The World Factbook (1982)/Taiwan


World Factbook (1982) Taiwan.jpg
(See reference map VIII)


32,260 km2 (Taiwan and Pescadores); 24% cultivated, 6% pasture, 55% forested, 15% other (urban, industrial, denuded, water area)


Limits of territorial waters (claimed): 3 nm (fishing 12 nm)

Coastline: 990 km Taiwan, 459 km offshore islands


Population: 18,456,000, excluding the population of Quemoy and Matsu Islands and foreigners (July 1982), average annual growth rate 1.8%

Nationality: noun—Chinese (sing., pl.); adjective—Chinese

Ethnic divisions: 84% Taiwanese, 14% mainland Chinese, 2% aborigines

Religion: 93% mixture of Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist; 4.5% Christian; 2.5% other

Language: Chinese Mandarin (official language); Taiwanese and Hakka dialect also used

Literacy: about 90%

Labor force: 6.51 million (1979); 21.5% primary industry (agriculture), 41.8% secondary industry (including manufacturing, mining, construction), 36.7% tertiary industry (including commerce and services), 1979; 1.3% unemployment (1979)

Organized labor: about 15% of 1978 labor force (government controlled)


Official name: Taiwan

Type: one-party presidential regime

Capital: Taipei

Political subdivisions: 16 counties, 3 cities, 2 special municipalities (Taipei and Kaosiung)

Legal system: based on civil law system; constitution adopted 1947, amended 1960 to permit Chiang Kai-shek to be reelected, and amended 1972 to permit President to restructure certain government organs; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

National holiday: 10 October

Branches: five independent branches (executive, legislative, judicial, plus traditional Chinese functions of examination and control), dominated by executive branch; President and Vice President elected by National Assembly

Government leaders: President CHIANG Ching-kuo; Premier SUN Yün-hsüan

Suffrage: universal over age 20

Elections: national level—legislative yuan every three years but no general election held since 1948 election on mainland (partial elections for Taiwan province representatives in December 1969, 1972, 1975, and 1980); local level—provincial assembly, county and municipal executives every four years; county and municipal assemblies every four years

Political parties and leaders: Kuomintang, or National Party, led by Chairman Chiang Ching-kuo, had no real opposition; lately a loosely organized anti-Kuomintang opposition has emerged; two insignificant parties are Democratic Socialist Party and Young China Party

Voting strength (1981 provincial assembly elections): 59 seats Kuomintang, 18 seats independents; 1981 local elections, with 72% turnout of eligible voters Kuomintang received 59% of the popular vote, non-Kuomintang 41%

Other political or pressure groups: none

Member of: expelled from UN General Assembly and Security Council on 25 October 1971 and withdrew on same date from other charter-designated subsidiary organs; expelled from IMF/World Bank group April/May 1980; member of ADB and seeking to join GATT and/or MFA; attempting to retain membership in ICAC, ISO, INTELSAT, IWC—International Wheat Council, PCA; suspended from IAEA in 1972 but still allows IAEA controls over extensive atomic development


GNP: $32.2 billion (1979, in 1979 prices), $1,830 per capita; real growth, 8% (1979)

Agriculture: most arable land intensely farmed—60% cultivated land under irrigation; main crops—rice, sweet potatoes, sugarcane, bananas, pineapples, citrus fruits; food shortages—wheat, corn, soybeans

Fishing: catch 854,784 metric tons (1977)

Major industries: textiles, clothing, chemicals, plywood, electronics, sugar milling, food processing, cement, shipbuilding

Electric power: 9,147,000 kW capacity (1980); 41.0 billion kWh produced (1980), 2,280 kWh per capita

Exports: $16.1 billion (f.o.b., 1979); 28.0% textiles, 170% electrical machinery, 6.3% plywood and wood products, 8.0% basic metals and metal products, 28% machinery, manufactures, and transportation

Imports: $14,8 billion (c.i.f., 1979); 23.0% machinery and transportation equipment. 11.0% electrical machinery, 11.0% basic metals, 15.0% crude oil, 12.3% chemical products

Major trade partners: exports—35% US, 14% Japan; imports—31% Japan, 23% US (1979)

Aid: economic commitments—US (FY46—80), $2.2 billion, including Ex-Im; other Western (non-US) countries, ODA and OOF (1970-79), $265 million; military—US (FY46-79), $4.4 billion committed

Central government budget: $6.7 billion (FY79)

Monetary conversion rate: NT (New Taiwan) $36=US$1

Fiscal year: 1 July–30 June


Railroads: about 1,050 km common-carrier and 3,500 km industrial lines, all on Taiwan; common-carrier lines consist of West System—825 km meter gauge (1.067 m) with 325 km double track (complete line under construction for electrification)—and East Line—225 km meter gauge (1.067 m); common-carrier lines owned by government and operated by Railway Administration (TRA) under Ministry of Communications; industrial lines owned and operated by government enterprises

Highways: network totals 17,224 km (construction of North-South Freeway approximately 98% complete), plus 483 km on Penghu and offshore islands; 11,455 km paved, 4,424 km gravel and crushed stone, 1,345 km earth

Pipelines: 615 km refined products, 97 km natural gas Ports: 5 major, 5 minor

Airfields: 43 total, 41 usable; 31 with permanent-surface runways; 3 with runways over 3,659 m, 16 with runways 2,440-3,659 m, 10 with runways 1,220-2,439 m

Telecommunications: very good international and domestic service; 2.6 million telephones; about 100 radio broadcast stations with 240 AM and 6 FM transmitters; 12 TV stations and 3 repeaters; 8 million radio receivers and 3.6 million TV receivers; 2 INTELSAT ground stations; tropospheric scatter links to Hong Kong and the Philippines available but inactive; submarine cables to Okinawa (Japan), the Philippines, and Guam


Military manpower: males 15-49, 4,875,000; 3,835,000 fit for military service; about 205,000 currently reach military age (19) annually