshui Rivers flow from the western slopes of the Central Range through the basin to the west coast of the island.

The Xueshan Range lies to the northwest of the Central Mountain Range, beginning at Sandiaojiao, the northeast tip of the island, and gaining elevation as it extends southwest towards Nantou County. Xueshan, the main peak, is 3,886 m (12,749 ft) high.

The Yushan Range runs along the southwestern flank of the Central Range. It includes the island's tallest peak, the 3,952 m (12,966 ft) Yu Shan ('Jade Mountain')[1][17][18] which makes Taiwan the world's fourth-highest island, and is the highest point in the western Pacific region outside of the Kamchatka Peninsula, New Guinea Highlands and Mount Kinabalu.[19]

The Alishan Range lies west of the Yushan Range, across the valley of the south-flowing Kaoping River. The range has major elevations between 1,000 and 2,000 m (3,300 and 6,600 ft). The main peak, Data Mountain (大塔山), towers 2,663 m (8,737 ft).

San Guang River, Fusing, Taoyuan, Taiwan - 20080601
The Sanguang River in northwestern Taiwan

Below the western foothills of the ranges, such as the Hsinchu Hills and the Miaoli Hills, lie raised terraces formed of material eroded from the ranges. These include the Linkou Plateau, the Taoyuan Plateau and the Dadu Plateau. About 23% of Taiwan's land area consists of fertile alluvial plains and basins watered by rivers running from the eastern mountains. Over half of this land lies in the Chianan Plain in southwest Taiwan, with lesser areas in the Pingtung Plain, Taichung Basin and Taipei Basin. The only sizable plain on the east coast is the Yilan Plain in the northeast.[20]

Climate

Koppen-Geiger Map TWN present
Köppen climate classification of Taiwan.

The island of Taiwan lies across the Tropic of Cancer, and its climate is influenced by the East Asian Monsoon. Northern Taiwan has a humid subtropical climate, with substantial seasonal variation of temperatures, while parts of central and most of southern has a tropical monsoon climate where seasonal temperature variations are less noticeable with temperatures typically varying from warm to hot. During the winter (November to March), the northeast experiences steady rain, while the central and southern parts of the island are mostly sunny. The summer monsoon (from May to October) accounts for 90% of the annual precipitation in the south, but only 60% in the north.[21] The average rainfall is approximately 2,600 mm per year.[21]

Taipei (Northern Taiwan)
Climate chart (explanation)
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: Central Weather Bureau
Taichung (Central Taiwan)
Climate chart (explanation)
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: Central Weather Bureau
Kaohsiung (Southern Taiwan)
Climate chart (explanation)
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: Central Weather Bureau
Taitung (Eastern Taiwan)
Climate chart (explanation)
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Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: Central Weather Bureau

Typhoons are most likely to strike between July and October, with on average about four direct hits per year. Intensive rain from typhoons often leads to disastrous mudslides.[21]

Records

Area Max Temperature Date Earliest Recording
°C °F
Taipei City 39.3 102.7 8 August 2013[22] 1896
Kaohsiung City 37.6 99.7 15 September 2014[23] 1932
Taitung County 40.2 104.4 9 May 2004[22]
Taoyuan City 37.9 100.2 15 September 2014[24]

Flora and fauna

Before extensive human settlement, the vegetation on Taiwan ranged from tropical rainforest in the lowlands through temperate forests, boreal forest and alpine plants with increasing altitude.[25] Most of the plains and low-lying hills of the west and north of the island have been cleared for agricultural use since the arrival of the Chinese immigrants during the 17th and 18th century. However the mountain forests are very diverse, with several endemic species such as Formosan cypress (Chamaecyparis formosensis) and Taiwan fir (Abies kawakamii), while the camphor laurel (Cinnamomum camphora) was once also widespread at lower altitudes.

Taiwan is a center of bird endemism (see List of endemic birds of Taiwan).

Prior to the country's industrialization, the mountainous areas held several endemic animal species and subspecies, such as the Swinhoe's pheasant (Lophura swinhoii), Taiwan blue magpie (Urocissa caerulea), the Formosan sika deer (Cervus nippon taiwanensis or Cervus nippon taiouanus) and the Formosan landlocked salmon (Oncorhynchus masou formosanus). A few of these are now extinct, and many others have been designated endangered species.

