Taiwan

Taiwan

Overview
Taiwan also known, especially in the past, as Formosa (from , "Beautiful Island"), is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

 in the western 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...

 and located off the southeastern coast of 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 island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 (ROC) following 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 1950. Due to this reason and the disputed political status of Republic of China
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...

 in the United Nations, the name "Taiwan" has also become the pars pro toto
Pars pro toto
Pars pro toto is Latin for "a part for the whole" where the name of a portion of an object or concept represents the entire object or context....

common name for the country itself.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Taiwan'
Start a new discussion about 'Taiwan'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Recent Discussions
Timeline

1635   Dutch colonial forces on Taiwan launch a pacification campaign against native villages, resulting in Dutch control of the middle and south of the island.

1652   Around 15,000 Han farmers and militia rebel against Dutch rule on Taiwan.

1662   The Chinese general Koxinga seizes the island of Taiwan after a nine-month siege.

1683   The Qing Dynasty naval commander Shi Lang reaches Taiwan (under the Kingdom of Tungning) to receive the formal surrender of Zheng Keshuang and Liu Guoxuan after the Battle of Penghu.

1895   The Treaty of Shimonoseki between China and Japan is signed. This marks the end of the First Sino-Japanese War, and the defeated Qing Empire is forced to renounce its claims on Korea and to concede the southern portion of the Fengtien province, Taiwan and the Pescadores Islands to Japan.

1945   The Republic of China takes over administration of Taiwan following Japan's surrender to the Allies.

1947   228 Incident: In Taiwan, civil disorder is put down with the loss of 30,000 civilian lives.

1949   The Kuomintang regime declares martial law in Taiwan.

1949   Chinese Civil War: The People's Liberation Army begins its siege of Chengdu, the last Kuomintang-held city in mainland China, forcing President of the Republic of China Chiang Kai-shek and his government to retreat to Taiwan.

1964   The Republic of China (Taiwan) breaks off diplomatic relations with France.

 
Encyclopedia
Taiwan also known, especially in the past, as Formosa (from , "Beautiful Island"), is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

 in the western 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...

 and located off the southeastern coast of 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 island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 (ROC) following 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 1950. Due to this reason and the disputed political status of Republic of China
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...

 in the United Nations, the name "Taiwan" has also become the pars pro toto
Pars pro toto
Pars pro toto is Latin for "a part for the whole" where the name of a portion of an object or concept represents the entire object or context....

common name for the country itself. (See also Names of the Republic of China.)

Separated from the Asian continent
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

 by the 160 km (99.4 mi) wide 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...

, Taiwan is 394 km (244.8 mi) long and 144 kilometres (89 mi) wide. To the northeast are the main islands of Japan
Japanese Archipelago
The , which forms the country of Japan, extends roughly from northeast to southwest along the northeastern coast of the Eurasia mainland, washing upon the northwestern shores of the Pacific Ocean...

 and the East China Sea
East China Sea
The East China Sea is a marginal sea east of China. It is a part of the Pacific Ocean and covers an area of 1,249,000 km² or 750,000 square miles.-Geography:...

, and the southern end of the Ryukyu Islands
Ryukyu Islands
The , also known as the , is a chain of islands in the western Pacific, on the eastern limit of the East China Sea and to the southwest of the island of Kyushu in Japan. From about 1829 until the mid 20th century, they were alternately called Luchu, Loochoo, or Lewchew, akin to the Mandarin...

 of Japan is directly to the east; the Batanes Islands of 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...

 lie to its south across the Bashi Channel
Bashi Channel
The Bashi Channel is a strait between the Y'Ami Island of the Philippines and Orchid Island of Taiwan. It is characterized by windy storms during the rainy period, June to December. It is a part of the Pacific Ocean....

. The mountainous island spans the Tropic of Cancer
Tropic of Cancer
The Tropic of Cancer, also referred to as the Northern tropic, is the circle of latitude on the Earth that marks the most northerly position at which the Sun may appear directly overhead at its zenith...

 and is covered by tropical and subtropical
Humid subtropical climate
A humid subtropical climate is a climate zone characterized by hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters...

 vegetation. Other minor islands and islets of the group include the Penghu Islands (Pescadores), Green Island
Green Island, Taiwan
Green Island is a small volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean, about off the eastern coast of Taiwan. In the 19th century it was known as Samasana Island and the Japanese called it Kasho-to . The island is 15.092 km² at high tide and 17.329 km² at low tide...

, and Orchid Island
Orchid Island
Orchid Island is a 45-km² volcanic island off the southeastern coast of Taiwan island and separated from the Batanes of the Philippines by the Bashi Channel of the Luzon Strait. It is governed as Lanyu Township of Taitung County...

, as well as the Diaoyutai Islands
Senkaku Islands
The , also known as the Diaoyu Islands or Diaoyutai Islands or the Pinnacle Islands, are a group of disputed uninhabited islands in the East China Sea...

 (Senkaku islands), which have been controlled by Japan since the 1970s.

Taiwan was ceded to 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...

 by the Qing Empire in the Treaty of Shimonoseki
Treaty of Shimonoseki
The Treaty of Shimonoseki , known as the Treaty of Maguan in China, was signed at the Shunpanrō hall on April 17, 1895, between the Empire of Japan and Qing Empire of China, ending the First Sino-Japanese War. The peace conference took place from March 20 to April 17, 1895...

 after the First Sino-Japanese War
First Sino-Japanese War
The First Sino-Japanese War was fought between Qing Dynasty China and Meiji Japan, primarily over control of Korea...

 in 1895. In 1945 the Republic of China acquired control of Taiwan from Japan as a result 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...

. Four years later the ROC lost 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 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 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...

 and resettled its government to Taiwan. Taiwan composes the vast majority of the ROC's territory since 1950, and this is one of multiple reasons that the ROC is commonly known as "Taiwan". The 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...

 is disputed because it is claimed by 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...

, which was established in 1949 by the communists on mainland China and considers itself the successor state to the ROC. In fact, since PRC's establishment, it never controlled any of the territories the ROC government currently governs. Japan had originally acquired Taiwan from the Qing Empire in 1895 under Article 2 of the Treaty of Shimonoseki
Treaty of Shimonoseki
The Treaty of Shimonoseki , known as the Treaty of Maguan in China, was signed at the Shunpanrō hall on April 17, 1895, between the Empire of Japan and Qing Empire of China, ending the First Sino-Japanese War. The peace conference took place from March 20 to April 17, 1895...

. At the end of World War II, Japan renounced all claims to sovereignty over its former colonial possessions, including Taiwan and Penghu (Pescadores), but did not specify to whom Taiwan and Penghu should be assigned. This fact and subsequent handling of Taiwan's 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...

 by the Allies of World War II
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...

 led to the complex and unresolved issues of the legal
Legal status of Taiwan
The legal status of Republic of China is a controversial issue which stems from the complex post-Second World War history of Taiwan. Various claims have been made by the People's Republic of China , the Republic of China , and supporters of Taiwan independence over this question, with a variety of...

 and 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...

.

Taiwan's rapid economic growth in the decades after World War II has transformed it into an industrialized developed country
Developed country
A developed country is a country that has a high level of development according to some criteria. Which criteria, and which countries are classified as being developed, is a contentious issue...

 and one of the Four Asian Tigers. This economic rise is 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...

. It is categorized as an advanced economy by the IMF and as a high-income economy by the 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...

. Its advanced technology industry plays a key role in the global economy. Taiwanese companies manufacture a large portion of the world's consumer electronics, although most of them are now made in their factories in mainland China.

Etymology



There are various names of Taiwan in use today, derived from explorers or rulers by each particular period. The former name "Formosa" means "beautiful" in Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 and was given to Taiwan by the Portuguese
Portuguese people
The Portuguese are a nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion....

  explorers when they sailed past in the 16th century.
In the early 17th century, when the Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

 came to build a commercial post at Fort Zeelandia
Fort Zeelandia (Taiwan)
Fort Zeelandia was a fortress built over ten years from 1624–1634 by the Dutch Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie, in the town of Anping on the island of Formosa, present day Taiwan, during their 38-year rule over the western part of it...

 (today's Tainan City), they allegedly adopted the name of an aboriginal tribe transliterated as "Tayouan" or "Teyowan" in their records.

Prehistory and early settlements


Evidence of human settlement in Taiwan dates back 30,000 years, although the first inhabitants of Taiwan may have been genetically distinct from any groups currently on the island. About 4,000 years ago, ancestors of current Taiwanese aborigines settled in Taiwan. These aborigines are genetically related to Austronesian peoples, with a mitochondrial DNA contribution from a Polynesian
Polynesians
The Polynesian peoples is a grouping of various ethnic groups that speak Polynesian languages, a branch of the Oceanic languages within the Austronesian languages, and inhabit Polynesia. They number approximately 1,500,000 people...

 maternal ancestor, and linguists classify their languages as Austronesian. It is thought likely that Polynesian ancestry may be traceable throughout Taiwan.

Disputed records from ancient China indicate that the 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...

 might have known of the existence of the main island of Taiwan since the Three Kingdoms
Three Kingdoms
The Three Kingdoms period was a period in Chinese history, part of an era of disunity called the "Six Dynasties" following immediately the loss of de facto power of the Han Dynasty rulers. In a strict academic sense it refers to the period between the foundation of the state of Wei in 220 and the...

 period (third century, A.D. 230), having assigned offshore islands in the vicinity names like Greater Liuqiu
Liuqiu
Liuqiu or Lewchew was the name given by the Chinese to islands in the East China Sea and nearby waters, sometimes in mythical or legendary contexts...

 and Lesser Liuqiu (etymologically
Etymology
Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time.For languages with a long written history, etymologists make use of texts in these languages and texts about the languages to gather knowledge about how words were used during...

, but perhaps not semantically
Semantics
Semantics is the study of meaning. It focuses on the relation between signifiers, such as words, phrases, signs and symbols, and what they stand for, their denotata....

, identical to Ryūkyū in Japanese), though none of these names has been definitively matched to the main island of Taiwan.
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...

 began settling in the Penghu islands in the 1200s, but Taiwan's hostile tribes and its lack of the trade resources valued in that era rendered it unattractive to all but "occasional adventurers or fishermen engaging in barter" until the 16th century.

Around 1540, Taiwan's main settlement was the Kingdom of Middag
Kingdom of Middag
The Kingdom of Middag was a kingdom or supra-tribal alliance located in the central western plains of Taiwan. Such a historical regime was established by the Taiwanese aboriginal tribes of Papora, Babuza, Pazeh, and Hoanya; it had ruled as many as 27 villages , occupying parts of present-day...

