Taiwan is an island in East Asia. "Taiwan" is also commonly used to
refer to the territories governed by the Republic of China (ROC)
and to ROC itself, which governs the island of Taiwan, Orchid
Island and Green Island in the Pacific off the Taiwan coast, the
Pescadores in the Taiwan Strait, and Kinmen and the Matsu Islands
off the coast of mainland Fujian.
The island groups of Taiwan and Penghu (except the municipalities
of Taipei and Kaohsiung) are officially administered as Taiwan
Province of the ROC. However, in practice, almost all government
power is exercised at the national and local (city/county) levels.
Taiwan is also currently claimed by the People's Republic of China
(PRC) as a PRC province, though the government of the PRC has never
controlled Taiwan island or any of the current ROC territory
commonly referred to as "Taiwan".
The main island of Taiwan, also known as Formosa, is located in
East Asia off the coast of mainland China, southwest of the main
islands of Japan but directly west of the end of Japan's Ryukyu
Islands, and north-northwest of the Philippines. It is bound to the
east by the Pacific Ocean, to the south by the South China Sea and
the Luzon Strait, to the west by the Taiwan Strait and to the north
by the East China Sea. The island is 394 kilometers long and 144
kilometers wide and consists of steep mountains covered by tropical
and subtropical vegetation.