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Essay/Term paper: Taiwan

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Geography

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Taiwan is an island located about 100 miles from China. It

was originally part of China. But in 1949, the communists

seized Mainland China forcing the nationalists to retreat to

Taiwan. From then on, Taiwan is also known as Free

China. The leaders of Republic of China, (Free China)

hoped someday that the communists will be driven out of

China. Therefore, they start to build Taiwan as a military

base for such purpose. However, their dreams were never

accomplished, instead, their efforts turned Taiwan into a

economic powerful country. This is also known as the

Taiwan Miracle. There is another interesting information

about Taiwan's name. Despite Free China, Taiwan also has

two other names, "Taiwan" (the one we call it) and

"Formosa". Let's talk about "Taiwan" first. "Taiwan" means

"terraced bay" to the mountain tribal people who originally

lives in Taiwan. When the immigrants from China migrated

to this island 3 hundreds years ago, they kept hearing the

tribal people calling (the place where the Chinese landed)

"Taiwan". Therefore, they assumed that the island is

"Taiwan". Formosa, on the other hand, was called by the

Portuguese sailors in the 1600s. It means "beautiful island".

Therefore, there are still people referring Taiwan as

Formosa when they try to beautify Taiwan today. Taiwan is

a sub-tropical country that that is warm most of the year.

The Tropic of Cancer passes through Taiwan in the

southern part. Therefore, snow is unusual to most the

Taiwanese here. But there are some places up in the high

mountains that do get cold enough to snow. Because the

land is hot and humid, it is the best for growing rice and

other farm products. The farmers in north can grow two

crops of rice a year in the north and three crops a year in

the south. There are mostly mountains in the north part of

Taiwan while plate farmland in the south. The government

of the Republic of China has some similarities to the

government of the United States. The government is based

on a Constitution and there is a President and Vice

President. ROC has a National Assembly instead of a

Congress and there are five branches of the government,

legislative, executive, judicial, examination, and control.

There are three major political parties and some other

lesser known ones. The best party that control many

resources of the country is the KMT, (Kuomintang), also

known as the Nationalists. The second best party is DPP,

(Democratic Progressive Party). And New Party. Well,

from here I have to tell you that I am a partisan of New

Party and I will interprete the three parties in MY WAY.

Alright, let me give you detailed descriptions of the three

parties. KMT is the oldest party in Chinese history.

However, over the past 80 years, the whole party has turn

from energetic and benevolent to decandent. However,

such corruption was not the sole problem of KMT. The

biggest trouble this party is facing is the infiltration of the

independence idea. Because of President Lee, who is a

total hypocratical Japanese renegade, he tries to lead KMT

into an authoritarian that secretly seek the independence of

Taiwan. Therefore please note President Lee's decieteful

actions and not to be fooled by the media that support him.

Beside KMT, the second most important political party is

the DPP. DPP is a party that is known for seeking of the

independence of Taiwan. They think that only with the total

separation with China would benefit Taiwan. They are the

ideal radical leftists. However, because they are too

idealistic, these partisans often use extreme and violent

ways to accomplish they goals or to express their feelings.

As a result, they are also known for their anti-government

and belligerent behaviors. The last party which is also the

party that I personally support, is the New Party. New

Party is a pretty "new" party. it was formed, I believe, only

5 years ago by only 7 members of the KMT legislators.

The reason that they form such party is because their ideals

to reform the Taiwan government. 5 years ago, ROC

government was controled by weak and corrputive KMT

officials (so is now) that the anarchist DPP members

disturb the domestic tranquility. They thought there is a

need to restore the proper social order and long lost

Chinese culture. Unlike the KMT and DPP, New Party do

not think that "Money" has to go with "Power" and anything

has to go the "hard way", so they are peaceful fighters

against the corruption and the violence in society. At that

time, all the political critics believed that this party will not

survive under the domination of KMT and DPP. However,

over 5 years their support has raised from 5 percents to

now 20 percent and is still steadyly growing. As people like

me (well educated middle class) support this party, I

believe Taiwan will be a better country. Taiwan is a

crowded island. Imagin 21 million people living on an island

that's only 36,000 square km, including all the mountains

and unlivable areas. If you do some serious calculations,

you would find out that in some big cities like Taipei, the

density of population averages over 1500 persons per

square km! Therefore, if you travel on Taiwan, you will

usually see people. Sometimes, even if you climb a

mountain or hike far into the woods, you will still find a little

farm village hidden in the jungle, or students on a picnic, or

soldiers on maneuvers. There are three major groups that

live on the island of Taiwan. The first group is the Chinese

that migrated to Taiwan 400 years ago to avoid the chaos

and war in China. These people have their own dialect

(Taiwanese) and customs. However, although they

consider themselves as Taiwanese, they are still Chinese.

