Taiwan Province

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Not to be confused with Taiwan, the country officially known as the Republic of China.
This article is about an administrative province of the Republic of China. For the hypothetical province claimed by the People's Republic of China, see Taiwan Province, People's Republic of China.
Taiwan
臺灣
Streamlined Province
臺灣省 · Taiwan Province
Taiwan Province of the Republic of China (in red).
Taiwan Province of the Republic of China (in red).
Country  Republic of China
Established October 25, 1945 (Retrocession Day)
Streamlined December 21, 1998
Provincial capital Taipei (1945-1956)
Chung Hsing New Village (1956-)
Government
 • Governor Lin Junq-tzer
Area
 • Total 26,330.9577 km2 (10,166.4396 sq mi)
Population (2014)
 • Total 9,234,181
 • Density 350/km2 (910/sq mi)
Demonym Taiwanese
Time zone Asia/Taipei (UTC+8)
Postal codes 200–206, 260–369, 500–655, 880–885, 900–983
Area codes (0)2, (0)3, (0)4, (0)5, (0)6, (0)8
ISO 3166 code TW
Counties 12
Cities 3
Website www.tpg.gov.tw
Taiwan Province
Traditional Chinese 臺灣 or 台灣
Simplified Chinese 台湾
Postal Map Taiwan

Taiwan Province (Chinese: 臺灣省 or 台灣省; pinyin: Táiwān Shěng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tâi-oân Séng) is one of the two administrative divisions of the Republic of China (ROC) that are officially referred to as "provinces". The province covers approximately 73% of the territory of the ROC, with around 40% of the total population.

Geographically it covers the majority of the island of Taiwan as well as almost all of its surrounding islands, the largest of which are the Penghu archipelago, Green Island, Xiaoliuqiu Island and Orchid Island. Taiwan Province does not cover territories of the special municipalities of Kaohsiung, New Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, and Taipei, all of which are located geographically within the main island of Taiwan. It also does not include the counties of Kinmen and Lienchiang, which are located alongside the southeast coast of mainland China and administered as a separate Fujian Province (not to be confused with Fujian Province, People's Republic of China).

Historically Taiwan Province covers the entire island of Taiwan and all its associated islands. All the special municipalities were split off from the province between 1967 and 2010. Since 1997 most of the Taiwan provincial government's functions have been transferred to the central government of the Republic of China following a constitutional amendment. The Taiwan provincial government has effectively become a nominal institution under the Executive Yuan's administration.[1][2]

The People's Republic of China (PRC) regards itself as the "successor state" of the Republic of China (ROC), which the PRC claims no longer legitimately exists, following establishment of the PRC in mainland China. The PRC asserts itself to be the sole legitimate government of China, and claims Taiwan as its 23rd province, even though the PRC itself has never had control of Taiwan or other ROC-held territories. The ROC disputes this position, maintaining that it still legitimately exists and that the PRC has not succeeded it to sovereignty.

History[edit]

Qing Dynasty[edit]

In 1683, Zheng Keshuang (third ruler of the Kingdom of Formosa and a grandson of Koxinga), surrendered to the Qing (Wade–Giles: Ch'ing) following a naval engagement with Admiral Shi Lang. The Qing then ruled the Taiwanese archipelago (including Penghu) as Taiwan Prefecture of Fujian Province. In 1875, Taipei Prefecture was separated from Taiwan Prefecture. In 1885, the Taiwanese archipelago including Penghu was split from Fujian and made a separate province.[citation needed]

Empire of Japan[edit]

In 1895, the entire Taiwan Province, including Penghu, was ceded to Japan following the First Sino-Japanese War through the Treaty of Shimonoseki. Under Japanese rule, the province was abolished in favour of Japanese-style divisions. After the surrender of Japan in 1945, the Republic of China (ROC) obtained control of Taiwan. The way that the ROC obtained Taiwan is a subject of controversy that gave root to the complex unresolved political status of Taiwan and the Taiwan Independence movement.

Republic of China[edit]

The ROC government immediately established the Taiwan Provincial Government under first Chief Executive and government-general Chen Yi in September 1945, becoming a province a second time.[3][4] Chen was extremely unpopular and his rule led to an uprising - the 228 Incident. Chen was recalled in May 1947 and the government-general position was abolished.

When the Republic of China government was relocated to Taipei in 1949 as a result of the Kuomintang's (KMT) defeat by the Chinese Communist Party forces in the Chinese Civil War, the provincial administration remained in place under the claim that the ROC was still the government of all of China even though the opposition argued that it overlapped inefficiently with the national government.