, a kingdom or supra-tribal alliance located in the central western plains; a monarchy of which the capital was Middag. The city still exists today, and is now known as Dadu. The origins of the name Middag are not documented, but based on its etymology may be attributed to an early Dutch settlement of the island (the name Middag still occurs as a family name in the Netherlands).

During the reign of the Yongzheng Emperor
Yongzheng Emperor
The Yongzheng Emperor , born Yinzhen , was the fifth emperor of the Manchu Qing Dynasty and the third Qing emperor from 1722 to 1735. A hard-working ruler, Yongzheng's main goal was to create an effective government at minimal expense. Like his father, the Kangxi Emperor, Yongzheng used military...

 of Qing later in that century, the population in the traditional Middag territories rose to oppose heavy labor imposed by the Qing authorities, and was brutally quelled by Qing troops and collaborative tribes in 1732, a year after the initial uprising. After this turmoil came to an end, a supra-tribal leadership apparently ceased to exist in the island's central-western plains. In the aftermath of this, the descendants of Middag either fused into the majority "Chinese" population through intermarriage or migrated to present-day Puli, a basin township surrounded by high mountains in central Taiwan.

European settlement


In 1544, with the Kingdom of Middag
Kingdom of Middag
The Kingdom of Middag was a kingdom or supra-tribal alliance located in the central western plains of Taiwan. Such a historical regime was established by the Taiwanese aboriginal tribes of Papora, Babuza, Pazeh, and Hoanya; it had ruled as many as 27 villages , occupying parts of present-day...

 just being founded, a Portuguese ship sighted the main island of Taiwan and named it Ilha Formosa, which means "Beautiful Island".

In 1624, the Dutch
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...

 established a commercial base on Taiwan and began to import workers from 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...

 and Penghu (Pescadores) as laborers, many of whom settled. The Dutch made Taiwan a colony with its colonial capital at Tayoan City (present day Anping, Tainan
Anping, Tainan
Anping District is a district of Tainan City. The history of Anping dates back to the 17th century, when Dutch East India Company occupied Tayuan/Tayoan/Tayouan/Tayowan...

). Both Tayoan and the island name Taiwan derive from a word in Sirayan
Siraya language
Siraya is a Formosan language spoken until the end of the 19th century by the indigenous Siraya people of Taiwan. Dialects of Siraya included Taivoa and Makatao....

, one of 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...

.

The Dutch military presence was concentrated at a stronghold called Castle Zeelandia
Fort Zeelandia (Taiwan)
Fort Zeelandia was a fortress built over ten years from 1624–1634 by the Dutch Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie, in the town of Anping on the island of Formosa, present day Taiwan, during their 38-year rule over the western part of it...

. The Dutch colonists also started to hunt the native Formosan Sika deer
Sika Deer
The Sika Deer, Cervus nippon, also known as the Spotted Deer or the Japanese Deer, is a species of deer native to much of East Asia and introduced to various other parts of the world...

 (Cervus nippon taioanus) that inhabited Taiwan, contributing to the eventual extinction of the subspecies on the island. However, the subspecies was kept alive in captivity and subsequent reintroduction of the subspecies into the wild has been successful. Furthermore, this contributed to the subsequent identification of native tribes.

In 1626, the Spanish landed on and occupied northern Taiwan (Keelong and Tanshui) as a base to extend its commercial trading. This colonial period lasted 16 years until 1642.

Kingdom of Tungning


Chinese naval and troop forces of Southern Fujian defeated the Dutch in 1662, subsequently expelling the Dutch government
Dutch Empire
The Dutch Empire consisted of the overseas territories controlled by the Dutch Republic and later, the modern Netherlands from the 17th to the 20th century. The Dutch followed Portugal and Spain in establishing an overseas colonial empire, but based on military conquest of already-existing...

 and military from the island. They were led by Koxinga
Koxinga
Koxinga is the customary Western spelling of the popular appellation of Zheng Chenggong , a military leader who was born in 1624 in Hirado, Japan to Zheng Zhilong, a Chinese merchant/pirate, and his Japanese wife and died in 1662 on the island of Formosa .A Ming loyalist and the arch commander of...

 (Zheng Chenggong). Following the fall of the Ming Dynasty
Ming Dynasty
The Ming Dynasty, also Empire of the Great Ming, was the ruling dynasty of China from 1368 to 1644, following the collapse of the Mongol-led Yuan Dynasty. The Ming, "one of the greatest eras of orderly government and social stability in human history", was the last dynasty in China ruled by ethnic...

, Koxinga retreated to Taiwan as a self-styled Ming loyalist and established the Kingdom of Tungning
Kingdom of Tungning
The Kingdom of Tungning was a government that ruled Taiwan between 1661 and 1683. A pro-Ming Dynasty state, it was founded by Koxinga after the Ming government in mainland China was replaced by the Manchu-ruled Qing Dynasty...

 (1662–1683). Koxinga established his capital at Tainan and he and his heirs, Zheng Jing
Zheng Jing
Zheng Jing was a seventeenth century Chinese warlord and Ming Dynasty loyalist. He was the eldest son of Koxinga and grandson of pirate-merchant Zheng Zhilong. After the conquest of Taiwan in 1662 by his father, Zheng Jing controlled the military forces in Xiamen and Quemoy on his father's behalf...

, who ruled from 1662 to 1682, and Zheng Keshuang, who served less than a year, continued to launch raids on the south-east coast of mainland China well into 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....

, attempting to recapture mainland China.

Qing Dynasty rule


In 1683, following the defeat of Koxinga's grandson by an armada led by Admiral Shi Lang
Shi Lang
Shi Lang was a Chinese admiral who served under the Ming and Qing Dynasties. He was commander-in-chief of the Manchu fleets which destroyed the power of the Zheng family in the 1660s, and led the conquest of the Kingdom of Tungning in 1681.-Early life and career:Shi Lang was born to a...

 of Southern Fujian, the Qing formally annexed Taiwan, placing it under the jurisdiction of Fujian province. The Qing imperial government tried to reduce piracy and vagrancy in the area, issuing a series of edicts to manage immigration and respect aboriginal land rights. Immigrants mostly from Southern Fujian continued to enter Taiwan. The border between taxpaying lands and "savage" lands shifted eastward, with some aborigines 'Sinicizing
Sinicization
Sinicization, Sinicisation or Sinification, is the linguistic assimilation or cultural assimilation of terms and concepts of the language and culture of China...

' while others retreated into the mountains. During this time, there were a number of conflicts between 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...

 from different regions of Southern Fujian, and between Southern Fujian Chinese and aborigines.

Northern Taiwan and the Penghu Islands were the scene of an important subsidiary campaign in the Sino-French War
Sino-French War
The Sino–French War was a limited conflict fought between August 1884 and April 1885 to decide whether France should replace China in control of Tonkin . As the French achieved their war aims, they are usually considered to have won the war...

 (August 1884 to April 1885). The French occupied Keelung from 1 October 1884 to 22 June 1885 and the Penghu Islands from 31 March to 22 July 1885. A French attempt to capture Tamsui was defeated at the Battle of Tamsui
Battle of Tamsui
The Battle of Tamsui , fought on 8 October 1884, was a significant French defeat during the Sino-French War.- Background :...

 (8 October 1884). Several battles were fought around Keelung between October 1884 and March 1885 between Liu Ming-ch'uan's Army of Northern Taiwan and Colonel Jacques Duchesne
Jacques Duchesne
Jacques Charles René Achille Duchesne was a French general of the 19th century. He was born at Sens on March 3, 1837. He entered Saint-Cyr in 1855, and became a Lieutenant in 1861.-Career:...

's Formosa Expeditionary Corps. The Keelung Campaign
Keelung Campaign
The Keelung Campaign was a controversial military campaign undertaken by the French in northern Formosa during the Sino-French War. After making a botched attack on Keelung in August 1884, the French landed an expeditionary corps of 2,000 men and captured the port in October 1884...

, despite some notable French tactical victories, ended in a stalemate. The Pescadores Campaign
Pescadores Campaign
The Pescadores Campaign in late March 1885 was one of the last campaigns of the Sino-French War . It was fought to capture a strategically important island group off the western coast of Taiwan...

 was a French victory, but had no long-term consequences. The French evacuated both Keelung and the Penghu archipelago at the end of the war.

In 1885, the Qing upgraded Taiwan's status from prefecture 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...

 to full province, the twentieth in the empire, with its capital at 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...

. This was accompanied by a modernization drive that included building Taiwan's first railroad and starting a postal service.

Empire of Japan rule


Japan had sought to control Taiwan since 1592, when Toyotomi Hideyoshi
Toyotomi Hideyoshi
was a daimyo warrior, general and politician of the Sengoku period. He unified the political factions of Japan. He succeeded his former liege lord, Oda Nobunaga, and brought an end to the Sengoku period. The period of his rule is often called the Momoyama period, named after Hideyoshi's castle...

 began extending Japanese influence overseas. In 1609, the Tokugawa Shogunate
Tokugawa shogunate
The Tokugawa shogunate, also known as the and the , was a feudal regime of Japan established by Tokugawa Ieyasu and ruled by the shoguns of the Tokugawa family. This period is known as the Edo period and gets its name from the capital city, Edo, which is now called Tokyo, after the name was...

 sent Arima Harunobu
Arima Harunobu
was the second son and successor of Japanese daimyo Arima Yoshisada. Harunobu was born in the castle of Arima and controlled the Shimabara area of Hizen province. After Harunobu's father's death, he began the persecution of Christians in his region. With Ryūzōji Takanobu expanding into his domain,...

 on an exploratory mission. In 1616, Murayama Toan led an unsuccessful invasion of the island.

