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eo:Ŝablono:ĈinaTeksto es:Plantilla:ChineseText no:Templat:KinesiskTekst ru:Шаблон:КитайскийТекст pt:Predefinição:Contém texto em Chinês

Republic of China
中華民國
Zhōnghuá Mínguó
Flag of the Republic of China (alternate blue).svg National Emblem of the Republic of China.svg
Anthem"National Anthem of the Republic of China"
LocationROC.png
depicting only the area currently under ROC jurisdiction
CapitalTaipei [1]
25°02′N 121°38′E / 25.0333°N 121.6333°E / 25.0333; 121.6333
Official languages Standard Mandarin[2] (spoken)
Traditional Chinese (written)
Recognised regional languages English[citation needed]
Demonym Taiwanese[3][4][5] or Chinese[6], or both
Government Semi-presidential system
 -  President Ma Ying-jeou
 -  Vice President Vincent Siew
 -  Premier Liu Chao-shiuan
Legislature Legislative Yuan
Establishment Xinhai Revolution 
 -  Start of Xinhai Revolution October 10, 1911 
 -  Republic established January 1, 1912 
 -  Central government moved to Taiwan December 7, 1949 
Area
 -  Total 36,191 km2 (136th)
13,974 sq mi 
 -  Water (%) 10.34
Population
 -  2009 estimate 23,046,177[7][8] (50tha)
 -  Density 636.82/km2 (14tha)
1,649.36/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $695.39 billion (19th)
 -  Per capita $31,892 (26th)
GDP (nominal) 2008 estimate
 -  Total $383,347 billion (24th)
 -  Per capita $18,306 (41th)
HDI (2005) 0.932 [9] (high
Currency New Taiwan dollar (NT$) (TWD)
Time zone CST (UTC+8)
Date formats yyyy-mm-dd
yyyy年m月d日
(CE; CE+2697) or 民國yy年m月d日
Drives on the right
Internet TLD .tw
Calling code 886
a Rank based on 2006 figures. China21
Republic of China
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese

The Republic of China (ROC), commonly known as "Taiwan" since the 1970s, is a state in East Asia that has evolved from a single-party state with full global recognition and jurisdiction over all of China into a multi-party democratic state with limited international recognition and remaining jurisdiction only over Taiwan and minor islands, although it enjoys de facto relations with many other countries. It was a founding member of the United Nations[10][11] and one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, until being replaced by the People's Republic of China in 1971.

Established in 1912, the Republic of China encompassed much of mainland China. In 1945, at the end of World War II, the Republic of China added the island groups of Taiwan and Penghu to its jurisdiction. These island groups, together with Kinmen and Matsu, became the full extent of the Republic of China's authority after 1949 when the Kuomintang (KMT) lost the Chinese Civil War to the Chinese Communist Party which then founded the People's Republic of China (PRC) in mainland China. Under ROC law, this area currently under ROC jurisdiction is the "Free Area of the Republic of China". Since the retreat of the Kuomintang to Taiwan post-1949, Taipei has served as the de facto capital.

Although the jurisdiction of the Republic of China only covers Taiwan and outlying islands since 1949, during the early Cold War the ROC was recognized by most Western nations and the United Nations as the sole legitimate government of China. During the 1970s, the ROC began to lose these recognitions in favor of the People's Republic of China. The Republic of China has not relinquished its claim as the legitimate government of all China.[12] Both former Presidents Lee Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian have held the view that it is a sovereign and independent country separate from mainland China and there is no need for a formal declaration of independence.[13] President Ma Ying-jeou has expressed the view that the ROC is a sovereign and independent country that includes both Taiwan and mainland China, a view that corresponds with the ROC constitution and the 1992 Consensus.[14]

From the 1910s to 1940s, the Republic of China was commonly referred as "China". During the 1950s and 1960s, it was common to refer it as "Nationalist China". Over subsequent decades, the Republic of China has been commonly referred to as "Taiwan". Since the late 1970s, the name "China" has been commonly used to refer only to the People's Republic of China.[15]

History Edit

Main article: History of the Republic of China
1914 map of Asia

Map of the Republic of China printed by Rand McNally & Co. in the year 1914.

The Republic of China was established in 1912, replacing the Qing Dynasty and ending over two thousand years of imperial rule in China. It is the oldest surviving republic in East Asia. The Republic of China on mainland China went through periods of warlordism, Japanese invasion, and civil war between the Kuomintang (KMT) and the Communists. The Republic of China on Taiwan has experienced rapid economic growth and industrialization, and democratization.

Starting in 1928, the Republic of China was ruled by the Kuomintang as an authoritarian one-party state.[16] In the 1950s and 1960s, the KMT went through wide restructuring and decreased corruption and implemented land reform. There followed a period of great economic growth, the Republic of China became one of the Four Asian Tigers, despite the constant threat of war and civil unrest. In the 1980s and 1990s the government peacefully transitioned to a democratic system, with the first direct presidential election in 1996 and the 2000 election of Chen Shui-bian, the first non-KMT after 1949 to become President of the Republic of China. The KMT regained presidency and increased its majority in the legislature in the 2008 presidential and legislative elections.[17]

Founding of the Republic of China (1911–1927) Edit

In 1911, after over two thousand years of imperial rule, a republic was established in China and the monarchy overthrown by a group of revolutionaries. The Qing government, having just experienced a century of instability, suffered from both internal rebellion and foreign imperialism.[18] The Neo-Confucian principles that had, to that time, sustained the dynastic system were now called into question, and a loss of cultural self-confidence was blamed for a total of 40 million Chinese consumers of opium by 1890 (roughly 10% of the population).[19] By the time of its defeat by an expeditionary force led by the world's major powers in 1900 during the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion, the Qing government was already in its final throes, with only the lack of an alternative regime in sight prolonging its existence until 1912.[20]

Chinese republic forever

Yuan Shikai (left) and Sun Yat-sen (right) with two different flags representing the early Republic.

