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Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a state in East Asia. Neighbouring states include the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the west, Japan to the north-east, and the Philippines to the south. The island of Taiwan has an area of 35,808 square kilometres (13,826 sq mi), with mountain ranges dominating the eastern two thirds and plains in the western third, where its highly urbanised population is concentrated. Taipei is the capital and largest metropolitan area. Other major cities include Kaohsiung, Taichung, Tainan and Taoyuan. With 23.7 million inhabitants, Taiwan is among the most densely populated states, and is the most populous state and largest economy that is not a member of the United Nations (UN).

Taiwanese indigenous peoples settled the island of Taiwan around 6,000 years ago. In the 17th century, Dutch rule opened the island to mass Han immigration. After a brief rule by the Kingdom of Tungning, the island was annexed in 1683 by the Qing dynasty of China, and ceded to the Empire of Japan in 1895. Following the surrender of Japan in 1945, the Republic of China, which had overthrown and succeeded the Qing in 1911, took control of Taiwan on behalf of the World War II Allies. The resumption of the Chinese Civil War led to the loss of the mainland to the Communist Party of China and the flight of the ROC government to Taiwan in 1949. Although the ROC government continued to claim to be the legitimate representative of China, since 1950 its effective jurisdiction has been limited to Taiwan and several small islands. In the early 1960s, Taiwan entered a period of rapid economic growth and industrialisation called the "Taiwan Miracle". In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the ROC transitioned from a one-party military dictatorship to a multi-party democracy with a semi-presidential system.

Taiwan's export-oriented industrial economy is the 21st-largest in the world, with major contributions from steel, machinery, electronics and chemicals manufacturing. Taiwan is a developed country, ranking 15th in GDP per capita. It is ranked highly in terms of political and civil liberties, education, health care and human development.

The political status of Taiwan remains uncertain. The ROC is no longer a member of the UN, having been replaced by the PRC in 1971. Taiwan is claimed by the PRC, which refuses diplomatic relations with countries that recognise the ROC. Taiwan maintains official ties with 15 out of 193 UN member states and the Holy See. International organisations in which the PRC participates either refuse to grant membership to Taiwan or allow it to participate only as a non-state actor. Taiwan is a member of the World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and Asian Development Bank under various names. Nearby countries and countries with large economies maintain unofficial ties with Taiwan through representative offices and institutions that function as de facto embassies and consulates. Domestically, the major political division is between parties favouring eventual Chinese unification and promoting a Chinese identity contrasted with those aspiring to independence and promoting Taiwanese identity, although both sides have moderated their positions to broaden their appeal.

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Japanese operations in Taiwan, 1895

The Japanese invasion of Taiwan (Chinese and Japanese) (May-October 1895) was a conflict between the Empire of Japan and the armed forces of the short-lived Republic of Formosa following the Qing Dynasty's cession of Taiwan to Japan in April 1895 at the end of the First Sino-Japanese War. The Japanese sought to take control of their new possession, while the Republican forces fought to resist Japanese occupation. The Japanese landed near Keelung on the northern coast of Taiwan on 29 May 1895, and in a five-month campaign swept southwards to Tainan. Although their advance was slowed by guerrilla activity, the Japanese defeated the Formosan forces (a mixture of regular Chinese units and local Hakka militias) whenever they attempted to make a stand. The Japanese victory at Baguashan on 27 August, the largest battle ever fought on Taiwanese soil, doomed the Formosan resistance to an early defeat. The fall of Tainan on 21 October ended organised resistance to Japanese occupation, and inaugurated five decades of Japanese rule in Taiwan. Read more...

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Wu Nien-jen (Chinese: ; pinyin: Wú Niànzh?n; Pe?h-?e-j?: Gô? Li?m-chin; born Chinese: ; pinyin: Wú W?nq?n; 5 August 1952 in Ruifang Township, Taipei County, Taiwan) is a scriptwriter, director, and author. He is one of the most prolific and highly regarded scriptwriters in Taiwan and a leading member of the New Taiwanese Cinema, although he has also acted in a number of films. He starred in Edward Yang's 2000 film Yi Yi. Wu is a well-known supporter of the Democratic Progressive Party and has filmed commercials for the party. Read more...

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Holy Rosary Cathedral
The Holy Rosary Cathedral in Lingya, Kaohsiung is the oldest Catholic church in Taiwan, established in 1860 and rebuilt in 1928.

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Hsu Tain-tsair in 2015

Hsu Tain-tsair (Chinese: ; pinyin: X? Ti?ncái; Wade-Giles: Hs? Ti?n-tsái; Pe?h-?e-j?: Khó? Thiam-châi; born 23 January 1953) is a Taiwanese politician who served as the mayor of Tainan City from 2001 to 2010. Born in Tainan County (now part of Tainan City), Hsu got his PhD candidacy in economics in the United States, where he started participating in the independence movement of Taiwan. He was placed on the black list of Kuomintang and was not allowed to return to Taiwan until 1990.

When Hsu returned to Taiwan, he joined the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Having been elected legislator three times, Hsu is considered a privy councilor to the DPP in the field of economics. He was nominated to run for the mayor of Tainan and was elected in 2001. During his terms as mayor, Hsu worked on public projects and encouraged tourism. For example, a police unit was established to facilitate tourists in 2007, and he also improved the environment of the city. Read more...


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Portals listed here are related to Taiwan by way of history, Asian region, diplomatic relations with ROC, and significant diaspora of overseas Taiwanese


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