Taiwan had relatively few carnivores, 11 species in total, of which the Formosan clouded leopard and otter are likely extinct. The largest carnivore is the Formosan black bear (Selanarctos thibetanus formosanus), a rare and endangered species.[26]

Nine national parks in Taiwan showcase the diverse terrain, flora and fauna of the archipelago. Kenting National Park on the southern tip of Taiwan contains uplifted coral reefs, moist tropical forest and marine ecosystems. Yushan National Park has alpine terrain, mountain ecology, forest types that vary with altitude, and remains of ancient road. Yangmingshan National Park has volcanic geology, hot springs, waterfalls, and forest. Taroko National Park has marble canyon, cliff, and fold mountains. Shei-Pa National Park has alpine ecosystems, geological terrain, and valley streams. Kinmen National Park has lakes, wetlands, coastal topography, flora and fauna-shaped island. Dongsha Atoll National Park has the Pratas reef atolls for integrity, a unique marine ecology, biodiversity, and is a key habitat for the marine resources of the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait.[27]

Natural resources

Abies kawakamii Chi-You
Taiwan fir (Abies kawakamii)

Natural resources on the islands include small deposits of gold, copper, coal, natural gas, limestone, marble, and asbestos.[1] The island is 55% forest and woodland (mostly on the mountains) and 24% arable land (mostly on the plains), with 15% going to other purposes. 5% is permanent pasture and 1% is permanent crops.

Because of the intensive exploitation throughout Taiwan's pre-modern and modern history, the island's mineral resources (e.g. coal, gold, marble), as well as wild animal reserves (e.g. deer), have been virtually exhausted. Moreover, much of its forestry resources, especially firs were harvested during Japanese rule for the construction of shrines and have only recovered slightly since then. To this day, forests do not contribute to significant timber production mainly because of concerns about production costs and environmental regulations.

Agriculture

The few natural resources with significant economic value remaining in Taiwan are essentially agriculture-associated. Sugarcane and rice have been cultivated in western Taiwan since the 17th century. Camphor extraction and sugarcane refining played an important role in Taiwan's exportation from the late 19th century through the first half of the 20th century.[28] The importance of these industries subsequently declined not because of the exhaustion of related natural resources but mainly due to the decline of international demand.

Domestic agriculture (rice being the dominant kind of crop) and fisheries retain importance to a certain degree, but they have been greatly challenged by foreign imports since Taiwan's accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001. Consequently, upon the decline of subsistent importance, Taiwan's agriculture now relies heavily on the marketing and exportation of specialty crops, such as banana, guava, lychee, bell fruit, and high-mountain tea.[29]

Energy resources

Taiwan has significant coal deposits and some insignificant petroleum and natural gas deposits. As of 2010, oil accounts for 49.0% of the total energy consumption. Coal comes next with 32.1%, followed by nuclear energy with 8.3%, natural gas (indigenous and liquefied) with 10.2%, and energy from renewable sources with 0.5%. Taiwan has six nuclear reactors and two under construction.[30] Nearly all oil and gas for transportation and power needs must be imported, making Taiwan particularly sensitive to fluctuations in energy prices. Taiwan is rich in wind energy resources, with wind farms both onshore and offshore, though limited land area favors offshore wind resources.[31] By promoting renewable energy, Taiwan's government hopes to also aid the nascent renewable energy manufacturing industry, and develop it into an export market.

