Taiwan, known for short as Tai, is situated at China's southeast sea waters. Taiwan Island faces the Pacific to the east, approximately 2,800 kilometers from Guam. It borders Bashi Channel to the south and is 300 kilometers away from the Philippine Islands; to its west is Taiwan Strait, facing Fujian Province on China's mainland. The width of the strait is less than 200 kilometers and the narrowest part is only 130 kilometer; it traverses the sea trough of Okinawa in the northeast and neighbours Ryukyu-gunto. It holds a strategic point of communication on the north-south sea of China and the communications hub of West Pacific shipping line, and constitutes the natural barrier of China's south-east sea waters and the communication pivot of contacts among countries in the Pacific region.
Taiwan Island is a multi-island:- 1) The Taiwan island proper and its scattering islands, such as Hongtou Isle, Huoshao Isle, Guishan Isle, altogether 14 isles attach to it. 2) The Penghus made up of 64 islands. In addition, The Diaoyu Islands (Archipelago) which are composed of 8 islands and some other isles. All in all Taiwan has more than 100 islands big and small. Taiwan's land area is 36 thousand square kilometers, among which the area of Taiwan proper is over 35 thousand square kilometers, occupying more than 97% of the Taiwan's total area. It is China's biggest island and ranks the 28th of the world islands.
The length from north to south of the Taiwan island proper is 394 kilometers long and its width from east to west is 20-150 kilometers wide. The general topography is high in the east and low in the west. The general landform is extremely complicated, of which the mountainous area occupies 2/3 and the lower plain zone, 1/3 of the area. The mountainous area is very precipitous; there are 7 mountain peaks of over 3800 meters each above sea level. Many rivers rise in the mid-mountainous area and flow into the sea in all directions. Because of the steep gradient, the discharge of the rivers is in abundance. There are also different kinds of sea coasts and the topography of mudstone appearing in all their glory and the corals protruding out in the air, unfolding a magnificent picture of their great beauty and majesty.
Taiwan belongs to the tropical and subtropical zones, with the Tropic of Cancer running through its middle. However, being surrounded by seas in all sides, Taiwan is embraced by the Pacific Ocean. The majority of Taiwan region falls in the temperate and humid maritime climate zone. As is influenced by the maritime monsoon, Taiwan has neither severe winter nor has it intense heat of summer. The forests remain verdant luxuriantly green and the flowers blossom in all seasons. Taiwan is also characterized by abundant rainfall and violent typhoon.
Taiwan is rich in more than 110 kinds of minerals with coal, petroleum, natural gas, gold, silver copper and sulphur as its main resources. It is also extremely rich in terrestrial heat, a great variety of plants and the forest vegetation occupies 52% of the land area of the whole island, capturing the first place in all China. It is rich in aquatic resources too and the output of Taiwan's coral occupies about 80% of the world total production, winning the fame of "The Kingdom of Coral". Taiwan is also one of the main regions which exports butterflies in the world.
Taiwan is economically developed. Industries are flourishing mainly in the fields of computer products, textile, electronic appliances, foodstuff processing, chemicals, petrochemicals, metal smelting, the manufacture of the means (Kaohiung), Taichung, Tainan, Hsinchu and Chiayi are the major cities. In the field of agriculture, paddy rice, tea, sugarcane and fruits are produced in abundance. Camphor, quinine and lemongrass are local special products.
There exists a dense railway and highway communication network on Taiwan. Communication on sea also constitutes an important position with Gaoxiong and Chilugn (Keelung) as the main seaports.
Surrounded by sea, Taiwan's weather is agreeable and is as beautiful as a painting with bountiful tourist resources. There are such significant places of historic interest and scenic beauty as Jihueh Tan, Alishan and Yangmin Mountain Scenic Spot and others.