In 1871, an Okinawan vessel shipwrecked
Mudan Incident of 1871
Mudan Incident of 1871 was the massacre of fifty-four Ryukyuan sailors in Taiwan who wandered into the central part of Taiwan after their ship was shipwrecked. 12 men were rescued by Han Chinese and were transferred to Miyako...

 on the southern tip of Taiwan and the crew of fifty-four was beheaded by the Paiwan aborigines. The Ryūkyū Kingdom
Ryukyu Kingdom
The Ryūkyū Kingdom was an independent kingdom which ruled most of the Ryukyu Islands from the 15th century to the 19th century. The Kings of Ryūkyū unified Okinawa Island and extended the kingdom to the Amami Islands in modern-day Kagoshima Prefecture, and the Sakishima Islands near Taiwan...

 kept a tributary relationship with Great Qing Empire at the same time was subordinate to Satsuma Domain of Japan. When Japan sought compensation from Qing China, it was first rejected because Qing considered the incident an internal affair since Taiwan was a prefecture of Fujian Province of Qing and the Ryūkyū Kingdom was a tributary of Qing. When Japanese foreign minister Soejima Taneomi
Soejima Taneomi
was a diplomat and statesman during early Meiji period Japan.-Biography:Soejima was born into a samurai family in Saga, in Hizen province . His father was a teacher in the domain's school and a scholar of National Learning . In 1866, Soejima was sent to Nagasaki by the domain leaders to study the...

 asked the compensation again claiming four of the victims were Japanese citizens from Okayama prefecture of Japan, Qing officials rejected the demand on the grounds that the "wild" and "unsubjugated" aboriginals were outside its jurisdiction. Such aboriginals were treated extremely harshly; American consul J.W. Davidson described how the Chinese in Taiwan ate and traded in their aboriginal victims' flesh. The open renunciation of sovereignty led to a Japanese invasion of Taiwan. In 1874, an expeditionary force
Taiwan Expedition of 1874
The , usually referred to in Taiwan and mainland China as the Mudan incident , was a punitive expedition launched by the Japanese in retaliation for the murder of 54 Ryukyuan sailors by Paiwan aborigines near the southwestern tip of Taiwan in December 1871...

 of three thousand troops was sent to the island. There were about thirty Taiwanese and 543 Japanese casualties (twelve in battle and 531 by endemic
Endemic (epidemiology)
In epidemiology, an infection is said to be endemic in a population when that infection is maintained in the population without the need for external inputs. For example, chickenpox is endemic in the UK, but malaria is not...

 diseases for the Japanese side).


The Qing Dynasty was defeated in the First Sino-Japanese War
First Sino-Japanese War
The First Sino-Japanese War was fought between Qing Dynasty China and Meiji Japan, primarily over control of Korea...

 (1894–1895) and Taiwan and Penghu were ceded in full sovereignty
Treaty of Shimonoseki
The Treaty of Shimonoseki , known as the Treaty of Maguan in China, was signed at the Shunpanrō hall on April 17, 1895, between the Empire of Japan and Qing Empire of China, ending the First Sino-Japanese War. The peace conference took place from March 20 to April 17, 1895...

 to 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...

. Inhabitants wishing to remain Qing subjects were given a two-year grace period to sell their property and move to mainland China. Very few Taiwanese saw this as feasible.

On 25 May 1895, a group of pro-Qing high officials proclaimed the Republic of Formosa
Republic of Formosa
The Republic of Formosa was a short-lived republic that existed on the island of Taiwan in 1895 between the formal cession of Taiwan by the Qing Dynasty of China to the Empire of Japan by the Treaty of Shimonoseki and its invasion and occupation by Japanese troops...

 to resist impending Japanese rule. Japanese forces entered the capital at Tainan and quelled this resistance on 21 October 1895.

The Japanese rulers were instrumental in the industrialization of the island; they extended the railroads and other transportation networks, built an extensive sanitation system and revised the public school system. During this period, both rice and sugarcane production greatly increased. By 1939, Taiwan was the seventh greatest sugar producer in the world. Still, the Taiwanese and Aborigines were classified as second- and third-class citizens. Large-scale violence continued in the first decade of rule. Japan launched over 160 battles to destroy Taiwan's aboriginal tribes during its 51-year rule of the island ...' Around 1935, the Japanese began an island-wide assimilation
Japanization
Japanization is the process in which Japanese culture dominates, assimilates, or influences other cultures, in general. According to The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, the word Japanize means To make or become Japanese in form, idiom, style, or character.Narrowly,...

 project to bind the island more firmly to the Japanese Empire and people were taught to see themselves as Japanese. During World War II, tens of thousands of Taiwanese served in the Japanese military. For example, former ROC 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...

's elder brother served in the Japanese navy and died while on duty in the Philippines in February 1945.

The Imperial Japanese Navy
Imperial Japanese Navy
The Imperial Japanese Navy was the navy of the Empire of Japan from 1869 until 1947, when it was dissolved following Japan's constitutional renunciation of the use of force as a means of settling international disputes...

 operated heavily out of Taiwan. The "South Strike Group" was based out of the Taihoku Imperial University in Taiwan. Many of the Japanese forces participating in the Aerial Battle of Taiwan-Okinawa
Aerial Battle of Taiwan-Okinawa
The Aerial Battle of the Taiwan Seas took place between October 12 and 16, 1944, off the eastern coast of the island of Taiwan, and was fought by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service and the approaching Task Force 38 of the United States Third Fleet and was one of a series of Air raids on Japan...

 were based in Taiwan. Important Japanese military bases and industrial centers throughout Taiwan, like Kaohsiung, were targets of heavy American bombing
Raid on Taipei
Taipei Air Raid , which took place on May 31, 1945, was the largest Allied air raid on the city of Taipei, known back then as Taihoku. Despite efforts by Allied strategy planners to minimize civilian casualties, many residents were killed in the raid and tens of thousands wounded or...

.

Taiwan under Empire of Japan rule ended after it lost World War II and signed the Instrument of Surrender of Japan on 14 August 1945. But the Japanese rule had long lasting effects on Taiwan. Education became compulsory for school age children. Significant parts of Taiwanese infrastructure were started under the Japanese rule. The current Presidential Building was also built during that time. In 1938 there were 309,000 Japanese settlers
Japanese diaspora
The Japanese diaspora, and its individual members known as , are Japanese emigrants from Japan and their descendants that reside in a foreign country...

 in Taiwan. After World War II, most of the Japanese were repatriated to Japan
World War II evacuation and expulsion
Forced deportation, mass evacuation and displacement of peoples took place in many of the countries involved in World War II. These were caused both by the direct hostilities between Axis and Allied powers, and the border changes enacted in the pre-war settlement...

.

Kuomintang Martial Law Era



The Cairo Conference
Cairo Conference
The Cairo Conference of November 22–26, 1943, held in Cairo, Egypt, addressed the Allied position against Japan during World War II and made decisions about postwar Asia...

 from 22 to 26 November 1943 in Cairo, Egypt was held to address the Allied
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...

 position against Japan during World War II, and to make decisions about postwar Asia. One of the three main clauses of the Cairo Declaration
Cairo Declaration
The Cairo Declaration was the outcome of the Cairo Conference in Cairo, Egypt, on November 27, 1943. President Franklin Roosevelt of the United States, Prime Minister Winston Churchill of the United Kingdom, and Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek of the Republic of China were present...

 was that "all the territories Japan has stolen from China, including Manchuria
Manchuria
Manchuria is a historical name given to a large geographic region in northeast Asia. Depending on the definition of its extent, Manchuria usually falls entirely within the People's Republic of China, or is sometimes divided between China and Russia. The region is commonly referred to as Northeast...

, Taiwan and the Pescadores
Pescadores
The Penghu Islands, also known as Pescadores are an archipelago off the western coast of Taiwan in the Taiwan Strait consisting of 90 small islands and islets covering an area of 141 square kilometers....

, shall be restored to the Republic of China'. However, many challenged that the document was merely a statement of intent for possible reference used for those who would draft the post-war peace treaty and that it was a press release without force of law to transfer sovereignty from Taiwan to the Republic of China. The general counter-argument for this claim is that while the Cairo Declaration itself was a non-binding declaration, it was given legal effect by the Japanese Instrument of Surrender.

On 25 October 1945, the US Navy ferried ROC troops to Taiwan in order to accept the formal surrender of Japanese military forces in 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...

 (then called Taihoku). General Rikichi Andō
Rikichi Ando
-See also:* Taiwan under Japanese rule...

, governor-general of Taiwan and commander-in-chief of all Japanese forces on the island, signed the instrument of surrender
Japanese Instrument of Surrender
The Japanese Instrument of Surrender was the written agreement that enabled the Surrender of Japan, marking the end of World War II. It was signed by representatives from the Empire of Japan, the United States of America, the Republic of China, the United Kingdom, the Union of Soviet Socialist...

 and handed it over to General Chen Yi
Chen Yi (Kuomintang)
Chen Yi and later Gongqia , sobriquet Tuisu ; 1883 – June 18, 1950) was the Chief Executive and Garrison Commander of Taiwan after it was surrendered by Japan to the Republic of China, which acted on behalf of the Allied Powers, in 1945...

 of the ROC military to complete the official turnover. Chen Yi proclaimed that day to be "Retrocession Day of Taiwan
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:...

," a proclamation which was not recognized by the Allies. The ROC administration of Taiwan under Chen Yi was strained by social and political instabilities, which were compounded by economic woes, such as 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...

. Furthermore, cultural and linguistic conflicts between Taiwanese and the mainland Chinese quickly led to the loss of popular support for the new government. This culminated in a series of severe clashes between the ROC occupiers and the Taiwanese, in turn leading to 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...

 (an estimated 20,000-30,000 civilians were executed by the ROC Army) and the reign of 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...

. During the White Terror, a period of the longest martial law in the world, over 38 years, was imposed and many, many thousands of Taiwanese were arrested, tortured, imprisoned and executed for their real or perceived opposition to the Kuomintang Party. Since these people were mainly from the intellectual and social elite an entire generation of political and social leaders was decimated. It was not until 2008 that a public apology was made for those actions. No form of restitution or compensation has ever been made (as of 2010).
In 1949, during 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 ROC government, led by President 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....

, retreated from Nanjing
Nanjing
' is the capital of Jiangsu province in China and has a prominent place in Chinese history and culture, having been the capital of China on several occasions...

 (then romanised as "Nanking") to 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...

, Taiwan's largest city. The ROC continued to claim sovereignty over all "China", which the ROC defines to include 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...

, Taiwan, Outer Mongolia
Outer Mongolia
Outer Mongolia was a territory of the Qing Dynasty = the Manchu Empire. Its area was roughly equivalent to that of the modern state of Mongolia, which is sometimes informally called "Outer Mongolia" today...

 and other areas. The only remaining portions of territory besides Taiwan under ROC control are the 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 Islands
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 two major islands of Dongsha Islands and Nansha Islands. In mainland China, the victorious Communists established the PRC, claiming to be the sole and only China (which they claimed included Taiwan) and the ROC no longer existed. However, since PRC's establishment, it never controlled any of the territories the ROC government currently governs.
Some 2 million people, consisting mainly of soldiers, 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...

 party (KMT, Chinese Nationalist Party) members and most importantly the intellectual and business elites, were evacuated from mainland China and arrived in Taiwan around that time. In addition, as part of its escape from Communists in mainland China, the ROC government relocated to Taipei with many national treasures including gold reserves and foreign currency reserves. From this period through the 1980s, Taiwan was governed in a state of Martial Law. Little to no distinction was made between the government and the Nationalist party, with public property, government property, and party property being largely interchangeable. Government workers and party members were mostly indistinguishable, with many government workers required to become KMT members, and party workers paid salaries and promised retirement benefits along the lines of government employees. In addition, the creation of other parties was outlawed, and many political opponents were persecuted and incarcerated.