Human geography

Population density of Taiwan by district
Population density of Taiwan

Taiwan has a population of over 23 million, the vast majority of whom live in the lowlands near the western coast of the island.[6] The island is highly urbanized, with nearly 9 million people living in the Taipei–Keelung–Taoyuan metropolitan area at the northern end, and over 2 million each in the urban areas of Kaohsiung and Taichung.[32]

Taiwanese aborigines comprise approximately 2% of the population, and now mostly live in the mountainous eastern part of the island.[33][34] Most scholars believe their ancestors arrived in Taiwan by sea between 4000 and 3000 BC, probably from the mainland.[35]

Han Chinese make up over 95% of the population.[36] Immigrants from southern Fujian began to farm the area around modern Tainan and Kaohsiung from the 17th century, later spreading across the western and northern plains and absorbing the aboriginal population of those areas. Hakka people from eastern Guangdong arrived later and settled the foothills further inland, but the rugged uplands of the eastern half of the island remained the exclusive preserve of the aborigines until the early 20th century.[37] A further 1.2 million people from throughout mainland China entered Taiwan at the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949.[38]

Environmental issues

Scooters in taipei
Motor scooters are a very common means of transportation in Taiwan and contribute to urban air pollution.

Some areas in Taiwan with high population density and many factories are affected by heavy pollution. The most notable areas are the southern suburbs of Taipei and the western stretch from Tainan to Lin Yuan, south of Kaohsiung. In the late 20th century, Taipei suffered from extensive vehicle and factory air pollution, but with mandatory use of unleaded petrol and the establishment of the Environmental Protection Administration in 1987, the air quality of Taiwan has improved dramatically.[39] Motor scooters, especially older or cheaper two-stroke versions, which are ubiquitous in Taiwan, also contribute disproportionately to urban air pollution.[40][41]

Other environmental issues include water pollution from industrial emissions and raw sewage, contamination of drinking water supplies, trade in endangered species, and low-level radioactive waste disposal.[1] Though regulation of sulfate aerosol emissions from petroleum combustion is becoming stringent, acid rain remains a threat to the health of residents and forests. Atmospheric scientists in Taiwan estimate that more than half of the pollutants causing Taiwan's acid rain are carried from mainland China by monsoon winds.[42]

Notes

  1. ^ Mainland Chinese on Taiwan refers to people who retreated to Taiwan from mainland China due to the Chinese Communist Revolution after 1945 and their descendants. That does not include citizens of the People's Republic of China who are living on Taiwan. Not all Mainland Chinese on Taiwan are Han people; among those who retreated to Taiwan, Pai Hsien-yung is a Hui, Xi Murong is a Mongolian, and Puru is a Manchu.

