Kaohsiung City is a special municipality in Taiwan. Located in southern-western Taiwan and facing the Taiwan Strait, it is by area the largest municipality, at 2,947.62 km2 (1,138.08 sq mi), and second most populous (by urban area) with a population of approximately 2.77 million. Since its start at 17th century, Kaohsiung has grown from a small trading village, into the political, economic, transportation, manufacturing, refining, shipbuilding, and industrial center of southern Taiwan. It is a global city with sufficiency as categorized by Globalization and World Cities Research Network in 2012.
The Kaohsiung International Airport serving the city is the third largest airport in Taiwan. The Port of Kaohsiung is the largest harbor in Taiwan, but not officially part of Kaohsiung City. The southern terminal of the Freeway 1 is in Kaohsiung. For north-south travel on railway, the city is served by the Taiwan Railways Administration stations of TRA Western Line and Pingtung Line. The Taiwan High Speed Rail also provides fast and frequent railway connection to Taipei. The Kaohsiung Mass Rapid Transit, the city's subway system, launched in early 2008. Kaohsiung was the host city of the World Games 2009, a multi-sport event primarily composed of sports not featured in the Olympic Games. The city is also home to the Republic of China Navy fleet headquarters and academy.