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Introduction: In 1895, military defeat forced China to cede Taiwan to Japan. Taiwan reverted to Chinese control after World War II. Following the Communist victory on the mainland in 1949, 2 million Nationalists fled to Taiwan and established a government using the 1947 constitution drawn up for all of China. Over the next five decades, the ruling authorities gradually democratized and incorporated the local population within the governing structure. In 2000, Taiwan underwent its first peaceful transfer of power from the Nationalist to the Democratic Progressive Party. Throughout this period, the island prospered and became one of East Asia's economic...

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Economic Overview: Until the mid-1960s Taiwan's economy was dominated by agriculture, especially rice and sugar production. One of Asia's 'Four Tigers', the development of export-oriented manufacturing transformed Taiwan's economy and labour force into one defined by urban and industrial production. By the 1980s Taiwan began exporting its low-technology manufacturing offshore, especially to China. More recently there has been a trend for some of Taiwan's more advanced, high-tech industries to follow suit. Today Taiwan is also increasingly a tertiary economy, with services accounting for almost 70 per cent of national output and over half of all employment. ...

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History: Taiwan's indigenous peoples, who originated in Austronesia and southern Asia, have lived on Taiwan for 12,000 to 15,000 years. Significant migration to Taiwan from the Chinese mainland began as early as A.D. 500. Dutch traders first claimed the island in 1624 as a base for Dutch commerce with Japan and the China coast. Two years later, the Spanish established a settlement on the northwest coast ...

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International Relations: Taiwan Relations with the UK

The UK seeks to develop its exports and commercial involvement with Taiwan, including inward investment. We also seek to develop a wide range of unofficial links, particularly in the fields of education and culture. In developing our relations with Taiwan we act within the restraints imposed by our formal position on the status of Taiwan. (See 'Did You Know?' above).

The British Trade and Cultural Office in Taipei (BTCO) was established in 1993 to represent British interests in Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic relations. See the BTCO website ...

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Overview: Taiwan has a modern and comprehensive transportation infrastructure. With two international airports serving the world’s major airlines, an extensive network of highways and expressways, and a railroad system that circles the island and is soon to be joined by bullet-train service north to south, the island is well served. Additionally, it has modern port facilities at strategic ...

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Area Handbook Series
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