Taiwan - one of the most underrated countries in the world. Claimed by China in entirety as a "province", Taiwan is proudly democratic and considers itself an independent and sovereign nation. Considered an electronic hub, famous Taiwanese brands include Acer, Asus, HTC, Foxconn and AU Optronics. Taiwan is also home to Evergreen, a worldwide logistics and shipping company; EVA Airlines which operates the world's only Hello Kitty airplanes and is ranked in the top 10 airlines in the world; Giant Bicycles, the world's largest manufacturer of bicycles; upstart whiskey brand Kavalan, recently crowned the world's best whiskey; and Oscar-winning film director Ang Lee, he of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame, who originally hails from Taiwan.
Taiwan is the 20th largest economy in the world with a higher GDP per capita than Japan or Great Britain. Yet due to China's continual obstruction, Taiwan is referred to as the "international orphan" as it is the only developed economy in the world that is not a member of the UN and is barred from many international organisations such as Interpol, WHO, World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. It is also forced to participate at the Olympics under the moniker "Chinese Taipei" and has diplomatic ties with only 21 countries in the world - of which the Vatican is the most important.
China's unrelenting claims to democratic Taiwan has resulted in the Taiwan Straits being regarded as one of the world's most dangerous flashpoints.