|Government||Multiparty democratic republic with a popularly elected president and unicameral legislature|
|Currency||New Taiwan dollar (TWD)|
|Area|| total: 35,980 km2
water: 3,720 km2
land: 32,260 km2
|Population||22,858,872 (July 2007 est.)|
|Language||Mandarin Chinese (official), Taiwanese, Hakka|
|Religion||Mixture of Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist 93%, Christian 4.5%, other 2.5%|
|Electricity||110V/60HZ (USA plug type)|
Taiwan (Traditional Chinese: 台灣 or 臺灣, Simplified Chinese: 台湾 tái wān) is an island nation of about 36,000 km² located off the coast of southeastern mainland China, southwest of Okinawa and north of the Philippines. The island is offically known as and governed by the Republic of China (中華民國 Zhōnghuá Mínguó) or ROC. Shaped roughly like a sweet potato, the nation is home to more than 23 million people and is one of the most densely populated places in the world. Besides its crowded cities, Taiwan is also known for steep mountains and lush forests. In addition to the island of Taiwan, the Republic of China also governs the tiny Pescadores (Penghu), Quemoy (Kinmen/Jinmen), and Matsu.
While the political status of Taiwan is a somewhat controversial and sensitive issue, from a traveller's point of view, Taiwan is under the de facto control of a different government from mainland China, and in practice operates as a separate country. This is not a political endorsement of the claims of either side of the dispute.