> wiki   Explore:images videos games  


KidzSearch Safe Wikipedia for Kids.
Jump to: navigation, search
Republic of China

Zhōnghuá Mínguó[a]
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 map depicting the location of the Republic of China in East Asia and in the World.
Depicting the Free area of the Republic of China
Capital Taipei[1]
Official languages Mandarin[2]
Traditional Chinese
Ethnic groups

98% Han[3]

2% Taiwanese aborigines[b]
Demonym(s) Taiwanese[4][5][6] or Chinese or both
Government Unitary semi-presidential republic
• President
Ma Ying-jeou (KMT)[7]
Wu Den-yih (KMT)[8]
• Premier
Jiang Yi-huah (KMT)[9]
Wang Jin-pyng (KMT)[10]
Rai Hau-min[11]
Wang Chien-shien (NP)[12]
Kuan Chung (KMT)[13]
Legislature Legislative Yuan
10 October 1911
1 January 1912
25 December 1947
• Total
36,193[14] km2 (13,974 sq mi) (136th)
• Water (%)
• 2012 estimate
23,261,747[14] (50th)
• Density
642/km2 (1,662.8/sq mi) (17th)

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 on Taiwan are the capital of Taipei and Kaohsiung.

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

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


  • 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: 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.

Status of Taiwan

There are two Chinese governments in the world: The People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC). PRC claims control over the island of Taiwan (which is also known 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 want to be united again with China. But most of the people in Taiwan want to keep everything like it is now (independent), at least until China becomes 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.

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 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).[14] 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 180.5 km2 (69.7 sq mi). The Pratas Islands and Taiping Island in the South China Sea have a total area of 2.9 km2 (1.1 sq mi). They have no permanent inhabitants.[14]


The largest cities in Taiwan are:

Rank Division name Chinese name Type Population
1 New Taipei City 新北市 Special municipality 3,903,745
2 Kaohsiung City 高雄市 Special municipality 2,772,461
3 Taichung City 臺中市 (台中市) Special municipality 2,655,456
4 Taipei City 臺北市 (台北市) Special municipality 2,635,766
5 Tainan City 臺南市 (台南市) Special municipality 1,874,724
6 Hsinchu City 新竹市 Provincial city 417,335
7 Taoyuan City 桃園市 County-controlled city 408,304
8 Keelung City 基隆市 Provincial city 381,770
9 Zhongli City 中壢市 County-controlled city 370,779
10 Chiayi City 嘉義市 Provincial city 272,128
11 Changhua City 彰化市 County-controlled city 236,447
12 Pingtung City 屏東市 County-controlled city 210,275
13 Pingzhen City 平鎮市 County-controlled city 207,953
14 Bade City 八德市 County-controlled city 177,020
15 Yangmei City 楊梅市 County-controlled city 151,384
16 Zhubei City 竹北市 County-controlled city 144,234
17 Hualien City 花蓮市 County-controlled city 108,938
18 Taitung City 臺東市 County-controlled city 108,648
19 Douliu City 斗六市 County-controlled city 107,012
20 Nantou City 南投市 County-controlled city 104,069
21 Magong 馬公市 County-controlled city 104,069


  1. "Yearbook 2004". Government Information Office of the Republic of China. 2004. "Taipei is the capital of the ROC"
  2. "Taiwan (self-governing island, Asia)". Britannica Online Encyclopedia. 1975-04-05. Retrieved 2009-05-07.
  3. CIA World Factbook information about Taiwan, United States Central Intelligence Agency.
  4. "The ROC's Humanitarian Relief Program for Afghan Refugees". 2001-12-11. Archived from the original on 15 December 2004. Retrieved 2009-05-07.
  5. "Taiwanese health official invited to observe bird-flu conference". 2005-11-11. Retrieved 2009-05-07.
  6. "Demonyms – Names of Nationalities". Retrieved 2009-05-07.
  7. Jacobs, Andrew (14 January 2012). "President of Taiwan Is Re-elected, a Result That Is Likely to Please China". The New York Times: p. A6. Retrieved 2012-04-22.
  8. "About us » Vice President Wu Den-yih » Biography". Office of the President, Republic of China (Taiwan). Retrieved 2012-05-20.
  9. "Executive Yuan ─ Chen Chun (aka Sean Chen)". Executive Yuan. 16 April 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-22.
  10. "President > Brief Introduction". Legislative Yuan. 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-22.
  11. "Hau-Min Rai". Justices of the Constitutional Court. Judicial Yuan. Retrieved 2012-04-22.
  12. "President Wang, Chien-shien". Control Yuan. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-22.
  13. "The Examination Yuan of ROC - President". Examination Yuan. 27 March 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-22.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 "Number of Villages, Neighborhoods, Households and Resident Population". MOI Statistical Information Service. Retrieved 15 June 2012.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 "Republic of China (Taiwan)". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 2012-04-22.
  17. "Table 4. Percentage Share of Disposable Income by Quintile Group of Households and Income Inequality Indices". Report on The Survey of Family Income and Expenditure. Taipei, Taiwan: Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics. 2010.
  18. "ICANN Board Meeting Minutes". ICANN. 25 June 2010.
  19. "Chapter 1: Geography". The Republic of China Yearbook. Government Information Office, Republic of China (Taiwan). 2011. pp. 13–25.

Related pages