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Republic of China

Republic of China

Overview
The Republic of China (ROC), commonly known as Taiwan (see below), is a unitary
Unitary state
A unitary state is a state governed as one single unit in which the central government is supreme and any administrative divisions exercise only powers that their central government chooses to delegate...

 sovereign state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 located in East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

. Originally based in mainland China
Mainland China
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China . According to the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and...

, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 (Formosa), which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen
Kinmen
Kinmen , also known as Quemoy , is a small archipelago of several islands administered by the Republic of China : Greater Kinmen, Lesser Kinmen, and some islets. Administratively, it is Kinmen County of Fujian Province, ROC. The county is claimed by the People's Republic of China as part of its...

, Matsu
Matsu Islands
The Matsu Islands are a minor archipelago of 19 islands and islets in the Taiwan Strait administered as Lienchiang County , Fujian Province of the Republic of China . Only a small area of what is historically Lienchiang County is under the control of the ROC...

 and other minor islands. Neighboring states include the People's Republic of China (PRC)
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 to the west, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 to the east and northeast, and the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 to the south.
Discussion
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Timeline

1644   The Qing Dynasty Manchu forces led by the Shunzhi Emperor capture Beijing during the collapse of the Ming Dynasty. The Manchus would rule China until 1912 when the Republic of China is established.

1911   The Wuchang Uprising leads to the demise of Qing Dynasty, the last Imperial court in China, and the founding of the Republic of China.

1911   Sun Yat-sen becomes the provisional President of the Republic of China; he formally takes office on January 1, 1912.

1912   The Republic of China is established.

1912   The Republic of China adopts the Gregorian calendar.

1914   The Republic of China joins the Universal Postal Union.

1915   Japan issues the "Twenty-One Demands" to the Republic of China in a bid to increase its power in East Asia.

1915   President of the Republic of China, Yuan Shikai announces his intention to reinstate the monarchy and proclaim himself Emperor of China.

1916   The last Emperor of China, Yuan Shikai, abdicates the throne and the Republic of China is restored.

1922   A typhoon hits Shantou, Republic of China killing more than 50,000 people.

 
Encyclopedia
The Republic of China (ROC), commonly known as Taiwan (see below), is a unitary
Unitary state
A unitary state is a state governed as one single unit in which the central government is supreme and any administrative divisions exercise only powers that their central government chooses to delegate...

 sovereign state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 located in East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

. Originally based in mainland China
Mainland China
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China . According to the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and...

, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 (Formosa), which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen
Kinmen
Kinmen , also known as Quemoy , is a small archipelago of several islands administered by the Republic of China : Greater Kinmen, Lesser Kinmen, and some islets. Administratively, it is Kinmen County of Fujian Province, ROC. The county is claimed by the People's Republic of China as part of its...

, Matsu
Matsu Islands
The Matsu Islands are a minor archipelago of 19 islands and islets in the Taiwan Strait administered as Lienchiang County , Fujian Province of the Republic of China . Only a small area of what is historically Lienchiang County is under the control of the ROC...

 and other minor islands. Neighboring states include the People's Republic of China (PRC)
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 to the west, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 to the east and northeast, and the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 to the south. Its capital city is Taipei
Taipei
Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

.

The Republic of China, established in mainland China
Mainland China
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China . According to the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and...

 in 1912, governed most of mainland China (without Taiwan, which was under Japanese rule
Taiwan under Japanese rule
Between 1895 and 1945, Taiwan was a dependency of the Empire of Japan. The expansion into Taiwan was a part of Imperial Japan's general policy of southward expansion during the late 19th century....

), then received Taiwan and associated islands from the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 under terms of surrender
Surrender of Japan
The surrender of Japan in 1945 brought hostilities of World War II to a close. By the end of July 1945, the Imperial Japanese Navy was incapable of conducting operations and an Allied invasion of Japan was imminent...

 at the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 in late 1945, when both mainland China and Taiwan came under ROC rule for four years until 1949. However, the ROC lost its mainland territory in the Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War
The Chinese Civil War was a civil war fought between the Kuomintang , the governing party of the Republic of China, and the Communist Party of China , for the control of China which eventually led to China's division into two Chinas, Republic of China and People's Republic of...

 to the rebel Chinese Communist Party forces who founded People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 (PRC) on that territory in 1949, and relocated its government to the island of Taiwan, which composes most of its current territory. Therefore the country is now commonly called "Taiwan".

The ROC government officially claims to represent all of "China
China (disambiguation)
China, officially the People's Republic of China, is a large country in Asia.China may also refer to:-East Asia:* Republic of China, the country commonly known as "Taiwan"...

" (in a definition including Taiwan) via its constitution
Constitution of the Republic of China
The Constitution of the Republic of China is the fundamental law of the Republic of China . Drafted by the Kuomintang as part of its third stage of national development , it established a centralized Republic with five branches of government...

, but, in practice, has ceased to actively pursue this stance since 1992. However, the People's Republic of China (PRC), commonly known simply as "China", also officially claim the same territory. The PRC actively pursues this claim, including Taiwan.
Due to the PRC's insistance on this claim, and the fact that no peace treaty
Peace treaty
A peace treaty is an agreement between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or governments, that formally ends a state of war between the parties...

 has ever been signed between the two countries
Two Chinas
The term Two Chinas refers to the two states with "China" in their official names: People's Republic of China , commonly known as "China", established in 1949, controlling mainland China and two special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau...

 to formally end the Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War
The Chinese Civil War was a civil war fought between the Kuomintang , the governing party of the Republic of China, and the Communist Party of China , for the control of China which eventually led to China's division into two Chinas, Republic of China and People's Republic of...

, the PRC claims to reserve the "right" to attack the ROC/Taiwan any time, particularly if the ROC declares formal independence
Taiwan independence
Taiwan independence is a political movement whose goals are primarily to formally establish the Republic of Taiwan by renaming or replacing the Republic of China , form a Taiwanese national identity, reject unification and One country, two systems with the People's Republic of China and a Chinese...

 as Republic of Taiwan. This ongoing dispute over the claim to be the legitimate government of "China" and who has sovereignty
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

 over Taiwan is a lingering issue from the unresolved civil war and forms part of the complex political status of Taiwan
Political status of Taiwan
The controversy regarding the political status of Taiwan hinges on whether Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu should remain effectively independent as territory of the Republic of China , become unified with the territories now governed by the People's Republic of China , or formally declare...

.

The issue over the future of the country, whether to maintain the status quo
Status quo
Statu quo, a commonly used form of the original Latin "statu quo" – literally "the state in which" – is a Latin term meaning the current or existing state of affairs. To maintain the status quo is to keep the things the way they presently are...

, unify with mainland China
Chinese reunification
Chinese reunification refers to the bringing together of all of the territories controlled by the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China under a single political entity...

, or declare formal independence
Taiwan independence
Taiwan independence is a political movement whose goals are primarily to formally establish the Republic of Taiwan by renaming or replacing the Republic of China , form a Taiwanese national identity, reject unification and One country, two systems with the People's Republic of China and a Chinese...

, and how to relate to China
Cross-Strait relations
Cross-Strait relations refers to the relations between People's Republic of China and the Republic of China , which lie to the west and east, repectively, of the Taiwan Strait in the west Pacific Ocean....

 to avoid war and improve Taiwan's economy divides the ROC's populace and is a polarizing political subject that many citizens avoid discussing among acquaintances and even friends. It is also is a key reason for Taiwanese citizen's identity crisis
Taiwan's identity crisis
The definition of Taiwanese identity has been an ongoing issue for several decades arising from the political rivalry between the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China . Taiwanese are frustrated by the political rivalry which is the cause of confusion both inside and outside...

 of whether to identify themselves as "Chinese" or "Taiwanese". The differences in stance on this subject is the key basis for the positions of political parties in the ROC, divided into the two main camps: Pan-Blue
Pan-Blue Coalition
The Pan-Blue Coalition 泛藍聯盟 or Pan-Blue Force is a political alliance in the Republic of China , consisting of the Kuomintang , the People First Party , and the New Party . The name comes from the party colours of the Kuomintang...

 and Pan-Green
Pan-Green Coalition
The Pan-Green Coalition or Pan-Green Camp, is an informal political alliance of the Republic of China, commonly known as "Taiwan", consisting of the Democratic Progressive Party , Taiwan Solidarity Union , and the minor Taiwan Independence Party...

 camps.

The Republic of China is a thriving multi-party democracy
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

 that has a presidential system
Presidential system
A presidential system is a system of government where an executive branch exists and presides separately from the legislature, to which it is not responsible and which cannot, in normal circumstances, dismiss it....

 and universal suffrage
Universal suffrage
Universal suffrage consists of the extension of the right to vote to adult citizens as a whole, though it may also mean extending said right to minors and non-citizens...

. It experienced rapid economic growth, industrialization, and democratization during the latter half of the twentieth century. Despite of its controversial political status, the ROC is an industrialized advanced economy. It is one of the Four Asian Tigers and a member of the WTO
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

 and APEC
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation is a forum for 21 Pacific Rim countries that seeks to promote free trade and economic cooperation throughout the Asia-Pacific region...

. The 19th-largest economy in the world, its advanced technology industry plays a key role in the global economy. The ROC is ranked highly in terms of freedom of the press, health care, public education, economic freedom, and human development.

Names



The official name of the state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 is "Republic of China"; it has also been known under various names throughout its existence. Shortly after the ROC's establishment in 1912, while it was still located on the Asian mainland, the government used the abbreviation "China" ("Zhongguó") to refer to itself, for instance during the Olympic Games or at the United Nations. During the 1950s and 1960s, it was common to refer to it as "Nationalist China" to differentiate it from "Communist China" (or "Red China"). The ROC also called itself "Free China" in an attempt to portray the PRC as an illegitimate government. At the UN, it was present under the name "China" until it lost its seat to the People's Republic of China in 1971. Since then, the name "China" has been commonly used internationally
International community
The international community is a term used in international relations to refer to all peoples, cultures and governments of the world or to a group of them. The term is used to imply the existence of common duties and obligations between them...

 to refer only to the People's Republic of China, except in countries that diplomatically recognize
Diplomatic recognition
Diplomatic recognition in international law is a unilateral political act with domestic and international legal consequences, whereby a state acknowledges an act or status of another state or government in control of a state...

 Republic of China and thus refer to the ROC as "China".
Over subsequent decades, the Republic of China has become commonly known as "Taiwan", due to the fact that Taiwan, the island, composes most of its territory. It is also often informally referred to as the "State of Taiwan", in particular in countries where the ROC is not officially recognized. The Republic of China participates in most international forums and organizations under the name "Chinese Taipei
Chinese Taipei
Chinese Taipei is the designated name used by the Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan, to participate in some international organizations and almost all sporting events, such as the Olympics, Paralympics, Asian Games and Asian Para Games...

" due to diplomatic pressure from the PRC. For instance, it is the name under which it has competed at the Olympic Games since 1979, and its name as an observer at the World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

. Additionally, the PRC refers to Taiwan as "Taiwan, China
Taiwan, China
"Taiwan, China" or "Taiwan, Province of China" is a set of politically controversial and potentially ambiguous terms that characterize Taiwan and its associated territories as a province or territory of "China"...

" in pursuit of its claim that it is under the sovereignty
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

 of the PRC.

History


The Republic of China was formally established on 1 January 1912 on mainland China
Mainland China
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China . According to the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and...

 following the Xinhai Revolution
Xinhai Revolution
The Xinhai Revolution or Hsinhai Revolution, also known as Revolution of 1911 or the Chinese Revolution, was a revolution that overthrew China's last imperial dynasty, the Qing , and established the Republic of China...

 which itself began with the Wuchang Uprising
Wuchang Uprising
The Wuchang Uprising began with the dissatisfaction of the handling of a railway crisis. The crisis then escalated to an uprising where the revolutionaries went up against Qing government officials. The uprising was then assisted by the New Army in a coup against their own authorities in the city...

 on 10 October 1911, and replaced the Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 and ended over two thousand years of imperial rule
Dynasties in Chinese history
The following is a chronology of the dynasties in Chinese history.Chinese history is not as neat as is often described and it was rare for one dynasty to change peacefully into the next. Dynasties were often established before the overthrow of an existing regime, or continued for a time after they...

 in China. It is the oldest surviving republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

 in East Asia. The Republic of China on mainland China went through periods of warlordism
Warlord era
The Chinese Warlord Era was the period in the history of the Republic of China, from 1916 to 1928, when the country was divided among military cliques, a division that continued until the fall of the Nationalist government in the mainland China regions of Sichuan, Shanxi, Qinghai, Ningxia,...

, Japanese invasion
Second Sino-Japanese War
The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. From 1937 to 1941, China fought Japan with some economic help from Germany , the Soviet Union and the United States...

