Taiwan (ˌtaɪˈwɑːn/ ty-wahn), also known, especially in the past, as Formosa (from Portuguese: Ilha Formosa, “Beautiful Island”), is an island of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China (ROC) following the Chinese Civil War in 1950. The island of Taiwan has the largest population and therefore, the name “Taiwan” has also become the pars pro toto common name for the ROC itself.
Separated from the Asian continent by the 160 km (99 mi) wide Taiwan Strait, the main island of the group is 394 km (245 mi) long and 144 kilometres (89 mi) wide. To the northeast are the main islands of Japan and the East China Sea, and the southern end of the Ryukyu Islands of Japan is directly to the east; the Batanes Islands of the Philippines lie to its south across the Bashi Channel. The mountainous island spans the Tropic of Cancer and is covered by tropical and subtropical vegetation. Other minor islands and islets of the group include the Penghu Islands (Pescadores), Green Island, and Orchid Island, as well as the Diaoyutai Islands (Senkaku islands), which have been controlled by Japan since the 1970s.