Taiwan, an exporter to the world and Asia's fifth-largest economy, has established an under-the-radar track record as a purveyor of things both technological and cultural.
Even before President-elect Donald Trump sparked a diplomatic kerfuffle by speaking directly with the country's independence-minded leader—thus incurring the ire of Beijing, which sees the country as part of China—Taiwan has been a source of considerable international attention.
An economic powerhouse that ships more than $300 billion annually in exports, the self-governed island is ranked as the 15th-most competitive economy on the planet by the World Economic Forum, higher than mainland China and several larger G-20 countries.
Taiwan's fortunes are so closely linked to the global technology sector that the semiconductors Apple uses for its iPhone recently helped boost the country's exports to their best levels in more than a year.
The emphasis on tech, and its tight economic links to virtually all of Asia's largest economies and the U.S., allows the country to punch well above its weight globally, but overshadows its other accomplishments.
"Taiwan is a very big player in high tech area ... people may not realize that [at least] 85 percent of laptops sold in the whole world are made by Taiwanese companies" with various big brands, Francis Kuo-Hsin Liang, chairman of the Taiwan External Trade Development Council, explained to CNBC in a recent interview.
"Although it's a relatively small country ... Taiwan is an ideal test bed for many high tech industries to test [their] products and business model ... and transport them to China and other developing countries," said Liang, on a recent trip to New York City.
Yet the country, which is often overshadowed by larger regional economies, has made other noteworthy contributions to the world that have attracted little fanfare or credit. With that in mind, CNBC compiled a list of areas in which Taiwan has made an impact.