Taiwan, located less than 115 miles (185 km) off the southeast coast of China, has been known to the Chinese since the 7th century A.D. Although the island was claimed and occupied by European colonist in the 17th century, they were expelled as a result of the Manchu invasion and subsequently the fall of the Ming dynasty.
Today Taiwan’s population of more than 21.5 million inhabitants occupy less than 14,000 square miles, approximately the size of West Virginia. The vast majority (18 million) are "native" Taiwanese, descended from 18th and 19th century Chinese emigrants. Taiwan's culture reflects a blend of distinctive Chinese heritage and Western influences, due in part, to Taiwan’s tremendous prosperity and continual development as a major international trading post.
The red dots on the map on the right side of the screen depict earthquake sites.
U.S. State Department Background Notes, Merriam-Webster Geographical Dictionary, Third Edition, 8/1999