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|Taiwan is situated between Ryukyu and the Philippines with 35,960 sq. km of area, being slightly larger than Belgium It has roughly a spindle-shaped outline with a longitudinal axis extending in a roughly north-south direction. Geologically, Taiwan is extremely complex in terms of its tectonic setting in the convergence zone between the Asian continent and the Philippine Sea Plate. To the east of Taiwan, the Philippine Sea Plate subducts beneath the Ryukyu island arc, and to the south of Taiwan the Philippine Sea Plate overrides the Asian plate along the Manila Trench. Taiwan, therefore, occupies an unstable region between these two well-defined subduction systems of opposite polarity (see the following block diagram).|