Well, it depends who you ask whether Taiwan is a country or not. Most of the world will unofficially say it is. It has its own government, issues its own currency, and has its own flag.
Yet, only 23/191 members of the United Nations officially recognizes it. Taiwan has a population of over 23 million, and its sovereignty is disputed, yet Vatican City has less than 900 people and is a sovereign state. Why is that?
China puts a great deal of political pressure on the world to support them in saying that Taiwan is just another province of China. No one wants to make China mad. In fact, China has said they will invade of Taiwan ever tries to officially state its independence. After living in China for 2 years, I can tell you firsthand that it is a very sensitive subject. Chinese people refer to Taiwan as Chinese Taipei.
Modern-day Taiwan, officially known as the Republic of China, began when the communists took over China in 1949. Over 2 million Chinese nationalist fled to Taiwan and began a government there. That’s why the language is Mandarin Chinese, the food is similar to Chinese cuisine, and many aspects of the cultural are identical to mainland China. I’m very interested to see exactly how similar or different these two places are for myself.
So, what makes a country a country? This short video does a good job at explaining it.
Most will agree there are 196 countries in the world, Taiwan included.