The seat of the provincial government was moved from Taipei to Zhongxing New Village in 1956. Historically, Taiwan Province covers the entire island of Taiwan and all its associated islands. The city of Taipei was split off to become a province-level special municipality in 1967, and the city of Kaohsiung was split off in 1979 to become another special municipality. In December 2010, Kaohsiung County left the province and merged with the original Kaohsiung City to become an expanded Kaohsiung City, Taipei County became the special municipality named New Taipei City. The cities and counties of Taichung and Tainan were also merged, respectively, and elevated to special municipality.

Until 1992, the governor of Taiwan province was appointed by the ROC central government. The office was often a stepping stone to higher office.

In 1992, the post of the governor of the province was opened to election. The then-opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) agreed to retain the province with an elected governor in the hopes of creating a "Yeltsin effect" in which a popular local leader could overwhelm the national government. These hopes proved unfulfilled as then-Kuomintang member James Soong was elected governor of the Taiwan province by a wide margin, defeating the DPP candidate Chen Ding-nan.

In 1997, as the result of an agreement between the KMT and the DPP, the administration of the province was streamlined and curtailed by constitutional changes. For example, the post of provincial governor and the provincial assembly were both abolished and replaced with a nine-member special council. Although the stated purpose was administrative efficiency, Soong and his supporters claim that it was actually intended to destroy James Soong's power base and eliminate him from political life, though it did not have this effect. In addition, the provincial legislature was abolished, while the Legislative Yuan was expanded to include some of the former provincial legislators.

Prior to January 1, 2007 all vehicles registered in Taiwan Province carried the label "Taiwan Province" (台灣省) on their license plates.

The provincial administration has been greatly streamlined in 1998, and handed most of its power to the central government. The counties and provincial cities under the province then became the primary administrative divisions in the country. In contrast to the past where the head of Taiwan province was considered a major official, the Governor of the Taiwan Provincial Government after 1999 has been considered a very minor position.

Government[edit]

Since the streamlining of the Taiwan Provincial Government in 1998, the government has been headed by a provincial council of nine members, led by the provincial governor. The members of the Provincial Council are all appointed by the president. The major operations of the provincial government, such as managing provincial highways and the Bank of Taiwan, have been transferred to the Executive Yuan.

Divisions[edit]

Taiwan Province is divided into 12 counties (縣 xiàn)      and 3 provincial cities (市 shì)     :

Map No. Name Mandarin
(Pinyin)
Taiwanese
(Pe̍h-ōe-jī)
Hakka
(Pha̍k-fa-sṳ)
Subdivision types of the Republic of China (2010).svg
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
1 Changhua County 彰化縣 Zhānghuà xiàn Chiong-hoà koān Chông-fa yen
2 Chiayi City 嘉義市 Jiāyì shì Ka-gī chhī Kâ-ngi sṳ
3 Chiayi County 嘉義縣 Jiāyì xiàn Ka-gī koān Kâ-ngi yen
4 Hsinchu City 新竹市 Xīnzhú shì Sin-tek chhī Sîn-tsuk yen
5 Hsinchu County 新竹縣 Xīnzhú xiàn Sin-tek koān Sîn-tsuk sṳ
6 Hualien County 花蓮縣 Huālián xiàn Hoa-liân koān Fâ-lièn yen
7 Keelung City 基隆市 Jīlóng shì Ke-lâng chhī Kî-lùng sṳ
8 Miaoli County 苗栗縣 Miáolì xiàn Biâu-le̍k koān Mèu-li̍t yen
9 Nantou County 南投縣 Nántóu xiàn Lâm-tâu koān Nàm-thèu yen
10 Penghu County 澎湖縣 Pénghú xiàn Phêⁿ-ô͘ koān Phàng-fù yen
11 Pingtung County 屏東縣 Píngdōng xiàn Pîn-tong koān Phìn-tûng yen
12 Taitung County 臺東縣 Táidōng xiàn Tâi-tang koān Thòi-tûng yen
13 Taoyuan County 桃園縣 Táoyuán xiàn Thô-hn̂g koān Thò-yèn yen
14 Yilan County 宜蘭縣 Yílán xiàn Gî-lân koān Ngì-làn yen
15 Yunlin County 雲林縣 Yúnlín xiàn Hûn-lîm koān Yùn-lìm yen

Note: The cities of Kaohsiung, New Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, and Taipei are administered directly by the central government and are not part of Taiwan province. The Senkaku Islands, which are currently administered by Japan, are disputed by both the ROC and PRC, which claim them as the Tiaoyutai/Diaoyutai Islands. The ROC government claims them as part of Toucheng Township, Yilan County.