The ROC remained a de facto one-party state under 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...

 under the "Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of Communist Rebellion
Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of Communist Rebellion
The Temporary Provisions Effective During the Period of Communist Rebellion was a series of temporary constitutional provisions passed by the National Assembly of the Republic of China on May 10, 1948, that provided to the then President Chiang Kai-shek extended powers amid the height of the...

", from 1948 to 1987, when the ROC Presidents 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...

 gradually liberalized
Liberalism
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 and democratized the system. With the advent of democratization, the issue of the 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...

 has resurfaced as a controversial issue (previously, discussion of anything other than unification under the ROC was taboo
Taboo
A taboo is a strong social prohibition relating to any area of human activity or social custom that is sacred and or forbidden based on moral judgment, religious beliefs and or scientific consensus. Breaking the taboo is usually considered objectionable or abhorrent by society...

).

As the Chinese Civil War continued without truce, the ROC built up military fortifications throughout Taiwan. Within this effort, former KMT soldiers built the now famous Central Cross-Island Highway
Central Cross-Island Highway
The Central Cross-Island Highway or Provincial Highway No.8 is one of three highway systems that connect the west coast with the east of Taiwan.-Construction:The construction of the Central Cross-Island Highway began on July 7, 1956...

 through the Taroko Gorge in the 1950s. The two sides would continue to engage in sporadic military clashes with seldom publicized details well into the 1960s on the nearby islands with an unknown number of night raids
Project National Glory
Project National Glory or Project Guoguang was a military attempt by the Kuomintang-led Republic of China to try to recapture mainland China held by the People's Republic of China . The missions began in 1965...

. During the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis
Second Taiwan Strait Crisis
The Second Taiwan Strait Crisis, also called the 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis, was a conflict that took place between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China governments in which the PRC shelled the islands of Matsu and Quemoy in the Taiwan Strait in an attempt to seize them from...

 in September 1958, Taiwan's landscape saw Nike-Hercules missile
Nike-Hercules Missile
The MIM-14 Nike-Hercules , was a solid fuel propelled two-stage surface-to-air missile, used by US and NATO armed forces for high- and medium-altitude air defense...

 batteries added, with the formation of the 1st Missile Battalion Chinese Army that would not be deactivated until 1997. Newer generations of missile batteries have since replaced the Nike Hercules systems throughout the island.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Taiwan began to develop into a prosperous, industrialized developed country
Developed country
A developed country is a country that has a high level of development according to some criteria. Which criteria, and which countries are classified as being developed, is a contentious issue...

 with a strong and dynamic economy, becoming one of the Four Asian Tigers while maintaining martial law and under the KMT monopoly. Because of the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, most Western nations and 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...

 regarded the ROC as the sole legitimate government of China until the 1970s, when most nations began switching recognition to the PRC (see United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758).

Post-Martial Law



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....

's eventual successor, his son 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...

, began to liberalize the ROC's political system in mid-1980s. In 1984, the younger Chiang selected 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...

, an ethnically Taiwanese and U.S.-educated technocrat, to be his vice president. In 1986, 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) was formed and inaugurated as the first opposition party in Taiwan to counter the KMT. A year later Chiang Ching-kuo lifted martial law.

After the death of Chiang Ching-Kuo in January 1988, Dr. Lee Teng-hui succeed as President and became the first ethnically Taiwanese president of the ROC. Lee continued to democratize the government and decrease the concentration of government authority in the hands of mainland Chinese. Under Lee, Taiwan underwent a process of localization
Taiwanese localization movement
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...

 in which Taiwanese culture and history were promoted over a pan-China viewpoint in contrast to earlier KMT policies which had promoted a Chinese identity. Lee's reforms included printing banknotes from the Central Bank rather than the Provincial Bank of Taiwan, and streamlining the Taiwan Provincial Government
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...

 with most of its functions transferred to 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:...

. Under Lee, the original members of 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...

 and 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...

, elected in 1947 to represent mainland Chinese constituencies and having taken the seats without re-election for more than four decades, were forced to resign in 1991. The previously nominal representation in the Legislative Yuan was brought to an end, to reflect the reality that the ROC government had no jurisdiction over mainland China, and vice versa. Restrictions on the use of Taiwanese Hokkien in the broadcast media and in schools were lifted as well. During later years of Lee's administration, he was involved in corruption controversies relating to government release of land and weapons purchase, although no legal proceedings commenced.

In the 1990s, the ROC continued its democratic reforms, as 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...

 was elected by the first popular vote held in the ROC during the 1996 Presidential election. In 2000, 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 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,...

, was elected as the first non-KMT
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...

 President and was re-elected to serve his second and last term since 2004. Polarized politics has emerged in Taiwan with the formation of 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 led by the KMT, favoring 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...

, and 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...

 of parties led by 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,...

, favoring an eventual and official declaration of 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...

.

On 30 September 2007, the ruling 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,...

 approved a resolution
Resolution (law)
A resolution is a written motion adopted by a deliberative body. The substance of the resolution can be anything that can normally be proposed as a motion. For long or important motions, though, it is often better to have them written out so that discussion is easier or so that it can be...

 asserting separate identity from China and called for the enactment of a new constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

 for a "normal country". It also called for general use of "Taiwan" as the island's name, without abolishing its formal name, the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

. The Chen administration also pushed for referendums on national defense and UN entry in the 2004 and 2008 elections, which failed due to voter turnout below the required legal threshold of 50% of all registered voters. The Chen administration was dogged by public concerns over reduced economic growth, legislative gridlock due to a pan-blue, opposition controlled Legislative Yuan, and corruption involving the First Family as well as government officials.

The KMT increased its majority in the Legislative Yuan in the January 2008 legislative elections
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...

, while its nominee 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...

 went on to win the presidency in March of the same year, campaigning on a platform of increased economic growth, and better ties with the PRC under a policy of "mutual nondenial
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...

". Ma took office on 20 May 2008. Part of the rationale for campaigning for closer economic ties with the PRC stem from the strong economic growth China attained since joining 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...

. However, some analysts say that despite the election of Ma Ying-jeou, the diplomatic and military tensions with the PRC have not been reduced.

Geography




The island of Taiwan lies some 180 kilometers off the southeastern coast of China, across 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...

, and has an area of 35881 km² (13,853.7 sq mi). If included the Penghu Islands which is now a nominal county under the Taiwan Province, administered by 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:...

, Taiwan's area is 36008 km² (13,902.8 sq mi). The East China Sea
East China Sea
The East China Sea is a marginal sea east of China. It is a part of the Pacific Ocean and covers an area of 1,249,000 km² or 750,000 square miles.-Geography:...

 lies to the north, the Philippine Sea
Philippine Sea
The Philippine Sea is a marginal sea east and north of the Philippines occupying an estimated surface area of 2 million mi² on the western part of the North Pacific Ocean...

 to the east, the Luzon Strait
Luzon Strait
The Luzon Strait is the strait between the island country of Taiwan and Luzon island of the Philippines. The strait thereby connects the Philippine Sea to the South China Sea in the western Pacific Ocean....

 directly to the south and the South China Sea
South China Sea
The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Singapore and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around...

 to the southwest. The island is characterized by the contrast between the eastern two-thirds, consisting mostly of rugged mountains running in five ranges from the northern to the southern tip of the island, and the flat to gently rolling Chianan Plain
Chianan Plain
The Chianan Plain or Jianan Plain is an alluvial plain located at the central-southern region of western Taiwan. It is the largest plain of the island, and lies in Tainan City and Chiayi County/Chiayi City, from which the name of the plain derived. It also includes some portions of Yunlin County,...

s in the west that are also home to most of Taiwan's population. Taiwan's highest point is Yu Shan at 3,952 meters, and there are five other peaks over 3,500 meters. This makes it the world's fourth-highest island. Taroko National Park
Taroko National Park
Taroko National Park is one of the seven national parks in Taiwan and was named after the Taroko Gorge, the landmark gorge of the park. The park spans Taichung City, Nantou County, and Hualien County....

, located on the mountainous eastern side of the island, has good examples of mountainous terrain, gorges and erosion
Erosion
Erosion is when materials are removed from the surface and changed into something else. It only works by hydraulic actions and transport of solids in the natural environment, and leads to the deposition of these materials elsewhere...

 caused by a swiftly flowing river.

The shape of the main island of Taiwan is similar to a sweet potato
Sweet potato
The sweet potato is a dicotyledonous plant that belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. Its large, starchy, sweet-tasting, tuberous roots are an important root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. Of the approximately 50 genera and more than 1,000 species of...

 seen in a south-to-north direction, and therefore, Taiwanese, especially the Min-nan division, often call themselves "children of the Sweet Potato." There are also other interpretations of the island shape, one of which is a whale
Whale
Whale is the common name for various marine mammals of the order Cetacea. The term whale sometimes refers to all cetaceans, but more often it excludes dolphins and porpoises, which belong to suborder Odontoceti . This suborder also includes the sperm whale, killer whale, pilot whale, and beluga...

 in the ocean (the Pacific Ocean) if viewed in a west-to-east direction, which is a common orientation in ancient maps, plotted either by Western
Western world
The Western world, also known as the West and the Occident , is a term referring to the countries of Western Europe , the countries of the Americas, as well all countries of Northern and Central Europe, Australia and New Zealand...

 explorers or the Great Qing.

Geology




The island of Taiwan lies in a complex tectonic
Tectonics
Tectonics is a field of study within geology concerned generally with the structures within the lithosphere of the Earth and particularly with the forces and movements that have operated in a region to create these structures.Tectonics is concerned with the orogenies and tectonic development of...

 area between the Yangtze Plate
Yangtze Plate
The Yangtze Plate, also called the South China Block or the South China Subplate, comprises the bulk of southern China. It is separated on the east from the Okinawa Plate by a rift that forms the Okinawa Trough which is a Back arc basin, on the south by the Sunda Plate and the Philippine Sea...

 to the west and north, the Okinawa Plate
Okinawa Plate
The Okinawa Plate is a long narrow tectonic plate stretching from the northern end of Taiwan to the southern tip of the island of Kyūshū. To the east lies the Ryukyu Trench and the Pacific Plate. It is separated from the Yangtze Plate by a rift that forms the Okinawa Trough which is a Back arc...

 on the north-east, and the Philippine Mobile Belt
Philippine Mobile Belt
The Philippine Mobile Belt is a complex portion of the tectonic boundary between the Eurasian Plate and the Philippine Sea Plate, comprising most of the country of the Philippines. It includes two subduction zones, the Manila Trench to the west and the Philippine Trench to the east, as well as the...

 on the east and south. The upper part of the crust on the island is primarily made up of a series of terrane
Terrane
A terrane in geology is short-hand term for a tectonostratigraphic terrane, which is a fragment of crustal material formed on, or broken off from, one tectonic plate and accreted or "sutured" to crust lying on another plate...

s, mostly old island arc
Island arc
An island arc is a type of archipelago composed of a chain of volcanoes which alignment is arc-shaped, and which are situated parallel and close to a boundary between two converging tectonic plates....

s which have been forced together by the collision of the forerunners of the Eurasian Plate
Eurasian Plate
The Eurasian Plate is a tectonic plate which includes most of the continent of Eurasia , with the notable exceptions of the Indian subcontinent, the Arabian subcontinent, and the area east of the Chersky Range in East Siberia...

 and the Philippine Sea Plate. These have been further uplifted as a result of the detachment of a portion of the Eurasian Plate as it was subducted
Subduction
In geology, subduction is the process that takes place at convergent boundaries by which one tectonic plate moves under another tectonic plate, sinking into the Earth's mantle, as the plates converge. These 3D regions of mantle downwellings are known as "Subduction Zones"...

 beneath remnants of the Philippine Sea Plate, a process which left the crust under Taiwan more buoyant.

