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Republic of China
Depicting the Free area of the Republic of China
|Ethnic groups||Taiwanese aborigines[b]|
|Demonym(s)||Taiwanese or Chinese or both|
|Government||Unitary semi-presidential republic|
|Ma Ying-jeou (KMT)|
|Wu Den-yih (KMT)|
|Jiang Yi-huah (KMT)|
|Wang Jin-pyng (KMT)|
|Wang Chien-shien (NP)|
|Kuan Chung (KMT)|
|10 October 1911|
|1 January 1912|
|25 December 1947|
|36,193 km2 (13,974 sq mi) (136th)|
• Water (%)
• 2012 estimate
|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.
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.
- Chinese Civil War between the Kuomintang (KMT) party and the Communist Party of China (CCP).
- The Nationalists (KMT) lose the war, and escape to the island of Taiwan. They set up Taipei as the temporary capital of China (ROC).
- The Communist Party of China (CCP) establishes Beijing as the capital of The People's Republic of China (PRC).
- 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.
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.
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.
The largest cities in Taiwan are:
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