Administrative history[edit]

Decisions by the Executive Yuan since 1945:

Date Division No. Notes
Counties Cities
Dec. 25, 1945 8 9
  • Counties: Hsinchu, Hualien, Kaohsiung, Penghu, Taichung, Tainan, Taipei, and Taitung.
  • Provincial Cities: Changhua, Chiayi, Hsinchu, Kaohsiung, Keelung, Pingtung, Taichung, Tainan, and Taipei.
(with 2 county-controlled cities: Hualien and Yilan)
Aug. 16, 1950 16 8
  • Counties: Changhua, Chiayi, Hsinchu, Hualien, Kaohsiung, Miaoli, Nantou, Penghu, Pingtung, Taichung, Tainan, Taipei, Taitung, Taoyuan, Yilan, and Yunlin
  • Provincial Cities: Changhua, Hsinchu, Kaohsiung, Keelung, Pingtung, Taichung, Tainan, and Taipei.
(downgrade Chiayi to a county-controlled city)
Dec. 1, 1951 16 5 Downgrade Changhua, Hsinchu, and Pintung provincial cities to county-controlled cities
Jul. 1, 1967 16 4 Taipei became the first Taiwanese special municipality
Nov. 11, 1967 16 4 All county seats (originally towns) upgraded to county-controlled cities.
Jul. 1, 1979 16 3 Kaohsiung became the second Taiwanese special municipality
Jul. 1, 1982 16 5 Upgrade Chiayi and Hsinchu to provincial cities (approved on April 23, 1981)
Dec. 25, 2010 12 3 Upgrade Kaohsiung, New Taipei, Taichung, Tainan to special municipalities, which covers four counties (Kaohsiung, Taipei, Taichung, Tainan) and two provincial cities (Taichung and Tainan).

Governor of the Province[edit]

Official titles of the governor[edit]

Year Full title Literally Notes
Chinese Mandarin
(Pinyin)
Taiwanese
(Pe̍h-ōe-jī)
1945–1947 臺灣省
行政長官
Táiwānshěng
Xíngzhèng
Zhǎngguān
Tâi-oân-séng
Hêng-chèng
Tióng-Kuaⁿ
Chief Executive of
Taiwan Province
The position of Chief Executive was temporarily part of the Executive Yuan, the position was legalized in Taiwan Provincial Administrative Executive Office Organizational Outline (臺灣省行政長官公署組織條例 Táiwān-shěng xíngzhèng zhǎngguān gōngshǔ zǔzhī tiáolì) of September 20, 1945.
1947–1994 臺灣省政府
主席
Táiwānshěng
Zhèngfǔ Zhǔxí
Tâi-oân-séng
Chèng-hú Chú-se̍k
Chairman of Taiwan
Provincial Government
After the 228 Incident, the Administrative Executive Office was reformed to a provincial government. The title often abbreviate as 省主席 shěngzhǔxí.
1994–1998 臺灣省
省長
Táiwānshěng
Shěngzhǎng
Tâi-oân-séng
Séng-tiúⁿ
Governor of
Taiwan Province
During the democratic reforms, the title "Governor" was first legally used in the Self-Governance Law for Provinces and Counties (省縣自治法) of July 29, 1994. The governor was directly elected by the people of the province.
1998–present 臺灣省政府
主席
Táiwānshěng
Zhèngfǔ Zhǔxí
Tâi-oân-séng
Chèng-hú Chú-se̍k
Chairman of Taiwan
Provincial Government
Since the streamlining of the Taiwan Provincial Government in 1998, the government has been headed by a provincial council of nine members, led by the provincial governor. The members of the Provincial Council are all appointed by the president. The major operations of the provincial government, such as managing provincial highways and the Bank of Taiwan, have been transferred to the Executive Yuan.

