Republic of China

A red flag, with a small blue rectangle in the top left hand corner on which sits a white sun composed of a circle surrounded by 12 rays. A blue circular emblem on which sits a white sun composed of a circle surrounded by 12 rays.
Flag Emblem
Anthem: "National Anthem of the Republic of China"

"National Flag Anthem"
A map depicting the location of the Republic of China in East Asia and in the World.
Largest city New Taipei City
Official languages Mandarin[2]
Recognised regional languages Taiwanese
Formosan languages
Official scripts Traditional Chinese
Ethnic groups 98% Han[3]
2% Taiwanese aborigines
Demonym Taiwanese[4][5][6] or Chinese or both
Government Unitary semi-presidential republic
 -  President Ma Ying-jeou (KMT)[7]
 -  Vice President Wu Den-yih (KMT)[8]
 -  Premier Jiang Yi-huah (KMT)[9]
 -  President of the Legislative Yuan Wang Jin-pyng (KMT)[10]
 -  President of the Judicial Yuan Rai Hau-min[11]
 -  President of the Control Yuan Wang Chien-shien (NP)[12]
 -  President of the Examination Yuan Kuan Chung (KMT)[13]
Legislature Legislative Yuan
Establishment Xinhai Revolution
 -  Wuchang Uprising 10 October 1911 
 -  Republic established 1 January 1912 
 -  Constitution 25 December 1947 
 -  Total 36,193[14] km2 (136th)
13,974 sq mi
 -  Water (%) 10.34
 -  2012 estimate 23,261,747[14] (50th)
 -  Density 642/km2 (17th)
1,664/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2011 estimate
 -  Total $876.035 billion[15] (19th)
 -  Per capita $37,719[15] (19th)
GDP (nominal) 2011 estimate
 -  Total $466.832 billion[15] (26th)
 -  Per capita $20,100[15] (39th)
Gini (2010)34.2[16]
HDI (2010)Increase 0.868[17]
very high
Currency New Taiwan dollar (NT$) (TWD)
Time zone CST (UTC+8)
 -  Summer (DST) not observed (UTC+8)
Date format yyyy-mm-dd
(CE; CE+2697) or 民國yy年m月d日
Drives on the right
Calling code +886
Internet TLD .tw, .台灣, .台湾[18]

Taiwan (also known as Formosa) officially the Republic of China (ROC; Chinese: 中華民國; pinyin: Zhōnghuá Mínguó), is a state in East Asia. It is the nationalist government of China since its settlement in 1949. It is called the Republic of China (ROC) (also called Taiwan) which is a country comprising the island of Taiwan and nearby islands (Pescadores islands and parts of Fujian). The Chinese Nationalist government (Kuomintang also called KMT) moved to Taiwan after the Communist armed force took over the capital of Beijing. Currently, the Chinese Nationalist government governs Taipei,the capital of Taiwan. Taiwan is southeast of the communist China, south of Japan, and north of the Philippines.

Formosa is the Portuguese name of Taiwan, which means "beautiful" in Portuguese.

The largest cities in Taiwan are the capital of Taipei and the port city of Kaohsiung.

Most people living in Taiwan (sometimes called Taiwanese) are Han. There are also Taiwanese Aborigines who have lived in Taiwan before the Han came to live there.

Taiwan has three large Han groups. They speak different dialects of Chinese and their ancestors came from different places: the Southern Fujianese (from China's Fujian Province), the Hakka (from China), and Mainlanders (from Mainland China after 1948).

History Edit

  • 1517: A Portuguese ship sees the island and names it "Ilha Formosa", or "Beautiful Island" in Portuguese.
  • 17th century: From 1624 until 1661 Dutch colonized the southern part of Formosa and established a colonial administration in Fort Zeelandia, and the Spanish colonized the north and established a colonial administration in Fuerte Santo Domingo or Fort_Santo_Domingo. The Dutch eventually defeated the Spaniards and took full control of Formosa. A Chinese general named Koxinga, defeated the Dutch at the Siege of Fort Zeelandia.
  • 1860: Taiwan becomes a treaty port following the Treaty of Tientsin, opening the island to contact with the world.
  • 1874: Japan invaded southern Taiwan, seemingly to "punish" the aborigines there for the murder of ship-wrecked Okinawan fishermen in 1871, but actually to establish a colony. Japanese forced withdraw later in the year after the Meiji and Qing empires nearly went to war.
  • 1884-1885: Taiwan is blockaded by French navy during the Sino-Franco War and loses its control in Vietnam.
  • 1895: Qing China lost the First Sino-Japanese War and ceded Taiwan to Japan permanently.
  • 1945: Japan lost in World War II to USA and gave up Taiwan permanently.
  • 1946: USA accepts millions refugees and soldiers from China to Taiwan and USA President installs The Republic of China to govern Taiwan and to fight China and communism.
  • 1947: Taiwanese widely protest governmental corruption under the Nationalists. Chiang Kai-shek sends in the army to restore order, killing tens of thousands. Some Taiwanese began the Taiwan independence movement.
  • 1949:
  • 1951: Japan signs the Treaty of San Francisco(1951) with USA.
  • 1979: The KMT government jails many democracy activists who opposed it (Kaohsiung Incident).
  • 1986: The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is formed; it is the first party to form in the ROC other than the KMT. It remains illegal for several years, but the KMT government does not try to ban it.
  • 1987: The KMT government lifts the martial law after almost 40 years.
  • 2000: Chen Shui-bian (DPP) becomes president.
  • 2004: Chen Shui-bian is re-elected after a controversial assassination attempt, in which many KMT-supporters believed, was staged by Chen. However, after unwillingness to cooperate about his medical records the investigation was inconclusive.
  • 2008: Former president Chen Sui-bian and his wife are arrested for corruption and money laundering.
  • 2008: Ma Ying-jeou was elected as the president of the Republic of China and thus creating a change of political parties for the second time.
  • 2009: Kaohsiung hosts the 2009 World Games.

