(Republic of China)

Taiwanese flag

A highly modern and affluent economy, Taiwan has long prospered from a combination of export-driven growth, high-tech development and gradualism in its privatisation process.

Created by the defeated Kuomintang forces fleeing China after the victory of the Communist party in 1949, it remained a military dictatorship until it became a genuine multi-party democracy in the early 1990s. Relations with the PRC have fluctuated between different Taiwanese governments, often resulting in threats of war, but a recent warming of relations has cemented ties between the two sides and reduced the likelihood of conflict.

In recent years, however, there have been increasing worries of economic decline similar to Japan, and it suffered badly from the financial crisis in 2009, when its economy contracted by 2%. Alongside its ageing population and low birth rate Taiwan’s diplomatic isolation is one of the largest threats to its economic prosperity, leaving it unable to benefit from bilateral and regional free trade agreements (The Republic of Taiwan is not recognised as an independent state by most members of the international community).


Population: c. 23,072,000
Capital City: Taipei
Government: Republic, Multi-party Democracy
Languages: Mandarin Chinese, Taiwanese
GDP per capita (PPP): $35,700
Growth Rate: 10%+


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