List of Governors[edit]

Lin Junq-tzer, the current Governor of Taiwan Province
No. Governor Chinese Mandarin (Pinyin) Term in office
Chief Executive
Chen Yi 陳儀 Chén Yí August 29, 1945 – April 22, 1947
Chairman of the Provincial Government
1 Wey Daw-ming 魏道明 Wèi Dàomíng May 16, 1947 – January 5, 1949
2 Chen Cheng 陳誠 Chén Chéng January 5, 1949 – December 21, 1949
3 Wu Kuo-chen 吳國楨 Wú Guózhēn December 21, 1949 – April 16, 1953
4 Yu Horng-jiun 俞鴻鈞 Yú Hóngjūn April 16, 1953 – June 7, 1954
5 Yen Chia-kan 嚴家淦 Yán Jiāgàn June 7, 1954 – August 16, 1957
6 Chow Chih-jou 周至柔 Zhōu Zhìróu August 16, 1957 – December 1, 1962
7 Huang Chieh 黃杰 Huáng Jié December 1, 1962 – July 5, 1969
8 Chen Ta-ching 陳大慶 Chén Dàqìng July 5, 1969 – June 6, 1972
9 Shien Tung-min 謝東閔 Xiè Dōngmǐn June 6, 1972 – May 20, 1978
10 Lin Yang-kang 林洋港 Lín Yánggǎng June 12, 1978 – December 5, 1981
11 Lee Teng-hui 李登輝 Lǐ Dēnghuī December 5, 1981 – May 20, 1984
acting Liu Chao-tien 劉兆田 Liú Zhàotián May 20, 1984 – June 8, 1984
12 Chiu Chuang-huan 邱創煥 Qīu Chuànghuàn June 9, 1984 – June 16, 1990
13 Lien Chan 連戰 Lián Zhàn June 16, 1990 – February 25, 1993
14 James Soong 宋楚瑜 Sòng Chǔyú March 20, 1993 – December 20, 1994
Governor
1 James Soong 宋楚瑜 Sòng Chǔyú December 20, 1994 – December 21, 1998
Chairman of the Provincial Government
15 Chao Shou-po 趙守博 Zhào Shǒubó December 21, 1998 – May 20, 2000
16 Chang Po-ya 張博雅 Zhāng Bóyǎ May 20, 2000 – February 1, 2002
17 Fan Kuang-chun 范光群 Fàn Guāngqún February 1, 2002 – October 13, 2003
18 Lin Kuang-hua 林光華 Lín Guānghuá October 13, 2003 – January 25, 2006
19 Lin Si-yao 林錫耀 Lín Xíyào December 7, 2007 – May 19, 2008
20 Tsai Hsun-hsiung 蔡勳雄 Cài Xūnxióng May 20, 2008 – September 10, 2009
21 Chang Jin-fu 張進福 Zhāng Jìnfú September 10, 2009 – February 26, 2010
22 Lin Junq-tzer 林政則 Lín Zhèngzé February 26, 2010 – present

PRC's claims[edit]

The PRC claims the entirety of the island of Taiwan and its surrounding islets, including the Pescadores, as parts of its Taiwan Province, corresponding to the ROC's Taiwan Province before the special municipalities were split off. The PRC claims that Taiwan is part of China, that the PRC succeeded the ROC as the sole legitimate authority in all of China upon its founding in 1949, and that therefore Taiwan is part of the PRC.

Sister States/Provinces[edit]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Bush, R. & O'Hanlon, M. (2007). A War Like No Other: The Truth About China's Challenge to America. Wiley. ISBN 0-471-98677-1
  • Bush, R. (2006). Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait. Brookings Institution Press. ISBN 0-8157-1290-1
  • Carpenter, T. (2006). America's Coming War with China: A Collision Course over Taiwan. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 1-4039-6841-1
  • Cole, B. (2006). Taiwan's Security: History and Prospects. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-36581-3
  • Copper, J. (2006). Playing with Fire: The Looming War with China over Taiwan. Praeger Security International General Interest. ISBN 0-275-98888-0
  • Federation of American Scientists et al. (2006). Chinese Nuclear Forces and U.S. Nuclear War Planning
  • Gill, B. (2007). Rising Star: China's New Security Diplomacy. Brookings Institution Press. ISBN 0-8157-3146-9
  • Shirk, S. (2007). China: Fragile Superpower: How China's Internal Politics Could Derail Its Peaceful Rise. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-530609-0
  • Tsang, S. (2006). If China Attacks Taiwan: Military Strategy, Politics and Economics. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-40785-0
  • Tucker, N.B. (2005). Dangerous Strait: the U.S.-Taiwan-China Crisis. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-13564-5

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 23°48′N 121°00′E / 23.8°N 121.0°E / 23.8; 121.0