The establishment of Republican China developed out of the Wuchang Uprising against the Qing on October 10, 1911. That date is now celebrated annually as the ROC's national day, also known as the 'Double Ten Day'. The Republic of China was established on January 1, 1912, with Sun Yat-sen as the provisional president. As part of the agreement to have the last emperor Puyi abdicate, Yuan Shikai was officially elected president in 1913.[18] However, Yuan dissolved the ruling Kuomintang party (KMT), ignored the provisional Constitution by asserting presidential power, and ultimately declared himself Emperor of China in 1915.

Whampoa3

Sun Yat-sen (middle) and Chiang Kai-shek (on stage in uniform) at the founding of the Whampoa Military Academy in 1924.

Yuan's supporters deserted him, and many provinces declared independence and became warlord states. Yuan Shikai gave up on becoming Emperor in 1916 and died of natural causes shortly after.[21] Thus devoid of a strong, unified government, China thrust into a decade of warlordism. Sun Yat-sen, forced into exile, returned to Guangdong province with the help of southern warlords in 1917 and 1920, and set up successive rival governments. Sun re-established the KMT in October, 1919.[22]

The Beiyang government in Beijing struggled to hold on to power. An open and wide-ranging debate evolved regarding how China should confront the West. In 1919, a student protest against the weak response of China to the Treaty of Versailles led to a nationwide uprising known as the May 4 Movement. These demonstrations helped reinforce the idea of a republican revolution in China.

In general, Chinese anarchism, specifically anarchist communism, had been a prominent form of revolutionary socialism. Following the Russian Revolution, the influence of Marxism spread and became more popular. Li Dazhao and Chen Duxiu led the Marxist-Leninist movement in the beginning.[23]

Chiang Kai-shek consolidates the Republic (1927–1945) Edit

After Sun's death in March 1925, Chiang Kai-shek became the leader of the KMT. Chiang had led the successful Northern Expedition which, with the help of the Soviet Union, defeated the warlords and nominally united China under the KMT. Soviet advisors had provided training, propaganda, popular agitation, and arms. However, Chiang soon dismissed his Soviet advisors, and purged communists and leftists from the KMT, leading to the Chinese Civil War. The Communists were pushed into the interior as Chiang Kai-shek sought to destroy them. Chiang consolidated his rule, establishing a Nationalist Government in Nanking in 1927.[24]

Efforts were made to establish a modern civil society, by creating the Academia Sinica, the Bank of China, and other agencies. In 1932, China, then governed by the Republic of China, sent a team for the first time to the Olympic Games. Only one athlete was actually competing, and he was likely sent only out of fear that he would otherwise compete for Japan.[25][26]

Stability was interrupted by the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931, with hostilities continuing through the Second Sino-Japanese War, part of World War II, from 1937 to 1945. The government of the Republic of China retreated from Nanking to Chongqing. In 1945, Japan surrendered and the Republic of China, under the name "China", became one of the founding members of the United Nations. The government returned to Nanking.

After World War II (1945-1949) Edit

Chiang Kai-shek in full uniform

Chiang Kai-shek , who assumed the leadership of the Kuomintang after the death of Sun Yat-sen in 1925

After the defeat of Japan during World War II, Taiwan was surrendered to the Allies, with ROC troops accepting the surrender of the Japanese garrison. The government of the ROC proclaimed the "retrocession" of Taiwan to the Republic of China, the effective successors of the Chinese Qing Dynasty on October 25, 1945. Proponents of Taiwan independence, however, dispute the validity of the proclamation, arguing that the proclamation was made without a peace treaty formally transferring sovereignty. The military administration of the ROC extended over Taiwan, which led to widespread unrest and increasing tensions between Taiwanese and mainlanders.[27] The arrest of a cigarette vendor and the shooting of a bystander on February 28, 1947 triggered island-wide unrest, which was then suppressed with military force in what is now called the 228 Incident. Mainstream estimates of casualties range from 10,000 to 30,000, mainly Taiwanese elites. The administration declared martial law in 1948.[28]

Republic of China government on Taiwan (1949-present) Edit

The Chinese civil war between the Communists and the Nationalists resumed and intensified. By the 1950s, the Republic of China lost effective control over mainland China and Hainan. Chiang Kai-shek evacuated the government from Nanking and made Taipei the provisional capital of China. In his retreat, he also transferred the gold reserve of China to Taiwan. He was followed by two million refugees from mainland China, adding to the earlier population of approximately six million.[29][30]

Initially, the United States abandoned the KMT and expected that Taiwan would fall to the Communists. However, in 1950 the conflict between North Korea and South Korea, which had been ongoing since the Japanese withdrawal in 1945, escalated into full-blown war, and in the context of the Cold War, US President Harry S. Truman intervened again and dispatched the 7th Fleet into the Taiwan Straits to prevent hostilities between Taiwan and mainland China.[31] In the Treaty of San Francisco, which came into force on April 28, 1952, and the Treaty of Taipei, which came into force on August 5, 1952, Japan formally renounced all right, claim and title to Taiwan and Penghu, and renounced all treaties signed with China before 1942. The United States and Great Britain disagreed on whether the ROC or the PRC was the legitimate government of China—as a result both treaties remained silent about who would take control of the island.[32] Continuing conflict of the Chinese Civil War through the 1950s, and intervention by the United States notably resulted in legislations such as the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty and the Formosa Resolution of 1955.

During the 1960s and 1970s, the ROC began to develop into a prosperous, technology-oriented industrialized developed country, while maintaining an authoritarian, single-party government. Because of the Cold War, most Western nations and the United Nations regarded the ROC as the sole legitimate government of China until the 1970s and especially after the termination of the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty; after that, most nations switched diplomatic recognition to the PRC.