References

Citations

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Taiwan". The World Factbook. United States Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  2. ^ a b "人口統計資料" (in Chinese). Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of China.
  3. ^ Government Information Office (2009). The Republic of China Yearbook 2009 / CHAPTER 2: People and Language. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Law on the Exclusive Economic Zone and the Continental Shelf of the Republic of China (中華民國專屬經濟海域及大陸礁層法)". Retrieved 21 May 2007.
  5. ^ "Chapter 3: History" (PDF). The Republic of China Yearbook 2011. Government Information Office, Republic of China (Taiwan). 2011. p. 46. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 May 2012..
  6. ^ a b "1.1 Number of Villages, Neighborhoods, Households and Resident Population". Monthly Bulletin of Interior Statistics. Ministry of the Interior, Republic of China (Taiwan). November 2012. Archived from the original (XLS) on 29 March 2014.
  7. ^ a b Exec. Yuan (2014), p. 40.
  8. ^ Chang, K.C. (1989). translated by W. Tsao, ed. by B. Gordon. "The Neolithic Taiwan Strait" (PDF). Kaogu. 6: 541–550, 569. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 April 2012. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  9. ^ National Taiwan Normal University, Geography Department. "Geography of Taiwan: A Summary". Archived from the original on 14 December 2007. Retrieved 21 May 2007.
  10. ^ Exec. Yuan (2014), p. 46.
  11. ^ Williams, Jack Francis; Chang, David (2008). Taiwan's Environmental Struggle: Toward a Green Silicon Island. Routledge. p. 3. ISBN 978-0-415-44723-2.
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  13. ^ "Geology of Taiwan". Department of Geology, University of Arizona.
  14. ^ "GSHAP Region 8: Eastern Asia". Global Seismic Hazard Assessment Program. Archived from the original on 30 May 2012. Retrieved 12 February 2012.
  15. ^ Theodorou, Christine; Lee, Andrew (3 March 2010). "6.4-magnitude quake hits southern Taiwan". CNN.com. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
  16. ^ Yang, Ssu-jui; Huang, Frances (18 February 2016). "Body of last victim of apartment collapse in Tainan found". Focus Taiwan.
  17. ^ Exec. Yuan (2014), p. 43.
  18. ^ Reported by Taiwan's National Geographic Information System Steering Committee (NGISSC)
  19. ^ "Tallest Islands of the World – World Island Info web site". Worldislandinfo.com. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
  20. ^ Exec. Yuan (2014), pp. 2, 43.
  21. ^ a b c Exec. Yuan (2014), p. 45.
  22. ^ a b Shan, Shelley; Mo, Yan-chih (9 August 2013). "Taipei bakes on hottest day in 117 years". Taipei Times. p. 1. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
  23. ^ Huang, Chiao-wen; Liu, Kay (15 September 2014). "Taiwan's electricity supplies hit tightest point of the year". Focus Taiwan. Central News Agency. Retrieved 27 February 2015.
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  25. ^ Tsukada, Matsuo (1966). "Late Pleistocene vegetation and climate of Taiwan (Formosa)". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 55 (3): 543–548. doi:10.1073/pnas.55.3.543. PMC 224184. PMID 16591341.
  26. ^ Chiang, Po-Jen; Kurtis Jai-Chyi Pei; Michael R. Vaughan; Ching-Feng Li (2012). "Niche relationships of carnivores in a subtropical primary forest in southern Taiwan" (PDF). Zoological Studies. 51: 500–511.
  27. ^ National Parks of Taiwan, Construction and Planning Agency, Ministry of the Interior, ROC (Taiwan).
  28. ^ Exec. Yuan (2014), p. 304.
  29. ^ Exec. Yuan (2014), pp. 160–168.
  30. ^ Energy Statistics Handbook Archived 25 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine, Bureau of Energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs, 2010.
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  34. ^ Thomson, John (1898), English: Through China with a camera, retrieved 5 December 2017, see: Appendix- The Aboriginal Dialects of Formosa, page 275 - 284
  35. ^ Jiao, Tianlong (2007). The Neolithic of southeast China: cultural transformation and regional interaction on the coast. Cambria Press. pp. 91–94. ISBN 978-1-934043-16-5.
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  37. ^ Knapp, Ronald G. (1999). "The shaping of Taiwan's landscapes". In Rubinstein, Murray A. (ed.). Taiwan: a new history. Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe. pp. 1–26. ISBN 978-0-7656-1494-0.
  38. ^ Exec. Yuan (2014), p. 48.
  39. ^ "Taiwan: Environmental Issues". Country Analysis Brief – Taiwan. United States Department of Energy. October 2003. Archived from the original on 7 October 2006. Retrieved 8 March 2006. The government credits the APC system with helping to reduce the number of days when the country's pollution standard index score exceeded 100 from 7% of days in 1994 to 3% of days in 2001.
  40. ^ "Taiwan Country Analysis Brief". United States Department of Energy. August 2005. Archived from the original on 2 February 2007. Taipei has the most obvious air pollution, primary caused by the motorbikes and scooters used by millions of the city's residents.
  41. ^ Tso, Chunto (July 2003). "A Viable Niche Market–Fuel Cell Scooters in Taiwan" (PDF). International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. 28 (7): 757–762. doi:10.1016/S0360-3199(02)00245-8. In Taiwan's cities, the main source of air pollution is the waste gas exhausted by scooters, especially by the great number of two-stroke engine scooters.
  42. ^ Chiu, Yu-Tzu (26 January 2005). "Forests in Taiwan jeopardized by acid rain: EPA". Taipei Times.

Works cited

External links

Central Mountain Range

The Central Mountain Range is the principal mountain range on Taiwan Island. It runs from the north of the island to the south. Due to this separation, connecting between the west and east is not very convenient. The tallest peak of the range is Xiuguluan Mountain, 3,860 m (12,664 ft).

