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  • In July 2016, an international tribunal at the Hague categorically rejected China's

  • claims to the South China Sea, ending a 3-year legal battle with the Philippines.

  • This case also affected Taiwan which has its own claims to the highly disputed waters..

  • In a bold effort to reinforce its position, Taiwan sent a warship to the region.

  • And, according to the Taiwanese government, this is just the beginning of it's military

  • advances in the area.

  • So, just how powerful is Taiwan?

  • Well, in terms of its size and population, Taiwan is relatively small.

  • The country is home to roughly 23 million people, considerably less than its populous

  • neighbors, China, Japan and the Philippines.

  • Taiwan is also just under 14 thousand square miles, or slightly larger than the US state

  • of Maryland.

  • But despite its modest size, Taiwan has a considerable impact on the global economy.

  • With a GDP of more than $520 billion dollars, the country's economy is the largest outside

  • the United Nations.

  • Traditionally, Taiwan is heavily reliant on farming.

  • However, after rapid industrialization during the second half of the 20th century, the country

  • shifted its focus to manufactured exports, like electronics and machinery.

  • Today, Taiwan's economy is industrial, capitalist, and extremely export-driven.

  • In fact, the country, alongside the high-income economies of Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore,

  • are known as the "Four Asian Tigers".

  • Taiwan also benefits from its unique economic partnership with China.

  • In 2014, bilateral trade amounted to nearly $200 billion dollars, making China Taiwan's

  • largest trade partner, as well as their primary destination for direct foreign investment.

  • However, many have argued that Taiwan is too dependent on China.

  • And in fact, China's slowing economic growth has already affected the island's somewhat

  • fragile economy.

  • Further complicating the matter, China and Taiwan have been in conflict since the island

  • formed its own government in 1949.

  • China claims that Taiwan is part of their country, and has blocked the island's attempts

  • at independence.

  • Taiwan, on the other hand, prohibits reunification with China without a public referendum and

  • legislative support.

  • What's more, Taiwan lost its seat in the United Nations in 1971, when the UN chose

  • to recognize China instead.

  • Many have argued that looming tensions with China have led Taiwan to build up a robust

  • military.

  • The country boasts nearly 2 million defense personnel, and a defense budget of more than

  • $10 billion dollars.

  • Proportionally, that's about the same as the US - which is famous for prioritizing

  • defense.

  • But despite its standing conflicts and precarious political status, Taiwan is, by most accounts,

  • thriving.

  • Despite a global economic slowdown, the island's economy continues to diversify,

  • and its poverty rate remains one of the lowest in the world.

  • Taiwan also ranks exceptionally high in terms of press freedom, health care and quality

  • of life.

  • So, although the country is often overshadowed by its large, populous neighbors,

  • there's no question that Taiwan is incredibly powerful on its own.

  • To learn more about Taiwan's complicated relationship with China,

  • check out this video.

  • By 1987, Taiwan began allowing residents to visit Mainland China.

  • And both countries established institutions to deal with governmental relations.

  • Thanks for watching SeekerDaily.

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In July 2016, an international tribunal at the Hague categorically rejected China's

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How Powerful Is Taiwan?

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    gotony5614.me97 posted on 2016/08/30
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