, and civil war
Chinese Civil War
The Chinese Civil War was a civil war fought between the Kuomintang , the governing party of the Republic of China, and the Communist Party of China , for the control of China which eventually led to China's division into two Chinas, Republic of China and People's Republic of...

 between the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

-led Central Government
Government of the Republic of China
The Republic of China was formally established by Dr. Sun Yat-sen in 1912 in Nanjing under the Provisional Constitution of the Republic of China but this government was moved to Beijing in the same year and continued as the internationally recognized government of China until 1928. In the history...

 and the Communists. From its founding until 1949 it was based in mainland China. Central authority waxed and waned in response to warlordism
Warlord era
The Chinese Warlord Era was the period in the history of the Republic of China, from 1916 to 1928, when the country was divided among military cliques, a division that continued until the fall of the Nationalist government in the mainland China regions of Sichuan, Shanxi, Qinghai, Ningxia,...

 (1915–28), Japanese invasion
Second Sino-Japanese War
The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. From 1937 to 1941, China fought Japan with some economic help from Germany , the Soviet Union and the United States...

 (1937–45), and the Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War
The Chinese Civil War was a civil war fought between the Kuomintang , the governing party of the Republic of China, and the Communist Party of China , for the control of China which eventually led to China's division into two Chinas, Republic of China and People's Republic of...

 (1927–49), with central authority strongest during the Nanking Decade (1927–37) when most of China came under the control of the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 (KMT). At the end of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 in 1945, the Empire of Japan
Empire of Japan
The Empire of Japan is the name of the state of Japan that existed from the Meiji Restoration on 3 January 1868 to the enactment of the post-World War II Constitution of...

 surrendered control of Taiwan and its island groups to the Allied Forces, and Taiwan was placed under Republic of China's administrative control. The legitamacy of this transfer is disputed and is another aspect of the disputed political status of Taiwan
Political status of Taiwan
The controversy regarding the political status of Taiwan hinges on whether Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, and Matsu should remain effectively independent as territory of the Republic of China , become unified with the territories now governed by the People's Republic of China , or formally declare...

.

The communist takeover of mainland China in the Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War
The Chinese Civil War was a civil war fought between the Kuomintang , the governing party of the Republic of China, and the Communist Party of China , for the control of China which eventually led to China's division into two Chinas, Republic of China and People's Republic of...

 in 1949 and later Hainan, Tachen and other outlying islands in the early 1950s left the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) with control over only Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and other minor islands. With the 1949 loss of mainland China in the civil war, the ROC government fled to Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 and the KMT declared Taipei
Taipei
Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

 the provisional capital. The Communist Party of China
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

 took over all of mainland China and founded the People's Republic of China in Beijing
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

, leading to two rival governments claiming to be the sole legitimate government of "China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

". However, until the 1970s the ROC was still recognized by many countries and the United Nations as the sole legitimate government of "China", which included both mainland China and Taiwan. The ROC had been a founding member of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 and one of the five permanent members of the Security Council until 1971, when China's representation was replaced by the PRC via UN General Assembly Resolution 2758
UN General Assembly Resolution 2758
United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758 of 25 October 1971 recognized the representatives of the People's Republic of China as "the only legitimate representative of China to the United Nations" and expelled "the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek from the place which they unlawfully...

. Since then, ROC has struggled with limited formal diplomatic relations
Foreign relations of the Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan, is recognized by sovereign states. The course of the foreign relations of the ROC is dominated by maintaining diplomatic relations with these countries, as well as unofficial relations with other countries via its de facto embassies and...

 and is unable to use its official name widely, and is forced to be identified as "Taiwan" or "Chinese Taipei" in most international contexts.

Starting in 1928, the Republic of China was ruled by the Kuomintang as an authoritarian
Authoritarianism
Authoritarianism is a form of social organization characterized by submission to authority. It is usually opposed to individualism and democracy...

 single-party state
Single-party state
A single-party state, one-party system or single-party system is a type of party system government in which a single political party forms the government and no other parties are permitted to run candidates for election...

. In the 1950s and 1960s, the KMT went through wide restructuring and decreased corruption
Political corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

 and implemented land reform
Land reform
[Image:Jakarta farmers protest23.jpg|300px|thumb|right|Farmers protesting for Land Reform in Indonesia]Land reform involves the changing of laws, regulations or customs regarding land ownership. Land reform may consist of a government-initiated or government-backed property redistribution,...

. There followed a period of great economic growth, the Republic of China became one of the Four Asian Tigers, despite the constant threat of war and civil unrest. In the 1980s and 1990s the government peacefully transitioned to a democratic system
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

, with the first direct presidential election in 1996 and the 2000 election of Chen Shui-bian
Chen Shui-bian
Chen Shui-bian is a former Taiwanese politician who was the 10th and 11th-term President of the Republic of China from 2000 to 2008. Chen, whose Democratic Progressive Party has traditionally been supportive of Taiwan independence, ended more than fifty years of Kuomintang rule in Taiwan...

, the first non-KMT to become President of the Republic of China
President of the Republic of China
The President of the Republic of China is the head of state and commander-in-chief of the Republic of China . The Republic of China was founded on January 1, 1912, to govern all of China...

. The KMT regained presidency and increased its majority in the legislature in the 2008 presidential and legislative
Republic of China legislative election, 2008
The 7th Legislative elections were held on January 12, 2008 in the Republic of China . The results gave the Kuomintang and the Pan-Blue Coalition a supermajority in the legislature, handing a heavy defeat to then-President Chen Shui-bian's Democratic Progressive Party, which won the remaining 27...

 elections.

Founding


In 1911, after over two thousand years of imperial rule, a republic was established in China and the monarchy overthrown by a group of revolutionaries. The Qing Dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

, having just experienced a century of instability, suffered from both internal rebellion and foreign imperialism. The Neo-Confucian principles that had, to that time, sustained the dynastic system were now called into question. Its support of the Boxers
Boxer Rebellion
The Boxer Rebellion, also called the Boxer Uprising by some historians or the Righteous Harmony Society Movement in northern China, was a proto-nationalist movement by the "Righteous Harmony Society" , or "Righteous Fists of Harmony" or "Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists" , in China between...

, who claimed to have magical powers, against the world's major powers was its final mistake. The Qing forces were defeated and China was forced to give a huge indemnity to the foreign powers; an equivalent to £67 million to be paid over 39 years. Disconnected from the population and unable to face the challenges of modern China, the Qing government was in its final throes. Only the lack of an alternative regime in sight was prolonging its existence until 1912.

The establishment of Republican China developed out of the Wuchang Uprising
Wuchang Uprising
The Wuchang Uprising began with the dissatisfaction of the handling of a railway crisis. The crisis then escalated to an uprising where the revolutionaries went up against Qing government officials. The uprising was then assisted by the New Army in a coup against their own authorities in the city...

 against the Qing on 10 October 1911. That date is now celebrated annually as the ROC's national day
National Day
The National Day is a designated date on which celebrations mark the nationhood of a nation or non-sovereign country. This nationhood can be symbolized by the date of independence, of becoming republic or a significant date for a patron saint or a ruler . Often the day is not called "National Day"...

, also known as the "Double Ten Day
Double Ten Day
Double Ten Day is the national day of the Republic of China and celebrates the start of the Wuchang Uprising of October 10, 1911, which led to the collapse of the Qing Dynasty in China and establishment of the Republic of China on January 1, 1912...

". On 29 December 1911, Sun Yat-Sen
Sun Yat-sen
Sun Yat-sen was a Chinese doctor, revolutionary and political leader. As the foremost pioneer of Nationalist China, Sun is frequently referred to as the "Father of the Nation" , a view agreed upon by both the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China...

 was elected president by the Nanking assembly representing seventeen provinces. On 1 January 1912, he was officially inaugurated and pledged "to overthrow the despotic Manchu government, consolidate the Republic of China and plan for the welfare of the people".

Sun however lacked the military support to overthrow the Qing Dynasty. Realizing this, he handed over the presidency to Yuan Shikai
Yuan Shikai
Yuan Shikai was an important Chinese general and politician famous for his influence during the late Qing Dynasty, his role in the events leading up to the abdication of the last Qing Emperor of China, his autocratic rule as the second President of the Republic of China , and his short-lived...

, the imperial general, who then forced the last emperor Puyi
Puyi
Puyi , of the Manchu Aisin Gioro clan, was the last Emperor of China, and the twelfth and final ruler of the Qing Dynasty. He ruled as the Xuantong Emperor from 1908 until his abdication on 12 February 1912. From 1 to 12 July 1917 he was briefly restored to the throne as a nominal emperor by the...

 to abdicate. Yuan Shikai was officially elected president in 1913. Yuan ruled by military power and ignored the republican institutions established by his predecessor, threatening to execute Senate members that would disagree with his decisions. He soon dissolved the ruling Kuomintang party and banned "secret organizations" (which implicitly included the KMT), and ignored the provisional constitution. An attempt at a democratic election in 1911 ended up with the assassination of the elected candidate by a man recruited by Yuan. Ultimately, Yuan Shikai declared himself Emperor of China in 1915. The new ruler of China tried to increase centralization by abolishing the provincial system; however this move angered the gentry along with the province governors, usually military men. Many provinces declared independence and became warlord states. Increasingly unpopular and deserted by his supporters, Yuan Shikai gave up on becoming Emperor in 1916 and died of natural causes shortly after.

Thus devoid of a strong, unified government, China thrust into another period of warlordism. Sun Yat-sen, forced into exile, returned to Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

 province in the south with the help of warlords in 1917 and 1922, and set up successive rival governments; he re-established the KMT in October 1919. Sun's dream was to unify China by launching an expedition to the north. He however lacked military support and funding to make it a reality.

The Peiyang government
Beiyang Government
The Beiyang government or warlord government collectively refers to a series of military regimes that ruled from Beijing from 1912 to 1928 at Zhongnanhai. It was internationally recognized as the legitimate Government of the Republic of China. The name comes from the Beiyang Army which dominated...

 in Peiping
Beijing
Beijing , also known as Peking , is the capital of the People's Republic of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 as of 2010. The city is the country's political, cultural, and educational center, and home to the headquarters for most of China's...

 (previously known as Peking, now Beijing) struggled to hold on to power. An open and wide-ranging debate evolved regarding how China should confront the West. In 1919, a student protest against the weak response of China to the Treaty of Versailles
Treaty of Versailles
The Treaty of Versailles was one of the peace treaties at the end of World War I. It ended the state of war between Germany and the Allied Powers. It was signed on 28 June 1919, exactly five years after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The other Central Powers on the German side of...

, considered unfair by Chinese intellectuals, led to the May Fourth movement
May Fourth Movement
The May Fourth Movement was an anti-imperialist, cultural, and political movement growing out of student demonstrations in Beijing on May 4, 1919, protesting the Chinese government's weak response to the Treaty of Versailles, especially the Shandong Problem...

. These demonstrations were aimed at spreading Western influence to replace Chinese culture. It is also in this intellectual climate that the influence of Marxism
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 spread and became more popular. It eventually led to the founding of the Communist Party of China in 1920.

Chinese Civil War and World War II




After Sun's death in March 1925, Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek
Chiang Kai-shek was a political and military leader of 20th century China. He is known as Jiǎng Jièshí or Jiǎng Zhōngzhèng in Mandarin....

 became the leader of the KMT. In 1926, Chiang led the Northern Expedition through China with the intention of defeating the warlords and unifying China. Chiang received the help of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

; however he soon dismissed his Soviet advisors. He was convinced, not without reason, that they wanted to get rid of the Nationalists and take over control. Chiang decided to strike first and purged the Communists
Shanghai massacre of 1927
The April 12 Incident of 1927 refers to the violent suppression of Chinese Communist Party organizations in Shanghai by the military forces of Chiang Kai-shek and conservative factions in the Kuomintang...

, killing thousands of them. At the same time, other violent conflicts were taking place in China; in the South, where the Communists were in superior numbers, Nationalist supporters were being massacred. These events eventually led to the Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War
The Chinese Civil War was a civil war fought between the Kuomintang , the governing party of the Republic of China, and the Communist Party of China , for the control of China which eventually led to China's division into two Chinas, Republic of China and People's Republic of...

. Chiang Kai-shek pushed the Communists into the interior as he sought to destroy them, and established a government with Nanking as its capital in 1927. By 1928, Chiang's army overturned the Peiyang government
Beiyang Government
The Beiyang government or warlord government collectively refers to a series of military regimes that ruled from Beijing from 1912 to 1928 at Zhongnanhai. It was internationally recognized as the legitimate Government of the Republic of China. The name comes from the Beiyang Army which dominated...

 and unified the entire nation, at least nominally.

According to Sun Yat-sen's theory, the KMT was to rebuild China in three phases: a phase of military rule through which the KMT would take over power and reunite China by force; a phase of political tutelage; and finally a constitutional democratic phase. In 1930, the Nationalists, having taken over the power, started the second phase, and promulgated a provisional constitution for the political tutelage period and began the period of so-called "tutelage". They were criticized as instituting totalitarianism
Totalitarianism
Totalitarianism is a political system where the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life wherever feasible...

 but claimed they were attempting to establish a modern democratic society. Among others, they created at that time the Academia Sinica
Academia Sinica
The Academia Sinica , headquartered in the Nangang District of Taipei, is the national academy of Taiwan. It supports research activities in a wide variety of disciplines, ranging from mathematical and physical sciences, to life sciences, and to humanities and social sciences.Academia Sinica has...