The east and south of Taiwan are a complex system of belts formed by, and part of the zone of, active collision between the North Luzon Trough portion of the Luzon Volcanic Arc
Luzon Volcanic Arc
The Luzon Volcanic Arc is a chain of volcanoes in a north south line across the Luzon Strait from Taiwan to Luzon. It is the northern extension of the Philippine Mobile Belt...

 and South China, where accreted portions of the Luzon Arc
Luzon Volcanic Arc
The Luzon Volcanic Arc is a chain of volcanoes in a north south line across the Luzon Strait from Taiwan to Luzon. It is the northern extension of the Philippine Mobile Belt...

 and Luzon forearc form the eastern Coastal Range
Haian Range
The Hai-an Range , also known as the Coastal Range, is a mountain range lies on the east seashore of Taiwan and crossed the border of counties of Hualien and Taitung. Distinct from western lands of Taiwan, it is a part of Philippine Mobile Belt instead of the Yangtze Plate.The Huatung Valley, a...

 and parallel inland Longitudinal Valley
Huatung Valley
Huatung Valley or Hualien-Taitung Valley , also known as East Rift Valley or the Longitudinal Valley, is a long and narrow valley located at the between Chungyang Range and Haian Range...

 of Taiwan respectively.

The major seismic faults in Taiwan correspond to the various suture zones between the various terranes. These have produced major quakes throughout the history of the island. On 21 September 1999, a 7.3 quake known as the "921 earthquake" occurred. The seismic hazard map for Taiwan by the USGS shows 9/10 of the island as the highest rating (most hazardous).

On 4 March 2010 at about 01:20 UTC, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake hit southern Taiwan.

Climate



Taiwan lies on the Tropic of Cancer
Tropic of Cancer
The Tropic of Cancer, also referred to as the Northern tropic, is the circle of latitude on the Earth that marks the most northerly position at which the Sun may appear directly overhead at its zenith...

. Its southern tip lies about 10 miles further north than Oahu
Oahu
Oahu or Oahu , known as "The Gathering Place", is the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands and most populous of the islands in the U.S. state of Hawaii. The state capital Honolulu is located on the southeast coast...

, Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

 and roughly 25 miles further north than Cancun
Cancún
Cancún is a city of international tourism development certified by the UNWTO . Located on the northeast coast of Quintana Roo in southern Mexico, more than 1,700 km from Mexico City, the Project began operations in 1974 as Integrally Planned Center, a pioneer of FONATUR Cancún is a city of...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

. Its climate
Climate
Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and other meteorological elemental measurements in a given region over long periods...

 is marine tropical
Tropical climate
A tropical climate is a climate of the tropics. In the Köppen climate classification it is a non-arid climate in which all twelve months have mean temperatures above...

. The northern part of the island has a rainy season that lasts from January through late March during the northeast monsoon
Monsoon
Monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea...

, and experiences meiyu in May. The entire island experiences hot, humid weather from June through September. The middle and southern parts of the island do not have an extended monsoon season during the winter months. Natural hazards such as typhoons and earthquake
Earthquake
An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time...

s are common in the region.

Taiwan is a center of bird endemism
Endemic (ecology)
Endemism is the ecological state of being unique to a defined geographic location, such as an island, nation or other defined zone, or habitat type; organisms that are indigenous to a place are not endemic to it if they are also found elsewhere. For example, all species of lemur are endemic to the...

; see Endemic birds of Taiwan
Endemic birds of Taiwan
This article is one of a series providing information about endemism among birds in the World's various zoogeographic zones. For an overview of this subject see Endemism in birds.-Endemic Bird Areas:...

 for further information.

Environment and pollution



With its high population density and many factories, some areas in Taiwan suffer from heavy pollution. Most notable are the southern suburbs of Taipei and the western stretch from Tainan to Lin Yuan, south of Kaohsiung. In the past, Taipei suffered from extensive vehicle and factory air pollution
Air pollution
Air pollution is the introduction of chemicals, particulate matter, or biological materials that cause harm or discomfort to humans or other living organisms, or cause damage to the natural environment or built environment, into the atmosphere....

, but with mandatory use of unleaded petrol and the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency, the air quality of Taiwan has improved dramatically. Motor scooters
Scooter (motorcycle)
A scooter is a motorcycle with step-through frame and a platform for the operator's feet. Elements of scooter design have been present in some of the earliest motorcycles, and motorcycles identifiable as scooters have been made from 1914 or earlier...

, especially older or cheaper two-stroke versions, which are ubiquitous in Taiwan, also contribute disproportionately to urban air pollution.

Natural resources


Because of the intensive exploitation throughout Taiwan's pre-modern and modern history, the island's mineral resources (e.g. coal, gold, marble), as well as wild animal reserves (e.g. deer), have been virtually exhausted. Moreover, much of its forestry resources, especially firs
Abies kawakamii
Abies kawakamii is a species of conifer in the Pinaceae family.It is found only in Taiwan.-Source:* Conifer Specialist Group 1998. . Downloaded on 10 July 2007....

 were harvested during Japanese rule for the construction of shrines and have only recovered slightly since then. To this day, forests do not contribute to significant timber production mainly because of concerns about production costs and environmental regulations.

Camphor
Camphor
Camphor is a waxy, white or transparent solid with a strong, aromatic odor. It is a terpenoid with the chemical formula C10H16O. It is found in wood of the camphor laurel , a large evergreen tree found in Asia and also of Dryobalanops aromatica, a giant of the Bornean forests...

 extraction and sugarcane
Sugarcane
Sugarcane refers to any of six to 37 species of tall perennial grasses of the genus Saccharum . Native to the warm temperate to tropical regions of South Asia, they have stout, jointed, fibrous stalks that are rich in sugar, and measure two to six metres tall...

 refining played an important role in Taiwan's exportation from the late 19th century through the first half of the 20th century. The importance of the above industries subsequently declined not because of the exhaustion of related natural resources but mainly of the decline of international market demands.

Nowadays, few natural resources with significant economic value are retained in Taiwan, which are essentially agriculture-associated. Domestic agriculture (rice being the dominant kind of crop) and fisheries retain importance to a certain degree, but they have been greatly challenged by foreign imports since Taiwan's accession to 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...

 in 2001. Consequently, upon the decline of subsistent importance, Taiwan's agriculture now relies heavily on the marketing and exportation of certain kinds of specialty fruits, such as banana, guava
Guava
Guavas are plants in the myrtle family genus Psidium , which contains about 100 species of tropical shrubs and small trees. They are native to Mexico, Central America, and northern South America...

, lychee
Lychee
The lychee is the sole member of the genus Litchi in the soapberry family, Sapindaceae. It is a tropical and subtropical fruit tree native to Southern China and Southeast Asia, and now cultivated in many parts of the world...

, wax apple, and high-mountain tea.

Energy resources




Taiwan has significant coal deposits and some insignificant petroleum
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 and natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

 deposits. , oil
Petroleum
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 accounts for 49.0% of the total energy consumption. Coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

 comes next with 32.1%, followed by nuclear energy
Nuclear power
Nuclear power is the use of sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity. Nuclear power plants provide about 6% of the world's energy and 13–14% of the world's electricity, with the U.S., France, and Japan together accounting for about 50% of nuclear generated electricity...

 with 8.3%, natural gas
Natural gas
Natural gas is a naturally occurring gas mixture consisting primarily of methane, typically with 0–20% higher hydrocarbons . It is found associated with other hydrocarbon fuel, in coal beds, as methane clathrates, and is an important fuel source and a major feedstock for fertilizers.Most natural...

 (indigenous and liquefied) with 10.2%, and energy from renewable sources with 0.5%. Taiwan has 6 reactors and two under construction. Nearly all oil and gas for transportation and power needs must be imported, making Taiwan particularly sensitive to fluctuations in energy prices. Taiwan is rich in wind energy
Wind power
Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electricity, windmills for mechanical power, windpumps for water pumping or drainage, or sails to propel ships....

 resources, with wind farms both onshore and offshore, though limited land area favors offshore wind resources. By promoting renewable energy, Taiwan's government hopes to also aid the nascent renewable energy manufacturing industry, and develop it into an export market.

Ethnic groups




Taiwan's population was estimated in 2011 at 23.2 million, most of whom are on the island of Taiwan. About 98% of the population is 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...

 ethnicity. Of these, 86% are descendants of early Han Chinese immigrants known as the "benshengren" in Chinese. This group is often referred to "native Taiwanese" in English while the Taiwanese aborigines are also considered as "native Taiwanese" frequently. The benshengren group contains two subgroups: the Hoklo people
Hoklo people
The Hoklo people are Han Chinese people whose traditional Ancestral homes are in southern Fujian of South China...

 (70% of the total population), whose ancestors migrated from the coastal Southern Fujian (Min-nan)
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...

 region in the southeast of 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...

 starting in the 17th century; and the Hakka
Hakka people
The Hakka , sometimes Hakka Han, are Han Chinese who speak the Hakka language and have links to the provincial areas of Guangdong, Jiangxi, Guangxi, Sichuan, Hunan and Fujian in China....

 (15% of the total population), whose ancestors originally migrated south 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...

, its surrounding areas and Taiwan. Some of the benshengren do not often speak Mandarin
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....

, but instead use their mother tongues such as Taiwanese or Hakka.

12% of population are known as waishengren , composed of people who (or whose ancestors) emigrated from mainland China
Military dependents' village
A military dependents' village is a community in Taiwan built in the late 1940s and the 1950s whose original purpose was to serve as provisional housing for Nationalist soldiers and their dependents from mainland China after the KMT retreated to Taiwan. They ended up becoming permanent...

 after the Chinese Civil War with the KMT government. Most Waishengren speak primarily Mandarin.

