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September 2016



Typhoon Malakas hovers off the Northeast coast of Taiwan mere days after Typhoon Meranti struck the island. Meranti was the region's most powerful storm since Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. Typhoon Malakas is expected to only strike the far north end of the island.

First inhabited by Austronesian people, Taiwan became home to Han immigrants beginning in the late Ming Dynasty (17th century). In 1895, Japan governed Taiwan for 50 years. Taiwan came under Chinese Nationalist control after World War II. The Nationalist government established authoritarian rule under martial law in 1948. Beginning in the late 1970s, the ruling authorities gradually democratized and incorporated the local population within the governing structure. This process expanded rapidly in the 1980s, with the founding of the first opposition party (the Democratic Progressive Party or DPP) in 1986 and the lifting of martial law in 1987.

Taiwan held its first direct presidential election in 1996. In 2000, Taiwan underwent its first peaceful transfer of power from the Nationalist Party (Kuomintang or KMT) to the DPP. Throughout this period, the island prospered and became one of East Asia's economic "Tigers." Taiwan has a dynamic capitalist economy with gradually decreasing government control on investment and foreign trade. Exports, led by electronics, machinery, and petrochemicals have provided the primary impetus for economic development.

Taiwan's terrain is mostly rugged mountains with flat to gently rolling plains in the west. Its climate is marine, with a rainy season from June to August. The natural resources of the island include: coal, natural gas, limeston, marble, and asbestos.

If you would like to learn more about typhoons and view local warning maps, visit the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

CIA World Factbook; Joint Typhoon Warning Center, 8/2016 ; 9/2016

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