Political status Edit

Main article: Political status of Taiwan
Anti-Taiwan independence movement protesters in Washington DC 20051020

Anti-Taiwan independence protesters in Washington, D.C. during Lee Teng-hui's visit.

The political status of the Republic of China is a contentious issue. The People's Republic of China (PRC) claims that the ROC government is illegitimate, referring to it as the "Taiwan Authority", while the ROC views itself as an independent sovereign state.[33] The ROC claimed to be the sole legitimate government of all China since its relocation to Taiwan in 1949 until the lift of martial law in 1987. Although the administration of pro-independence President Chen Shui-bian (2000-2008) did not actively claim sovereignty over all of China, the national boundaries of the ROC have not been redrawn and its outstanding territorial claims from the late 1940s have not been revised. Thus, the claimed area of the ROC continue to include mainland China, several off-shore islands, Mongolia, and Taiwan. The current President Ma Ying-jeou reasserted the ROC's claim to be the sole legitimate government of China and the claim that mainland China is part of ROC's territory.[12] He does not, however, actively seek reunification, and prefers to maintain an ambiguous status quo in order to improve relationships with the PRC.[34]

Potential military conflict Edit

The political environment is complicated by the potential for military conflict should overt actions toward independence or reunification be taken. It is the official PRC policy to use force to ensure reunification if peaceful reunification is no longer possible, as stated in its anti-secession law, and for this reason there are substantial military installations on the Fujian coast.[35][36]

United States involvement and current standpoint Edit

File:Taiwanarmspic1.jpg

As a result of Cold War politics, the United States has provided military training and sold arms to the ROC armed forces.[37] However, the current status quo, as defined by the US, is supported on a quid pro quo basis between both Chinese states. The PRC is expected to "use no force or threat[en] to use force against Taiwan" and the ROC is to "exercise prudence in managing all aspects of Cross-Strait relations." Both are to refrain from performing actions or espousing statements "that would unilaterally alter Taiwan's status."[38]

For its part, the People's Republic of China appears to find the retention of the name "Republic of China" far more acceptable than the declaration of a de jure independent Taiwan. However, with the rise of the Taiwanese independence movement, the name "Taiwan" has been employed increasingly more often on the island itself.[39]

Opinions within the ROC Edit

Within the ROC, opinions are polarized between those supporting unification, represented by the Pan-Blue Coalition of parties, and those supporting independence, represented by the Pan-Green Coalition. The Kuomintang, the largest Pan-Blue party, supports the status quo for the indefinite future with a stated ultimate goal of unification. However, it does not support unification in the short term with the PRC as such a prospect would be unacceptable to most of its members and the public.[40] Ma Ying-jeou, former chairman of the KMT and the current ROC President, has set out democracy, economic development to a level near that of the ROC, and equitable wealth distribution as the conditions that the PRC must fulfill for reunification to occur. The DPP, the largest Pan-Green party, officially seeks independence, but in practice also supports the status quo because the risk of provoking the PRC is unacceptable to its members and the public.[41]

Former President Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party stated during his years of administration that no matter what, any decision should be decided through a public referendum of the people of the ROC. Both parties' current foreign policy positions support actively advocating ROC participation in international organizations, but while the KMT accepts the "One-China" principle, the DPP encourages the participation of Taiwan as a sovereign state.

On 2 September 2008 the ROC President Ma Jing-jeou was interviewed by the Mexico based newspaper Sol de Mexico and he was asked about his views on the subject of "two Chinas" and if there is a solution for the sovereignty issues between the two. The ROC President replied that the relations are neither between two Chinas nor two states. It is a special relationship. Further, he stated that the sovereignty issues between the two cannot be resolved at present, but he quoted the "1992 Consensus", currently accepted by both sides, as a temporary measure until a solution becomes available.[14]

The PRC's One-China policy Edit

The PRC supports a version of the One-China policy, which states that Taiwan and mainland China are both part of China, and that the PRC is the only legitimate government of China. It uses this policy to prevent the international recognition of the ROC as an independent sovereign state.

ROC international relations Edit

Under its One-China policy, the PRC requires other countries to give no official recognition to the ROC as a condition of maintaining diplomatic relations. As a result, there are only Template:ROCrecognition states that have official diplomatic relations with the Republic of China. However, most countries have unofficial representative offices in the ROC.

The United States maintains unofficial relations with the ROC through the instrumentality of the American Institute in Taiwan.[42] The ROC maintains similar de facto embassies and consulates in most countries, called "Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Offices" (TECRO), with branch offices called "Taipei Economic and Cultural Offices" (TECO). Both TECRO and TECO are "unofficial commercial entities" of the ROC in charge of maintaining diplomatic relations, providing consular services (i.e. Visa applications), and serving the national interests of the ROC in other countries in basically the same way as an embassy or consulate.[43]

ROC participation in international events and organizations Edit

Flag of Chinese Taipei for Olympic games

The flag of the ROC, under the name "Chinese Taipei", during the Olympic Games

Also due to its One China policy, the PRC only participates in international organizations where the ROC is not recognized as a sovereign country. In 1945, the ROC, as representative of China, was one of the founding nations and Security Council member of the United Nations; however, in 1971, with the passage of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758, it was replaced by the PRC. Each year since 1992, the ROC has petitioned the UN for entry but has been unsuccessful. Most member states, including the United States, do not wish to discuss the issue of the ROC's political status for fear of souring diplomatic ties with the PRC.[44] However, both the US and Japan publicly support the ROC's bid for membership in the World Health Organization as an observer.[45] However, though the ROC has applied for WHO membership every year since 1997 under various denominations, their efforts have consistently been blocked by PRC.

At present, the ROC usually uses the politically neutral name "Chinese Taipei" in international events such as the Olympic Games where the PRC is also a party. The ROC is typically barred from using its national anthem and national flag in international events due to PRC pressure; ROC spectators attending events such as the Olympics are often barred from bringing ROC flags into venues.[46] The ROC is able to participate as "China" in organizations that the PRC does not participate in, such as the World Organization of the Scout Movement.

