• FlagMapBasic Facts


    Country Name: 

    • conventional long form:  none
    • conventional short form:  Taiwan  

    Location:  Eastern Asia, islands off the southeastern coast of China  

    Population:  22,603,001  

    Ethnic Groups:  Taiwanese (including Hakka) 84%, Mainland Chinese 14%, & Aborigine 2%  

    Languages:  Mandarin Chinese (official), Taiwanese (Min), & Hakka dialects  

    Economy:  Taiwan has a capitalist economy in which its government is gradually decreasing guidance of investment and foreign trade.  Some large government-owned banks and industrial firms are now being privatized. Exports are the primary impetus for industrialization. China has become Taiwan's largest export market.  

    Industries:  electronics, petroleum refining, chemicals, textiles, iron and steel, machinery, cement, food processing  

    Agriculture:  rice, corn, vegetables, fruit, tea; pigs, poultry, beef, milk; fish



    In 1895 China ceded Taiwan to Japan due to military defeat.  After WWII, Taiwan, once again, was under Chinese control.  In 1949, Nationalists fled to Taiwan because of the Communist victory on the mainland.  The Nationalists established a government.  In 2000, Taiwan underwent a peaceful transfer of power from the Nationalist to the Democratic Progressive Party.  During this time, Taiwan prospered. The main political issues focus on the relationship between Taiwan and China-especially the question of eventual unification-as well as domestic political and economic reform.  The current government is defined as a multiparty democratic regime headed by popularly elected president and unicameral legislature.  The president and vice-president are elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a term of four-years. 


    Family Life

    • The Taiwanese family concept includes children, parents, extended family, elders and ancestors.  In a traditional family, age, gender and generation determine the role that each family member plays. 
    • The father is called upon to be the breadwinner and his authority is unquestioned.  His primary duty is to be a good son.  His roles as father and husband are secondary.  Women traditionally identified with their husband's family. Wives were expected to be obedient to both their husbands and mothers-in-law.  Mothers were expected to be the primary care-givers.  *Note:  Women's increased participation in the work force, rapid economic development and western ideas are challenging many traditional Taiwanese practices.
    • Parents use a combination of gentle persuasion and encouragement for discipline.  Showing anger in public is considered a weakness for the Taiwanese. 
    • The family's reputation is very important.  The behavior of each member reflects on the entire family.  It is important not to lose face.
    • Taiwanese are hesitant to seek help outside of the family.  They are uncomfortable to do so because it is a form of weakness.  When differences of opinion occur, family members hide their feelings so that they will not offend others.


    School System

    Currently, the educational structure is based on a "six-three-three-four" system.  The regular system also includes two years of kindergarten for ages four to six; six years of elementary school for ages 6 to 12; three years of junior high school for ages 12 to 15; three years of senior high school for ages 15 to 18; and four years of undergraduate university studies. 

    Students face two main pivotal points in their education careers.  The first occurs after graduating from junior high school.  Entrance exams are required for placement in senior high school, senior vocational school, bilateral high school (both academic and vocational), or five-year junior college.  The second pivotal point occurs upon graduation from high school.  Entrance exams for universities, colleges, and institutes of technology are required.  Due to the high rate of stress experienced by students during these two pivotal times, other methods in addition to testing are being considered:  selection through recommendation, screening examination, and application process name a few.


    Classroom Applications

    • Many Asians have a great respect for learning.  Education is viewed as a means of advancement.  In some groups, the greatest honor a child can bestow upon his or her parents is academic achievement.  Because of this, many Asian parents are very active in their child's learning.  They work diligently with their children at home.


    • Many Asian students are accustomed to authoritarian teachers. The students expect to maintain a proper social distance from their teachers.


    • Many Asian students come from a classroom atmosphere in which the teachers often lecture.  The goal of the teachers is to present information; therefore, time for discussion or encouraging children to participate are not incorporated into their teaching styles.  Therefore, many Asian students consider it rude to volunteer or ask questions in class.


    • Students tend to avoid eye contact with teachers because giving eye contact is a sign of rudeness.


    • Students and their families look upon teachers with great respect.  Some countries revere teachers as much as doctors.

Last Modified on January 4, 2013