The Republic of China (Taiwan) is situated in the West Pacific between Japan and the Philippines. Its jurisdiction extends to the archipelagoes of Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu, as well as numerous other islets. The total area of Taiwan proper and its outlying islands is around 36,197 square kilometers. At about the size of the Netherlands, but with a population of some 23 million, Taiwan is more populous than three-quarters of the world’s nations. Taiwan proper has more than its share of natural splendor.