The second largest group living in Taiwan is the

Mainlanders that came over 40 years ago when the

Nationalists fought the Communists. Because these people

are often well educated and sometimes wealthy (despite the

soldiers that came along), they efforts helped to shape the

present country. The last group is the aborigines who have

been living in Taiwan for more than thunsands of years.

These people are like the Indians in American who face

considerable problems. These three groups were living in

harmony few decades ago. However, the DPP has been

trying to emphasize that the Mainlanders are not truely

Taiwanese but Chinese Pigs. You see, they believe

Taiwanese are NOT Chinese (this most frustrates me!) .

They declare that once Taiwan is independent they will

kick all the Chinese Pigs out. The problem is that there are

people like me who is half Taiwanese and half Chinese

Pig... Taiwanese are friendly and nice people. Most people

who do not know about Taiwanese may think that they are

just like those poor third world country people who have

low education rate, and abuse the natural environment.

Well, I am here to prove that Taiwanese are very kind and

considerate. If you ever come to Taiwan, you will find that

Taiwanese provides the foreigners with extra help and care.

If you go to a grocery store without knowing even a

Chinese word, you will find that the Chinese in the store,

even the other customers will all be your aid to find the

things you want to buy. Sometimes you will even get a

discount. That's why there are more westerners coming to

Taiwan for jobs now, or for vacation. Also, there are far

less mental illness, alcoholism, social disturbances, and

violent crimes in Taiwan compare to elsewhere. Religions in

Taiwan Most Chinese on Taiwan are Buddhists. Buddhist

temples, shrines, and statues are found all over Taiwan; in

Changhua, there is a 72-foot high statue of Buddha, and in

Taichung there is an even taller statue of Milwofwo, the

Happy Buddha. The oldest and best-known BUddhist

temple in Taipei is Lungshan Temple, which is about 250

years old. "Lung-Shan" means Dragon Hill; the temple is

always busy with worshippers and toursists. Chinese

usually do not go to a group service, but rather go to the

temple individually when they have a desire to do so. In

Chinese temples, you will see statues and statuettes of

other gods, goddesses and saints, and you will be

impressed bye the elaborate roof carvings of animals and

human figures. You will see incense being burned and

paper money and food offerings being made for the gods.

In addition to Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism are

also important philosophies of Taiwan. Chinese are very

tolerant about religion, and they see no difficulty in

considering themselves to be Buddhist, Confucianist,

Taoist, and even Christian, all at the same time! Other

Chinese don't concern themselves too much with any

religion. Generally, it is important for Chinese to pay

respect to older people. Children must respect parents;

wives must respect husbands; brothers and sisters must

respect each other. This practice is called filial piety, and is

part of the philosophy of Confucius, plus a blend of

Buddhism, Taoism, and five thousand years of Chinese

thought. Weddings Weddings in Taiwan are increasingly

similar to those in western countries. Chinese brides now

wear the same kind of wedding gown as the Americans,

but the traditional color of red is still very apparent at

Chinese weddings. Many Chinese wait until they are almost

30 years old before getting married. The man often will

postpone marriage until they have completed their

schooling, their military service, and are more sure of

having a secure job. Funerals Funerals in Taiwan may seem

odd to the westerners. For on thing, white, not black, is the

color that is often seen at funerals. Also, some Taiwanese

perfere to invite a lot of people to come to the funeral, so

the family might sometimes pay people to attend even

though they do not know the man who died. Fortunately,

these cases occur less than before. Part of the funeral

ceremony includes the burning of paper money and

otherpaper objects, in the belief that the smoke will carry

the real object up to heaven for the dead person to use.

Families usually burn huge paper house, paper mercedes,

paper servants, paper appliances for their loved ones.  

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