Also known as the Republic of China (ROC), Taiwan is officially a non-communist province of China. Although neither Taiwan nor China recognizes the island as an independent country (each considers its government the proper ruler of all China), its present political situation is de facto independent with its own democratic government.
Taiwan is an island southeast of mainland China and north of the Philippines. Formerly known as Formosa, it was occupied by Japan for 50 years, and it still retains a mixture of Japanese and Chinese culture. Most of its cities have followed a path of development similar to Japanese cities.
The three largest cities in Taiwan are Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung City, located in the north, middle, and south respectively. Taipei is the capital and the largest city. Kaohsiung is the second-largest city and Taiwan's largest port (the 3rd largest in the world).