The relationship with the PRC and the related issues of Taiwanese independence and Chinese reunification continue to dominate ROC politics.[47] For any particular resolution public favor shifts greatly with small changes in wording, illustrating the complexity of public opinion on the topic.[48]

Government Edit

Main article: Government of the Republic of China
Presidential Building, Taiwan (0747)

The Presidential Building in Taipei has housed the Office of the President of the Republic of China since 1950.

The government of the Republic of China was founded on the Constitution of the ROC and its Three Principles of the People, which states that "[the ROC] shall be a democratic republic of the people, to be governed by the people and for the people."[49] The government is divided into five administrative branches (Yuan): the Control Yuan, the Examination Yuan, the Executive Yuan, the Judicial Yuan, and the Legislative Yuan. The Pan-Blue Coalition and Pan-Green Coalition are presently the dominant political blocs in the Republic of China.

President Edit

Ma Ying-jeou Berkeley 2006 (cropped)

Ma Ying-jeou, President of the Republic of China.

The head of state is the President, who is elected by popular vote for a four-year term on the same ticket as the Vice-President. The President has authority over the Yuan. The President appoints the members of the Executive Yuan as his cabinet, including a Premier, who is officially the President of the Executive Yuan; members are responsible for policy and administration.[49]

Executive Yuan Edit

The ROC's political system does not fit traditional models. The Premier is selected by the President without the need for approval from the Legislature, but the Legislature can pass laws without regard for the President, as neither he nor the Premier wields veto power.[49] Thus, there is little incentive for the President and the Legislature to negotiate on legislation if they are of opposing parties. After the election of the pan-Green's Chen Shui-bian as President in 2000, legislation repeatedly stalled because of deadlock with the Legislative Yuan, which was controlled by a pan-Blue majority.[50] Historically, the ROC has been dominated by strongman single party politics. This legacy has resulted in executive powers currently being concentrated in the office of the President rather than the Premier, even though the Constitution does not explicitly states the extent of the President's executive power.[51]

Legislature Edit

The main legislative body is the unicameral Legislative Yuan with 113 seats. 73 are elected by popular vote from single-member constituencies; 34 are elected based on the proportion of nationwide votes received by participating political parties in a separate party list ballot; and six are elected from two three-member aboriginal constituencies. Members serve three-year terms. Originally the unicameral National Assembly, as a standing constitutional convention and electoral college, held some parliamentary functions, but the National Assembly was abolished in 2005 with the power of constitutional amendments handed over to the Legislative Yuan and all eligible voters of the Republic via referendums.[49]

Judiciary Edit

The Judicial Yuan is ROC's highest judiciary. It interprets the constitution and other laws and decrees, judges administrative suits, and disciplines public functionaries. The President and Vice-President of the Judicial Yuan and fifteen Justices form the Council of Grand Justices. They are nominated and appointed by the President of the Republic, with the consent of the Legislative Yuan. The highest court, the Supreme Court, consists of a number of civil and criminal divisions, each of which is formed by a presiding Judge and four Associate Judges, all appointed for life. In 1993, a separate constitutional court was established to resolve constitutional disputes, regulate the activities of political parties and accelerate the democratization process. There is no trial by jury but the right to a fair public trial is protected by law and respected in practice; many cases are presided over by multiple judges.[49]

AuditEdit

The Control Yuan is a watchdog agency that monitors ("controls") the actions of the executive. It can be considered a standing commission for administrative inquiry and can be compared to the Court of Auditors of the European Union or the Government Accountability Office of the United States.[49]

ExaminationEdit

The Examination Yuan is in charge of validating the qualification of civil servants. It is based on the old Imperial examination system used in premodern China. It can be compared to the European Personnel Selection Office of the European Union or the Office of Personnel Management of the United States of America.[49]

Administrative regions Edit

Main article: Administrative divisions of the Republic of China

According to the 1947 Constitution, written before the ROC government retreated to Taiwan, the highest level administrative division is the province, which includes special administrative regions, regions, and centrally-administered municipalities. However, in 1998 the only provincial government to remain fully functional under ROC jurisdiction, Taiwan Province, was streamlined, with most responsibility assumed by the central government and the county-level governments (the other existing provincial government, Fuchien, was streamlined much earlier). The ROC currently administers two provinces and two provincial level cities.

Counties Edit

Template:ROC administrative divisions list

The Republic of China also controls the Pratas Islands (Dong-Sha) and Taiping Island, which are part of the disputed South China Sea Islands. They were placed under Kaohsiung City after the retreat to Taiwan.[52]

Taichung is currently under consideration for elevation to central municipality status. Also, Taipei County and Kaohsiung County are considering mergers with their respective cities.

ROC Administrative and Claims

Constitutional administrative division of the Republic of China.

The ROC has not constitutionally renounced sovereignty over mainland China and Outer Mongolia, but President Lee Teng-hui announced in 1991 that his government does not dispute the fact that the Communist Party rules mainland China. In practice, although ROC law still formally recognizes residents of mainland China as citizens of the ROC, it makes a distinction between persons who have household residency in the Free Area of the Republic of China and those that do not, meaning that persons outside the area administered by the ROC must apply for special travel documents and cannot vote in ROC elections. De-emphasizing the ROC claims of sovereignty over Mongolia, the DPP government under Chen Shui-bian has established a representative office in Mongolia's capital, Ulan Bator. Offices established to support the ROC's claims over Outer Mongolia, such as the Mongolian and Tibetan Affairs Commission,[53] lie dormant.[54]

Politics Edit

Main article: Politics of the Republic of China

The constitution of the Republic of China was drafted before the fall of mainland China to the Communists. It was created by the KMT for the purpose of all of its claimed territory, including Taiwan, even though the Chinese communists party boycotted the drafting of the constitution. The constitution went into effect on 25 December 1947.[55]