, the Central Bank of China and other agencies. In 1932, China sent a team for the first time to the Olympic Games
Republic of China at the 1932 Summer Olympics
China, as the Republic of China, competed in the Summer Olympic Games for the first time at the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, United States.-Delegation:...

. Historians, such as Edmund Fung, argue that establishing a democracy in China at that time was not possible. The nation was at war and divided between Communists and Nationalists. Corruption within the government and lack of direction also prevented any significant reform from taking place. Chiang realized the lack of real work being done within his administration and told the State Council: "Our organization becomes worse and worse... many staff members just sit at their desks and gaze into space, others read newspapers and still others sleep." The Nationalist government wrote a draft of the constitution in 5 May 1936.

The Nationalists faced a new challenge with the Japanese invasion of Manchuria
Mukden Incident
The Mukden Incident, also known as the Manchurian Incident, was a staged event that was engineered by Japanese military personnel as a pretext for invading the northern part of China known as Manchuria in 1931....

 in 1931, with hostilities continuing through the Second Sino-Japanese War
Second Sino-Japanese War
The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. From 1937 to 1941, China fought Japan with some economic help from Germany , the Soviet Union and the United States...

, part of World War II, from 1937 to 1945. The government of the Republic of China retreated from Nanking to Chungking (now Chongqing). In 1945, after the war of eight years, Japan surrendered and the Republic of China, under the name "China", became one of the founding members of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

. The government returned to Nanking in 1946.

After World War II




After the defeat of Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, Taiwan was surrendered to the Allies
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

, with ROC troops accepting the surrender of the Japanese garrison. The government of the ROC proclaimed the "retrocession
Retrocession Day
Retrocession Day is an annual observance in the Republic of China to commemorate the end of 50 years of Japanese colonial rule of Taiwan on October 25, 1945.-Background:...

" of Taiwan to the Republic of China and established the provincial government at Taiwan. The military administration of the ROC extended over Taiwan, which led to widespread unrest and increasing tensions between Taiwanese and mainlanders. The shooting of a civilian on 28 February 1947 triggered island-wide unrest, which was suppressed with military force in what is now called the 228 Incident
228 Incident
The 228 Incident, also known as the 228 Massacre, was an anti-government uprising in Taiwan that began on February 27, 1947, and was violently suppressed by the Kuomintang government. Estimates of the number of deaths vary from 10,000 to 30,000 or more...

. Mainstream estimates of casualties range from 18,000 to 30,000, mainly Taiwanese elites. The 228 incident has had far-reaching effects on subsequent Taiwan history.

From 1945 to 1947, under United States mediation, especially through the Marshall Mission
Marshall Mission
The Marshall Mission was a failed diplomatic mission undertaken by United States Army General George C. Marshall to China in an attempt to negotiate the Communist Party of China and the Nationalists into a unified government.-Historical background:The end of the Second World War on 15 August...

, the Nationalists and Communists agreed to start a series of peace talks aiming at establishing a coalition government. They however failed to reach an agreement and the civil war resumed. In the context of political and military animosity, the National Assembly was summoned by the Nationalists without the participation of the Communists and promulgated the Constitution of the Republic of China
Constitution of the Republic of China
The Constitution of the Republic of China is the fundamental law of the Republic of China . Drafted by the Kuomintang as part of its third stage of national development , it established a centralized Republic with five branches of government...

. The constitution was criticized by the Communists, and led to the final break between the two sides. The full scale civil war resumed from early 1947.

In 1948, the ROC administration imposed perpetual martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

. Meanwhile, the civil war was escalating from regional areas to the entire nation. Eventually, the Communist troops, supported by the Soviet Union, defeated the ROC army, supported by the United States.

In October 1949, the Communists founded the People's Republic of China.

In December 1949, Chiang evacuated the government to Taiwan and made Taipei the temporary capital of the ROC (also called the "wartime capital" by Chiang Kai-shek). In his retreat, he also transferred China's gold reserves
Official gold reserves
A gold reserve is the gold held by a central bank or nation intended as a store of value and as a guarantee to redeem promises to pay depositors, note holders , or trading peers, or to secure a currency....

 to Taiwan. Between one and two million refugees from mainland China followed him, adding to the earlier population of approximately six million.

Government on Taiwan


The ROC government, now threatened by both demands for independence within Taiwan, and by the Communists in mainland China, became increasingly dictatorial. The White Terror
White Terror (Taiwan)
In Taiwan, the White Terror describes the suppression of political dissidents, as well as public discussion of the 228 Incident in Taiwan under the period of martial law, which lasted from May 19 1949 to July 15 1987, 38 years, and 57 days...

, started while the ROC central government was still governed from mainland China, remained in place until 1987 as a way to suppress the political opposition. During these acts of violence, 140,000 Taiwan residents were imprisoned or executed for being perceived as anti-KMT or pro-Communist.

Initially, the United States abandoned the KMT and expected that Taiwan would fall to the Communists. However, in 1950 the conflict between North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

 and South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

, which had been ongoing since the Japanese withdrawal in 1945, escalated into full-blown war, and in the context of the Cold War, US President Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman was the 33rd President of the United States . As President Franklin D. Roosevelt's third vice president and the 34th Vice President of the United States , he succeeded to the presidency on April 12, 1945, when President Roosevelt died less than three months after beginning his...

 intervened again and dispatched the 7th Fleet
First Taiwan Strait Crisis
The First Taiwan Strait Crisis was a short armed conflict that took place between the governments of the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China . The PRC seized the Yijiangshan Islands, forcing the ROC to abandon the Tachen Islands...

 into the Taiwan Strait
Taiwan Strait
The Taiwan Strait or Formosa Strait, formerly known as the Black Ditch, is a 180-km-wide strait separating Mainland China and Taiwan. The strait is part of the South China Sea and connects to East China Sea to the northeast...

s to prevent hostilities between Taiwan and mainland China. In the Treaty of San Francisco
Treaty of San Francisco
The Treaty of Peace with Japan , between Japan and part of the Allied Powers, was officially signed by 48 nations on September 8, 1951, at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco, California...

 and the Treaty of Taipei
Treaty of Taipei
The Sino-Japanese Peace Treaty , commonly known as the Treaty of Taipei , was a peace treaty between Japan and the Republic of China signed in Taipei, Taiwan on April 28, 1952...

, which came into force respectively on 28 April 1952 and 5 August 1952, Japan formally renounced all right, claim and title to Taiwan and Penghu, and renounced all treaties signed with China before 1942. The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 disagreed on whether the ROC or the PRC was the legitimate government of China—as a result both treaties remained silent about who would take control of the island. Continuing conflict of the Chinese Civil War through the 1950s, and intervention by the United States notably resulted in legislations such as the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty
Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty
Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty was a treaty between the United States of America and the Republic of China; it was signed on December 2, 1954 at the Zhongshan Hall in Taipei and came into force on March 3, 1955...

 and the Formosa Resolution of 1955
Formosa Resolution of 1955
The Formosa Resolution was a bill enacted by the U.S. Congress on January 29, 1955 that established an American commitment to defend Formosa . As a matter of American foreign policy, President Dwight D. Eisenhower promised to protect "territories in the West Pacific under the jurisdiction of the...

.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the ROC maintained an authoritarian, single-party government while its economy became industrialized and technology oriented. This rapid economical growth, known as the Taiwan Miracle
Taiwan Miracle
The Taiwan Miracle or Taiwan Economic Miracle refers to the rapid industrialization and economic growth of Taiwan during the latter half of the twentieth century...

, was the result of a fiscal regime independent from mainland China and backed up, among others, by the support of US funds and demand for Taiwanese products. In the 1970s, Taiwan was economically the second fastest growing state in Asia after Japan. Taiwan, along with Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore, became known as one of the Four Asian Tigers. Because of the Cold War, most Western nations and the United Nations regarded the ROC as the sole legitimate government of China until the 1970s. Later and especially after the termination of the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, most nations switched diplomatic recognition
Diplomatic recognition
Diplomatic recognition in international law is a unilateral political act with domestic and international legal consequences, whereby a state acknowledges an act or status of another state or government in control of a state...

 to the PRC.

Up until the 1970s, the ROC was regarded by Western critics as undemocratic for upholding martial law, for severely repressing any political opposition and for controlling media. The KMT did not allow the creation of new parties and those that existed did not seriously compete with the KMT. Thus, competitive democratic elections did not exist. From the late 1970s to the 1990s, however, reforms slowly moved the Republic of China from an authoritarian state to a democracy. In 1979, a pro-democracy protest known as the Kaohsiung Incident
Kaohsiung Incident
The Kaohsiung Incident also known as the Formosa Incident, the Meilidao Incident or the Formosa Magazine incident was the result of pro-democracy demonstrations that occurred in Kaohsiung, Taiwan on December 10, 1979....

 took place in Kaohsiung
Kaohsiung
Kaohsiung is a city located in southwestern Taiwan, facing the Taiwan Strait on the west. Kaohsiung, officially named Kaohsiung City, is divided into thirty-eight districts. The city is one of five special municipalities of the Republic of China...

 to celebrate Human Rights Day
Human Rights Day
Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on 10 December.The date was chosen to honor the United NationsGeneral Assembly's adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , the first global enunciation of human rights...

. Although the protest was rapidly crushed by the authorities, it is today considered as the main event that united Taiwan's opposition. In 1986, Chiang Ching-kuo
Chiang Ching-kuo
Chiang Ching-kuo , Kuomintang politician and leader, was the son of President Chiang Kai-shek and held numerous posts in the government of the Republic of China...

 and Lee Teng-hui
Lee Teng-hui
Lee Teng-hui is a politician of the Republic of China . He was the 7th, 8th, and 9th-term President of the Republic of China and Chairman of the Kuomintang from 1988 to 2000. He presided over major advancements in democratic reforms including his own re-election which marked the first direct...

 allowed for the creation of new political parties, which led to the founding of the first opposition party, the Democratic Progressive Party
Democratic Progressive Party
The Democratic Progressive Party is a political party in Taiwan, and the dominant party in the Pan-Green Coalition. Founded in 1986, DPP is the first meaningful opposition party in Taiwan. It has traditionally been associated with strong advocacy of human rights and a distinct Taiwanese identity,...

. In 1987, the martial law was lifted along with, a year later, the ban on new newspaper registration. The democratization process eventually led to the first direct presidential election by universal adult suffrage in 1996.

Political status


The political status of the Republic of China is a contentious issue. The People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 (PRC) claims that the ROC government is illegitimate, referring to it as the "Taiwan Authority". The ROC, however, with its own constitution, independently elected president and a large army, continues to view itself as an independent sovereign state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

. Its current territory has never been controlled by the PRC. Internationally, there is controversy on whether the ROC still exists as a state or a defunct state per international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

 due to the loss of membership/recognition in the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 and lack of wide diplomatic recognition
Diplomatic recognition
Diplomatic recognition in international law is a unilateral political act with domestic and international legal consequences, whereby a state acknowledges an act or status of another state or government in control of a state...

. According to a poll taken by the TVBS
TVBS
TVBS is a satellite television channel and nationwide cable TV network in Taiwan, Republic of China, launched on September 28, 1993. It was established by TVBI Company Limited , a subsidiary of Television Broadcasts Limited in Hong Kong, and ERA Group of Taiwan, and became a wholly owned...

 in 2010, the majority of ROC residents—64%—opt for the status quo (i.e. no independence, no unification with mainland China), while 19% favor independence and 5% unification.

Conflict with the PRC


The political environment is complicated by the potential for military conflict should overt actions toward independence or reunification
Chinese reunification
Chinese reunification refers to the bringing together of all of the territories controlled by the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China under a single political entity...

 be taken. It is the official PRC policy to use force to ensure reunification if peaceful reunification is no longer possible, as stated in its anti-secession law
Anti-Secession Law of the People's Republic of China
The Anti-Secession Law is a law of the People's Republic of China. It was passed by the third conference of the 10th National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China . It was ratified on March 14, 2005, and went into effect immediately. Hu Jintao, President of the People's Republic of...

, and for this reason there are substantial military installations on the Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

 coast. Although more recently the PRC has conducted to promote peaceful relation with the current ROC government and aimed at gradual reunification.

The PRC supports a version of the One-China policy
One-China policy
The One-China policy refers to the policy or view that there is only one state called "China", despite the existence of two governments that claim to be "China"....

, which states that Taiwan and mainland China are both part of China, and that the PRC is the only legitimate government of China. It uses this policy to prevent the international recognition of the ROC as an independent sovereign state. For its part, the People's Republic of China appears to find the retention of the name "Republic of China" more acceptable than an official declaration of an independent Taiwan. With the rise of the Taiwanese independence movement, the name "Taiwan" has been employed increasingly more often on the island.

