The Taiwan arc-continent collision involves four geodynamic processes: Intra-oceanic subduction; initial arc-continent collision; advanced arc-continent collision; and arc collapse/subduction. These processes now occur simultaneously in 19-24°30'N but have operated sequentially southward since the Late Miocene. Although the geological and geophysical features appear to change progressively from north to south across the island, they are distinct within individual tectonic regimes. Using the present scenario as a basis for comparison, it is suggested that Timor is at the initial arc-continent collision stage, while Papua New Guinea and Urals proceeded to the advanced arc-continent collision stage. However, Corsica represents an even more advanced stage than in Taiwan, where a previously accreted arc has collapsed and been totally removed. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.