10 Interesting Facts about Taiwan

By YingTing Tseng (YXT5059)

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1. Taiwan has the lowest birth rate in the world.

The ministry of the Interior attributed the rebound to government policies to encourage births, as well as it is an auspicious time to give birth during the year of the Dragon (2012).  Measures introduced by the government to boost the birth rate include matchmaking activities, cash payments for births, an expansion of preschool education and subsidies, the integration of preschool and kindergartens, and the establishment of affordable day care centers. (Taiwan Birthrate Rebounds to 10-Year High)  The amount of cash payments for births is from $200 USD to $666 USD or more (depends on the local governments).  In HsinChu City, the cash payment for giving a birth to triplet is $3333 USD.

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2. Taiwan is the last country using traditional Chinese.

Taiwanese government officially calls the traditional Chinese characters’ standard characters.  And the following sentences are two examples which show the differences in between.

Example: We Speak Chinese.

繁體字 Traditional Chinese: 我們說中文 | 简体字 Simplified Chinese: 我们说中文

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3. Taiwan is slightly bigger than Belguim.

Taiwan: 36193km2 X 13974sq mi. (136th) | Belgium: 30528km2 X 11787sq mi. (140th)

4. Taiwan is not Thailand.

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Well, I cannot agree more with this statement, and I have A LOT of friends who told me how much they love Thai-food.

5. Taiwan is not a member of the UN.

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In 1971, with the support of the United States, the ROC government of Chiang Kai-shek upheld its claim and retained the Chinese seat in the UN as well as its permanent seat in the UN Security Council for more than two more decades after its arrival in Taiwan. However, with an increasing number of countries choosing to recognize Beijing instead of Taipei, it was a battle against time, and Taiwan was on the losing side. (Taiwan’s UN Dilemma: To Be or Not To Be)

6. Taiwan is the first democratic country in Asia.

And for now, Taiwan has ranked the third most democratic country in Asia.  Taiwan’s democracy ranking improved two spots in the 2012 Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU’s) Democracy Index from the 2011 index to 35th in the world and third in Asia. (Taiwan ranked third most democratic country in Asia)

7. Taiwan has the highest density of convenience stores.

Taiwan’s five major convenience store chains had a total of 9,204 outlets nationwide at the end of last year, giving it the highest density of convenience stores in the world, with each store serving 2,500 people, the Fair Trade Commission said yesterday [Jul 11, 2009]. (Convenience store density highest in Taiwan: report)

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8. You are probably reading this on a Taiwanese product.

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9. Taiwan is not a part of China.

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10. Taiwan has just reached its 100th birthday.

One of the most important events of the 20th Century was the overthrow of China’s last imperial dynasty, the Qing, and the founding of the Republic of China (ROC). (Legacy debate as the Republic of China marks 100 years)

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