United States involvement




The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 is one of the main allies of the ROC and, since the Taiwan Relations Act
Taiwan Relations Act
The Taiwan Relations Act is an act of the United States Congress passed in 1979 after the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China and the breaking of relations between the United States and the Republic of China on the island of Taiwan by President Jimmy Carter...

 passed in 1979, the United States has sold arms and provided military training to the Republic of China Armed Forces. This situation continues to be an issue for the People's Republic of China which considers US involvement disruptive to the stability of the region. In January 2010, the Obama administration announced its intention to sell $6.4 billion worth of military hardware to Taiwan. As a consequence, the PRC threatened the US with economic sanctions and warned that their cooperation on international and regional issues could suffer.

The official position of the United States is that the PRC is expected to "use no force or threat[en] to use force against Taiwan" and the ROC is to "exercise prudence in managing all aspects of Cross-Strait relations
Cross-Strait relations
Cross-Strait relations refers to the relations between People's Republic of China and the Republic of China , which lie to the west and east, repectively, of the Taiwan Strait in the west Pacific Ocean....

." Both are to refrain from performing actions or espousing statements "that would unilaterally alter Taiwan's status."

Opinions within the ROC


Within the ROC, opinions are polarized between those supporting unification, represented by the Pan-Blue Coalition
Pan-Blue Coalition
The Pan-Blue Coalition 泛藍聯盟 or Pan-Blue Force is a political alliance in the Republic of China , consisting of the Kuomintang , the People First Party , and the New Party . The name comes from the party colours of the Kuomintang...

 of parties, and those supporting independence, represented by the Pan-Green Coalition
Pan-Green Coalition
The Pan-Green Coalition or Pan-Green Camp, is an informal political alliance of the Republic of China, commonly known as "Taiwan", consisting of the Democratic Progressive Party , Taiwan Solidarity Union , and the minor Taiwan Independence Party...

.

The KMT, the largest Pan-Blue party, supports the status quo for the indefinite future with a stated ultimate goal of unification. However, it does not support unification in the short term with the PRC as such a prospect would be unacceptable to most of its members and the public. Ma Ying-jeou, chairman of the KMT and the current ROC President, has set out democracy, economic development to a level near that of the ROC, and equitable wealth distribution as the conditions that the PRC must fulfill for reunification to occur.

The DPP
Democratic Progressive Party
The Democratic Progressive Party is a political party in Taiwan, and the dominant party in the Pan-Green Coalition. Founded in 1986, DPP is the first meaningful opposition party in Taiwan. It has traditionally been associated with strong advocacy of human rights and a distinct Taiwanese identity,...

, the largest Pan-Green party, officially seeks independence, but in practice also supports the status quo because its members and the public would not accept the risk of provoking the PRC.

Former President Chen Shui-bian
Chen Shui-bian
Chen Shui-bian is a former Taiwanese politician who was the 10th and 11th-term President of the Republic of China from 2000 to 2008. Chen, whose Democratic Progressive Party has traditionally been supportive of Taiwan independence, ended more than fifty years of Kuomintang rule in Taiwan...

 of the Democratic Progressive Party
Democratic Progressive Party
The Democratic Progressive Party is a political party in Taiwan, and the dominant party in the Pan-Green Coalition. Founded in 1986, DPP is the first meaningful opposition party in Taiwan. It has traditionally been associated with strong advocacy of human rights and a distinct Taiwanese identity,...

 stated during his years of administration that any decision should be decided through a public referendum of the people of the ROC. Both parties' current foreign policy positions support actively advocating ROC participation in international organizations, but while the KMT accepts the One-China
One-China policy
The One-China policy refers to the policy or view that there is only one state called "China", despite the existence of two governments that claim to be "China"....

 principle, the DPP encourages the participation of Taiwan as a sovereign state.

On 2 September 2008, El Sol de México asked President Ma Ying-jeou about his views on the subject of "two Chinas
Two Chinas
The term Two Chinas refers to the two states with "China" in their official names: People's Republic of China , commonly known as "China", established in 1949, controlling mainland China and two special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau...

" and if there was a solution for the sovereignty issues between the two. The ROC President replied that the relations are neither between two Chinas nor two states. It is a special relationship
Special non-state-to-state relations
Special Non-State-to-State Relations is a term used by Ma Ying-jeou, the President of the Republic of China to describe the nature of relations between the Taiwan Area and the Mainland China Area...

. Further, he stated that the sovereignty issues between the two cannot be resolved at present, but he quoted the "1992 Consensus
1992 Consensus
The 1992 Consensus or Consensus of 1992 is a term describing the outcome of a meeting in 1992 between the semi-official representatives of the People's Republic of China in mainland China and the Republic of China in Taiwan...

", currently accepted by both sides, as a temporary measure until a solution becomes available.

Government




The government of the Republic of China was founded on the Constitution of the ROC
Constitution of the Republic of China
The Constitution of the Republic of China is the fundamental law of the Republic of China . Drafted by the Kuomintang as part of its third stage of national development , it established a centralized Republic with five branches of government...

 and its Three Principles of the People
Three Principles of the People
The Three Principles of the People, also translated as Three People's Principles, or collectively San-min Doctrine, is a political philosophy developed by Sun Yat-sen as part of a philosophy to make China a free, prosperous, and powerful nation...

, which states that "[the ROC] shall be a democratic republic of the people, to be governed by the people and for the people." The government is divided into five administrative branches (Yuan): the Control Yuan
Control Yuan
The Control Yuan , one of the five branches of the Republic of China government in Taipei, is an investigatory agency that monitors the other branches of government...

, the Examination Yuan
Examination Yuan
The Examination Yuan is in charge of validating the qualification of civil servants in the Republic of China . It is one of the five government branches of the ROC government...

, the Executive Yuan
Executive Yuan
The Executive Yuan is the executive branch of the government of the Republic of China , commonly known as "Taiwan".-Organization and structure:...

, the Judicial Yuan
Judicial Yuan
The Judicial Yuan is one of five branches of the government of the Republic of China in Taiwan and serves as the highest judicial organ in Republic of China. Its Justices of the Constitutional Court , with 15 members, is charged with interpreting the Constitution...

, and the Legislative Yuan
Legislative Yuan
The Legislative Yuan is the unicameral legislature of the Republic of China .The Legislative Yuan is one of the five branches of government stipulated by the Constitution of the Republic of China, which follows Sun Yat-sen's Three Principles of the People...

. The Pan-Blue Coalition
Pan-Blue Coalition
The Pan-Blue Coalition 泛藍聯盟 or Pan-Blue Force is a political alliance in the Republic of China , consisting of the Kuomintang , the People First Party , and the New Party . The name comes from the party colours of the Kuomintang...

 and Pan-Green Coalition
Pan-Green Coalition
The Pan-Green Coalition or Pan-Green Camp, is an informal political alliance of the Republic of China, commonly known as "Taiwan", consisting of the Democratic Progressive Party , Taiwan Solidarity Union , and the minor Taiwan Independence Party...

 are presently the dominant political blocs in the Republic of China.

President



The head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 and commander-in-chief of the armed forces is the President
President of the Republic of China
The President of the Republic of China is the head of state and commander-in-chief of the Republic of China . The Republic of China was founded on January 1, 1912, to govern all of China...

, who is elected by popular vote for a four-year term on the same ticket as the Vice-President. The President has authority over the Yuan. The President appoints the members of the Executive Yuan as his cabinet
Cabinet (government)
A Cabinet is a body of high ranking government officials, typically representing the executive branch. It can also sometimes be referred to as the Council of Ministers, an Executive Council, or an Executive Committee.- Overview :...

, including a Premier
Premier of the Republic of China
The President of the Executive Yuan , commonly known as the Premier of the Republic of China , is the head of the Executive Yuan, the executive branch of the Republic of China , which currently administers Taiwan, Matsu, and Kinmen. The premier is appointed by the President of the Republic of China...

, who is officially the President of the Executive Yuan; members are responsible for policy and administration.

Executive Yuan


The ROC's political system does not fit traditional models. The Premier is selected by the President without the need for approval from the Legislature, but the Legislature can pass laws without regard for the President, as neither he nor the Premier wields veto power. Thus, there is little incentive for the President and the Legislature to negotiate on legislation if they are of opposing parties. After the election of the pan-Green's Chen Shui-bian as President in 2000, legislation repeatedly stalled because of deadlock with the Legislative Yuan, which was controlled by a pan-Blue majority. Historically, the ROC has been dominated by strongman single party politics. This legacy has resulted in executive powers currently being concentrated in the office of the President rather than the Premier, even though the Constitution does not explicitly state the extent of the President's executive power.

Legislature


The main legislative body
Legislature
A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In addition to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and...

 is the unicameral
Unicameralism
In government, unicameralism is the practice of having one legislative or parliamentary chamber. Thus, a unicameral parliament or unicameral legislature is a legislature which consists of one chamber or house...

 Legislative Yuan
Legislative Yuan
The Legislative Yuan is the unicameral legislature of the Republic of China .The Legislative Yuan is one of the five branches of government stipulated by the Constitution of the Republic of China, which follows Sun Yat-sen's Three Principles of the People...

 with 113 seats. Seventy-three are elected by popular vote from single-member constituencies; thirty-four are elected based on the proportion of nationwide votes received by participating political parties in a separate party list ballot; and six are elected from two three-member aboriginal constituencies. Members serve three-year terms. Originally the unicameral National Assembly
National Assembly of the Republic of China
The National Assembly of the Republic of China refers to several parliamentary bodies that existed in the Republic of China. The National Assembly was originally founded in 1913 as the first legislature in Chinese history, but was disbanded less than a year later as President Yuan Shikai assumed...

, as a standing constitutional convention
Constitutional convention (political meeting)
A constitutional convention is now a gathering for the purpose of writing a new constitution or revising an existing constitution. A general constitutional convention is called to create the first constitution of a political unit or to entirely replace an existing constitution...

 and electoral college
Electoral college
An electoral college is a set of electors who are selected to elect a candidate to a particular office. Often these represent different organizations or entities, with each organization or entity represented by a particular number of electors or with votes weighted in a particular way...

, held some parliament
Parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

ary functions, but the National Assembly was abolished in 2005 with the power of constitutional amendments handed over to the Legislative Yuan and all eligible voters of the Republic via referendums.

Judiciary


The Judicial Yuan
Judicial Yuan
The Judicial Yuan is one of five branches of the government of the Republic of China in Taiwan and serves as the highest judicial organ in Republic of China. Its Justices of the Constitutional Court , with 15 members, is charged with interpreting the Constitution...

 is the ROC's highest judicial
Judiciary
The judiciary is the system of courts that interprets and applies the law in the name of the state. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes...

 organ. It interprets the constitution and other laws and decrees, judges administrative suits, and disciplines public functionaries. The President and Vice-President of the Judicial Yuan and fifteen Justices form the Council of Grand Justices. They are nominated and appointed by the President of the Republic, with the consent of the Legislative Yuan. The highest court, the Supreme Court
Supreme Court of the Republic of China
The Supreme Court of the Republic of China -History:In 1927, the government of the Republic of China renamed Dali Yuan to the Supreme Court...

, consists of a number of civil and criminal divisions, each of which is formed by a presiding Judge and four Associate Judges, all appointed for life. In 1993, a separate constitutional court was established to resolve constitutional disputes, regulate the activities of political parties and accelerate the democratization process. There is no trial by jury
Jury trial
A jury trial is a legal proceeding in which a jury either makes a decision or makes findings of fact which are then applied by a judge...

 but the right to a fair public trial is protected by law and respected in practice; many cases are presided over by multiple judges.

Like most Asian democracies, the ROC still allows for capital punishment
Capital punishment
Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally...

. Efforts have been made by the government to reduce the number of executions, although they have not been able to completely abolish the punishment. As of 2006, about 80% of Taiwanese want to keep the death penalty.

Audit


The Control Yuan
Control Yuan
The Control Yuan , one of the five branches of the Republic of China government in Taipei, is an investigatory agency that monitors the other branches of government...

 is a watchdog agency that monitors (controls) the actions of the executive. It can be considered a standing commission
Government agency
A government or state agency is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of government that is responsible for the oversight and administration of specific functions, such as an intelligence agency. There is a notable variety of agency types...

 for administrative inquiry and can be compared to the Court of Auditors of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 or the Government Accountability Office
Government Accountability Office
The Government Accountability Office is the audit, evaluation, and investigative arm of the United States Congress. It is located in the legislative branch of the United States government.-History:...

 of the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. The Control Yuan is sometimes also compared to an ombudsman
Ombudsman
An ombudsman is a person who acts as a trusted intermediary between an organization and some internal or external constituency while representing not only but mostly the broad scope of constituent interests...

 or national human rights institution.

