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Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. It is located at the junction of the East and South China Seas in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, with the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. The territories controlled by the ROC consist of 168 islands with a combined area of 36,193 square kilometres (13,974 square miles). The main island of Taiwan, also known as Formosa, has an area of 35,808 square kilometres (13,826 square miles), with mountain ranges dominating the eastern two-thirds and plains in the western third, where its highly urbanized population is concentrated. The capital, Taipei, forms along with New Taipei City and Keelung, the largest metropolitan area in Taiwan. With around 23.9 million inhabitants, Taiwan is among the most densely populated countries.

Taiwan has been settled for at least 25,000 years. Ancestors of Taiwanese indigenous peoples settled the island around 6,000 years ago. In the 17th century, large-scale Han Chinese immigration to western Taiwan began under a Dutch colony and continued under the Kingdom of Tungning, the first predominantly Han Chinese state in Taiwanese history. The island was annexed in 1683 by the Qing dynasty of China and ceded to the Empire of Japan in 1895. The Republic of China, which had overthrown the Qing in 1911, took control following the surrender of Japan in 1945. Japan would renounce sovereignty over Taiwan in 1952. The immediate resumption of the Chinese Civil War resulted in the loss of the Chinese mainland to Communist forces, who established the People's Republic of China and the flight of the ROC central government to Taiwan in 1949. The effective jurisdiction of the ROC has since been limited to Taiwan, Penghu, and smaller islands.

In the early 1960s, Taiwan entered a period of rapid economic growth and industrialization called the "Taiwan Miracle". In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the ROC transitioned from a one-party state under martial law to a multi-party democracy, with democratically elected presidents since 1996. Taiwan's export-oriented industrial economy is the 21st-largest in the world by nominal GDP and the 20th-largest by PPP measures, with a focus on steel, machinery, electronics, and chemicals manufacturing. Taiwan is a developed country. It is ranked highly in terms of civil liberties, healthcare, and human development.

The political status of Taiwan is contentious. The ROC no longer represents China as a member of the United Nations after UN members voted in 1971 to recognize the PRC instead. The ROC maintained its claim of being the sole legitimate representative of China and its territory until 1991, when it ceased to regard the CCP as a rebellious group and recognized its jurisdiction over Mainland China. Taiwan is claimed by the PRC, which refuses to establish diplomatic relations with countries that recognise the ROC. Taiwan maintains official diplomatic relations with 12 out of 193 UN member states and the Holy See. Many others maintain unofficial diplomatic ties through representative offices and institutions that function as de facto embassies and consulates. International organizations in which the PRC participates either refuse to grant membership to Taiwan or allow it to participate only on a non-state basis. Domestically, the major political contention is between parties favoring eventual Chinese unification and promoting a pan-Chinese identity, contrasted with those aspiring to formal international recognition and promoting a Taiwanese identity; into the 21st century, both sides have moderated their positions to broaden their appeal. (Full article...)

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Kaohsiung (Mandarin Chinese: [káʊɕjʊ̌ŋ] ; Wade–Giles: Kao¹-hsiung²; Pinyin: Gāoxióng), officially Kaohsiung City, is a special municipality located in southern Taiwan. It ranges from the coastal urban center to the rural Yushan Range with an area of 2,952 km2 (1,140 sq mi). Kaohsiung City has a population of approximately 2.73 million people as of March 2023 and is Taiwan's third most populous city and largest city in southern Taiwan.

Since it was founded in the 17th century, Kaohsiung has grown from a small trading village into the political and economic centre of southern Taiwan, with key industries such as manufacturing, steel-making, oil refining, freight transport and shipbuilding. It is classified as a "Gamma −" level global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, with some of the most prominent infrastructures in Taiwan. Kaohsiung is of strategic importance to the nation as the city is the main port city of Taiwan; the Port of Kaohsiung is the largest and busiest harbor in Taiwan and more than 67% of the nation's exports and imports container throughput goes through Kaohsiung. Kaohsiung International Airport is the second busiest airport in number of passengers in Taiwan. The city is well-connected to other major cities by high speed and conventional rail, as well as several national freeways. It also hosts the Republic of China Navy fleet headquarters and its naval academy. More recent public works such as Pier-2 Art Center, National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts and Kaohsiung Music Center have been aimed at growing the tourism and cultural industries of the city. (Full article...)