The other 2% of Taiwan's population, numbering about 458,000, are listed as the Taiwanese 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...

, divided into 13 major groups: Ami, Atayal, Paiwan, Bunun
Bunun People
The Bunun , also historically known as the Vonum, are a tribe of Taiwanese aborigines and are best known for their sophisticated polyphonic vocal music. They speak the Bunun language. Unlike other aboriginal tribes in Taiwan, the Bunun are widely dispersed across the island. In the year 2000 the...

, Rukai, Puyuma, Tsou
Tsou people
The Tsou are an indigenous people of central southern Republic of China . They are spread across three administrative entities of the Republic of China — Nantou County, Chiayi County and Kaohsiung City....

, Saisiyat, Tao
Tao people
The Tao , originally recognized as Yami , are a Taiwanese aboriginal people, native to tiny outlying Orchid Island in Taiwan. The Tao are an Austronesian people linguistically and culturally closer to the Ivatan people of the Batanes islands in the Philippines than to other aboriginal peoples on...

 (Yami), Thao, Kavalan
Kavalan people
The Kavalan or Kuvalan are an indigenous people of Taiwan, part of the larger Taiwanese aborigine ethnic group. The Kavalan originally inhabited modern-day Yilan County. Most of them moved to the coastal area of Hualien County and Taitung County in the 19th century...

, Truku and Sakizaya.

For sociologists, these ethnic classifications are a social construct, the contestation and compromise between political forces. Sociology scholar Wang Fu-chang writes in his book that Minnanren (Hoklo people), Hakka, Waishengren and indigenous peoples are social categories that have developed over the last fifty years.

Languages



Mandarin
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....

 is officially recognized by the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 as the national language and is spoken by the vast majority of residents. About 70% of the people in Taiwan belong to the Hoklo
Hoklo people
The Hoklo people are Han Chinese people whose traditional Ancestral homes are in southern Fujian of South China...

 ethnic group and speak both Taiwanese (a variant of Min Nan
Min Nan
The Southern Min languages, or Min Nan , are a family of Chinese languages spoken in southern Fujian, eastern Guangdong, Hainan, Taiwan, and southern Zhejiang provinces of China, and by descendants of emigrants from these areas in diaspora....

), as their mother tongue, and Mandarin. Mandarin has been the primary language of instruction in schools since the Japanese were forced out in the 1940s. The Hakka ethnic group, comprising around 15% of the population, use the Hakka language. Taiwan's aboriginal minority groups mostly speak their own native languages, although most also speak Mandarin. The aboriginal languages do not belong to the Chinese or Sino-Tibetan language family, but rather to the Austronesian language family
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...

.

Although Mandarin is the language of instruction in schools and dominates television and radio, non-Mandarin languages or dialects have undergone a revival in public life in Taiwan, particularly since the 1990s after restrictions on their use were lifted. A large proportion of the population can speak Taiwanese, and many others have some degree of understanding. People educated during the period of Japanese rule (1895–1945) were taught using Japanese as the medium of instruction. A declining number of persons in the older generations only speak the Japanese they learned in school and the Taiwanese they spoke at home and understand little or no Mandarin.

Religion


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...

 protects people's freedom of religion
Freedom of religion
Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance; the concept is generally recognized also to include the freedom to change religion or not to follow any...

 and the practices of belief. Over 93% of Taiwanese are adherents of a combination of the polytheistic ancient Chinese religion
Chinese folk religion
Chinese folk religion or Shenism , which is a term of considerable debate, are labels used to describe the collection of ethnic religious traditions which have been a main belief system in China and among Han Chinese ethnic groups for most of the civilization's history until today...

, Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, 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...

, 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...

; 4.5% are adherents of Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, which includes Protestants, Catholics, and other, non-denominational, Christian groups; and less than 2.5% are adherents of other religions, such as Islam
Islam in Taiwan
Islam in Taiwan is a slowly growing religion with an estimated 100 converts annually. There are about 45,000 registered Muslims in Taiwan, as of 2007. There are 88,500 Indonesian Muslims working in Taiwan...

. Taiwanese 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...

 comprise a notable subgroup among professing Christians: "...over 64 percent identify as Christian... Church buildings are the most obvious markers of Aboriginal villages, distinguishing them from Taiwanese or Hakka villages."

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...

 is a philosophy that deals with secular moral ethics, and serves as the foundation of both Chinese
Culture of China
Chinese culture is one of the world's oldest and most complex. The area in which the culture is dominant covers a large geographical region in eastern Asia with customs and traditions varying greatly between towns, cities and provinces...

 and Taiwanese culture
Culture of Taiwan
The culture of Taiwan is a blend of Confucianist Han Chinese, Japanese, European, American, global, local, and Taiwanese aborigines cultures, which are often perceived in both traditional and modern understandings...

. The majority of Taiwanese people
Taiwanese people
Taiwanese people may refer to individuals who either claim or are imputed cultural identity focused on the island of Taiwan and/or Taiwan Area which have been governed by the Republic of China since 1945...

 usually combine the secular moral teachings of 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...

 with whatever religions they are affiliated with.

One especially important goddess for Taiwanese people is Matsu
Matsu (goddess)
Mazu , also spelt Matsu, is the indigenous goddess of the sea who is said to protect fishermen and sailors, and is invoked as the patron deity of all Southern Chinese and East Asian persons...

, who symbolizes the seafaring spirit of Taiwan's ancestors from 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...

 and 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...

.

As of 2009, there are 14,993 temples in Taiwan, approximately one place of worship per 1,500 residents. 9,202 of those temples were dedicated to 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...

. In 2008, Taiwan had 3,262 Churches, an increase of 145.

Culture




The cultures of Taiwan are a hybrid blend of various sources, incorporating elements of traditional Chinese culture, attributable to the historical and ancestry origin of the majority of its current residents, Japanese culture, traditional Confucianist beliefs, and increasingly Western values.

After their move to Taiwan, 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...

 imposed an official interpretation of traditional Chinese culture over Taiwanese cultures. The government launched a program
History of the Kuomintang cultural policy
During the early postwar period the Kuomintang suppressed localism and barred Taiwanese from cosmopolitan life except in the spheres of science and technology...

 promoting Chinese calligraphy, traditional Chinese painting
Chinese painting
Chinese painting is one of the oldest continuous artistic traditions in the world. The earliest paintings were not representational but ornamental; they consisted of patterns or designs rather than pictures. Early pottery was painted with spirals, zigzags, dots, or animals...

, folk art
Chinese folk art
Chinese folk art are artistic forms inherited from a regional or ethnic scene in China. Usually there are some variation between provinces. Individual folk arts have a long history, and many traditions are still practiced today...

, and Chinese opera
Chinese opera
Chinese opera is a popular form of drama and musical theatre in China with roots going back as far as the third century CE...

.

Since the Taiwan localization movement of the 1990s, Taiwan's cultural identity has enjoyed greater expression. Identity politics
Identity politics
Identity politics are political arguments that focus upon the self interest and perspectives of self-identified social interest groups and ways in which people's politics may be shaped by aspects of their identity through race, class, religion, sexual orientation or traditional dominance...

, along with the over one hundred years of political separation from mainland China, has led to distinct traditions in many areas, including cuisine
Taiwanese cuisine
Taiwanese cuisine has several variations. In addition to the following representative dishes from the people of Hoklo ethnicity , there are also Aboriginal, Hakka, and local derivatives of Chinese cuisines .Taiwanese cuisine itself is often associated with influences from mid to southern...

 and music
Music of Taiwan
Taiwan is densely-populated and culturally diverse, including a majority of Bensheng ren , a powerful faction waishengren who arrived with Chiang Kai-shek in the middle of the 20th century and the minority of aboriginal peoples.With the arrival of the KMT led Republic of China government in 1949,...

.

The status of Taiwanese culture is debated. It is disputed whether Taiwanese culture is a regional form of Chinese culture or a distinct culture. Speaking Taiwanese as a symbol of the localization movement has become an emblem of Taiwanese identity.

One of Taiwan's greatest attractions is the National Palace Museum
National Palace Museum
The National Palace Museum is an art museum in Taipei. It is the national museum of the Republic of China, and has a permanent collection of over 677,687 pieces of ancient Chinese artifacts and artworks, making it one of the largest in the world. The collection encompasses over 8,000 years of...

, which houses more than 650,000 pieces of Chinese bronze, jade, calligraphy, painting and porcelain, and is considered one of the greatest collection of Chinese art and objects in the world. The KMT moved this collection from the Forbidden City
Forbidden City
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China, and now houses the Palace Museum...

 in Beijing in 1949 when it fled to Taiwan. The collection, estimated to be one-tenth of China's cultural treasures, is so extensive that only 1% is on display at any time. The PRC had said that the collection was stolen and that it legitimately belongs in China, but Taiwan has long defended its collection as a necessary act to protect the pieces from destruction, especially during the Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution , was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976...

. Relations regarding this treasure have warmed recently as each side has agreed to lend relics to the other; Beijing Palace Museum Curator Zheng Xinmiao said that artifacts in both Chinese and Taiwanese museums are "China's cultural heritage jointly owned by people across the Taiwan Strait."

Popular sports in Taiwan include basketball and baseball. Taiwan is also a major Asian country for Korfball
Korfball
Korfball is a mixed gender team sport, with similarities to netball and basketball. A team consists of eight players; four female and four male. A team also includes a coach. It was founded in the Netherlands in 1902 by Nico Broekhuysen. In the Netherlands there are around 580 clubs, and over a...

. In 2008, Taiwan hosted the World Youth Korfball Championship and took the silver medal. In 2009, Taiwan's korfball team won a bronze medal at the World Game.

International Community Radio Taipei
International Community Radio Taipei
International Community Radio Taipei is Taiwan's only English-language radio station. Prior to 1979, the station served the U.S. military community in Taiwan as the United States Armed Forces Network Radio Taiwan...

 is the most listened to International Radio Media in Taiwan.

Karaoke
Karaoke
is a form of interactive entertainment or video game in which amateur singers sing along with recorded music using a microphone and public address system. The music is typically a well-known pop song minus the lead vocal. Lyrics are usually displayed on a video screen, along with a moving symbol,...

, drawn from contemporary Japanese culture, is extremely popular in Taiwan, where it is known as KTV. KTV businesses operate in a hotel-like style, renting out small rooms and ballrooms varying on the number of guests in a group. Many KTV establishments partner with restaurants and buffets to form all-encompassing elaborate evening affairs for families, friends, or businessmen. Tour buses that travel around Taiwan have several TV's, equipped not for watching movies, but primarily for singing Karaoke. The entertainment counterpart of a KTV is an MTV, being found much less frequently out of the city. There, movies out on DVD can be selected and played in a private theater room. However MTV, more so than KTV, has a growing reputation for being a place that young couples will go to be alone and intimate.