Chianan Irrigation

Chianan Irrigation (Chinese and Japanese: 嘉南大圳; pinyin: Jianán Dàzùn; rōmaji: Kanan Taishū; "Chianan Great Ditch"), also known as the Kanan Irrigation System, was built for promoting the agricultural productions of Chianan Plain of Taiwan. The name "chia-nan" was derived from two place names among its surrounding area called Chiayi and Tainan. Although it includes some assistant facilities, such as the Wusanto Reservoir, the term "Chianan Canal", in a narrow sense, would only mean the canals of this system.

The main designer of the Chianan Canal is Yoichi Hatta, a civil engineer of the Japanese government. Its main streams pass through today's Tainan, Chiayi and Yunlin, formerly parts of Tainan Prefecture. The architectural work of canal was launched in 1920 and completed in 1930, during Japanese rule. The canal improved the plantable area for rice from 5000 to 150,000 hectares, and made the rice crops in its irrigated area able to be harvested three times annually.

Eight Views of Taiwan

The Eight Views of Taiwan (Chinese: 臺灣八景) have been talked about at different times in Taiwan's history.

Free area of the Republic of China

The Free area of the Republic of China is a term used by the government of the Republic of China (ROC) to refer to the territories under its actual control. The area under the definition consists of the island groups of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and some minor islands. This term is used in the "Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China". As the island of Taiwan is the main component of the whole area, it is therefore also referred to as the "Taiwan Area of the Republic of China" or simply the "Taiwan Area" (Chinese: 臺灣地區). The term "Tai-Peng-Kin-Ma" is also essentially equivalent except that it only refers to the four main islands of the region - Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, to the exclusion of the South China Sea area possessions.The term is opposed to "Mainland Area", which is practically viewed as being synonymous to mainland China.

History of Taiwan

The history of the island of Taiwan dates back tens of thousands of years to the earliest known evidence of human habitation. The sudden appearance of a culture based on agriculture around 3000 BC is believed to reflect the arrival of the ancestors of today's Taiwanese indigenous peoples. The island was colonized by the Dutch in the 17th century, followed by an influx of Han Chinese including Hakka immigrants from the Fujian and Guangdong areas of mainland China, across the Taiwan Strait. The Spanish built a settlement in the north for a brief period but were driven out by the Dutch in 1642.

In 1662, Koxinga, a loyalist of the Ming dynasty who had lost control of mainland China in 1644, defeated the Dutch and established a base of operations on the island. His forces were defeated by the Qing dynasty in 1683, and parts of Taiwan became increasingly integrated into the Qing empire. Following the First Sino-Japanese War in 1895, the Qing ceded the island, along with Penghu, to the Empire of Japan. Taiwan produced rice and sugar to be exported to the Empire of Japan, and also served as a base for the Japanese invasion of Southeast Asia and the Pacific during World War II. Japanese imperial education was implemented in Taiwan and many Taiwanese also fought for Japan during the war.

In 1945, following the end of World War II, the nationalist government of the Republic of China (ROC), led by the Kuomintang (KMT), took control of Taiwan. In 1949, after losing control of mainland China in the Chinese Civil War, the ROC government under the KMT withdrew to Taiwan and Chiang Kai-shek declared martial law. The KMT ruled Taiwan (along with the Islands of Kinmen, Wuqiu and the Matsu on the opposite side of the Taiwan Strait) as a single-party state for forty years, until democratic reforms in the 1980s, which led to the first-ever direct presidential election in 1996. During the post-war period, Taiwan experienced rapid industrialization and economic growth known as the "Taiwan Miracle", and was known as one of the "Four Asian Tigers".

Keelung River

Keelung River (Chinese: 基隆河; pinyin: Jīlóng Hé; Wade–Giles: Chi1-lung2 Ho2; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Ke-lâng-hô) is a river in northern Taiwan.

The Keelung River originates in the mountains west-northwest of the town of Jingtong in Pingxi District, New Taipei City, flows down to a rift valley and then flows ENE to Sandiaoling. Then it flows northward to a point between Chiufen and Keelung City, and then heads back in a general WSW direction to Taipei, where it joins the Tamsui River and flows out to sea. The land around the Keelung river was rich in gold and coal, and many areas were mined.

