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TAIWAN

HISTORY
Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a state in East Asia.
Neighbors include the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the west, Japan to
the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. Taiwan is the most populous
non-UN state and the largest economy outside the UN.
Thehistory of Taiwandates 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'sTaiwaneseaborigines.
In the 16th century, Portuguese ships sailed to Southeast Asia and
discovered Taiwan.
Sailors aboard these ships were enchanted by the island's natural beauty
and majestic scenery. They exclaimed "IlhaFormosa!" This means
"beautiful island" in Portuguese.
The Dutch forced out the Spanish in 1641 and controlled the island until
1661, when Chinese general Koxinga took it over and established an
independent kingdom.
The Manchus seized the island in 1683 and held it until 1895, when it
Geography, Geology, Climate

It's located inEastern Asia,


120 km off the coast of China,
355 km north of the Philippines,
595 km southwest of Japan,
on the Tropic of Cancer,
at the same latitude as Mexico and
Hawaii
about thesame size as Switzerland
or Belgium,
390 km long and 140 km wide
(at it's broadest
point),
its total area is 35,801 square km,
it has 1566 km of coastline
geography, geology, climate
The geography of Taiwan isn't plain. About70% of the islandis covered with
rugged, densely forested mountains. The Central Mountain Range is surely the
most outstanding topographical highlight of the country and is
a true hikers' paradise.
The great majority of the 23 million Taiwanese peoplelive in densely
populated urban centers on the west side of the island where broad fertile plains,
basins and tablelands (elevated plains) can be found.
Taiwan sits on themost volcanically active part of the world,the Rim of Fire,
so earthquakes occur frequently and can be felt - forcefully sometimes -
anywhere on the island. Earthquakes have a significant impact on the geography
of Taiwan.
Every year, Taiwan ishit by at least half a dozen typhoons between July and
October.
Taiwan is surrounded by theEast China Seato the north, thePacific
Ocean(Philippine Sea) to the east,South China Seato the south and
theTaiwan Straitto the west.
The "Made in Taiwan era" has left its stain on the environment. Heavy
manufacturing and industrial activity has resulted - and still creates -toxic
Geography, geology, climate
Taiwan has an array of natural resources, including minerals, aquatic products,
vegetation and agriculture.Taiwan is situated near the ocean, which makes it a
prime exporter of fish, shellfish and coral. It also contains rich and fertile soils,
which support the growth of many crops such as soybeans, corn, rice and
other crops.

In the east, limestone,marble, and dolomite are abundant, although their


exploitation contributes little to the economy.Coal reserves are rapidly
becoming exhausted.Petroleumandnatural gasexist in small quantities on
shore, but the continental shelf may contain extensive reserves, particularly
ofnatural gas.
RELIGION
Taoism- unlike Buddhism, Taoism is a homegrown Chinese religion and
philosophy. The founder, Laozi (meaning the old one), is said to have lived
at least 2,400 years ago, although some historians doubt he existed. Laozi is
believed to have written the Tao Te Ching, the most important Taoist text.

Buddhism- the faith was carried toTaiwan around 400 years agoby the
earliest waves of Han Chinese settlers. Appropriately, whats thought to be
Taiwans oldest Buddhist house of worship is inLugang, one of the most
ancient towns on the island.

Christians- Christians played a leading role in the 20th-century history of


China and Taiwan. BothSun Yat-senandChiang Kai-shekbecame Christians
in early adulthood, as did Lee Teng-hui, Taiwans first native-born president.
Architectural Character
Taiwanese architecture is very similar to Chinese architecture since most of the Taiwanese
are ethnic Chinese; however there are some distinct styles and variations that have arisen over
time, including the more prominent use of painted or ceramic murals.

Among the earliest architectural styles was the local domestic (home) style of the island's
original inhabitants. These homes were generally made from wood, bamboo, and other
materials that could be found on the island. Few have lasted, but the heavy use of wood in
their architecture has continued to this day.

During the onsens construction, Japan invaded China after the Marco Polo Bridge Incident of
1937. The Japanese authorities urged Taiwanese to use bricks in camouflage colors to hinder
air raids. It is used to reduce buildings visibility to enemy aircraft by reducing the bricks
reflectiveness.

After theJapanesefaced defeat in World War II Taiwan found itself to be the recipient of
numerousChineseagain when the fleeing Nationalist Party arrived and made Taipei their capital.
This led to a large number of modern buildings, including the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and
the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.

In recently years this building has continued, but now truly in the post-modern style as the Taipei
101 was built, one of the tallest buildings in the world. However, a stronger and more influential
movement that has also arisen in recent years is a push to build structures that better suit the
local culture and function of the people. This has been translated to mean few large buildings
Architectural Character

CHIANG KAI-SHEK MEMORIAL DR. SUN YAT-SEN MEMORIAL


HALL HALL

CHUNG SHAN BUILDING MENGJIA LONGSHAN TEMPLE