Taipei (台北) is the largest city in Taiwan and has served as the de facto capital (provisional capital) of the Republic of China (commonly known as "Taiwan") since the Chinese Civil War in 1949. It is situated on the Danshui River, almost at the northern tip of the island, about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean. Another coastal city, Danshui, is about 20 km northwest at the river's mouth on the Taiwan Strait.
Taipei lies in the relatively narrow, bowl-shaped valley of the Danshui and two of its main tributaries, the Keelung River (基隆河) and Xindian River (新店溪). The generally low-lying terrain of the central areas on the western side of the municipality slopes upward to the south and east and especially to the north, where it reaches 1,120 metres (3,675 ft) at Cising Mountain (七星山), which the highest (extinct) volcano in Taiwan in Yangmingshan National Park. The climate is humid subtropical, with hot, muggy, rainy summers and cool, damp winters. Taipei is also the political, economic, and cultural centre of the country.
Taipei City, Taipei County, and Keelung City together form the Taipei metropolitan area but are administered under different local government bodies. Taipei City is a special municipality administered directly under the Executive Yuan, while Taipei County and Keelung City are administered as part of Taiwan Province. "Taipei" sometimes refers to the whole metropolitan area, while "Taipei City" refers to the city proper. Taipei's city government is headed by a mayor who is elected by direct popular vote. A secretary-general assists the mayor.
Taipei is part of a major industrial area. Most of Taiwan's textile factories are here, and other products include electronics, electrical machinery and appliances, wires and cables, and refrigeration equipment. Shipbuilding, including yachts and other pleasure craft, is done in the port of Keelung northeast of the city. Railways, high speed rail, and bus lines connect Taipei with all parts of the island. The city is served by Songshan Airport (for domestic and cross-strait flights) and Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (for international flights and some cross-strait flights).
Taipei was founded in the early 18th century and became an important center for overseas trade in the 19th century. The Japanese acquired Taiwan in 1895 after the First Sino-Japanese War and made Taipei the island's capital. The Republic of China took over the island in 1945 after Japan's defeat in World War II. Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek declared Taipei the provisional capital of the Republic of China in December 1949 after the Kuomintang (KMT) was defeated by the Communists during the Chinese Civil War. The KMT retreated to Taiwan and the jurisdiction of the Republic of China was limited to Taiwan while the Communist Party founded the People's Republic of China in mainland China.
Visit Wikipedia for more information about Taipei, Taiwan.