List of national scenic areas in Taiwan

The National Scenic Areas in Taiwan (Chinese: 國家風景區, Taiwanese: Kok-ka Hong-kéng-khu, Hakka: Koet-kâ Fûng-kín-khî) are managed by the Tourism Bureau, Ministry of Transportation and Communications. Currently, there are currently thirteen national scenic areas.

List of volcanoes in Taiwan

This is a list of active and extinct volcanoes.

National Taiwan Library

The National Taiwan Library (Chinese: 國立臺灣圖書館; pinyin: Guólì Táiwān Túshūguǎn) is a library in Zhonghe District, New Taipei, Taiwan. It is the oldest public library in Taiwan. Founded in 1914, the library is home to a large collection of documents concerning the history, culture, politics and geography of Taiwan.

Northern Taiwan

The term Northern Taiwan (Chinese: 北臺灣; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Pak Tâi-oân) is used to describe a region in the north of Taiwan. It usually includes North and North East Coast, New Taipei City, Hsinchu and Miaoli Counties.

Outline of Taiwan

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Taiwan:

Taiwan – de facto state in East Asia, officially named the Republic of China (ROC). Originally based in mainland China, the ROC now governs the island of Taiwan, which makes up over 99% of its territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and other minor islands. Taipei is the seat of the central government. Following the Chinese civil war, the Communist Party of China took full control of mainland China and founded the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949. The ROC relocated its government to Taiwan, and its jurisdiction became limited to Taiwan and its surrounding islands. In 1971, the PRC assumed China's seat at the United Nations, which the ROC originally occupied. During the latter half of the 20th century, Taiwan experienced rapid economic growth and industrialization and is now an advanced industrial economy. In the 1980s and early 1990s, Taiwan evolved into a multi-party democracy with universal suffrage. Taiwan is one of the Four Asian Tigers and a member of the WTO and APEC. The 19th-largest economy in the world, its high-tech industry plays a key role in the global economy.

Pacific coast

A country's Pacific coast is the part of its coast bordering the Pacific Ocean.

Regions of Taiwan

The regions of Taiwan are based on the historical administrative divisions. However, most of the definitions are controversial.

Southern Taiwan

The term Southern Taiwan (Chinese: 南台灣 or 台灣南部; pinyin: Nán Táiwān or Táiwān Nánbù; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Lâm Tâi-oân or Tâi-oân lâm-pō͘) is used to describe a region in the south of Taiwan. It usually includes Pingtung, Kaohsiung, and Tainan. Chiayi County is also sometimes included as a part of southern Taiwan as it borders Tainan directly to the south, but along with Tainan city, it is more often considered as a part of central-southern Taiwan (中南部) due to its northerly location.

Taipei–Keelung metropolitan area

The Taipei–Keelung metropolitan area (Chinese: 臺北基隆都會區; pinyin: Táiběi-Jīlóng Dūhùiqū) also commonly known as Greater Taipei Area (Chinese: 大臺北地區; pinyin: Dà Táiběi Dìqū) is the largest metropolitan area in Taiwan.

Taixinan Basin

The Taixinan Basin (Chinese: 台西南盆地; pinyin: Táixīnán Péndì), sometimes rendered literally as Southwest Taiwan Basin or Southwestern Taiwan Basin, also called the Tainan Basin (Chinese: 台南盆地), is a basin located in the southern Taiwan Strait and the northeastern South China Sea.

Taoyuan Plateau

Taoyuan Plateau (Chinese: 桃園台地; pinyin: Táoyuán Táidì) is a plateau located at the Taoyuan City, Taiwan. It faces the Linkou Plateau on the northeast, the Hsuehshan Range on the southeast, the Hsinchu Hills on the south, and the Taiwan Strait on the west. In order to irrigate this area, there are many artificial pools located around the plateau. It is an industrial region of modern Taiwan. The population is about 2 million.

