Taiwan－Where Mountains Meet Sea
High mountains capture essences of heaven and earth,
the great ocean welcomes a hundred mighty rivers.
OS: In the western Pacific, off the eastern edge of the Asian continent, lies a beautiful island surrounded by blue waters. It has an area of 36,000 sq. km and a subtropical climate. With average annual temperatures of 20 to 25 degrees Celsius, it enjoys ample precipitation and warm weather.
The people of this island number 23 million. They are hard-working, warm and hospitable.
OS: Thanks to joint efforts of the government and the people, average per capita income now exceeds US$16,000. Not only is this country an important trading nation, but it is also a major source of international investment.
The country we are speaking of is the Republic of China (Taiwan).
OS: With its accession to the World Trade Organization in 2002, Taiwan gained a level playing field in trade with other nations, consolidating its role as an active part of the global economy, while forging closer relations with other nations.
OS: In the 1980s, the people's pursuit of freedom, democracy and human rights led to major political reforms.
OS: Martial law was lifted in 1987. Two years later, barriers to forming new political parties were removed, putting the ROC on the track toward multiparty politics.
In 1992, a new Legislature was elected, and in 1996, Taiwan's democracy advanced further when voters went to the polls for the nation's first direct election of the president and vice president. The spirit of rule by the people had been realized.
OS: One vibrant celebration after another ensures a festive mood in Taiwan throughout the year. These festivals offer firsthand experiences of a cultural flair and a philosophy of life that are unique to Taiwan.
OS: Taiwan's cuisine makes the mouth water. From local snacks and delicacies to international haute cuisine, every taste is catered to.
OS: Religions coexist in harmony in the ROC, and every individual enjoys complete religious freedom. The rich variety of practices and beliefs adds color to the lives of the people.
OS: A string of large-scale infrastructure projects have been completed that connect the entire island. The high-speed rail and Taipei-Ilan expressway, for example, have cut travel times dramatically. Such projects raise the quality of life on Taiwan and help promote the island as an international tourist destination.
OS: When Portuguese sailors saw the shores of Taiwan 400 years ago, they exclaimed with delight, "Ilha Formosa!" or "beautiful island." Today, Taiwan is a paradise for ecologists. With its varied topography of high-, mid- and low-altitude terrain, Taiwan is blessed with scenic beauty and a great diversity of flora and fauna.
Legislation has been passed to ensure wildlife protection and ecological preservation, and Taiwan now has seven national parks and 13 national scenic areas.
Visitors to Taiwan can experience the beauty of lush mountain forests by taking a ride on Mt. Ali's alpine railway, one of only three in the world. Or they can put on a pair of hiking boots and take in the staggering views from the top of Mt. Jade, Northeast Asia's highest peak. Taiwan's renowned Sun Moon Lake offers natural beauty guaranteed to ease the burdened spirit.
OS: The people of Taiwan feel the hunger and suffering of others as their own. The ROC is an active participant in international organizations and abides by international agreements. It also devotes resources to humanitarian and relief efforts, and has been lauded for these contributions to the international community.
OS: In Taiwan, we believe that regional peace and prosperity are vital for the stability of the world at large. We, therefore, participate widely in regional development initiatives in the Asia-Pacific to build a more free, democratic, peaceful and prosperous community.
OS: The people of Taiwan are warm, friendly, and full of vitality. Having reaped the benefits of universal education, economic prosperity, and a free and democratic way of life, they look to the future with confidence and hope. In working to bring about sustainable development, everything we do is to serve the people: we strive to nurture the individual and raise the quality of life for the entire nation.
OS: So long as there are mountains to climb and seas to sail, we will keep pursuing our dreams, as we share Taiwan's bounty of treasures with the rest of the world.
OS: The people of Taiwan welcome you to their beautiful island.
Welcome to Taiwan!