Taiwan has a high density of 24-hour convenience stores, which, in addition to the usual services, provide services on behalf of financial institutions or government agencies such as collection of parking fees, utility bills, traffic violation fines, and credit card payments. They also provide a service for mailing packages.

Taiwanese culture has also influenced other cultures. Bubble tea
Bubble tea
Bubble tea is the name for pearl milk tea and other similar tea and juice beverages that originated in tea shops in Taichung, Taiwan during the 1980s. Drink recipes may vary, but most bubble teas contain a tea base mixed with fruit and/or milk...

 and milk tea are available in Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Europe and North America. Taiwan television shows are popular in Singapore, Malaysia and other Asian countries. Taiwanese films
Cinema of Taiwan
The history of Chinese-language cinema has three separate threads of development: Cinema of Hong Kong, Cinema of Mainland China and Cinema of Taiwan . Taiwanese cinema grew up outside of the Hong Kong mainstream and the censorship of the People's Republic of China.Taiwanese cinema is deeply rooted...

 have won various international awards at film festivals around the world. Ang Lee
Ang Lee
Ang Lee is a Taiwanese film director. Lee has directed a diverse set of films such as Eat Drink Man Woman , Sense and Sensibility , Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon , Hulk , and Brokeback Mountain , for which he won an Academy...

, a Taiwanese director, has directed critically acclaimed films such as: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a 2000 wuxia film. An American-Chinese-Hong Kong-Taiwanese co-production, the film was directed by Ang Lee and featured an international cast of ethnic Chinese actors, including Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, and Chang Chen...

; Eat Drink Man Woman
Eat Drink Man Woman
Eat Drink Man Woman is a Taiwanese film directed by Ang Lee and starring Sihung Lung, Yu-wen Wang, Chien-lien Wu, Kuei-mei Yang. Many of the cast had starred in Ang Lee's previous film, The Wedding Banquet with Sihung Lung and Ah Lei Gua once more playing central elderly figures, and Winston Chao...

; Sense and Sensibility; Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain is a 2005 romantic drama film directed by Ang Lee. It is a film adaptation of the 1997 short story of the same name by Annie Proulx with the screenplay written by Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry...

; and Lust, Caution. Other famous Taiwanese directors include Tsai Ming-Liang
Tsai Ming-liang
Tsai Ming-liang is one of the most celebrated "Second New Wave" film directors of Taiwanese Cinema, along with earlier contemporaries such as Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Edward Yang...

, Edward Yang
Edward Yang
Edward Yang , along with Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Tsai Ming Liang, was one of the leading filmmakers of the Taiwanese New Wave and Taiwanese Cinema. He won the Best Director Award at Cannes for his 2000 film Yi Yi .-Biography:...

 and Hou Hsiao-hsien
Hou Hsiao-Hsien
Hou Hsiao-Hsien is an award-winning film director and a leading figure of Taiwan's New Wave cinema movement.-Biography:...

.

Higher education


Taiwan has several major public universities, including: National Taiwan University
National Taiwan University
National Taiwan University is a national co-educational university located in Taipei, Republic of China . In Taiwan, it is colloquially known as "Táidà" . Its main campus is set upon 1,086,167 square meters in Taipei's Da'an District. In addition, the university has 6 other campuses in Taiwan,...

, National Chiao Tung University
National Chiao Tung University
National Chiao Tung University is a public university located in Hsinchu, Taiwan. It is recognized as one of the most prestigious and selective universities in Taiwan and is renowned for its research and teaching excellence in electrical engineering, computer science, engineering, management, and...

, National Taiwan Normal University
National Taiwan Normal University
National Taiwan Normal University is an institution of higher learning operating on three campuses in Taipei, Taiwan . NTNU is widely recognized as one of Taiwan's elite institutions of higher education. The university enrolls approximately 11,000 students each year. The ratio of undergraduate to...

, National Tsing Hua University
National Tsing Hua University
National Tsing Hua University is one of the most prestigious universities in Taiwan. The university has a strong reputation in the studies of science and engineering. Times Higher Education - World University Rankings is107in the world. Engineering and Science are the best in Taiwan...

, National Chengchi University
National Chengchi University
National Chengchi University is a prestigious public university at Muzha in Wenshan District, Taipei City, Taiwan. It is well-known for its concentration on the social sciences, law, commerce, communication, liberal arts and for its MBA programs....

, National Cheng Kung University
National Cheng Kung University
National Cheng Kung University is a national university in Tainan City, Taiwan. Its abbreviation is NCKU. In Chinese, its name is shortened to 成大...

, National Yang Ming University
National Yang Ming University
National Yang-Ming University is a public university in Shipai, Beitou District, Taipei, Taiwan. It is known for its academic programs related to Medicine, Life Sciences and Biotechnology...

, National Taipei University
National Taipei University
National Taipei University is a public university in New Taipei, Taiwan , founded in 1949. Before 2000, the University was named the College of Law and Business, National Chung Hsing University . The University main campus is in Sanxia District, New Taipei City, Taiwan...

, National Central University
National Central University
National Central University is a national comprehensive university in Taiwan .National Central University was founded in 1915 and originated in 258 CE at Nanjing, China. After NCU in Nanjing was renamed Nanjing University in 1949, NCU was re-established in Taiwan in 1962...

, National Sun Yat-sen University
National Sun Yat-sen University
The National Sun Yat-sen University is a public university located in Kaohsiung, Republic of China . The university is known as NSYSU ....

, National Chung Cheng University
National Chung Cheng University
National Chung Cheng University , abbreviated CCU, is a public research university located in Minhsiung, Chiayi County, Taiwan. It is distinctive among universities in Taiwan in that it is dedicated to the core humanities and the basic sciences, both natural and social...

, National Chung Hsing University
National Chung Hsing University
National Chung Hsing University is a university in Taichung, Republic of China . According to Ministry of Education rankings, it is the best university in central Taiwan.-History:...

, Taipei National University of the Arts
Taipei National University of the Arts
The Taipei National University of the Arts is a national university at Kuandu of Beitou District, Taipei City, Taiwan. This university should not be confused with National Taiwan University of Arts at Banciao City.-History:...

, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology
National Taiwan University of Science and Technology
The National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, commonly referred to as NTUST or Taiwan Tech, is a public/national technological university located in the Taipei City, Republic of China. Taiwan Tech was established in 1974, as the first and the leading higher education institution of its...

, National Taipei University of Technology
National Taipei University of Technology
National Taipei University of Technology ', one of the best universities in Taiwan, is located in the Daan District of Taipei City, Taiwan. The university traces its origins to the establishment of the School of Industrial Instruction in 1912.This institution underwent several name changes and...

, and National Kaohsiung Normal University
National Kaohsiung Normal University
The National Kaohsiung Normal University , founded in 1967, is a public university located in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The university has two campuses—Ho-Ping and Yen-Chao...

.

The more notable private universities in Taiwan include: Soo Chow University
Soochow University (Taiwan)
Soochow University is a private university located in Taipei, Taiwan. Although the Soochow University in Taiwan maintains a church and a Methodist minister in residence, it may be considered a secular institution...

, Fu Jen Catholic University
Fu Jen Catholic University
Fu Jen Catholic University is a co-educational Catholic university located in Xinzhuang District, New Taipei City, Republic of China...

, Chang Gung University
Chang Gung University
Chang Gung University is a private university in Gueishan, Taoyuan, northern Taiwan.- History :The institution was established as the Chang Gung Medical College in April 1987. Engineering and management students have been accepted since 1993, when the name was changed to Chang Gung College of...

, Tamkang University
Tamkang University
Tamkang University is a private Taiwanese university located in Tamsui District, New Taipei City. Founded in 1950 as a junior college of English literature, the college has expanded into a full university with 11 colleges today....

, Tunghai University
Tunghai University
Tunghai University was founded by Methodist missionaries in 1955 as a comprehensive university. It is a top-ranked private school and a leading institution in Taiwan. Moreover, Tunghai University was founded as the first private university making it the second oldest university in Taiwan, which...

, Yuan Ze University
Yuan Ze University
Yuan Ze University is a private university located in Taoyuan, Taiwan.The university is situated on the northern part of the island of Taiwan, half an hour from the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.- Presidents :* Wang Kuo-ming : 1989–1999...

, Tzu Chi University
Tzu Chi University
Tzu Chi University, or TCU, is a private university located in Hualien City, Hualien County, Taiwan . It was founded by the Tzu Chi Foundation and is famous in Taiwan for the quality of the medical education it provides...

, Ming Chuan University
Ming Chuan University
Ming Chuan University is a selective private university founded by Pao Teh-Ming and her husband Lee Ying-Chao. Named after the famous progressive Qing Dynasty governor of Taiwan Liu Mingchuan, it is known for its communication and business programs.-History:The institution was founded as a three...

, Chinese Culture University
Chinese Culture University
Chinese Culture University is a private, Taiwanese university located on Yang Ming Mountain in the Shilin District of Taipei, Taiwan. CCU was established in 1962 and is one of the largest universities in Taiwan with an enrollment of about 32,000 students...

, and Shih Hsin University
Shih Hsin University
Shih Hsin University is a private university in Wenshan District, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China. Shih Hsin University has named one of the “Teaching Excellence Universities” by the Republic of China's Ministry of Education five years in a row, making Shih Hsin being among the top five schools...

.

Sports



Baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

 is Taiwan's national sport
National sport
A national sport or national pastime is a sport or game that is considered to be an intrinsic part of the culture of a nation. Some sports are de facto national sports, as baseball is in the U.S., while others are de jure as lacrosse and ice hockey are in Canada.-De jure national sports:-De facto...

 and it is a popular spectator sport. One of the most famous Taiwanese baseball pitchers is Chien-Ming Wang
Chien-Ming Wang
Chien-Ming Wang is a Taiwanese Major League Baseball pitcher. He was initially signed as an amateur free agent by the New York Yankees for the 2000 season, and played for the Staten Island Yankees...

, who is a starting pitcher in Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

. Other notable players playing in the United States include Chin-hui Tsao
Chin-hui Tsao
Chin-Hui Tsao is a former Major League Baseball and CPBL pitcher. He is the second major league player and the first major league pitcher of Republic of China nationality, and like the first, former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Chin-Feng Chen, he is a Taiwanese aborigine...

 who played for the Colorado Rockies
Colorado Rockies
The Colorado Rockies are a Major League Baseball team based in Denver, Colorado. Established in 1991, they started play in 1993 and are in the West Division of the National League. The team is named after the Rocky Mountains...

 (2003–2005) and the Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers are a professional baseball team based in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers are members of Major League Baseball's National League West Division. Established in 1883, the team originated in Brooklyn, New York, where it was known by a number of nicknames before becoming...

