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The Republic of China (ROC) is popularly known as “Taiwan” because the land over which the ROC government exercises sovereignty encompasses the island of Taiwan, situated in the West Pacific between Japan and the Philippines. In addition, it comprises a number of smaller islands, most notably the archipelagoes of Penghu (the Pescadores), Kinmen and Matsu.

 The climate of Taiwan is oceanic influenced by sub tropical monsoon. The summer season in Taiwan lasts from the month of May till September and the winter season ushers in from December till February. Taiwan is at high risk for disasters with typhoons, floods and earthquakes frequently impacting the country. Typhoon Morakot last summer caused the most serious devastation in five decades.
Taiwan has many ethnic groups. There are more than 490,000 indigenous people in Taiwan, about 2% of the total population. Currently, 14 tribes have been recognized by the government. They are the Amis, Atayal, Paiwan, Bunun, Puyuma, Rukai, Tsou, Saisiyat, Yami, Thao, Kavalan, Truku, Sakizaya, and Sediq, each with their own distinct language, cultural features, traditional customs and social structure.
In Taiwan less than 1 percent of the population is considered poor or belonging to the low-income bracket but poverty gap in Taiwan has become larger for past the decade. Although Taiwan government has provided social welfare programs for low income families, school tuition remains a heavy burden for low income families, and in some cases middle class families. The recent global financial downturn has also deeply affected employment levels for families already enduring economic hardship.