Examination


The Examination Yuan
Examination Yuan
The Examination Yuan is in charge of validating the qualification of civil servants in the Republic of China . It is one of the five government branches of the ROC government...

 is in charge of validating the qualification of civil servants. It is based on the old Imperial examination
Imperial examination
The Imperial examination was an examination system in Imperial China designed to select the best administrative officials for the state's bureaucracy. This system had a huge influence on both society and culture in Imperial China and was directly responsible for the creation of a class of...

 system used in premodern China. It can be compared to the European Personnel Selection Office
European Personnel Selection Office
The European Personnel Selection Office is responsible for selecting staff to work for the Institutions of the European Union...

 of the European Union or the Office of Personnel Management
Office of Personnel Management
The United States Office of Personnel Management is an independent agency of the United States government that manages the civil service of the federal government. The current Director is John Berry.-History:...

 of the United States.

Administrative regions


First-level division


According to the 1947 constitution, written and promulgated whilst the ROC government still controlled mainland China, the territory of the ROC consisted of provinces
Province (China)
A province, in the context of Chinese government, is a translation of sheng formally provincial level divisions, which is an administrative division. Provinces, municipalities, autonomous regions, and the special administrative regions, make up the four types of province of administrative division...

, special municipalities, as well as Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

and Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

. Accordingly, when the ROC retreated to Taiwan in 1949, its claimed territory consisted of 35 provinces, 12 special municipalities, 1 special administrative region, as well as Mongolia and Tibet. However, the ROC has controlled only two provinces since its retreat – the Taiwan Province
Taiwan Province
Taiwan Province is one of the two administrative divisions referred to as provinces and is controlled by the Republic of China . The province covers approximately 73% of the territory controlled by the Republic of China...

 and some islands of Fujian Province. Moreover, these two provincial governments have been streamlined and transferred their function to the central government (Fujian since 1956 and Taiwan since 1998).

All 12 original special municipalities were located in mainland China which have mostly been repealed by the PRC when the government of the ROC retreated to Taiwan. Since its retreat, the ROC has founded 5 direct-controlled special municipalities out of territory initially belonging to Taiwan Province:
  • Taipei
    Taipei
    Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

     City, formerly a provincial city of Taiwan Province, was elevated as a special municipality in 1967.
  • Kaohsiung
    Kaohsiung
    Kaohsiung is a city located in southwestern Taiwan, facing the Taiwan Strait on the west. Kaohsiung, officially named Kaohsiung City, is divided into thirty-eight districts. The city is one of five special municipalities of the Republic of China...

     City, formerly a provincial city of Taiwan Province, was elevated as a special municipality in 1979. In 2010, a new Kaohsiung special municipality was established by merging former Kaohsiung County
    Kaohsiung County
    Kaohsiung County was a county in southern Taiwan that enclosed but did not include Kaohsiung City. On December 25, 2010, the county merged with Kaohsiung City to form a single special municipality.- Administration :-External links:*...

     of Taiwan Province with the existing Kaohsiung City.
  • New Taipei City, formerly Taipei County of Taiwan Province, was elevated as a special municipality in 2010.
  • Taichung
    Taichung
    -Demographics:Taichung’s population was an estimated 1,040,725 in August 2006. There are slightly more females in the city than males.24.32% of residents are children, while 16.63% are young people, 52.68% are middle-age, and 6.73% are elderly....

     City was established by merging Taichung provincial city and Taichung County of Taiwan Province in 2010.
  • Tainan
    Tainan
    Tainan City is a city in southern Taiwan. It is the fifth largest after New Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung, and Taipei. It was formerly a provincial city, and in 2010, the provincial city merged with the adjacent Tainan County to form a single special municipality. Tainan faces the Taiwan Strait in...

     City was established by merging Tainan provincial city and Tainan County of Taiwan Province in 2010.


The Republic of China also controls the Pratas Islands
Pratas Islands
The Pratas Islands or Dongsha Islands consists of three islands forming from an atoll located in northeastern South China Sea, southeast of Hong Kong. The islands are governed by the Republic of China . The People's Republic of China claims sovereignty over these islands along with all other...

 (Dong-Sha) and Taiping Island in the Spratly Islands
Spratly Islands
The Spratly Islands are a group of more than 750 reefs, islets, atolls, cays and islands in the South China Sea. The archipelago lies off the coasts of the Philippines and Malaysia , about one third of the way from there to southern Vietnam. They comprise less than four square kilometers of land...

, which are part of the disputed South China Sea Islands
South China Sea Islands
The South China Sea Islands consist of over 250 around 1-km² islands, atolls, cays, shoals, reefs, and sandbars in the South China Sea, most of which have no indigenous people, many of which are naturally under water at high tide, some of which are permanently submerged...

. They were placed under Kaohsiung
Kaohsiung
Kaohsiung is a city located in southwestern Taiwan, facing the Taiwan Strait on the west. Kaohsiung, officially named Kaohsiung City, is divided into thirty-eight districts. The city is one of five special municipalities of the Republic of China...

 administration after the retreat to Taiwan.

Second-level division


Taiwan Province is divided into 12 counties and 3 provincial cities, while Fujian Province is divided into 2 counties.
According to Article 4 of the Local Government Act, laws pertaining to special municipalities also apply to counties with a population exceeding 2 million. Currently, this provision is applied to Taoyuan County.

Claimed territories


The ROC claimed to be the sole legitimate government of all China after its relocation to Taiwan in 1949 until the lifting of martial law
Martial law
Martial law is the imposition of military rule by military authorities over designated regions on an emergency basis— only temporary—when the civilian government or civilian authorities fail to function effectively , when there are extensive riots and protests, or when the disobedience of the law...

 in 1987. Although the administration of pro-independence
Taiwan independence
Taiwan independence is a political movement whose goals are primarily to formally establish the Republic of Taiwan by renaming or replacing the Republic of China , form a Taiwanese national identity, reject unification and One country, two systems with the People's Republic of China and a Chinese...

 President Chen Shui-bian
Chen Shui-bian
Chen Shui-bian is a former Taiwanese politician who was the 10th and 11th-term President of the Republic of China from 2000 to 2008. Chen, whose Democratic Progressive Party has traditionally been supportive of Taiwan independence, ended more than fifty years of Kuomintang rule in Taiwan...

 (2000–2008) did not actively claim sovereignty over all of China, the national boundaries of the ROC have not been redrawn. Thus, the claimed area of the ROC continues to include mainland China, several off-shore islands, and Taiwan. The current President Ma Ying-jeou reasserted the ROC's claim to be the sole legitimate government of China and the claim that mainland China is part of ROC's territory. He does not, however, actively seek reunification, and prefers to maintain an ambiguous status quo in order to improve relations with the PRC.

In practice, although ROC law still formally recognizes residents of mainland China as citizens of the ROC, it makes a distinction between persons who have household residency in the "Free Area of the Republic of China
Free Area of the Republic of China
The Free area of the Republic of China is a legal and political description referring to the territories under the control of the government of Republic of China , consisting of the island groups of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and some minor islands...

" and those that do not, meaning that persons outside the area administered by the ROC must apply for special travel documents and cannot vote in ROC elections.

Politics


The constitution of the Republic of China was drafted before the fall of mainland China to the Communists. It was created by the KMT for the purpose of all of its claimed territory, including Taiwan, even though the Chinese Communist party boycotted the drafting of the constitution. The constitution went into effect on 25 December 1947.

The ROC remained under martial law from 1948 until 1987 and much of the constitution was not in effect. Political reforms beginning in the late 1970s and continuing through the early 1990s liberalized the ROC from an authoritarian one-party state into a multiparty democracy. Since the lifting of martial law, the Republic of China has democratized and reformed, suspending constitutional components that were originally meant for the whole of China. This process of amendment continues. In 2000, the Democratic Progressive Party
Democratic Progressive Party
The Democratic Progressive Party is a political party in Taiwan, and the dominant party in the Pan-Green Coalition. Founded in 1986, DPP is the first meaningful opposition party in Taiwan. It has traditionally been associated with strong advocacy of human rights and a distinct Taiwanese identity,...

 (DPP) won the ROC presidency
President of the Republic of China
The President of the Republic of China is the head of state and commander-in-chief of the Republic of China . The Republic of China was founded on January 1, 1912, to govern all of China...

, ending the ROC's one-party rule history under the KMT. In May 2005, a new National Assembly was elected to reduce the number of parliamentary seats and implement several constitutional reforms. These reforms have been passed; the National Assembly has essentially voted to abolish itself and transfer the power of constitutional reform to the popular ballot.

Major camps


The tension between the two Chinas
Two Chinas
The term Two Chinas refers to the two states with "China" in their official names: People's Republic of China , commonly known as "China", established in 1949, controlling mainland China and two special administrative regions, Hong Kong and Macau...

 colors most of the political life in Taiwan, and any government move towards "Taiwan independence" is met by threat of military attack from the PRC. The PRC's official policy is to reunify Taiwan and mainland China
Chinese reunification
Chinese reunification refers to the bringing together of all of the territories controlled by the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China under a single political entity...

 under the formula of "one country, two systems
One country, two systems
"One country, two systems" is an idea originally proposed by Deng Xiaoping, then Paramount Leader of the People's Republic of China , for the reunification of China during the early 1980s...

" and refuses to renounce the use of military force, especially should Taiwan seek a declaration of independence.

The political scene in the ROC is generally divided into two major camps in terms of views on how Taiwan/Republic of China should relate to PRC/Mainland China, referred to as Cross-Strait relations
Cross-Strait relations
Cross-Strait relations refers to the relations between People's Republic of China and the Republic of China , which lie to the west and east, repectively, of the Taiwan Strait in the west Pacific Ocean....

. It is the main political difference between two camps: the Pan-Blue Coalition
Pan-Blue Coalition
The Pan-Blue Coalition 泛藍聯盟 or Pan-Blue Force is a political alliance in the Republic of China , consisting of the Kuomintang , the People First Party , and the New Party . The name comes from the party colours of the Kuomintang...

, composed of the pro-unification and center-right Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 (KMT, majority party), People First Party (PFP), and New Party
New Party (Republic of China)
The New Party, formerly the Chinese New Party , is a centre-right conservative political party in the Republic of China , and part of the pan-blue coalition....

, who believe that the ROC is the sole legitimate government of "China" (including Taiwan) and supports eventual Chinese reunification
Chinese reunification
Chinese reunification refers to the bringing together of all of the territories controlled by the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China under a single political entity...

. The opposition Pan-Green Coalition
Pan-Green Coalition
The Pan-Green Coalition or Pan-Green Camp, is an informal political alliance of the Republic of China, commonly known as "Taiwan", consisting of the Democratic Progressive Party , Taiwan Solidarity Union , and the minor Taiwan Independence Party...

 is composed of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party
Democratic Progressive Party
The Democratic Progressive Party is a political party in Taiwan, and the dominant party in the Pan-Green Coalition. Founded in 1986, DPP is the first meaningful opposition party in Taiwan. It has traditionally been associated with strong advocacy of human rights and a distinct Taiwanese identity,...

 (DPP, majority party), and centrist Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU)
Taiwan Solidarity Union
The Taiwan Solidarity Union is a political party in the Republic of China which advocates Taiwan independence. It was officially founded on July 24, 2001 and is considered part of the Pan-Green Coalition. Unlike the Democratic Progressive Party, its larger companion party in the Pan-Green...

 regards Taiwan as an already independent, sovereign state synonymous with the ROC
Four-Stage Theory of the Republic of China
The Four-Stage Theory of the Republic of China or the Theory of the Four Stages of the Republic of China is a controversial viewpoint proposed by Chen Shui-bian, the previous President of the Republic of China...

, opposes the definition that Taiwan is part of "China", and seeks wide diplomatic recognition
Diplomatic recognition
Diplomatic recognition in international law is a unilateral political act with domestic and international legal consequences, whereby a state acknowledges an act or status of another state or government in control of a state...

 and an eventual declaration of formal Taiwan independence
Taiwan independence
Taiwan independence is a political movement whose goals are primarily to formally establish the Republic of Taiwan by renaming or replacing the Republic of China , form a Taiwanese national identity, reject unification and One country, two systems with the People's Republic of China and a Chinese...

. The Pan-Green camp tends to favor emphasizing the Republic of China as being a distinct country from the People's Republic of China. Thus, in September 2007, the then ruling Democratic Progressive Party approved a resolution asserting separate identity from China and called for the enactment of a new constitution for a "normal country". It called also for general use of "Taiwan" as the country's name, without abolishing its formal name, the "Republic of China". Some members of the coalition, such as former President
President of the Republic of China
The President of the Republic of China is the head of state and commander-in-chief of the Republic of China . The Republic of China was founded on January 1, 1912, to govern all of China...

 Chen Shui-bian, argue that it is unnecessary to proclaim independence because "Taiwan is already an independent, sovereign country" and the Republic of China is the same as Taiwan. Native Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui
Lee Teng-hui
Lee Teng-hui is a politician of the Republic of China . He was the 7th, 8th, and 9th-term President of the Republic of China and Chairman of the Kuomintang from 1988 to 2000. He presided over major advancements in democratic reforms including his own re-election which marked the first direct...

