• Capital
  • Languages
  • Currency
    New Taiwan dollar (NT$) (TWD)
  • Dial Code
    + 886

Facts about Taiwan

The Republic of China (ROC), commonly known as Taiwan, is a sovereign state located in East Asia. The Republic of China governs the island of Taiwan, which forms 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor islands. It is the oldest surviving republic in East Asia. Neighboring states include the People's Republic of China (PRC), 160 km (99 mi) to the west, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. Its capital city is Taipei.

As the legal successor state of the Qing dynasty on the mainland, a majority of the territory of mainland China was originally governed by the Republic of China (minus Taiwan island) after Chiang Kai Shek reunified China in 1928, ending 2,100 years of imperial rule. Taiwan and accompanying islands was subsequently restored to Republic of China from the Empire of Japan at the end of World War II in 1945. Due to the stalemate of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, there have been two states claiming to represent China and both officially claim each other's territory, with the territories formerly governed on the mainland by ROC becoming the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949. The PRC claims Taiwan and other ROC-held areas as part of its territory and consider the PRC a successor state of ROC on the mainland and whole of China. Similarly, under its constitution, the ROC also officially claims sovereignty over all China though in practice, the ROC government has ceased to pursue this stance since 1992. This ongoing dispute is a lingering issue from the unresolved Chinese Civil War which forms part of the complex political status of Taiwan. The tension between the two states colors most of the political life in Taiwan, and any move towards so-called "Taiwan independence" is met by threats from the PRC. The PRC's official policy is to unify Taiwan and mainland China under the formula of one country, two systems and refuses to renounce the use of military force, especially should Taiwan seek a declaration of independence.

The political environment in Taiwan is generally divided into two major camps in terms of cross-strait relations; the Pan-Blue Coalition (majority Kuomintang) supports the One-China policy under the terms of 1992 Consensus which believes that the ROC is still the sole legitimate government of China. The opposition Pan-Green Coalition (majority Democratic Progressive Party) regards Taiwan to be an independent, sovereign state synonymous with the ROC, opposes the notion that Taiwan is part of China, and seeks an eventual declaration of Taiwan independence.

A single-party state under the Kuomintang since 1928, the Republic of China evolved into a multi-party democracy in the 1980s and 1990s. It has a semi-presidential system and universal suffrage. The president serves as the head of state and commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The Legislative Yuan is the ROC's unicameral legislature. During the latter half of the twentieth century, the Republic of China on Taiwan experienced rapid economic growth, industrialization, and democratization. The ROC is a member of the WTO and APEC. It is one of the Four Asian Tigers, and has an industrialized advanced economy. The 19th-largest economy in the world, its advanced technology industry plays a key role in the global economy. The ROC is ranked highly in terms of freedom of the press, health care, public education, economic freedom and human development.