Taiwan (Chinese: 臺灣 or 台灣; pinyin: Táiwān), officially the Republic of China (Chinese: 中華民國), is a country in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China now governs the island of Taiwan (known in the past as Formosa), which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and other minor islands. Neighboring states include the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east and northeast, and the Philippines to the south. Taipei is the capital city and economic and cultural center of the region, and New Taipei, which surrounds Taipei is the largest city by population.
The earliest evidence of Taiwan being inhabited is from the late Paleolithic era. The island of Taiwan was mainly inhabited by Taiwanese aborigines before being colonized in the 17th century by the Dutch as Dutch Formosa in 1624 and the Spanish as Spanish Formosa in 1626. The Spanish were expelled from the island in 1644 by the Dutch. The first Han Chinese polity on Taiwan began when Koxinga's troops defeated Dutch forces and established the Kingdom of Tungning. The island was subsequently ruled by the Qing Dynasty after the kingdom's defeat in the Battle of Penghu in 1683, a period that lasted for over 200 years. Following Japan's victory over the Qing Dynasty in the first Sino-Japanese war, Taiwan was ceded to Japan under the Treaty of Shimonoseki in 1895.
The Republic of China was established in mainland China in 1912 and governed varying amounts of the mainland until 1949. At the end of World War II, Japan surrendered Taiwan and associated islands to ROC forces. When Communist forces took control of mainland China and founded the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, the ROC government moved to Taiwan. The ROC government still officially claims to represent all of China, in a definition including Taiwan, but has not made retaking the mainland a political goal since 1992.
|The Taiwan High Speed Rail (台灣高速鐵路; THSR) is a high-speed rail network that runs along the west coast of Taiwan. It is approximately 335.50 kilometers (208 mi), and runs from Taipei City to Kaohsiung City. It began operation on January 5, 2007. Adopting Japan's Shinkansen technology for the core system, the THSR uses the Taiwan High Speed 700T train, which was manufactured by a consortium of Japanese companies, most notably Kawasaki Heavy Industries. The total cost of the project is currently estimated to be US$15 billion, and is one of the largest privately funded transport schemes to date. Express trains capable of traveling at up to 300 km/h (186 mph) travel from Taipei City to Kaohsiung City in roughly 90 minutes as opposed to 4.5 hours by conventional rail, although local service THSR trains take approximately two hours when stopping at all stations en route.
Did you know?
- ... that Longshan Temple (pictured) is the oldest temple in Taipei, originally built by settlers from Fujian Province in 1738 and is an example of classical Taiwanese architecture?
- ... that Taipei Grand Mosque is the largest mosque in Taiwan and that there are over 140,000 Muslims residing in Taiwan?
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Portals listed below are related to Taiwan by way of history, Asian region, diplomatic relations with ROC, and significant diaspora of overseas Taiwanese.