East & Southeast Asia :: TAIWAN
  • Introduction :: TAIWAN

  • First inhabited by Austronesian people, Taiwan became home to Han immigrants beginning in the late Ming Dynasty (17th century). In 1895, military defeat forced China's Qing Dynasty to cede Taiwan to Japan, which then governed Taiwan for 50 years. Taiwan came under Chinese Nationalist (Kuomintang, KMT) control after World War II. With the communist victory in the Chinese civil war in 1949, the Nationalist-controlled Republic of China government and 2 million Nationalists fled to Taiwan and continued to claim to be the legitimate government for mainland China and Taiwan based on a 1947 Constitution drawn up for all of China. Until 1987, however, the Nationalist government ruled Taiwan under a civil war martial law declaration dating to 1948. Beginning in the 1970s, Nationalist authorities gradually began to incorporate the native population into the governing structure beyond the local level. The democratization process expanded rapidly in the 1980s, leading to the then illegal founding of Taiwan’s first opposition party (the Democratic Progressive Party or DPP) in 1986 and the lifting of martial law the following year. Taiwan held legislative elections in 1992, the first in over forty years, and its first direct presidential election in 1996. In the 2000 presidential elections, Taiwan underwent its first peaceful transfer of power with the KMT loss to the DPP and afterwards experienced two additional democratic transfers of power in 2008 and 2016. Throughout this period, the island prospered, became one of East Asia's economic "Tigers," and after 2000 became a major investor in mainland China as cross-Strait ties matured. The dominant political issues continue to be economic reform and growth as well as management of sensitive relations between Taiwan and China.
  • Geography :: TAIWAN

  • Eastern Asia, islands bordering the East China Sea, Philippine Sea, South China Sea, and Taiwan Strait, north of the Philippines, off the southeastern coast of China
    23 30 N, 121 00 E
    Southeast Asia
    total: 35,980 sq km
    land: 32,260 sq km
    water: 3,720 sq km
    note: includes the Pescadores, Matsu, and Quemoy islands
    country comparison to the world: 139
    slightly smaller than Maryland and Delaware combined
    0 km
    1,566.3 km
    territorial sea: 12 nm
    exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
    tropical; marine; rainy season during southwest monsoon (June to August); persistent and extensive cloudiness all year
    eastern two-thirds mostly rugged mountains; flat to gently rolling plains in west
    mean elevation: 1,150 m
    elevation extremes: lowest point: South China Sea 0 m
    highest point: Yu Shan 3,952 m
    small deposits of coal, natural gas, limestone, marble, asbestos, arable land
    agricultural land: 22.7%
    arable land 16.9%; permanent crops 5.8%; permanent pasture NA
    forest: NA
    other: 77.3% (2011 est.)
    3,820 sq km (2012)
    distribution exhibits a peripheral coastal settlement pattern, with the largest populations on the north and west coasts
    earthquakes; typhoons
    volcanism: Kueishantao Island (401 m), east of Taiwan, is its only historically active volcano, although it has not erupted in centuries
    air pollution; water pollution from industrial emissions, raw sewage; contamination of drinking water supplies; trade in endangered species; low-level radioactive waste disposal
    party to: none of the selected agreements because of Taiwan's international status
    strategic location adjacent to both the Taiwan Strait and the Luzon Strait
  • People and Society :: TAIWAN

