> Taiwan Province

Taiwan Province

Population (2007): 22,911,292.

Nationalities: Han (97%), and Gaoshan (3%)

Area: 36,188 km2

Coastline : 1,566 kilometers .

Local Weather: Click for Hengchun, Taiwan Forecast

GDP (PPP): $695.388 billion (2007)

Climatic Features: Situated on the Tropic of Cancer and influenced by the Kuroshio, a warm ocean current of the West Pacific, Taiwan has a subtropical-tropical monsoonal climate, which is characterized by long summers, much rainfall, and strong winds. Taiwan's typhoon season is from June to October, with August being the peak month.

Average temperature: annual temperature is 20 - 25oC; 13 - 20oC in January and 24 - 29oC in July.

Annual average rainfall: 2,000 mm. Precipitation can reach 5,000 mm annually at the southern and northern tips of the island but diminishes to under 800 mm on the Penghu Islands. Jilong, the so-called rain port, has 214 rain days per year.

Physical features: Situated in the Pacific Ocean, Taiwan lies southeast of the China mainland across the Taiwan Strait. The largest island of China, Taiwan Island is 380 kilometers long and 150 kilometers wide at maximum. Mountains cover two-thirds of the island. Alluvial plains and hills spread along Taiwan island's western coast. Rich soil and water resources make this an important agricultural area. Located on the Pacific seismic belt, Taiwan is one of the most earthquake-prone regions in China. The resulting terrestrial heat is evidenced by its many volcanoes and hot springs.

Mountains: The Taiwan Range consists of the parallel Hai'an, Zhongyang, Xueshan-Yushan, and Ali Mountains. Zhongyang Mountain, also known as Taiwan Mountain, is the largest on the island with most of its peaks above the 3,000-meter line. However, the highest peak in East China as well as in Taiwan is Yushan Peak, which tops 3,997 meters.

Products: The agricultural products of Taiwan are rice and sugar cane. Other crops include corn, tubers, peanuts, soybeans, jute, and sisal hemp. Taiwan produces fresh fruits all year round, earning the name 'land of fruits.' Taiwan has 55 percent forest coverage, making it one of China's major timber-producing bases. Taiwan is famous for its camphor trees, as well as nutmeg, lemongrass, and cinchona. Fishing is a major industry. Aquatic products include porgy, yaito tuna, shark, oceanic bonito, sardine, agar, siliquose pelvetia, zhegucai, hawksbill turtle, coral, and pearl. Important terrestrial products are coal, petroleum, natural gas, gold, copper, salt, and sulfur.

Administrative divisions: The province consists of Taiwan Island; the Penghu Islands in the Taiwan Strait; Pengjia, Diaoyu, Chiwei and other small islands northeast of Taiwan Island; Lan, Huoshao and islands in the southeast, most of which are volcanic cones.

Capital : Taibei ,the political, economic, and cultural center on the island.

Major cities: Jilong, Gaoxiong, Tainan, Taizhong, Xinzhu, Pingdong, and Taidong.

Elevation extremes: Sichuan is high in the west and low in the east in terms of its topography. Generally speaking, the west are plateaus and mountainous regions some 4,000 meters above the sea level while the east are the basin and hilly land with an elevation between 1,000 and 3,000 meters. The Sichuan Basin, covering an area of 165,000 sq km, is one of the four largest basins in China. The elevation within the basin is between 200 and 750 meters, sloping down from north to south.

Natural resources:

The reserves of hydropower resources in Sichuan come to 150 million kw, second only to Tibet, and the exploitable potential is over 100 million kw, more than any other area in China.

Sichuan boasts of 132 verified mineral resources. It leads the country in reserves of vanadium, titanium, calcium, mirabilite, fluorite, natural gas, and sulfur iron, and leads the world in reserves of titanium. Its reserves of vanadium ranks third in the world.

The pleasant climate provides a favorable environment for plants and animals. The forests cover a total area of 7.46 million ha. Sichuan is home to one-fifth of the country's dawn redwoods and Cathaya argyrophylla, two species so old they are regarded as living fossils. It is also rich in animal resources. There are over 1,000 kinds of vertebrates, accounting for 40% of the country. Among them are 55 kinds of rare animals. The well-known giant pandas inhabit mainly in 36 counties and natural reserves of four mountain ranges within the territory of Sichuan.

Tourism resources
: Sichuan has three World Cultural and Natural heritages: the Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area, the Huanglong Scenic Area, and Emei Mountain with the Leshan Giant Buddha; nine state-class scenic areas, including the Dujiangyan Irrigation System, Qingcheng Mountain, the Sea of Bamboo in southern Sichuan; 11 national forest parks; 40 nature reserves, 44 provincial-class scenic areas. Almost every variety of tourist resources is available here: plateaus, mountains, ravines, basins, hills, plains, rivers, lakes, hot springs, waterfalls, limestone caves, and even danxia formation.