Taiwan is an island situated off the southeast coast of the Chinese mainland. It accounts to 0.32% of the total land area of China. The island was originally connected to the Chinese main land, but became separated as a result of the earth's shifting. It is famous throughout the world for its beautiful scenery. Following Taiwan's retrocession to the Republic of China in 1945, the Central Government moved its seat to Taiwan in 1949 and commenced a wide-ranging program of development in the political, economic, educational, cultural and social spheres which laid the foundations for today's flourishing constitutional democracy, economic success and prosperity, and social order and stability.

1. Location

Taiwan is located on the western edge of the Pacific total length from north to south is 377 kilometers and its width is about 142 kilo-meters at its widest. The total land area of Taiwan, including the Pescadores and other outlying islets, is 36,000 square kilometers. Its coastline totals 1,566 kilometers in length.

2. Mountains and Plains

Taiwan is mountainous with the Central Range running from north to south dividing the island into eastern hills and western plains. Of the 49 high mountains, Yushan (Mt. Morrison) at 3,950 meters above sea level is the highest. Seventy percent of the island's land area is mountainous territory (100 meters above sea level) and 30% is flatland.

3. Rivers

Because of its rugged topography, rivers on the island are short and fast-flowing. There are six rivers longer than 100 kilometers, the 186-kilometer Choshui River being the longest.

4. Climate

As the Tropic of Cancer passes through Chiayi County, Taiwan is divided into tropical and sub-tropical zones, with the weather hot and humid. The average year round temperature is over 20 degrees Celsius, though the average temperature for July, the hottest month, seldom exceeds 28 degrees. The average temperature for February, the coldest month, is above 14 degrees. The average humidity is 81%. The average rainfall is about 2,000mm, but the distribution of rainfall is uneven. During summer and autumn. there are many typhoons which bring heavy rain and cause much damage to property.

5. Land Utilization

Statistics show that land utilization in Taiwan has been developed toward more economical and effective uses. The emphasis is placed on developing hillsides and reclaiming coastal lands.

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