  • 23,508,428 (July 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 55
    noun: Taiwan (singular and plural)
    note: example - he or she is from Taiwan; they are from Taiwan
    adjective: Taiwan (or Taiwanese)
    more than 95% Han Chinese (including Hoklo, who compose approximately 70% of Taiwan's population, Hakka, and other groups originating in mainland China), 2.3% indigenous Malayo-Polynesian peoples
    note: there are 16 officially recognized indigenous groups: Amis, Atayal, Bunun, Hla'alua, Kanakaravu, Kavalan, Paiwan, Puyuma, Rukai, Saisiyat, Sakizaya, Seediq, Thao, Truku, Tsou, and Yami; Amis, Paiwan, and Atayal are the largest and account for roughly 70% of the indigenous population
    Mandarin Chinese (official), Taiwanese (Min Nan), Hakka dialects
    Buddhist 35.3%, Taoist 33.2%, Christian 3.9%, Taoist or Confucian folk religionist approximately 10%, none or unspecified 18.2% (2005 est.)
    0-14 years: 12.88% (male 1,559,074/female 1,468,319)
    15-24 years: 12.88% (male 1,551,228/female 1,476,660)
    25-54 years: 46.41% (male 5,445,338/female 5,463,804)
    55-64 years: 14.12% (male 1,622,111/female 1,696,564)
    65 years and over: 13.72% (male 1,475,534/female 1,749,796) (2017 est.)
    total dependency ratio: 35.2
    youth dependency ratio: 18.6
    elderly dependency ratio: 16.6
    potential support ratio: 6 (2015 est.)
    total: 40.7 years
    male: 40 years
    female: 41.5 years (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    0.17% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    8.3 births/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 219
    7.4 deaths/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    0.9 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 58
    distribution exhibits a peripheral coastal settlement pattern, with the largest populations on the north and west coasts
    urban population: 78.2% of total population (2018)
    rate of urbanization: 0.8% annual rate of change (2015-20 est.)
    New Taipei City 4.325 million; TAIPEI (capital) 2.706 million; Taiyuan 2.19 million; Kaohsiung 1.532 million; Taichung 1.283 million; Tainan 836,000 (2018)
    at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 1 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2017 est.)
    total: 4.3 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 4.7 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 3.9 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 187
    total population: 80.2 years
    male: 77.1 years
    female: 83.6 years (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 40
    1.13 children born/woman (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 222
    NA
    NA
    NA
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 98.5%
    male: 99.7%
    female: 97.3% (2014 est.)
  • Government :: TAIWAN

  • conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Taiwan
    local long form: none
    local short form: Taiwan
    former: Formosa
    etymology: "Tayowan" was the name of the coastal sandbank where the Dutch erected their colonial headquarters on the island in the 17th century; the former name "Formosa" means "beautiful" in Portuguese
    semi-presidential republic
    name: Taipei
    geographic coordinates: 25 02 N, 121 31 E
    time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    includes main island of Taiwan plus smaller islands nearby and off coast of China's Fujian Province; Taiwan is divided into 13 counties (xian, singular and plural), 3 cities (shi, singular and plural), and 6 special municipalities directly under the jurisdiction of the Executive Yuan
    counties: Changhua, Chiayi, Hsinchu, Hualien, Kinmen, Lienchiang, Miaoli, Nantou, Penghu, Pingtung, Taitung, Yilan, Yunlin
    cities: Chiayi, Hsinchu, Keelung
    special municipalities: Kaohsiung (city), New Taipei (city), Taichung (city), Tainan (city), Taipei (city), Taoyuan (city)
    note: Taiwan uses a variety of romanization systems; while a modified Wade-Giles system still dominates, the city of Taipei has adopted a Pinyin romanization for street and place names within its boundaries; other local authorities use different romanization systems
    Republic Day (National Day), 10 October (1911); note - celebrates the anniversary of the Chinese Revolution, also known as Double Ten (10-10) Day
    history: previous 1912, 1931; latest adopted 25 December 1946, promulgated 1 January 1947, effective 25 December 1947
    amendments: proposed by at least one-fourth agreement of the Legislative Yuan membership; passage requires approval by at least three-fourths majority vote of at least three-fourths of the Legislative Yuan membership and approval in a referendum by more than one-half of eligible voters; revised several times, last in 2005 (2017)
    civil law system
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Taiwan
    dual citizenship recognized: yes, except that citizens of Taiwan are not recognized as dual citizens of the People's Republic of China
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
    20 years of age; universal; note - in mid-2016, the Legislative Yuan drafted a constitutional amendment to reduce the voting age to 18, but it has not passed as of December 2017
    chief of state: President TSAI Ing-wen (since 20 May 2016); Vice President CHEN Chien-jen (since 20 May 2016)
    head of government: Premier LAI Ching-te (President of the Executive Yuan) (since 8 September 2017); Vice Premier LIN Hsi-yao, Vice President of the Executive Yuan (since 20 May 2016)
    cabinet: Executive Yuan - ministers appointed by president on recommendation of premier
    elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by simple majority popular vote for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 16 January 2016 (next to be held in 2020); premier appointed by the president; vice premiers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the premier
    election results: TSAI Ing-wen elected president; percent of vote - TSAI Ing-wen (DPP) 56.1%, Eric CHU Li-lun (KMT) 31.0%, James SOONG Chu-yu (PFP) 12.8%; note - TSAI is the first woman elected president of Taiwan
    unicameral Legislative Yuan (113 seats; 73 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 34 directly elected in a single island-wide constituency by proportional representation vote, and 6 directly elected in multi-seat aboriginal constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
    elections: last held on 16 January 2016 (next to be held in January 2020)
    election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - DPP 68, KMT 35, NPP 5, PFP 3, NPSU 1, independent 1; note - this is the first non-KMT-led legislature in Taiwan's history
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the court president, vice president, and approximately 100 judges organized into 8 civil and 12 criminal divisions, each with a division chief justice and 4 associate justices); Constitutional Court (consists of the court president, vice president, and 13 justices)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court justices appointed by the president; Constitutional Court justices appointed by the president with approval of the Legislative Yuan; Supreme Court justices appointed for life; Constitutional Court justices appointed for 8-year terms with half the membership renewed every 4 years
    subordinate courts: high courts; district courts; hierarchy of administrative courts
    Democratic Progressive Party or DPP [TSAI Ing-wen]
    Kuomintang or KMT (Nationalist Party) [WU Den-yih]
    New Power Party or NPP [HUANG Kuo-chang]
    Non-Partisan Solidarity Union or NPSU [LIN Pin-kuan]
    People First Party or PFP [James SOONG Chu-yu]
    ADB (Taipei, China), APEC (Chinese Taipei), BCIE, IOC, ITUC (NGOs), SICA (observer), WTO (Taipei, China); note - separate customs territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu
    none; commercial and cultural relations with its citizens in the US are maintained through an unofficial instrumentality, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO), a private nonprofit corporation that performs citizen and consular services similar to those at diplomatic posts
    representative: Stanley KAO (since 5 June 2016)
    office: 4201 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
    telephone: [1] 202 895-1800
    Taipei Economic and Cultural Offices (branch offices): Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver (CO), Houston, Honolulu (HI), Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Seattle
    none; commercial and cultural relations with the people of Taiwan are maintained through an unofficial instrumentality, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), a private nonprofit corporation that performs citizen and consular services similar to those at diplomatic posts; Director Kin W. MOY (since June 2015)
    office:
    telephone: [1] [886] (02) 2162-2000
    FAX: [1] [886] (02) 2162-2251
    other offices: Kaohsiung (Branch Office)
    red field with a dark blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing a white sun with 12 triangular rays; the blue and white design of the canton (symbolizing the sun of progress) dates to 1895; it was later adopted as the flag of the Kuomintang Party; blue signifies liberty, justice, and democracy; red stands for fraternity, sacrifice, and nationalism, white represents equality, frankness, and the people's livelihood; the 12 rays of the sun are those of the months and the twelve traditional Chinese hours (each ray equals two hours)
    note: similar to the flag of Samoa
    white, 12-rayed sun on blue field; national colors: blue, white, red
    name: "Zhonghua Minguo guoge" (National Anthem of the Republic of China)
    lyrics/music: HU Han-min, TAI Chi-t'ao, and LIAO Chung-k'ai/CHENG Mao-Yun
    note: adopted 1930; also the song of the Kuomintang Party; it is informally known as "San Min Chu I" or "San Min Zhu Yi" (Three Principles of the People); because of political pressure from China, "Guo Qi Ge" (National Banner Song) is used at international events rather than the official anthem of Taiwan; the "National Banner Song" has gained popularity in Taiwan and is commonly used during flag raisings
  • Economy :: TAIWAN