Western Taiwan

Western Taiwan consists of:

Keelung City

Taipei City

New Taipei City

Taoyuan City

Hsinchu County

Hsinchu City

Miaoli County

Taichung City

Changhua County

Nantou County

Yunlin County

Chiayi County

Chiayi City

Tainan City

Kaohsiung City

Pingtung County

Yilan Plain

Yilan Plain (Chinese: 宜蘭平原; pinyin: Yilán Píngyuán), also called the Lanyang Plain (蘭陽平原), or historically Kabalan (Chinese: 蛤仔難; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Kap-á-lān), Kapsulan (蛤仔蘭; Kap-chú-lân), Komalan (噶瑪蘭; Kat-má-lán) is a plain in Yilan County, Taiwan. The plain has an alluvial fan which formed by Lanyang River. The plain was formed in the shape of nearly equilateral triangle. The broad and flat feature of this plan has made transportation so convenient in the region which drew large population to the towns and city in the area.

The plain was inhabited by the Kavalans, an aboriginal group which mostly had migrated to southern places such as Hualien and Taitung.

Transcriptions
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinTáiwān
Bopomofoㄊㄞˊ ㄨㄢ
Gwoyeu RomatzyhTair'uan
Wade–GilesT'ai²-wan¹
Tongyong PinyinTáiwan
MPS2Táiwān
Wu
RomanizationWu Chinese pronunciation: [d̥e uɛ]
Hakka
RomanizationThòi-vàn
Yue: Cantonese
JyutpingToi4 Waan1
Southern Min
Hokkien POJTâi-oân
Tâi-lôTâi-uân
Eastern Min
Fuzhou BUCDài-uăng
Transcriptions
Standard Mandarin
Hanyu PinyinFúĕrmóshā
Bopomofoㄈㄨˊ ㄦˇ ㄇㄛˊ ㄕㄚ
Gwoyeu RomatzyhFwu'eelmosha
Wade–GilesFu²-êr³-mo²-sha¹
Tongyong PinyinFúĕrmósha
MPS2Fúĕrmóshā
Yue: Cantonese
Jyutpingfuk1ji5mo1saa1
Imperial conversion
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
3.3
 
 
66
57
 
 
6.7
 
 
67
58
 
 
7.1
 
 
72
60
 
 
7
 
 
78
66
 
 
9.2
 
 
85
72
 
 
13
 
 
90
76
 
 
9.6
 
 
94
79
 
 
13
 
 
93
79
 
 
14
 
 
88
77
 
 
5.9
 
 
82
72
 
 
3.3
 
 
76
67
 
 
2.9
 
 
69
60
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Imperial conversion
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
1.4
 
 
72
55
 
 
3.5
 
 
72
57
 
 
3.7
 
 
76
61
 
 
5.3
 
 
82
67
 
 
8.9
 
 
86
73
 
 
13
 
 
89
76
 
 
9.7
 
 
91
77
 
 
12
 
 
91
77
 
 
3.9
 
 
89
75
 
 
0.6
 
 
86
71
 
 
0.7
 
 
81
65
 
 
1
 
 
74
58
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Imperial conversion
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
0.6
 
 
75
60
 
 
0.8
 
 
76
62
 
 
1.5
 
 
80
67
 
 
2.7
 
 
84
72
 
 
7.8
 
 
87
77
 
 
16
 
 
89
79
 
 
15
 
 
90
80
 
 
16
 
 
89
79
 
 
9.5
 
 
89
78
 
 
1.7
 
 
86
75
 
 
0.7
 
 
82
70
 
 
0.6
 
 
77
63
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Imperial conversion
JFMAMJJASOND
 
 
1.7
 
 
73
63
 
 
1.9
 
 
75
63
 
 
1.7
 
 
77
66
 
 
2.9
 
 
82
70
 
 
6.2
 
 
86
73
 
 
9.8
 
 
88
77
 
 
11
 
 
90
79
 
 
12
 
 
90
79
 
 
12
 
 
88
77
 
 
9.3
 
 
84
73
 
 
3.1
 
 
81
70
 
 
1.7
 
 
75
64
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Mountain ranges
Plateaus and hill lands
Plains
Basins
Volcano groups
Sovereign states
States with
limited recognition
Dependencies and
other territories
Sovereign states
States with
limited recognition
Dependencies and
other territories
100,000 km2
(39,000 sq mi) and greater
20,000–99,999 km2
(7,722–38,610 sq mi)

Languages

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