, whilst being part of the Pan-Blue coalition, also held a similar view and was a supporter of the Taiwanization
Taiwanization
Taiwanization , also known as the Taiwanese localization movement, is a political term used in Taiwan to emphasize the importance of a separate Taiwanese culture rather than to regard Taiwan as solely an appendage of China...

 movement during his presidency.

Pan-Blue members generally support the concept of the One-China policy, which states that there is only one China and that its only government is the ROC. They favor eventual re-unification of China. The more mainstream Pan-Blue position is to lift investment restrictions and pursue negotiations with the PRC to immediately open direct transportation links. Regarding independence, the mainstream Pan-Blue position is to maintain the status quo
Status quo
Statu quo, a commonly used form of the original Latin "statu quo" – literally "the state in which" – is a Latin term meaning the current or existing state of affairs. To maintain the status quo is to keep the things the way they presently are...

, while refusing immediate reunification
Chinese reunification
Chinese reunification refers to the bringing together of all of the territories controlled by the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China under a single political entity...

. President Ma Ying-jeou
Ma Ying-jeou
Ma Ying-jeou is the 12th term and current President of the Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan, and the Chairman of the Kuomintang Party, also known as the Chinese Nationalist Party. He formerly served as Justice Minister from 1993 to 1996, Mayor of Taipei from 1998 to 2006, and Chairman...

 stated that there will be no unification nor declaration of independence during his presidency. As of 2009, Pan-Blue members usually seek to improve relationships with mainland China, with a current focus on improving economic ties.

Current political issues


The dominant political issue in the ROC is its relationship with the PRC. For almost 60 years, there were no direct transportation links, including direct flights, between Taiwan and mainland China. This was a problem for many Taiwanese businesses that had opened factories or branches in mainland China. The former DPP administration feared that such links would lead to tighter economic and political integration with mainland China, and in the 2006 Lunar New Year Speech, President Chen Shui-bian called for managed opening of links. Direct weekend charter flights between Taiwan and mainland China began in July 2008 under the current KMT government, and the first direct daily charter flights took off in December 2008.

Other major political issues include the passage of an arms procurement bill that the United States authorized in 2001. In 2008, however, the United States were reluctant to send over more arms to Taiwan out of fear that it would hinder the recent improvement of ties between the PRC and the ROC. Another major political issue, is the establishment of a National Communications Commission to take over from the Government Information Office, whose advertising budget exercised great control over ROC media.

The politicians and their parties have themselves become major political issues. Corruption among some DPP administration officials has been exposed. In early 2006, President Chen Shui-bian was linked to possible corruption. The political effect on President Chen Shui-bian was great, causing a divide in the DPP leadership and supporters alike. It eventually led to the creation of a political camp led by ex-DPP leader Shih Ming-teh
Shih Ming-teh
Shih Ming-te or Shih Ming-teh was a political prisoner for 25-and-a-half years in the Republic of China .He was arrested at the age of 21 in 1962 and charged with creating the "Taiwan Independence League" with the intention of overthrowing the Kuomintang government, Shih was sentenced to life...

 which believes the president should resign. The KMT assets continue to be another major issue, as it was once the richest political party in the world. Nearing the end of 2006, KMT's chairman Ma Ying-jeou was also hit by corruption controversies, although he has since then been cleared of any wrong-doings by the courts. Since completing his second term as President, Chen Shui-bian has been charged with corruption and money laundering
Money laundering
Money laundering is the process of disguising illegal sources of money so that it looks like it came from legal sources. The methods by which money may be laundered are varied and can range in sophistication. Many regulatory and governmental authorities quote estimates each year for the amount...

.

The merger of the KMT and People First Party (PFP) was thought to be certain, but a string of defections from the PFP to the KMT have increased tensions within the Pan-Blue camp.

National identity


Roughly 84% of Taiwan's population descends from Han Chinese who migrated from mainland China between 1661 and 1895. Another significant fraction descends from Han Chinese who immigrated from mainland China in the 1940s and 1950s. But between 1895 and the present, Taiwan and mainland China have shared a common government for only 4 years. The shared cultural origin combined with several hundred years of geographical separation, some hundred years of political separation and foreign influences, as well as hostility between the rival ROC and PRC have resulted in national identity being a contentious issue with political overtones. Since democratization and the lifting of martial law, a distinct Taiwanese identity (as opposed to Taiwanese identity as a subset of a Chinese identity) is often at the heart of political debates. Its acceptance makes the island distinct from mainland China, and therefore may be seen as a step towards forming a consensus for de jure Taiwan independence. The pan-green camp supports a distinct Taiwanese identity, while the pan-blue camp supports a Chinese identity only. The KMT has downplayed this stance in the recent years and now supports a Taiwanese identity as part of a Chinese identity.

According to a survey conducted in March 2009, 49% of the respondents consider themselves as Taiwanese only, and 44% of the respondents consider themselves as Taiwanese and Chinese. 3% consider themselves as only Chinese. Another survey, conducted in Taiwan in July 2009, showed that 82.8% of respondents consider that the ROC and the PRC are two separate countries developing each on its own. A recent survey conducted in December 2009 showed that 62% of the respondents consider themselves as Taiwanese only, and 22% of the respondents consider themselves as both Taiwanese and Chinese. 8% consider themselves as only Chinese. The survey also shows that among 18–29 year old respondents, 75% consider themselves as Taiwanese only.
Percentage of Taiwanese residents who consider themselves Taiwanese, Chinese or Taiwanese and Chinese according to various surveys.
Survey Taiwanese Chinese Taiwanese and Chinese
Research, Development, and Evaluation Commission
Research, Development, and Evaluation Commission
The Research, Development, and Evaluation Commission is a branch of the Executive Yuan of the Republic of China Government. The commission is "responsible for policy research and development, policy planning, policy supervision and evaluation, government’s IT management, circulation of government...

, Executive Yuan (April 2008)
67.1% 13.6% 15.2%
TVBS Poll Center (June 2008) 45% 4% 45%
Common Wealth Magazine (December 2009) 62% 8% 22%
National Chengchi University (June 2010) 51.6% 3.8% 40.4%
TVBS Poll Center (March 2009) 72% 16% (not an option for this question)
TVBS Poll Center (March 2009) 49% 3% 44%

Foreign relations



Before 1928, the foreign policy
Foreign policy
A country's foreign policy, also called the foreign relations policy, consists of self-interest strategies chosen by the state to safeguard its national interests and to achieve its goals within international relations milieu. The approaches are strategically employed to interact with other countries...

 of Republican China was complicated by a lack of internal unity—competing centers of power all claimed legitimacy. This situation changed after the defeat of the Peiyang Government
Beiyang Government
The Beiyang government or warlord government collectively refers to a series of military regimes that ruled from Beijing from 1912 to 1928 at Zhongnanhai. It was internationally recognized as the legitimate Government of the Republic of China. The name comes from the Beiyang Army which dominated...

 by the Kuomintang, which led to widespread diplomatic recognition of the Republic of China. After the KMT retreat to Taiwan, most countries, notably the countries in the Western Bloc
Western Bloc
The Western Bloc or Capitalist Bloc during the Cold War refers to the powers allied with the United States and NATO against the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact...

, continued to maintain relations with the ROC. Due to diplomatic pressure, recognition gradually eroded and many countries switched recognition to the PRC in the 1970s.

The ROC was a founding member of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 and held China's seat on the Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

 until 1971, when it was expelled by General Assembly Resolution 2758 and replaced in all UN organs with the PRC. Multiple attempts by the ROC to rejoin the UN have not made it past committee. The seat of China
China and the United Nations
China's seat in the United Nations and membership of the United Nations Security Council was originally occupied by the Republic of China since October 24, 1945. During the Chinese Civil War, the Communist Party of China repelled the government of the ROC from Mainland China to the island of...

 at the United Nations is currently occupied by the PRC.

Due to its limited international recognition, the Republic of China is a member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization
Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization
The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization , formed in 11 February 1991, in The Hague, is an international organization of political organisations and governments representing self-proclaimed "indigenous peoples, minorities, and unrecognised or occupied territories". The organization...

, represented by a ROC government funded organization, the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy
Taiwan Foundation for Democracy
The Taiwan Foundation for Democracy is an non-profit organisation headquartered in Taipei. Originally proposed by the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Foundation's purpose is to promote democracy around the world...

 (TFD) under the name "Taiwan".

Diplomatic relations


The PRC refuses to have diplomatic relations with any nation that recognizes the ROC, and requires all nations with which it has diplomatic relations to make a statement recognizing its claims to Taiwan. As a result, there are only states that have official diplomatic relations with the Republic of China. In practice, most countries view the ROC as an independent state and as such maintain unofficial relations with it.

The ROC maintains unofficial relations with most countries via de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

embassies and consulates
Consul (representative)
The political title Consul is used for the official representatives of the government of one state in the territory of another, normally acting to assist and protect the citizens of the consul's own country, and to facilitate trade and friendship between the peoples of the two countries...

 called Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office
Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office
A Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office , sometimes known as a Taipei Economic and Cultural Office or a Taipei Representative Office , is a representative office, established by the Republic of China in countries that have diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China...

s (TECRO), with branch offices called "Taipei Economic and Cultural Offices" (TECO). Both TECRO and TECO are "unofficial commercial entities" of the ROC in charge of maintaining diplomatic relations
Diplomacy
Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states...

, providing consular services (i.e. visa applications), and serving the national interests of the ROC in other countries.

The United States maintains unofficial relations with the ROC through the instrumentality of the American Institute in Taiwan
American Institute in Taiwan
The American Institute in Taiwan is a non-profit, public corporation established under the auspices of the United States government to serve its interests in Taiwan...

, which is the de facto
De facto
De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

embassy of the US in the ROC.

Relations with Mongolia



Besides the dispute with the PRC over mainland China, the ROC also has a controversial relationship with Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

. Until 1945, the ROC claimed sovereignty over the country, but under Soviet pressure, it recognized Mongolian independence. Shortly thereafter in 1953, due to the deterioration of diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, it revoked this recognition and kept considering it a part of mainland China. In 2002, however, the DPP
Democratic Progressive Party
The Democratic Progressive Party is a political party in Taiwan, and the dominant party in the Pan-Green Coalition. Founded in 1986, DPP is the first meaningful opposition party in Taiwan. It has traditionally been associated with strong advocacy of human rights and a distinct Taiwanese identity,...

 government under Chen Shui-bian declared that it recognized Mongolia's independence, even though no legislative actions were taken to address concerns over its constitutional claims to Mongolia, and established a representative office in Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

's capital, Ulan Bator. Offices established to support the ROC's claims over Outer Mongolia, such as the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission
Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission
The Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission is one of two ministry-level commissions of the Executive Yuan in the Republic of China. Inaugural addresses are delivered by the Chairman of the Commission...

, lie dormant.

Participation in international events and organizations


Also due to its One China policy, the PRC only participates in international organizations where the ROC is not recognized as a sovereign country. Each year since 1992, the ROC has petitioned the UN for entry but has been unsuccessful. Most member states, including the United States, do not wish to discuss the issue of the ROC's political status for fear of souring diplomatic ties with the PRC. However, both the US and Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 publicly support the ROC's bid for membership in the World Health Organization
World Health Organization
The World Health Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health. Established on 7 April 1948, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency inherited the mandate and resources of its predecessor, the Health...

 as an observer. However, though the ROC has applied for WHO membership every year since 1997 under various denominations, their efforts have consistently been blocked by PRC.

At present, the ROC usually uses the politically neutral name "Chinese Taipei
Chinese Taipei
Chinese Taipei is the designated name used by the Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan, to participate in some international organizations and almost all sporting events, such as the Olympics, Paralympics, Asian Games and Asian Para Games...

" in international events such as the Olympic Games
Olympic Games
The Olympic Games is a major international event featuring summer and winter sports, in which thousands of athletes participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the world’s foremost sports competition where more than 200 nations participate...

 where the PRC is also a party. The ROC is typically barred from using its national anthem and national flag in international events due to PRC pressure; ROC spectators attending events such as the Olympics are often barred from bringing ROC flags
Blue Sky with a White Sun
The Blue Sky with a White Sun serves as the design for the party flag and emblem of the Kuomintang , the canton of the flag of the Republic of China, the national emblem of the Republic of China , and as the naval jack of the ROC Navy....

 into venues. The ROC is able to participate as "China" in organizations that the PRC does not participate in, such as the World Organization of the Scout Movement
World Organization of the Scout Movement
The World Organization of the Scout Movement is the Non-governmental international organization which governs most national Scout Organizations, with 31 million members. WOSM was established in 1920, and has its headquarters at Geneva, Switzerland...

.

The relationship with the PRC and the related issues of Taiwanese independence and Chinese reunification continue to dominate ROC politics. For any particular resolution, public favor shifts greatly with small changes in wording, illustrating the complexity of public opinion on the topic.

