Taiwan exists under the shadow of its giant neighbor, China. In the eyes of China, Taiwan is a rebel province that will one day be reunited with the mainland—whether peacefully or by force. But in practice, Taiwan is politically, economically and socially independent.
Taiwan is a wealthy, technologically advanced urban society with an affluent and cosmopolitan middle-class. Taiwan’s crowded cities are as modern as those anywhere in the world. Most Taiwanese people have clear goals in life: Work hard. Get rich.
On the surface, Taiwan looks both modern and westernized. However, traditional values and religions continue to exert a powerful hold over old and young alike.
The majority of Taiwan’s people can be considered working class. They are laborers, drivers, shop-workers, farmers, hairdressers and small-business owners. Although they may not be outwardly poor, they tend to be less educated and are often plagued by family and social problems. Taiwan has one of the highest divorce rates in Asia.
Most Taiwanese people have clear goals in life: Work hard. Get rich.