|Language||Mandarin (de facto)|
|Area||Total 36,197 km2 (13,976 sq mi)|
|Currency||New Taiwan dollar (NT$) (TWD)|
|Time Zone||UTC+8 (National Standard Time)|
Taiwan (Chinese: 臺灣 or 台灣; pinyin: Táiwān; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tâi-oân; /taɪˈwɑːn/ (listen)), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a state in East Asia. Neighbouring states 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 state and largest economy that is not a member of the United Nations(UN).
The island of Taiwan was inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousands of years before the 17th century, when Dutch colonialistsopened the island to mass Han immigration. After a brief rule by the Kingdom of Tungning, the island was annexed in 1683 by the Qing dynasty of China, and ceded to Japan in 1895. Following the surrender of Japan in 1945, the Republic of China, which had overthrown and succeeded the Qing in 1911, took control of Taiwan. The resumption of the Chinese Civil War led to the loss of the mainland to the Communists and the flight of the ROC government to Taiwan in 1949. Although the ROC government continued to claim to be the legitimate representative of China, since 1950 its effective jurisdiction has been limited to Taiwan and several small islands. In the early 1960s, Taiwan entered a period of rapid economic growth and industrialisation. In the 1980s and early 1990s, it changed from a one-party military dictatorship to a multi-party democracy with a semi-presidential system.
As a founding member, the ROC represented China in the UN until it was replaced by the PRC in 1971. The PRC has consistently claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and refused diplomatic relations with any country that recognises the ROC. As of 2019, Taiwan maintains official ties with 17 out of 193 UN member states. Most international organisations in which the PRC participates either refuse to grant membership to Taiwan or allow it to participate only as a non-state actor. Nevertheless, most major powers maintain unofficial ties with Taiwan through representative offices and institutions that function as de facto embassies and consulates. In Taiwan, the major political division is between parties favouring eventual Chinese unification and promoting a Chinese identity contrasted with those aspiring to independence and promoting a Taiwanese identity, though both sides have moderated their positions to broaden their appeal.
Taiwan is a high-income advanced economy, with a highly skilled and educated workforce. It has the 22nd-largest economy in the world, and its high-tech industry plays a key role in the global economy. It is highly urbanised, and is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, with most of the population concentrated on the western coast. The state is ranked highly in terms of civil and political liberties, education, health care and human development.