Military


The Republic of China Army
Republic of China Army
The ROC Army's current operational strength includes 3 armies, 5 corps. As of 2005, the Army's 35 brigades include 25 infantry brigades, 5 armoured brigades and 3 mechanized infantry brigades...

 takes its roots in the National Revolutionary Army
National Revolutionary Army
The National Revolutionary Army , pre-1928 sometimes shortened to 革命軍 or Revolutionary Army and between 1928-1947 as 國軍 or National Army was the Military Arm of the Kuomintang from 1925 until 1947, as well as the national army of the Republic of China during the KMT's period of party rule...

, which was established by Sun Yat-sen
Sun Yat-sen
Sun Yat-sen was a Chinese doctor, revolutionary and political leader. As the foremost pioneer of Nationalist China, Sun is frequently referred to as the "Father of the Nation" , a view agreed upon by both the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China...

 in 1925 in Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

 with a goal of reunifying China under the Kuomintang. When the People's Liberation Army
People's Liberation Army
The People's Liberation Army is the unified military organization of all land, sea, strategic missile and air forces of the People's Republic of China. The PLA was established on August 1, 1927 — celebrated annually as "PLA Day" — as the military arm of the Communist Party of China...

 won the Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War
The Chinese Civil War was a civil war fought between the Kuomintang , the governing party of the Republic of China, and the Communist Party of China , for the control of China which eventually led to China's division into two Chinas, Republic of China and People's Republic of...

, much of the National Revolutionary Army retreated to Taiwan along with the government. It was later reformed into the Republic of China Army. Units which surrendered and remained in mainland China were either disbanded or incorporated into the People's Liberation Army.

Today, the Republic of China maintains a large and technologically advanced military, mainly as defense against the constant threat of invasion by the PRC under the Anti-Secession Law of the People's Republic of China
Anti-Secession Law of the People's Republic of China
The Anti-Secession Law is a law of the People's Republic of China. It was passed by the third conference of the 10th National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China . It was ratified on March 14, 2005, and went into effect immediately. Hu Jintao, President of the People's Republic of...

. From 1949 to the 1970s, the primary mission of the military was to "retake the mainland." As this mission has shifted to defense, the ROC military has begun to shift emphasis from the traditionally dominant Army to the air force
Republic of China Air Force
The Republic of China Air Force is the aviation branch of the Republic of China Armed Forces. The ROCAF's primary mission is the defense of the airspace over and around Taiwan...

 and navy
Republic of China Navy
The Republic of China Navy is the maritime branch of the Armed forces of the Republic of China . The ROC Navy's primary mission is to defend ROC territories and the sea lanes that surround Taiwan against a blockade, attack, or possible invasion by forces of the People's Republic of China...

. Control of the armed forces has also passed into the hands of the civilian government. As the ROC military shares historical roots with the KMT, the older generation of high ranking officers tends to have Pan-Blue sympathies. However, many have retired and there are many more non-mainlanders enlisting in the armed forces in the younger generations, so the political leanings of the military have moved closer to the public norm in Taiwan.
The ROC began a force reduction program to scale down its military from a level of 450,000 in 1997 to 380,000 in 2001. As of 2009, the armed forces of the ROC number approximately 300,000, with nominal reserves totaling 3.6 million as of 2005. Conscription remains universal for qualified males reaching age eighteen, but as a part of the reduction effort many are given the opportunity to fulfill their draft requirement through alternative service and are redirected to government agencies or defense related industries. Current plans call for a transition to a predominantly professional army over the next decade. Conscription periods are planned to decrease from 14 months to 12. In the last months of the Bush administration, Taipei took the decision to reverse the secular trend of declining defense spending, at a time when most Asian countries kept on reducing their military expenditures. It also decided to modernize both defensive and offensive capabilities. Taipei still keeps a large military apparatus relative to the island’s population: defense expenditures for 2008 were NTD 334 billion (approximately U.S. $10.5 billion), which accounted for 2.94% of GDP.

The armed forces' primary concern at this time is the possibility of an attack by the PRC, consisting of a naval blockade, airborne assault and/or missile bombardment. Four upgraded Kidd class destroyer
Kidd class destroyer
The Kidd class guided missile destroyers were a series of four warships based upon the hull of the Spruance class destroyers. These ships were originally ordered by the Shah of Iran for service in the Persian Gulf in an air defense role...

s were recently purchased from the United States, significantly upgrading Taiwan's air defense and submarine hunting abilities. The Ministry of National Defense planned to purchase diesel-powered submarines and Patriot anti-missile batteries from the United States, but its budget has been stalled repeatedly by the opposition-Pan-Blue Coalition
Pan-Blue Coalition
The Pan-Blue Coalition 泛藍聯盟 or Pan-Blue Force is a political alliance in the Republic of China , consisting of the Kuomintang , the People First Party , and the New Party . The name comes from the party colours of the Kuomintang...

 controlled legislature. The defense package was stalled from 2001–2007 where it was finally passed through the legislature and the US responded on 3 October 2008, with a $6.5 billion arms package including PAC III Anti-Air defense systems, AH-64D Apache Attack helicopters and other arms and parts. A significant amount of military hardware has been bought from the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, and, as of 2009, continues to be legally guaranteed by the Taiwan Relations Act
Taiwan Relations Act
The Taiwan Relations Act is an act of the United States Congress passed in 1979 after the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China and the breaking of relations between the United States and the Republic of China on the island of Taiwan by President Jimmy Carter...

. In the past, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 have also sold military weapons and hardware to the ROC, but they almost entirely stopped in the 1990s under pressure of the PRC.

The first line of defense against invasion by the PRC is the ROC's own armed forces. Current ROC military doctrine is to hold out against an invasion or blockade until the US military responds. There is, however, no guarantee in the Taiwan Relations Act or any other treaty that the United States will defend Taiwan, even in the event of invasion. The joint declaration on security between the US and Japan signed in 1996 may imply that Japan would be involved in any response. However, Japan has refused to stipulate whether the "area surrounding Japan" mentioned in the pact includes Taiwan, and the precise purpose of the pact is unclear. The Australia, New Zealand, United States Security Treaty (ANZUS Treaty) may mean that other US allies, such as Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, could theoretically be involved. In practice, the risk of losing economic ties with China may prevent Australia from taking action. The United States, United Kingdom, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Canada, Chile, and Peru conduct maritime exercises in the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

 every 2 years called RIMPAC
RIMPAC
RIMPAC, the Rim of the Pacific Exercise, is the world's largest international maritime exercise. Conducted biennially , it is hosted and administered by the United States Navy, with the United States Marine Corps, United States Coast Guard, and Hawaii National Guard forces under the leadership of...

. They are conducted to promote stability and to be able to respond in case of an armed conflict in the region – that includes an invasion of Taiwan by China.

Economy



The quick industrialization and rapid growth of Taiwan during the latter half of the twentieth century has been called the "Taiwan Miracle
Taiwan Miracle
The Taiwan Miracle or Taiwan Economic Miracle refers to the rapid industrialization and economic growth of Taiwan during the latter half of the twentieth century...

". Taiwan is one of the "Four Asian Tigers" alongside Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

, South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

 and Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

.

By 1945, hyperinflation
Hyperinflation
In economics, hyperinflation is inflation that is very high or out of control. While the real values of the specific economic items generally stay the same in terms of relatively stable foreign currencies, in hyperinflationary conditions the general price level within a specific economy increases...

 was in progress in mainland China and Taiwan as a result of the war with Japan. To isolate Taiwan from it, the Nationalist government created a new currency area for the island, and started a price stabilization program. These efforts helped significantly slow the inflation. In 1950, with the outbreak of the Korean War, the US began an aid program which resulted in fully stabilized prices by 1952. The KMT government instituted many laws and land reforms that it had never effectively enacted on mainland China; it implemented a policy of import-substitution, and it attempted to produce imported goods domestically. Much of this was made possible through US economic aid, subsidizing the higher cost of domestic production.

Today the Republic of China has a dynamic, capitalist, export-driven economy with gradually decreasing state involvement in investment and foreign trade. In keeping with this trend, some large government-owned banks and industrial firms are being privatized
Privatization
Privatization is the incidence or process of transferring ownership of a business, enterprise, agency or public service from the public sector to the private sector or to private non-profit organizations...

. Real growth in GDP
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 has averaged about 8% during the past three decades. Exports have provided the primary impetus for industrialization. The trade surplus is substantial, and foreign reserves are the world's fifth largest. The Republic of China has its own currency, the New Taiwan dollar
New Taiwan dollar
The New Taiwan dollar , or simply Taiwan dollar, is the official currency of the Taiwan Area of the Republic of China since 1949, when it replaced the Old Taiwan dollar...

.

Since the beginning of the 1990s, the economic ties between the ROC and the PRC have been very prolific. As of 2008, more than US$150 billion have been invested in the PRC by Taiwanese companies, and about 10% of the Taiwanese labour force works in the PRC, often to run their own businesses. Although the economy of Taiwan benefits from this situation, some have expressed the view that the island has become increasingly dependent on the PRC economy. A 2008 white paper by the Department of Industrial Technology states that "Taiwan should seek to maintain stable relation with China while continuing to protect national security, and avoiding excessive 'Sinicization' of Taiwanese economy." Others argue that close economic ties between Taiwan and the PRC would make any military intervention by the PRC against Taiwan very costly, and therefore less probable.

In 2001, agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 constitutes only 2 percent of GDP, down from 35 percent in 1952. Traditional labor-intensive industries are steadily being moved offshore and with more capital and technology-intensive industries replacing them. The ROC has become a major foreign investor in the PRC, Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, Malaysia, and Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

. It is estimated that some 50,000 Taiwanese businesses and 1,000,000 businesspeople and their dependents are established in the PRC.

Because of its conservative financial approach and its entrepreneurial strengths, the ROC suffered little compared with many of its neighbors from the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. Unlike its neighbors, South Korea and Japan, the Taiwanese economy is dominated by small and medium sized businesses, rather than the large business groups. The global economic downturn, however, combined with poor policy coordination by the new administration and increasing bad debts in the banking system, pushed Taiwan into recession
Recession
In economics, a recession is a business cycle contraction, a general slowdown in economic activity. During recessions, many macroeconomic indicators vary in a similar way...

 in 2001, the first whole year of negative growth since 1947. Due to the relocation of many manufacturing and labor intensive industries to the PRC, unemployment also reached a level not seen since the 1970s oil crisis. This became a major issue in the 2004 presidential election. Growth averaged more than 4 percent in the 2002–2006 period and the unemployment rate fell below 4 percent.

The ROC often joins international organizations under a politically neutral name. The ROC is a member of governmental trade organizations such as the World Trade Organization
World Trade Organization
The World Trade Organization is an organization that intends to supervise and liberalize international trade. The organization officially commenced on January 1, 1995 under the Marrakech Agreement, replacing the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade , which commenced in 1948...

 under the name Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu (Chinese Taipei)
Chinese Taipei
Chinese Taipei is the designated name used by the Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan, to participate in some international organizations and almost all sporting events, such as the Olympics, Paralympics, Asian Games and Asian Para Games...

 since 2002.

Education


The higher education system was established in Taiwan by Japan during the colonial period. However, after the Republic of China took over Taiwan from Japan in 1945, the system was promptly replaced by the same system as in mainland China which mixed with features of the Chinese and American educational systems.

The educational system includes six years of elementary school, three years of middle school, three years of high school, and four years of university. The system has been successful in that pupils in the ROC boast some of the highest test scores in the world, especially in mathematics
Mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

 and science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

; However, it has also been criticized for placing excessive pressure on students and eschewing creativity in favor of rote memorization.

Many Taiwanese students attend cram schools, or bushiban, to improve skills and knowledge on problem solving against exams of subjects like mathematics, nature science, history and many others. Courses are available for most popular subjects. Lessons are organized in lectures, reviews, private tutorial sessions, and recitations.

As of 2003, the literacy rate in Taiwan is 96.1%.

Demographics


The population of areas under control of the Republic of China was estimated in August 2009 at 23,082,125 spread across a total land area of 35980 square kilometres (13,892 sq mi) making it the twelfth most densely populated country in the world with a population density of 640 /km2. Ninety-eight percent of Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

's population is made up of Han Chinese
Han Chinese
Han Chinese are an ethnic group native to China and are the largest single ethnic group in the world.Han Chinese constitute about 92% of the population of the People's Republic of China , 98% of the population of the Republic of China , 78% of the population of Singapore, and about 20% of the...

 while two percent are Austronesian
Austronesian languages
The Austronesian languages are a language family widely dispersed throughout the islands of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, with a few members spoken on continental Asia that are spoken by about 386 million people. It is on par with Indo-European, Niger-Congo, Afroasiatic and Uralic as one of the...

 aborigines
Taiwanese aborigines
Taiwanese aborigines is the term commonly applied in reference to the indigenous peoples of Taiwan. Although Taiwanese indigenous groups hold a variety of creation myths, recent research suggests their ancestors may have been living on the islands for approximately 8,000 years before major Han...

. Taiwan is undergoing a decline in birth rates with a population growth of just 0.61% for the year 2006.

