Spoken Regional : Taiwanese Minnan.Taiwan is located off the coast of southwest of Okinawa, Japan and north of the Philippines. The island has been governed by the Republic of China (ROC) since 1945. Shaped roughly like a sweet potato, the island nation has more than 23 million people and is one of the most densely populated places in the world. Besides its crowded cities, Taiwan is also known for steep mountains and lush forests. ROC also has de facto control over two provinces: Taiwan (consisting of the island itself and the tiny Pescadores (Penghu)), and Fujian (Quemoy (Kinmen/Jinmen), and Matsu islands), which are often referred to as outlying islands by the Taiwanese.While the political status of Taiwan is a somewhat controversial and sensitive issue, from a traveller's point of view, Taiwan is under the de facto control of a different government from mainland China, and in practice operates as a separate state. This is not a political endorsement of the claims of any side of the dispute.