The ROC remained under martial law from 1948 until 1987 and much of the constitution was not in effect. Political reforms beginning in the late 1970s and continuing through the early 1990s liberalized the ROC from an authoritarian one-party state into a multiparty democracy. Since the lifting of martial law, the Republic of China has democratized and reformed, suspending constiutional components that were originally meant for the whole of China. This process of amendment continues. In 2000, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won the ROC presidency, ending the ROC's one-party rule history under the KMT. In May 2005, a new National Assembly was elected to reduce the number of parliamentary seats and implement several constitutional reforms. These reforms have been passed; the National Assembly has essentially voted to abolish itself and transfer the power of constitutional reform to the popular ballot.[56]

Major camps Edit

The political scene in the ROC is divided into two camps, with the pro-unification and center-right Kuomintang (KMT), People First Party (PFP), and New Party forming the Pan-Blue Coalition, who wish that Taiwan would eventually reunify with mainland China to form one political entity, and the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and centrist Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) forming the Pan-Green Coalition. The latter parties (pro-independence parties) desire to be severed from China completely, be recognized as a separate country (be known as Taiwan, not ROC), and to possess a seat in the United Nations.

On September 30, 2007, the then ruling Democratic Progressive Party approved a resolution asserting separate identity from China and called for the enactment of a new constitution for a "normal country". It called also for general use of "Taiwan" as the country's name, without abolishing its formal name, the Republic of China.[57]

The Pan-Green camp tends to favor emphasizing the Republic of China as being a distinct country from the People's Republic of China. Many Pan-Green supporters seek formally declaring Taiwan independence and to drop the title of the Republic of China. Many members of the coalition, such as former President Chen Shui-bian, have moderated their views and explain that it is unnecessary to proclaim independence because "Taiwan is already an independent, sovereign country" and the Republic of China is the same as Taiwan.[58]

Pan-Blue members generally support the concept of the "One China" policy, which states that there is only one China and that its only government is the ROC.[59] The more mainstream Pan-Blue position is to lift investment restrictions and pursue negotiations with the PRC to immediately open direct transportation links. Regarding independence, the mainstream Pan-Blue position is to maintain the status quo, while refusing immediate reunification.[40] As of 2009, Pan-Blue members usually seek to improve relationships with mainland China, with a current focus on improving economic ties.[60]

Current political issues Edit

The dominant political issue in the ROC is its relationship with the PRC. For more than 60 years, there was no direct transportation links, including direct flights, between Taiwan and mainland China. This was a problem for many Taiwanese businesses that had opened factories or branches in mainland China. The former DPP administration feared that such links will lead to tighter economic and political integration with mainland China, and in the 2006 Lunar New Year Speech, President Chen Shui-bian called for managed opening of links. Direct weekend charter flights commenced between Taiwan and mainland China began in July 2008 under the current KMT government, and the first direct daily charter flights took off in December 2008.[61]

Other major political issues include the passage of an arms procurement bill that the United States authorized in 2001.[62] In 2008, however, the United States were relunctant to send over more arms to Taiwan out of fear that it would hinder the recent improvement of ties between the PRC and the ROC.[63] Another major political issue, is the establishment of a National Communications Commission to take over from the Government Information Office, whose advertising budget exercised great control over ROC media.[64]

The politicians and their parties have themselves become major political issues. Corruption among some DPP administration officials has been exposed. In early 2006, President Chen Shui-bian was linked to possible corruption. The political effect on President Chen Shui-bian was great, causing a divide in the DPP leadership and supporters alike. It eventually led to the creation of a political camp led by Ex-DPP leader Shih Ming-teh which believe the President should resign than stay in disgrace; forming a 3 side standoff. The KMT assets continue to be another major issue, as it was once the richest political party in the world.[65] Nearing the end of 2006, KMT's chairman Ma Ying-jeou was also hit by corruption controversies, although he has since then been cleared of any wrong-doings by the courts.[66] Since completing his second term as President, Chen Shui-bian has been charged with corruption and money laundry.[67]

The merger of the KMT and People First Party (PFP) was thought to be certain, but a string of defections from the PFP to the KMT have increased tensions within the Pan-Blue camp.[68][69]

National identity Edit

Main article: Taiwanese identity

Template:POV-section The majority, about 85%, of Taiwan's population is descended from Han Chinese from mainland China who immigrated to Taiwan between 1600 and 1900 A.D. Another significant fraction is descended from Han Chinese who immigrated from mainland China in the 1940s and 1950s. But between 1895 and the present, Taiwan and mainland China have shared a common government for only 5 years. The shared cultural origin combined with several hundred years of geographical separation, some hundred years of political separation and foreign influences, as well as hostility between the rival ROC and PRC have resulted in national identity being a contentious issue with political overtones. Since democratization and the lifting of martial law, a distinct Taiwanese identity (as opposed to a Taiwanese identity from a pan-Chinese point of view) is often at the heart of political debates. Its acceptance makes the island distinct from mainland China, and therefore may be seen as a step towards forming a consensus for de jure Taiwan independence.[70] The pan-green camp supports a distinct Taiwanese identity, while the pan-blue camp and the PRC supports a Taiwanese identity from a pan Chinese point of view or a Chinese identity.[71][72]

According to a survey conducted in March 2009, 49% of the respondents consider themselves Taiwanese only, and 44% of the respondents consider themselves as Taiwanese and Chinese. 3% consider themselves only Chinese.[73]

Percentage of Taiwanese residents who feel themselves Taiwanese, Chinese or Taiwanese and Chinese according to various surveys.
Survey Taiwanese Chinese Taiwanese and Chinese
National Chengchi University survey (December 2008)[74] 50.8% 4.7% 40.8%
TVBS Poll Center (March 2009)[73][75] 72% 16% (not an option for this question)
TVBS Poll Center (March 2009)[73][76] 49% 3% 44%

Foreign relations Edit

Main article: Foreign relations of the Republic of China
Resolution-2758

United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2758, which expelled the ROC from the United Nations.