Religion



There are approximately 18,718,600 religious followers in Taiwan as of 2005 (81.3% of total population) and 14–18% are non-religious. According to the 2005 census, of the 26 religions recognized by the ROC government, the five largest are: Buddhism (8,086,000 or 35.1%), Taoism (7,600,000 or 33%), I-Kuan Tao
I-Kuan Tao
I-Kuan Tao, also Yīguàn Dào, or usually initialized as IKT is a new religious movement that originated in twentieth-century China. It incorporates elements from Confucianism, Taoism, and Chinese Buddhism, and recognizes the validity of non-Chinese religious traditions such as Christianity and...

 (810,000 or 3.5%), Protestantism (605,000 or 2.6%), and Roman Catholicism (298,000 or 1.3%). But according to the CIA World Factbook and other latest sources from US State Department or the Religious Affairs Section of the MOI, over 80% to 93% of the population are nominal or cultural adherents of a Chinese traditional combination of Mahayana Buddhism, Confucianism
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

 (ancestor worship) and Taoism
Taoism
Taoism refers to a philosophical or religious tradition in which the basic concept is to establish harmony with the Tao , which is the mechanism of everything that exists...

.

Language


The official national language
National language
A national language is a language which has some connection—de facto or de jure—with a people and perhaps by extension the territory they occupy. The term is used variously. A national language may for instance represent the national identity of a nation or country...

 is Mandarin Chinese
Standard Chinese
Standard Chinese, or Modern Standard Chinese, also known as Mandarin or Putonghua, is the official language of the People's Republic of China and Republic of China , and is one of the four official languages of Singapore....

 though the majority also speak Taiwanese (variant of the Hokkien
Hokkien
Hokkien is a Hokkien word corresponding to Standard Chinese "Fujian". It may refer to:* Hokkien dialect, a dialect of Min Nan Chinese spoken in Southern Fujian , Taiwan, South-east Asia, and elsewhere....

 speech of Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

 province) and many also speak Hakka. Aboriginal languages are becoming extinct as the aborigines have become sinicized
Sinicization
Sinicization, Sinicisation or Sinification, is the linguistic assimilation or cultural assimilation of terms and concepts of the language and culture of China...

 and the ROC government has not preserved the Formosan languages
Formosan languages
The Formosan languages are the languages of the indigenous peoples of Taiwan. Taiwanese aborigines currently comprise about 2% of the island's population. However, far fewer can still speak their ancestral language, after centuries of language shift...

. Like Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

 and Macau
Macau
Macau , also spelled Macao , is, along with Hong Kong, one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China...

, the ROC uses the Traditional Chinese writing system. However, in some rare cases, the characters are not the same as in Hong Kong or Macau.

Largest cities


The figures below are the 2011 estimates for the twenty largest urban populations within administrative city limits; a different ranking exists when considering the total metropolitan area populations (in such rankings the Taipei-Keelung metro area is by far the largest agglomeration).

Public health



Health care
Health care
Health care is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans. Health care is delivered by practitioners in medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, and other care providers...

 in the ROC is managed by the Bureau of National Health Insurance (BNHI).

The current program was implemented in 1995 and is considered social insurance. The government health insurance program maintains compulsory insurance for citizens who are employed, impoverished, unemployed, or victims of natural disasters with fees that correlate to the individual and/or family income; it also maintains protection for non-citizens working in Taiwan. A standardized method of calculation applies to all persons and can optionally be paid by an employer or by individual contributions.

BNHI insurance coverage requires co-payment at the time of service for most services unless it is a preventative health service, for low-income families, veterans, children under three years old, or in the case of catastrophic diseases. Low income households maintain 100% premium coverage by the BNHI and co-pays are reduced for disabled or certain elderly peoples.

According to a recently published survey, out of 3,360 patients surveyed at a randomly chosen hospital, 75.1% of the patients said they are "very satisfied" with the hospital service; 20.5% said they are "okay" with the service. Only 4.4% of the patients said they are either "not satisfied" or "very not satisfied" with the service or care provided.

Taiwan has its own Center for Disease Control, and during the SARS
Severe acute respiratory syndrome
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome is a respiratory disease in humans which is caused by the SARS coronavirus . Between November 2002 and July 2003 an outbreak of SARS in Hong Kong nearly became a pandemic, with 8,422 cases and 916 deaths worldwide according to the WHO...

 outbreak occurring in March 2003 confirmed 347 cases. During the outbreak the CDC and local governments set up monitored stations throughout public transportation, recreational sites and other public areas. With full containment in July 2003, there has not been a case of SARS since.

In 2004 the infant mortality rate was 5.3 with 15 physicians and 63 hospital beds per 10,000 people. The life expectancy for males was 73.5 years and 79.7 years for females according the World Health Report.

Other health related programs in Taiwan are the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Health.

Calendar



The Republic of China uses two official calendars: the Gregorian calendar
Gregorian calendar
The Gregorian calendar, also known as the Western calendar, or Christian calendar, is the internationally accepted civil calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582, a papal bull known by its opening words Inter...

, and the Minguo calendar
Minguo calendar
The Republic of China calendar is the method of numbering years currently used in the Republic of China . It was used in mainland China from 1912 until the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949....

. The latter numbers years starting from 1911, the year of the founding of the Republic of China. For example, 2007 is the "96th year of the Republic".

Months and days are numbered according to the Gregorian calendar
Gregorian calendar
The Gregorian calendar, also known as the Western calendar, or Christian calendar, is the internationally accepted civil calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582, a papal bull known by its opening words Inter...

. Year numbering may use the Gregorian system as well as the ROC era system. For example, 3 May 2004, may be written 2004-05-03 or 93–05–03. The use of two different calendar systems in Taiwan may be confusing, in particular for foreigners. For instance, products for export marked using the Minguo calendar can be misunderstood as having an expiration date 11 years earlier than intended.

Taiwan also uses the lunar calendar
Lunar calendar
A lunar calendar is a calendar that is based on cycles of the lunar phase. A common purely lunar calendar is the Islamic calendar or Hijri calendar. A feature of the Islamic calendar is that a year is always 12 months, so the months are not linked with the seasons and drift each solar year by 11 to...

 for traditional festivals such as the Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year – often called Chinese Lunar New Year although it actually is lunisolar – is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is an all East and South-East-Asia celebration...

, the Lantern Festival
Lantern Festival
The Lantern Festival ; is a festival celebrated on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunisolar year in the Chinese calendar, the last day...

, and the Dragon Boat Festival
Dragon Boat Festival
Duanwu Festival, also known as Dragon Boat Festival and the Double Fifth, is a traditional and statutory holiday originating in China and associated with a number of East Asian and Southeast Asian societies...

.

International rankings



The following are international rankings of the Republic of China:
Context Organization Rank Year Source
GDP (PPP)  International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

 / CIA
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 
19/179 (IMF)
18/227 (CIA)
2007
GDP (PPP) per capita  International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

 / CIA
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

 
28/179 (IMF)
40/227 (CIA)
2007
Human Development Index
Human Development Index
The Human Development Index is a composite statistic used to rank countries by level of "human development" and separate "very high human development", "high human development", "medium human development", and "low human development" countries...

 
Government of the Republic of China
Government of the Republic of China
The Republic of China was formally established by Dr. Sun Yat-sen in 1912 in Nanjing under the Provisional Constitution of the Republic of China but this government was moved to Beijing in the same year and continued as the internationally recognized government of China until 1928. In the history...

 
19/177
if ranked
2007
Worldwide press freedom index  Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders
Reporters Without Borders is a France-based international non-governmental organization that advocates freedom of the press. It was founded in 1985, by Robert Ménard, Rony Brauman and the journalist Jean-Claude Guillebaud. Jean-François Julliard has served as Secretary General since 2008...

 
48/178 2010
Freedom of the Press Freedom House
Freedom House
Freedom House is an international non-governmental organization based in Washington, D.C. that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom and human rights...

 
24/99 2010
Index of Economic Freedom
Index of Economic Freedom
The Index of Economic Freedom is a series of 10 economic measurements created by The Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. Its stated objective is to measure the degree of economic freedom in the world's nations....

 
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal is an American English-language international daily newspaper. It is published in New York City by Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corporation, along with the Asian and European editions of the Journal....

 and the Heritage Foundation
Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation is a conservative American think tank based in Washington, D.C. Heritage's stated mission is to "formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong...

 
35/179 2009
Economic Freedom of the World  Fraser Institute
Fraser Institute
The Fraser Institute is a Canadian think tank. It has been described as politically conservative and right-wing libertarian and espouses free market principles...

 
24/130 2004
Ease of Doing Business Index
Ease of Doing Business Index
The Ease of Doing Business Index is an index created by the World Bank. Higher rankings indicate better, usually simpler, regulations for businesses and stronger protections of property rights...

 
World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 
46/183 2010
Global Competitiveness Report
Global Competitiveness Report
The Global Competitiveness Report is a yearly report published by the World Economic Forum. The first report was released in 1979. The 2011–2012 report covers 142 major and emerging economies....

 
World Economic Forum
World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum is a Swiss non-profit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva, best known for its annual meeting in Davos, a mountain resort in Graubünden, in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland....

 
13/139 2010–2011
Business Competitiveness Index World Economic Forum
World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum is a Swiss non-profit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva, best known for its annual meeting in Davos, a mountain resort in Graubünden, in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland....

 
21/121 2006
Worldwide quality-of-life index The Economist
The Economist
The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd. and edited in offices in the City of Westminster, London, England. Continuous publication began under founder James Wilson in September 1843...

 
21/111 2005
Global e-Government Study Brown University
Brown University
Brown University is a private, Ivy League university located in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. Founded in 1764 prior to American independence from the British Empire as the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations early in the reign of King George III ,...

 
2/198 2006
World Competitiveness Yearbook International Institute for Management Development
International Institute for Management Development
IMD - International Institute for Management Development is a non profit business school located in Lausanne, Switzerland.- History & Mission :...

 
8/58 2010
The Global Information Technology Report World Economic Forum
World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum is a Swiss non-profit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva, best known for its annual meeting in Davos, a mountain resort in Graubünden, in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland....

 
11/133 2009–2010
Corruption Perceptions Index
Corruption Perceptions Index
Since 1995, Transparency International publishes the Corruption Perceptions Index annually ranking countries "by their perceived levels of corruption, as determined by expert assessments and opinion surveys." The CPI generally defines corruption as "the misuse of public power for private...

 
Transparency International
Transparency International
Transparency International is a non-governmental organization that monitors and publicizes corporate and political corruption in international development. It publishes an annual Corruption Perceptions Index, a comparative listing of corruption worldwide...

 
37/180 2009
The Global Enabling Trade Report World Economic Forum
World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum is a Swiss non-profit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva, best known for its annual meeting in Davos, a mountain resort in Graubünden, in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland....

 
28/125 2010
Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index World Economic Forum
World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum is a Swiss non-profit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva, best known for its annual meeting in Davos, a mountain resort in Graubünden, in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland....

 
43/133 2009
IT industry competitiveness index Economist Intelligence Unit
Economist Intelligence Unit
The Economist Intelligence Unit is part of the Economist Group.It is a research and advisory company providing country, industry and management analysis worldwide and incorporates the former Business International Corporation, a U.S. company acquired by the parent organization in 1986...

 
2/66 2008
Business Environment Rankings Economist Intelligence Unit
Economist Intelligence Unit
The Economist Intelligence Unit is part of the Economist Group.It is a research and advisory company providing country, industry and management analysis worldwide and incorporates the former Business International Corporation, a U.S. company acquired by the parent organization in 1986...

 
18/82 2008
E-readiness rankings
E-readiness
E-Readiness is the ability to use information and communication technologies to develop one's economy and to foster one's welfare.There are several benchmarking indices at the macro level, e.g., those calculated by the UNPAN, World Bank, Economist Intelligence Unit etc.Because what appear on the...

 
Economist Intelligence Unit
Economist Intelligence Unit
The Economist Intelligence Unit is part of the Economist Group.It is a research and advisory company providing country, industry and management analysis worldwide and incorporates the former Business International Corporation, a U.S. company acquired by the parent organization in 1986...

 
19/70 2008
Environmental Performance Index Yale University
Yale University
Yale University is a private, Ivy League university located in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Founded in 1701 in the Colony of Connecticut, the university is the third-oldest institution of higher education in the United States...

 
40/149 2008
Bertelsmann Transformation Index (Status) Bertelsmann Foundation
Bertelsmann Foundation
The Bertelsmann Foundation is the largest private operating non-profit foundation in Germany, created in 1977 by Reinhard Mohn. The Bertelsmann Foundation holds 77.4 percent of Bertelsmann AG....

 
4/125 2008
Bertelsmann Transformation Index (Managem.) Bertelsmann Foundation
Bertelsmann Foundation
The Bertelsmann Foundation is the largest private operating non-profit foundation in Germany, created in 1977 by Reinhard Mohn. The Bertelsmann Foundation holds 77.4 percent of Bertelsmann AG....

 
7/125 2008

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