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Portal Taiwan (Republic of China)

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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 centre of the country, 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.

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THSR train on a test run in June 2006
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.
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Liu Chi-hsiang (劉啟祥; February 3, 1910 - April 27, 1998) is a Taiwanese painter. He was born in Liouying, Tainan, in the period of Japan-ruled Taiwan. Liu study abroad in Japan and went to France later. He study painting by imitate some European oil paint works, especially the impressionism paintings. After his Europe travel, Liu received several art awards in Japan and Taiwan for his oil paint works, and got married in 1937. He lived in Japan until the World War II was end. After the end of war, Liu returned to Taiwan, continued to work on his artistic creations. He moved to Kaohsiung in 1948 and married with his second wife in 1952. Liu spent his old age promoting the art education of Taiwan.


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Clockwise from top-left: a map of Taiwan in 1896, Taiwan and Fujian, an old map of Tainan, and a map in 1901

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