Prior to 1928, the foreign policy of Republican China was complicated by a lack of internal unity - competing centers of power all claimed legitimacy. This situation changed after the defeat of the Beiyang Government by the Kuomintang, which lead to widespread diplomatic recognition of the Republic of China.[77]

After the KMT retreat to Taiwan, most countries, notably the countries in the Western Bloc, continued to maintain relations with the ROC. Due to diplomatic pressure, recognition gradually eroded and many countries switched recognition to the PRC in the 1970s. There are now only Template:ROCrecognition states that maintain official diplomatic relations with the ROC.

The PRC refuses to have diplomatic relations with any nation that recognizes the ROC, and requires all nations with which it has diplomatic relations to make a statement recognizing its claims to Taiwan.[78] In practice most major nations maintain unofficial relations with the ROC and the statement required by the PRC is ambiguously worded. The ROC maintains unofficial relations via Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Offices or "Taipei Representative Offices" that take on most of the functions of an official embassy, such as issuing visas. Similarly, most nations maintain corresponding trade and economic offices in the ROC, such as the American Institute in Taiwan, which is the de facto embassy of the United States in the ROC.

The ROC was a founding member of the United Nations and held China's seat on the Security Council until 1971, when it was expelled by General Assembly Resolution 2758 and replaced in all UN organs with the PRC. Multiple attempts by the ROC to rejoin the UN have not made it past committee.[79] The seat of China at the United Nations is currently occupied by the PRC.

Besides the dispute with the PRC over mainland China, the ROC also has a controversial relationship with Mongolia. Until 1945, the ROC claimed sovereignty over Greater Mongolia, but under Soviet pressure, it recognized Mongolian independence.[80] Shortly thereafter in 1953, due to the deterioration of diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, it revoked this recognition and kept considering it a part of mainland China.[81] In 2002, however, the Republic of China announced that it was administratively recognizing Mongolia as an independent country,[82] even though no legislative actions were taken to address concerns over its constitutional claims to Mongolia.[83]

The ROC is required to use the name Chinese Taipei to participate in international events due to People's Republic of China's interpretation of the One-China policy which many international organizations choose to follow. Among organizations that have this requirement are international sports federations, including the International Olympic Committee.[84]

Due to its limited international recognition, the Republic of China is a member of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, represented by a ROC government funded organisation, the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD) under the name "Taiwan".[85][86]

Military Edit

Main article: Military of the Republic of China
Roc ct drill

ROC Military Police special forces disembarking from a UH-1H helicopter from the ROC Army 602nd Air Cavalry Brigade during a counter-terrorism exercise (ROC Ministry of National Defense).

The Republic of China Army takes its roots in the National Revolutionary Army, which was established by Sun Yat-sen in 1925 in Guangdong with a goal of reunifying China under the Kuomintang. When the People's Liberation Army won the Chinese Civil War, much of the National Revolutionary Army retreated to Taiwan along with the government. It was later reformed into the Republic of China Army. Units which surrendered and remained in mainland China were either disbanded or incorporated into the People's Liberation Army.

Today, the Republic of China maintains a large and technologically advanced military, mainly as defense against the constant threat of invasion by the PRC under the Anti-Secession Law of the People's Republic of China.[36] From 1949 to the 1970s, the primary mission of the military was to "retake the mainland." As this mission has shifted to defense, the ROC military has begun to shift emphasis from the traditionally dominant Army to the air force and navy. Control of the armed forces has also passed into the hands of the civilian government.[87] As the ROC military shares historical roots with the KMT, the older generation of high ranking officers tends to have Pan-Blue sympathies. However, many have retired and there are many more non-Mainlanders enlisting in the armed forces in the younger generations, so the political leanings of the military have moved closer to the public norm in Taiwan.[88]

IDF Pre-production

Republic of China Air Force Indigenous Defense Fighter.

The ROC began a force reduction program to scale down its military from a level of 450,000 in 1997 to 380,000 in 2001.[89] As of 2009, the armed forces of the ROC number approximately 300,000,[90] with nominal reserves totaling 3.6 million as of 2005.[91] Conscription remains universal for qualified males reaching age eighteen, but as a part of the reduction effort many are given the opportunity to fulfill their draft requirement through alternative service and are redirected to government agencies or defense related industries.[92] Current plans call for a transition to a predominantly professional army over the next decade.[93][94] Conscription periods are planned to decrease from 14 months to 12.[95]

ROC Navy PFG3-1202 and S-70C

Republic of China Navy Kang Ding class frigate.

The armed forces' primary concern at this time is the possibility of an attack by the PRC, consisting of a naval blockade, airborne assault and/or missile bombardment. Four upgraded Kidd class destroyers were recently purchased from the United States, significantly upgrading Taiwan's air defense and submarine hunting abilities.[96] The Ministry of National Defense planned to purchase diesel-powered submarines and Patriot anti-missile batteries from the United States, but its budget has been stalled repeatedly by the opposition-Pan-Blue Coalition controlled legislature. The defense package was stalled from 2001-2007 where it was finally passed through the legislature and the US responded on October 3, 2008 with a $6.5 Billion arms package including PAC III Anti-Air defence systems, AH-64D Apache Attack helicopters and other arms and parts. .[97] A significant amount of military hardware has been bought from the United States, and, as of 2009, continues to be legally guaranteed by the Taiwan Relations Act.[37] In the past, France and the Netherlands has also sold military weapons and hardware to the ROC, but they stopped in the 1990s under pressure of the PRC.[98][99]

The first line of defense against invasion by the PRC is the ROC's own armed forces. Current ROC military doctrine is to hold out against an invasion or blockade until the US military responds. A defense pact between the US and Japan signed in 2005 implies that Japan would be involved in any response.[100] Other US allies, such as Australia, could theoretically be involved but this is unlikely in practice.[101] It is also worth noting that there is no guarantee in the Taiwan Relations Act or any other treaty that the United States will attack the PRC, even in the event of invasion.[102]

Economy Edit

Main article: Economy of Taiwan
File:Taipei night view from Xiangshan.jpg
101.portrait.altonthompson

Taipei 101 is a symbol of the success of the Taiwanese economy.