Selected biography

Chou in 2017

Jay Chou (traditional Chinese: 周杰倫; simplified Chinese: 周杰伦; pinyin: Zhōu Jiélún; born January 18, 1979) is a Taiwanese singer and musician. Dubbed the "King of Mandopop", and having sold over 30 million records, Chou is one of the best-selling artists in Taiwan and is known for his work with lyricist Vincent Fang, with whom he has frequently collaborated on his music.

In 2000, Chou released his debut studio album, Jay (2000), under the record company Alfa Music. Chou rose to fame with the release of his second studio album, Fantasy (范特西) (2001), which combined Western and East Asian music styles. The album won five Golden Melody Awards, including Album of the Year. He has since further released twelve more studio albums, spawning a string of hit singles and gaining significant prominence in Overseas Chinese communities such as Taiwan, Hong Kong SAR, Mainland China, Malaysia, and Singapore. Chou has embarked on six world tours, performing in cities around the world to more than 10 million spectators as of 2019. Outside of music, Chou is also an actor, active businessman and investor. As a businessman, Chou has served as the President of his own fashion brand PHANTACi since 2006 and was a founding member of his own talent agency, JVR Music in 2007. Chou has also ventured into acting, where he made his acting debut in the film Initial D 頭文字D(2005), followed shortly by a starring role in the epic Curse of the Golden Flower (2006). He has since starred in a number of movies, becoming known to Western audiences when he made his Hollywood debut in 2011 with The Green Hornet, starring alongside Seth Rogen and Christoph Waltz, followed by Now You See Me 2 (2016). (Full article...)

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Chen Cheng-po was a Taiwanese painter whose oil painting Street of Chiayi was the first painting of a Taiwanese artist displayed in the Empire Art Exhibition in Japan. Chen was captured and killed by the Kuomintang government as a result of the 228 Incident.

Illustration credit: Chen Cheng-po

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Chai Trong-rong at 2008 CIPFG Global Human Rights Torch Relay in Taiwan

Chai Trong-rong (Chinese: 蔡同榮; pinyin: Cài Tóngróng; Wade–Giles: Ts‘ài4 T‘ung2-jung2; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Chhòa Tông-êng; June 13, 1935 – January 11, 2014), sometimes known in English as Trong Chai, was a Taiwanese politician.

Born in Japanese-era Taiwan, Chai earned his master's and doctorate degrees in the United States. He was a pro-democracy advocate and founded the Association for a Plebiscite (Chinese: 公民投票促進會; pinyin: Gōngmín Tóupiaò Cùjìnhùi) and Formosa Television. (Full article...)
Longshan Temple in Wanhua, Taipei.
Longshan Temple in Wanhua, Taipei.
  • ... 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?

General images

The following are images from various Taiwan-related articles on Wikipedia.

On this day...

In the news

22 September 2023 –
Six people are killed, more than 100 others are injured, and three are missing after a fire and subsequent explosions at a golf ball factory in Pingtung County, Taiwan. (ABC News Australia)
9 September 2023 – White Terror (Taiwan)
Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen restores the reputations of victims of the White Terror repression, which was carried out by the Kuomintang government from the 1940s to the 1980s. The ceremony, held in Taipei, marked the first nationwide event that addresses crimes committed during the White Terror. (Taipei Times)
28 August 2023 – 2024 Taiwanese presidential election
Foxconn founder Terry Gou announces that he will run as an independent in next year's presidential election on a platform of restoration of positive Cross-Strait relations and closer business ties. (Al Jazeera)



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