 (2007), Hong-Chih Kuo
Hong-Chih Kuo
Hong-Chih Kuo is a Major League Baseball pitcher with the Los Angeles Dodgers. When Kuo made his debut in , he became the fourth MLB player from Taiwan ....

, Fu-Te Ni
Fu-Te Ni
Fu-Te Ni is a Major League Baseball relief pitcher in the Detroit Tigers organization. Before joining the Tigers, Ni was a professional baseball player from Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League...

, and Chin-lung Hu
Chin-Lung Hu
Hu Chin-lung is a Taiwanese professional baseball player. He is currently an infielder for the New York Mets of Major League Baseball. Hu, along with his countryman Fu-Te Ni , has the shortest surname in Major League Baseball history...

. The Chinese Professional Baseball League
Chinese Professional Baseball League
The Chinese Professional Baseball League , or CPBL, is the top-tier professional baseball league in Taiwan. The league was established in 1989. CPBL eventually absorbed the competing Taiwan Major League in 2003...

 in Taiwan was established in 1989, and eventually absorbed the competing Taiwan Major League
Taiwan Major League
The Taiwan Major League was a professional baseball league in Taiwan that operated from 1996 to 2003. It was established by TV tycoon Chiu Fu-sheng after a row over CPBL broadcasting rights...

 in 2003. , the CPBL has four teams with average attendance of approximately 3,000 per game.

Besides baseball, taekwondo has become a rather mature and successful sport in recent years. In the 2004 Olympics, Mu Yen Chu and Shih Hsin Chen proudly won the first two gold medals in men's flyweight event and women's flyweight event, respectively. Ever since the 2004 Olympics, Taiwan's taekwondo potential has become extremely prominent. Subsequent taekwondo competitors such as Shu Chun Yang successfully consolidated Taiwan's taekwondo culture.

In 2009, Taiwan hosted two international sporting events on the island. The World Games 2009
World Games 2009
The World Games of 2009 took place in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, from July 16, 2009 to July 26, 2009. The games featured sports that are not contested in the Olympic Games....

 were held in Kaohsiung City between 16 July and 26 July 2009. Taipei City hosted the 21st Summer Deaflympics in September of the same year.

Economy





Taiwan's quick industrialization and rapid growth during the latter half of the 20th 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...

" (台灣奇蹟) or "Taiwan Economic Miracle". As Taiwan has developed alongside 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...

, 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 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...

, they are collectively known as the "Four Asian Dragons" (or "Four Asian Tigers").

Japanese rule prior to and during World War II brought changes in the public and private sectors, most notably in the area of public works, which enabled rapid communications and facilitated transport throughout much of the island. The Japanese also improved public education and made it compulsory for all Taiwanese citizens.

When the KMT government fled to Taiwan it brought millions of taels of gold and the foreign currency reserve of mainland China to the island, which, according to the KMT stabilized prices and reduced hyperinflation. Perhaps more importantly, as part of its retreat to Taiwan, the KMT brought the intellectual and business elites from mainland China. The KMT government instituted many laws and land reforms that it had never effectively enacted on mainland China. The government also implemented a policy of import-substitution, attempting to produce imported goods domestically. Much of this was made possible through US economic aid, subsidizing the higher cost of domestic production.

In 1962, Taiwan had a per-capita gross national product (GNP) of $170, placing its economy on a par with those of Zaire and Congo. By 2008 per-capita GNP, adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP), had risen to $33,000, contributing to a 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...

 equivalent to that of other developed countries. Taiwan's HDI in 2007 is 0,943 (25th, very high), and stands at 0,868 in 2010 (18e, very high), according to the UN's new calculating method ("Inequality-adjusted HDI").

Today Taiwan has a dynamic, capitalist, export-driven economy with gradually decreasing state involvement in investment and foreign trade. 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 annual 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 eight percent 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 as of 31 December 2007.

Taiwan’s total trade in 2010 reached an all-time high of US$526.04 billion, according to Taiwan's Ministry of Finance. Both exports and imports for the year reached record levels, totaling US$274.64 billion and US$251.4 billion, respectively.

Agriculture constitutes only two percent of the GDP, down from 35 percent in 1952. Since the 1980s traditional labor-intensive industries have steadily been moved offshore and with capital and technology-intensive industries replacing them. High-technology industrial parks have sprung up in every region in Taiwan. Taiwan has become a major foreign investor in mainland China, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam. As of the end of 2003, 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, Taiwan 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 large business groups. The global economic downturn, however, combined with 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 mainland China, unemployment also reached a level not seen since the 1973 oil crisis
1973 oil crisis
The 1973 oil crisis started in October 1973, when the members of Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries or the OAPEC proclaimed an oil embargo. This was "in response to the U.S. decision to re-supply the Israeli military" during the Yom Kippur war. It lasted until March 1974. With the...

. This became a major issue in the 2004 presidential election. Growth averaged more than 4% in the 2002–2006 period and the unemployment rate fell below 4%. Since the global financial crisis starting with United States in 2007, the unemployment rate has risen to over 5.9% and Economic Growth fallen to -2.9%. However, Taiwan managed to move out of the crisis in very good shape. In 2010, economic growth topped 10%, the highest rate in almost 30 years; international trade jumped more than 39% to US$526.04 billion; and the job market has turned a rosy picture with most businesses set to recruit. As a result, IMF estimated Taiwan's 2010 GDP-PPP per capita at over US$34700, surpassing that of Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, 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 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...

 all at once.

Leading technologies of Taiwan include:
  • Bicycle
    Bicycle
    A bicycle, also known as a bike, pushbike or cycle, is a human-powered, pedal-driven, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. A person who rides a bicycle is called a cyclist, or bicyclist....

     manufacturing, ex: Giant Bicycles
    Giant Manufacturing
    Giant Manufacturing Co. Ltd. is a Taiwanese bicycle manufacturer which bills itself as the world's largest bicycle manufacturer. Giant has manufacturing facilities in Taiwan, Netherlands, and Mainland China.-History:...

    , Merida
    Merida Bikes
    Merida Industry Co., Ltd is a Taiwan based bicycle design, manufacture, and sales company. It was started in 1972 as a small contract shop under a Japanese bicycle parts brand, by current chairman D.H. Ike, Tseng. Merida has expanded to the US and Europe and is now a global player in bicycle...

  • Biotechnology
    Biotechnology
    Biotechnology is a field of applied biology that involves the use of living organisms and bioprocesses in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields requiring bioproducts. Biotechnology also utilizes these products for manufacturing purpose...

  • Nanotechnology
    Nanotechnology
    Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology deals with developing materials, devices, or other structures possessing at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometres...

  • Communication & Network, ex: D-Link
  • Laptops and other computers and displays, ex: Acer, Asus, MSI
    MSI
    -Computing:* Windows Installer, an installer system written by Microsoft for Windows platforms * Medium Scale Integration, a generation of integrated circuit chips which contain hundreds of transistors...

  • Shipping, ex: Evergreen
  • Semiconductor device fabrication, TSMC
    TSMC
    Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company, Limited or TSMC is the world's largest dedicated independent semiconductor foundry, with its headquarters and main operations located in the Hsinchu Science Park in Hsinchu, Taiwan.-Overview:...

    , UMC
    United Microelectronics Corporation
    UMC was founded as Taiwan's first semiconductor company in 1980 as a spin-off of the government-sponsored Industrial Technology Research Institute .-Overview:...

  • Smartphones, ex: HTC
  • TFT-LCD, ex: Chimei InnoLux Corporation
    Chimei Innolux Corporation
    Chimei Innolux Corporation is a Taiwanese TFT-LCD panel manufacturer headquartered in Jhunan, Miaoli County, Taiwan.-Overview:The company is Taiwan's largest LCD maker. It produces many products including: TFT LCD panel modules, LCD display products, computer panels, AV and mobile panels, desktop...

    , AU Optronics
    AU Optronics
    AU Optronics was formed in December 2001 by the merger of Acer Display Technology, Inc., and Unipac Optoelectronics Corporation. In October 2006, AUO merged with Quanta Display Inc. to create a leading TFT-LCD manufacturer. Additionally, the amassed production of the company's G6 reached worldwide...

  • Photovoltaic industry

Government



Taiwan is governed by the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

, but is commonly called Taiwan. The Republic of China should not be confused with 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...

 which governs the mainland. Both the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China consider themselves the only legitimate rulers of all of China. Cross-Strait relations have been tense since the Republic of China's defeat in China's 1949 civil war. The People's Republic will not diplomatically recognize any country that recognizes the Republic of China. See 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...

 and Legal status of Taiwan
Legal status of Taiwan
The legal status of Republic of China is a controversial issue which stems from the complex post-Second World War history of Taiwan. Various claims have been made by the People's Republic of China , the Republic of China , and supporters of Taiwan independence over this question, with a variety of...

.

See also




Further reading


  • Bush, R. & O'Hanlon, M
    Michael O'Hanlon
    Michael Edward O'Hanlon is a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, specializing in defense and foreign policy issues. He began his career as a budget analyst in the defense field.-Education and early career:...

    . (2007). A War Like No Other: The Truth About China's Challenge to America. Wiley. ISBN 0-471-98677-1
  • Bush, R. (2006). Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait. Brookings Institution Press. ISBN 0-8157-1290-1
  • Carpenter, T. (2006). America's Coming War with China: A Collision Course over Taiwan. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 1-4039-6841-1
  • Cole, B. (2006). Taiwan's Security: History and Prospects. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-36581-3
  • Copper, J. (2006). Playing with Fire: The Looming War with China over Taiwan. Praeger Security International General Interest. ISBN 0-275-98888-0
  • Copper, J. (2000). Historical Dictionary of Taiwan (Republic of China). The Scarecrow Press. ISBN 0-8108-3665-3
  • Federation of American Scientists et al. (2006). Chinese Nuclear Forces and U.S. Nuclear War Planning
  • Gill, B. (2007). Rising Star: China's New Security Diplomacy. Brookings Institution Press. ISBN 0-8157-3146-9
  • Knapp, R. (1980). China's Island Frontier: Studies in the Historical Geography of Taiwan. University of Hawai`i Press. ISBN 0-8248-0705-7
  • Rubinstein, M. (2006). Taiwan: A New History. M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 0-7656-1495-2
  • Shirk, S. (2007). China: Fragile Superpower: How China's Internal Politics Could Derail Its Peaceful Rise. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-530609-0
  • Tsang, S. (2006). If China Attacks Taiwan: Military Strategy, Politics and Economics. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-40785-0
  • Tucker, N.B. (2005). Dangerous Strait: the U.S.-Taiwan-China Crisis. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-13564-5


External links