The quick industrialization and rapid growth of Taiwan during the latter half of the twentieth century, has been called the "Taiwan Miracle" or "Taiwan Economic Miracle". As it has developed alongside Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong, the ROC is one of the industrialized developed countries known as the "Four Asian Tigers".

When the KMT government fled to Taiwan it brought the entire gold reserve and the foreign currency reserve of mainland China to the island which stabilized prices and reduced hyperinflation. More importantly, as part of its retreat to Taiwan, KMT brought with them the intellectual and business elites from mainland China.[103] The KMT government instituted many laws and land reforms that it had never effectively enacted on mainland China; implemented a policy of import-substitution; and attempted to produce imported goods domestically. Much of this was made possible through US economic aid, subsidizing the higher cost of domestic production.

Today the Republic of China has a dynamic capitalist, export-driven economy with gradually decreasing state involvement in investment and foreign trade. In keeping with this trend, some large government-owned banks and industrial firms are being privatized.[104] Real growth in GDP has averaged about 8% during the past three decades. Exports have provided the primary impetus for industrialization. The trade surplus is substantial, and foreign reserves are the world's third largest.[105]

The Republic of China has its own currency, the New Taiwan dollar.

In 2001, Agriculture constitutes only 2% of GDP, down from 35% in 1952.[106] Traditional labor-intensive industries are steadily being moved offshore and with more capital and technology-intensive industries replacing them. The ROC has become a major foreign investor in the PRC, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam. It is estimated that some 50,000 Taiwanese businesses and 1,000,000 businesspeople and their dependents are established in the PRC.[107]

Because of its conservative financial approach and its entrepreneurial strengths, the ROC suffered little compared with many of its neighbors from the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. Unlike its neighbors South Korea and Japan, the Taiwanese economy is dominated by small and medium sized businesses, rather than the large business groups. The global economic downturn, however, combined with poor policy coordination by the new administration and increasing bad debts in the banking system, pushed Taiwan into recession in 2001, the first whole year of negative growth since 1947. Due to the relocation of many manufacturing and labor intensive industries to the PRC, unemployment also reached a level not seen since the 1970s oil crisis. This became a major issue in the 2004 presidential election. Growth averaged more than 4% in the 2002-2006 period and the unemployment rate fell below 4%.[108]

The ROC often joins international organizations under a politically neutral name. The ROC is a member of governmental trade organizations such as the World Trade Organization under the name Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu (Chinese Taipei) since 2002.[109]

Education Edit

Main article: Education in Taiwan

The higher education system was established in Taiwan by Japan during the colonial period. However, after Taiwan was restored to China in 1945, the system was promptly replaced by the same system as in mainland China which mixed features of the Chinese and American educational systems.[110]

The educational system includes six years of elementary school, three years of middle school, three years of high school, and four years of university.[111] The system has been successful in that pupils in the ROC boast some of the highest test scores in the world, especially in mathematics and science;[112] However, it has also been criticized for placing excessive pressure on students and eschewing creativity in favor of rote memorization.[113][114]

Many Taiwanese students attend cram schools, or bushiban, to improve mathematics, science and other topics. The teachers in cram schools focus on questions that are likely to appear during exams. Lessons are organized in lectures, reviews, private tutorial sessions, and recitations[115][116]

The literacy rate is 96.1%.[42]

Demographics Edit

Main article: Demographics of Taiwan

The population of areas under control of the Republic of China was estimated in July 2006 at 23,036,087[42] spread across a total land area of 35,980 square kilometres (13,890 sq mi) making it the twelfth most densely populated country in the world with a population density of Template:PD km2 to mi2. 98% of Taiwan's population is made up of Han Chinese while 2% are Austronesian aborigines.

ReligionEdit

Template:Bar box There are approximately over 18,718,600 religious followers in Taiwan as of 2005 (81.3% of total population) and over 14-18% are non-religious. According to the 2005 census, of the 26 religions recognized by the ROC government, the five largest are: Buddhism (8,086,000 or 35.1%), Taoism (7,600,000 or 33%), I-Kuan Tao (810,000 or 3.5%), Protestantism (605,000 or 2.6%), and Roman Catholicism (298,000 or 1.3%). But according to the CIA World Factbook and other latest sources from US State Department or the Religious Affairs Section of the MOI, over 80% to 93% of the population are nominal or cultural adherents of a Chinese traditional combination of Mahayana Buddhism, Confucianism (Ancestor worship) and Taoism.[42][117][118][119]

Birth rateEdit

Taiwan is undergoing a decline in birth rates with a population growth of just 0.61% for the year 2006. The official national language is Mandarin Chinese though the majority also speak Taiwanese (variant of the Min Nan speech of Fujian province) and Hakka.[120] Aboriginal languages are becoming extinct as the aborigines have become sinicized and the ROC government has not preserved the Formosan languages. Like Hong Kong and Macau, Taiwan uses the Traditional Chinese writing system.

Largest cities Edit

The figures below are the 2009 estimates for the twenty largest urban populations within administrative city limits; a different ranking exists when considering the total municipal populations (which includes suburban and rural populations).