  • Taiwan has a dynamic capitalist economy that is driven largely by industrial manufacturing, and especially exports of electronics, machinery, and petrochemicals. This heavy dependence on exports exposes the economy to fluctuations in global demand. Taiwan's diplomatic isolation, low birth rate, rapidly aging population, and increasing competition from China and other Asia Pacific markets are other major long-term challenges.
    Following the landmark Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed with China in June 2010, Taiwan in July 2013 signed a free trade deal with New Zealand - Taipei’s first-ever with a country with which it does not maintain diplomatic relations - and, in November of that year, inked a trade pact with Singapore. However, follow-on components of the ECFA, including a signed agreement on trade in services and negotiations on trade in goods and dispute resolution, have stalled. In early 2014, the government bowed to public demand and proposed a new law governing the oversight of cross-Strait agreements, before any additional deals with China are implemented; the legislature has yet to vote on such legislation, leaving the future of ECFA uncertain. President TSAI since taking office in May 2016 has promoted greater economic integration with South and Southeast Asia through the New Southbound Policy initiative and has also expressed interest in Taiwan joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership as well as bilateral trade deals with partners such as the US. These overtures have likely played a role in increasing Taiwan’s total exports, which rose 11% during the first half of 2017, buoyed by strong demand for semiconductors.
    Taiwan's total fertility rate of just over one child per woman is among the lowest in the world, raising the prospect of future labor shortages, falling domestic demand, and declining tax revenues. Taiwan's population is aging quickly, with the number of people over 65 expected to account for nearly 20% of the island's total population by 2025.
    The island runs a trade surplus with many economies, including China and the US, and its foreign reserves are the world's fifth largest, behind those of China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Switzerland. In 2006, China overtook the US to become Taiwan's second-largest source of imports after Japan. China is also the island's number one destination for foreign direct investment. Taiwan since 2009 has gradually loosened rules governing Chinese investment and has also secured greater market access for its investors on the mainland. In August 2012, the Taiwan Central Bank signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on cross-Strait currency settlement with its Chinese counterpart. The MOU allows for the direct settlement of Chinese renminbi (RMB) and the New Taiwan dollar across the Strait, which has helped Taiwan develop into a local RMB hub.
    Closer economic links with the mainland bring opportunities for Taiwan’s economy but also pose challenges as political differences remain unresolved and China’s economic growth is slowing. President TSAI’s administration has made little progress on the domestic economic issues that loomed large when she was elected, including concerns about stagnant wages, high housing prices, youth unemployment, job security, and financial security in retirement. TSAI has made more progress on boosting trade with South and Southeast Asia, however, which may help insulate Taiwan’s economy from a fall in mainland demand should China’s growth slow in 2018.
    $1.175 trillion (2017 est.)
    $1.152 trillion (2016 est.)
    $1.136 trillion (2015 est.)
    note: data are in 2017 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 23
    $571.5 billion (2017 est.)
    2% (2017 est.)
    1.5% (2016 est.)
    0.7% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 156
    $49,800 (2017 est.)
    $49,000 (2016 est.)
    $48,300 (2015 est.)
    note: data are in 2017 dollars
    country comparison to the world: 31
    34.8% of GDP (2017 est.)
    35.6% of GDP (2016 est.)
    36.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    household consumption: 52.4%
    government consumption: 14.1%
    investment in fixed capital: 21.4%
    investment in inventories: 0%
    exports of goods and services: 64.8%
    imports of goods and services: -52.7% (2017 est.)
    agriculture: 1.8%
    industry: 36%
    services: 62.1% (2017 est.)
    rice, vegetables, fruit, tea, flowers; pigs, poultry; fish
    electronics, communications and information technology products, petroleum refining, chemicals, textiles, iron and steel, machinery, cement, food processing, vehicles, consumer products, pharmaceuticals
    2% (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    11.78 million (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 52
    agriculture: 4.9%
    industry: 35.9%
    services: 59.2% (2016 est.)
    3.8% (2017 est.)
    3.9% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 47
    1.5% (2012 est.)
    lowest 10%: 6.4%
    highest 10%: 40.3% (2010)
    33.6 (2014)
    32.6 (2000)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    revenues: $93 billion
    expenditures: $91.67 billion (2017 est.)
    16.3% of GDP (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 188
    0.2% of GDP (2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
    29.9% of GDP (2017 est.)
    31.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
    note: data for central government
    country comparison to the world: 161
    calendar year
    1% (2017 est.)
    1.4% (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    1.38% (31 December 2016)
    1.63% (31 December 2015)
    country comparison to the world: 127
    2.7% (31 December 2017 est.)
    2.63% (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 175
    $535.1 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $501.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    $1.374 trillion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $1.28 trillion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    $835.8 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $778.3 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    $851.2 billion (31 December 2016)
    $742.5 billion (31 December 2015)
    $848.3 billion (31 December 2014)
    country comparison to the world: 14
    $79 billion (2017 est.)
    $74.28 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    $344.6 billion (2017 est.)
    $310.4 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    semiconductors, petrochemicals, automobile/auto parts, ships, wireless communication equipment, flat display displays, steel, electronics, plastics, computers
    $272.6 billion (2017 est.)
    $239.7 billion (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 20
    oil/petroleum, semiconductors, natural gas, coal, steel, computers, wireless communication equipment, automobiles, fine chemicals, textiles
    $468.1 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $439 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 6
    $204.7 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $172.2 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    $85.58 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $80.68 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 48
    $367.2 billion (31 December 2017 est.)
    $354 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 21
    New Taiwan dollars (TWD) per US dollar -
    30.68 (2017 est.)
    32.33 (2016 est.)
    32.33 (2016 est.)
    31.91 (2014 est.)
    30.36 (2013 est.)
  • Energy :: TAIWAN

