The East China Sea lies to the north, the Philippine Sea to the east, the Luzon Strait directly to the south and the South China Sea to the southwest. The island is characterized by the contrast between the eastern two-thirds, consisting mostly of rugged mountains running in five ranges from the northern to the southern tip of the island, and the flat to gently rolling Chianan Plains in the west that are also home to most of Taiwan's population. Moreover, much of its forestry resources, especially firs were harvested during Japanese rule for the construction of shrines and have only recovered slightly since then. To this day, forests do not contribute to significant timber production mainly because of concerns about production costs and environmental regulations.
Camphor extraction and sugarcane refining played an important role in Taiwan's exportation from the late 19th century through the first half of the 20th century. The importance of the above industries subsequently declined not because of the exhaustion of related natural resources but mainly of the decline of international market demands.
Nowadays, few natural resources with significant economic value are retained in Taiwan, which are essentially agriculture-associated. Domestic agriculture (rice being the dominant kind of crop) and fisheries retain importance to a certain degree, but they have been greatly challenged by foreign imports since Taiwan's accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001.
It is the fifth largest after New Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung, and Taipei. It was formerly a provincial city, and in 2010, the provincial city merged with the adjacent Tainan County to form a single direct-controlled municipality. Tainan faces the Taiwan Strait in the west and south. Dutch colonists were defeated by Koxinga in 1661, Tainan was remained as the capital of the Tungning Kingdom until 1683 and afterwards the capital of Taiwan prefecture under the rule of Qing Dynasty until 1887, when the Qing Dynasty established Taipei as the new provincial capital. The city houses the first Confucian school–temple, built in 1665, the remains of the Eastern and Southern gates of the old city, and countless other historical monuments. The early Chinese and Japanese traded with the Sirayan people. They used salt and food to trade for deer hides and dried deer meat. Due to Chinese and Japanese influences, Sirayan gradually changed their culture and lifestyle. They started to use Chinese words in their language, use Japanese tantō in ritual events, and also migrated inland due to the expansion of newcomers. By the time the Europeans arrived, the influence of Chinese and Japanese traders and fishermen had already changed this region of the once-wild coastline.