Status of Taiwan Edit

There are two Chinese governments in the world: The People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC). PRC claims to have control over the island of Taiwan (the PRC refer to as Taiwan province), which is why people want Taiwan to formally declare independence. Today, in reality, the PRC government controls mainland China, and the ROC government governs Taiwan. The PRC government has never occupied Taiwan. The ROC government occupied mainland China from 1911 to 1949, before losing control of mainland China to the communist PRC.

Today, people who live in Taiwan have different ideas. Although many Taiwanese think there is no freedom in China, there are still some Taiwanese who want to be united again with China. The majority of the people in Taiwan want to keep everything like it is now (independent), at least until China becomes democratic and free.

Today most countries of the world recognize the People's Republic of China as China. Even though Taiwan is not recognized by the UN as a sovereign nation, most countries still have very close economic and cultural relationship with Taiwan. The government of People's Republic of China has said that if the people of Taiwan formally vote to become independent, they will invade Taiwan. So, there is now a situation where both sides are not making any big changes from the political side of view. This policy follows the agreement of the 1992 Consensus.

In March 2004, China's government passed a law called the Anti-Secession Law that will allow China to invade Taiwan if the people of Taiwan vote to become independent. This law hurt the feelings of the people in Taiwan very much, especially since the government of China has never ruled Taiwan in history. It has caused even more people in Taiwan to not want to be re-united with mainland China.


Taiwan NASA Terra MODIS 23791

Taiwan is mostly mountainous in the east, with gently sloping plains in the west. The Penghu Islands are west of the main island.

The island of Taiwan is about 180 kilometers off the southeastern coast of China. It is across the Taiwan Strait. It has an area of 35,883 km2 (13,855 sq mi). The East China Sea is to the north, the Philippine Sea to the east, the Luzon Strait directly to the south and the South China Sea to the southwest.[19]

Taiwan's highest point is Yu Shan (Jade Mountain). It is 3,952 meters high(12,966 ft). There are five other peaks over 3,500 meters.

The Penghu Islands are 50 km (31.1 mi) west of the main island. They have an area of 126.9 km2 (49.0 sq mi). More distant islands controlled by the Republic of China are the Kinmen, Wuchiu and Matsu Islands off the coast of Fujian. They have a total area of 126.9 km2 (49.0 sq mi). The Pratas Islands and Taiping Island in the South China Sea have a total area of 180.5 km2 (69.7 sq mi). They have no permanent inhabitants.[14]



Taipei City

A Hsinchu street.jpg

Hsinchu City

The largest cities in Taiwan are:

RankDivision nameChinese nameTypePopulation
1New Taipei City新北市Special municipality3,903,745
2Kaohsiung City高雄市Special municipality2,772,461
3Taichung City臺中市 (台中市)Special municipality2,655,456
4Taipei City臺北市 (台北市)Special municipality2,635,766
5Tainan City臺南市 (台南市)Special municipality1,874,724
6Hsinchu City新竹市Provincial city417,335
7Taoyuan City桃園市County-controlled city408,304
8Keelung City基隆市Provincial city381,770
9Zhongli City中壢市County-controlled city370,779
10Chiayi City嘉義市Provincial city272,128
11Changhua City彰化市County-controlled city236,447
12Pingtung City屏東市County-controlled city210,275
13Pingzhen City平鎮市County-controlled city207,953
14Bade City八德市County-controlled city177,020
15Yangmei City楊梅市County-controlled city151,384
16Zhubei City竹北市County-controlled city144,234
17Hualien City花蓮市County-controlled city108,938
18Taitung City臺東市County-controlled city108,648
19Douliu City斗六市County-controlled city107,012
20Nantou City南投市County-controlled city104,069
21Magong馬公市County-controlled city104,069


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