  • 264.1 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 18
    255.3 billion kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 207
    0 kWh (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 211
    48.61 million kW (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    75.4% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    10.4% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    4.3% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 130
    5.4% of total installed capacity (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    196 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 96
    0 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 202
    858,700 bbl/day (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    2.38 million bbl (1 January 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 97
    917,500 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    955,300 bbl/day (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    350,300 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 24
    416,200 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 22
    340 million cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 76
    19.73 billion cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 37
    0 cu m (2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 198
    19.39 billion cu m (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    6.229 billion cu m (1 January 2017 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    25.05 million Mt (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 78
  • Communications :: TAIWAN

  • total subscriptions: 13,770,996
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 59 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 17
    total: 29,244,328
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 124 (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 43
    general assessment: provides telecommunications service for every business and private need
    domestic: thoroughly modern; completely digitalized
    international: country code - 886; roughly 15 submarine fiber cables provide links throughout Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, and the US; satellite earth stations - 2 (2016)
    5 nationwide television networks operating roughly 75 TV stations; about 60% of households utilize multi-channel cable TV; national and regional radio networks with about 171 radio stations (2016)
    .tw
    total: 20.601 million
    percent of population: 88% (July 2016 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 33
  • Transportation :: TAIWAN

  • number of registered air carriers: 8
    inventory of registered aircraft operated by air carriers: 221 (2015)
    B (2016)
    37 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 107
    total: 35
    over 3,047 m: 8
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 10
    914 to 1,523 m: 8
    under 914 m: 2 (2013)
    total: 2
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    under 914 m: 1 (2013)
    31 (2013)
    condensate 25 km; gas 802 km; oil 241 km (2013)
    total: 1,613.1 km
    standard gauge: 345 km 1.435-m gauge (345 km electrified)
    narrow gauge: 1,118.1 km 1.067-m gauge (793.9 km electrified); 150 km 0.762-m gauge
    note: the 0.762-gauge track belongs to three entities: the Forestry Bureau, Taiwan Cement, and TaiPower (2018)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    total: 43,365 km
    paved: 42,969 km (includes 1,348 km of highways and 737 km of expressways)
    unpaved: 396 km (2016)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    total: 350
    by type: bulk carrier 26, container ship 38, general cargo 59, oil tanker 24, other 203 (2017)
    country comparison to the world: 49
    major seaport(s): Keelung (Chi-lung), Kaohsiung, Hualian, Taichung
    container port(s) (TEUs): Keelung (Chi-lung) (2,666,000), Kaohsiung (10,264,000), Taichung (1,447,000) (2015)
    LNG terminal(s) (import): Yung An (Kaohsiung), Taichung
  • Military and Security :: TAIWAN

  • Army, Navy (includes Marine Corps), Air Force, Military Police Command, Armed Forces Reserve Command, Coast Guard Administration (2016)
    starting with those born in 1994, males 18-36 years of age may volunteer for military service or must complete 4 months of compulsory military training (or substitute civil service in some cases); men born before December 1993 are required to complete compulsory service for 1 year (military or civil); men are subject to training recalls up to four times for periods not to exceed 20 days for 8 years after discharge; women may enlist, but are restricted to noncombat roles in most cases; Taiwan is planning to implement an all-volunteer military in 2018 (2017) (2016)
  • Transnational Issues :: TAIWAN

  • involved in complex dispute with Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam over the Spratly Islands, and with China and the Philippines over Scarborough Reef; the 2002 "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" has eased tensions but falls short of a legally binding "code of conduct" desired by several of the disputants; Paracel Islands are occupied by China, but claimed by Taiwan and Vietnam; in 2003, China and Taiwan became more vocal in rejecting both Japan's claims to the uninhabited islands of the Senkaku-shoto (Diaoyu Tai) and Japan's unilaterally declared exclusive economic zone in the East China Sea where all parties engage in hydrocarbon prospecting
    regional transit point for heroin, methamphetamine, and precursor chemicals; transshipment point for drugs to Japan; major problem with domestic consumption of methamphetamine and heroin; rising problems with use of ketamine and club drugs