Template:Largest cities of the Republic of China (Taiwan)

Public health Edit

Health care in the ROC is managed by the Bureau of National Health Insurance (BNHI).[121]

The current program was implemented in 1995 and is considered social insurance. The government health insurance program maintains compulsory insurance for employed, impoverished, un-employed citizens and persons of natural disasters with fees that correlate to the individual and/or family income; it also maintains protection for non-citizens working in Taiwan. A standardized method of calculation applies to all persons and can optionally be paid by an employer or by individual contributions.[122]

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

According to a recently published survey, out of 3,360 patients surveyed at a randomly chosen hospital, 75.1% of the patients said they are "very satisfied" with the hospital service; 20.5% said they are "okay" with the service. Only 4.4% of the patients said they are either "not satisfied" or "very not satisfied" with the service or care provided.[123]

Taiwan has its own Center for Disease Control, and during the SARS outbreak occurring in March 2003 confirmed 347 cases. During the outbreak the CDC and local governments set up monitored stations throughout public transportation, recreational sites and other public areas. With full containment in July 2003, there has not been a case of SARS since.[124]

BNHI Facility Contract Distribution facilities total 17,259, including:[125]

Number Subject
16,174 outpatient-only facilities
5,701 dental clinics
2,422 Chinese medicine clinics
1,085 inpatient/outpatient facilities
437 local community hospitals
35 Chinese medicine hospitals
23 academic medical centers

Basic coverage areas of the insurance include: Template:Columns * child check-ups, prenatal care, pap smears, adult check-ups

In 2004 the infant mortality rate was 5.3 with 15 physicians and 63 hospital beds per 10,000 people. The life expectancy for males was 73.5 years and 79.7 years for females according the World Health Report. Since the inception of the BNHI in 1995 the aggregate life expectancy increase is 1.6 years for males and 2 years for females, possibly a key indicator for success in the BNHI program considering the relatively stable life expectancy rate prior to the initiative.[126]

Other health related programs in Taiwan are the Centers for Disease Control[127] and the Department of Health.[128]

Calendar Edit

ROC calendar

A calendar that commemorates the first year of the Republic as well as the election of Sun Yat-sen as the provisional President.

Main article: Minguo calendar

The Republic of China uses two official calendars: the Gregorian calendar, and the Minguo calendar. The latter numbers years starting from 1912, the year of the founding of the Republic of China. For example, 2007 is the "96th year of the Republic".[129]

Months and days are numbered according to the Gregorian calendar. Year numbering may use the Gregorian system as well as the ROC era system. For example, May 3, 2004 may be written 2004-05-03 or 93-05-03. The use of two different calendaring systems in Taiwan may be confusing, in particular for foreigners. For instance, products for export marked using the Minguo calendar can be misunderstood as having an expiration date 11 years earlier than intended.[130]

Taiwan also uses the lunar calendar for traditional festivals such as the Chinese New Year, the Lantern Festival, and the Dragon Boat Festival.[131]

International rankings Edit

Context Organization Rank Year Source
GDP (PPP) International Monetary Fund / CIA 19/179 (IMF)
18/227 (CIA)
2007 [132][133]
GDP (PPP) per capita International Monetary Fund / CIA 28/179 (IMF)
40/227 (CIA)
2007 [134][135]
Human Development Index Government of the Republic of China 23/177
if ranked
2005 [136]
Worldwide press freedom index Reporters Without Borders 32/169 2007 [137]
Freedom of the Press[138] Freedom House 32/195 2008 [139]
Index of Economic Freedom The Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation 35/179 2009 [140]
Economic Freedom of the World Fraser Institute 24/130 2004 [141]
Ease of Doing Business Index World Bank 61/181 2009 [142]
Global Competitiveness Report World Economic Forum 13/125 2006–2007 [143]
Business Competitiveness Index[144] World Economic Forum 21/121 2006 [144]
Worldwide quality-of-life index[145] The Economist 21/111 2005 [146]
Global e-Government Study[147] Brown University 2/198 2006 [147]
World Competitiveness Yearbook[148] International Institute for Management Development 13/55 2008 [149]
Network Readiness Index[150] World Economic Forum 17/127 2007–2008 [151]
Corruption Perceptions Index Transparency International 34/180 2007 [152]
Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index[153] World Economic Forum 52/130 2008 [154]
IT industry competitiveness index Economist Intelligence Unit 2/66 2008 [155]
Business Environment Rankings Economist Intelligence Unit 18/82 2008 [156]
E-readiness rankings Economist Intelligence Unit 19/70 2008 [157]
Environmental Performance Index[158] Yale University 40/149 2008 [159]
Bertelsmann Transformation Index (Status)[160] Bertelsmann Foundation 4/125 2008 [161]
Bertelsmann Transformation Index (Managem.)[160] Bertelsmann Foundation 7/125 2008 [162]

See also Edit

References Edit

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Further readingEdit

  • Bush, R. & O'Hanlon, M. (2007). A War Like No Other: The Truth About China's Challenge to America. Wiley. ISBN 0471986771
  • Bush, R. (2006). Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait. Brookings Institution Press. ISBN 0815712901
  • Carpenter, T. (2006). America's Coming War with China: A Collision Course over Taiwan. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 1403968411
  • Cole, B. (2006). Taiwan's Security: History and Prospects. Routledge. ISBN 0415365813
  • Copper, J. (2006). Playing with Fire: The Looming War with China over Taiwan. Praeger Security International General Interest. ISBN 0275988880
  • Federation of American Scientists et al. (2006). Chinese Nuclear Forces and US Nuclear War Planning
  • Feuerwerker, Albert. 1968. The Chinese Economy, 1912–1949. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
  • Gill, B. (2007). Rising Star: China's New Security Diplomacy. Brookings Institution Press. ISBN 0815731469
  • Shirk, S. (2007). China: Fragile Superpower: How China's Internal Politics Could Derail Its Peaceful Rise. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195306090
  • Tsang, S. (2006). If China Attacks Taiwan: Military Strategy, Politics and Economics. Routledge. ISBN 0415407850
  • Tucker, N.B. (2005). Dangerous Strait: the US-Taiwan-China Crisis. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0231135645

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