Number of permanent settlers arriving in Australia from Taiwan since 1991 (monthly).
The exact number of Taiwanese Australian is hard to calculate since most demographic research tends to clump immigrants from People's Republic of China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, into the broadly defined "Chinese Australian" category as both the governments of People's Republic of China and Australia force Taiwanese Australians as a subgroup of Chinese Australians due to the 'One China Policy' adopted by the Australian government with the recognition of the People's Republic of China in 1972 as Republic of China was ousted by majority of Member States of the United Nations General Assembly voting in United Nations Resolution 2758. This has consequently been a subject of controversy especially with those of the Pan-Green coalition in Taiwan that advocates Taiwan independence, that contradicts Australia's One China Policy to the island of Taiwan with recognition of People's Republic of China as the sole government of China that Taiwan is a part of China, and One China Policy adopted by Australia is different from the perspective of the United States that Australia does not have a "Taiwan Relations Act", but Australia does have a (number of) domestic Racial Equality-related Act(s) since Multiculturalism of Australia after the era of White Australia Policy from 1980's onwards as Australia was preparing to integrate in Asia, therefore, the term Taiwanese Australian officially refers to the Asian community in Australia although there is split identity in Taiwan all people with Taiwanese citizenship or background are regarded as Taiwanese/Formosan. Most statistics for the number of Taiwanese Australians, including one by the Pan-Independence Formosan Association for Public Affairs (FAPA), puts an estimate at around 24,000. although there have be thousands more who had not been counted/immigrated since the estimation.
Prior to the 1950s emigration off of Taiwan was negligible. During earlier Taiwanese history, the island was sparsely populated by Austronesian aboriginals and in the 17th and 18th centuries it served as a destination point for migrating Minnan and Hakka people from China's coastal area. And due to sea-forbidden policy and weather condition only a few were able to migrate across the strait and intermarried with Taiwanese pinpu people. Therefore it is estimated that over 90% of Taiwanese people(including Chinese people who came after communist revolution in 1949 and intermarry with local Taiwanese people)have Taiwanese/Formosan ancestry. with In 1895 Japan took over control of Taiwan following the first Sino-Japanese war. Japanese colonial control severely curtailed any movement off the island in the interest of containing dissent against the Japanese Empire. After Japan was defeated in second world war, the Japanese people who migrated into Taiwan during 1895-1949 without leaving after the war as well as Chinese people came after 1949 and recent immigrants (mainly from South East Asia)who came through marriage with Taiwanese people all become an important component of Taiwanese people nowadays. Yet on the other side of the Pacific Ocean, opportunities for immigration from Taiwan to Australia were virtually nonexistent before the 1950s.
First generation immigrants from Taiwan usually share a common language, Mandarin, although many also speak Taiwanese Hokkien, commonly referred to as "Taiwanese", and to a lesser extent, the Hakka language. As with most immigrants to Australia, linguistic fluency in the heritage language quickly disappears in the second generation. Many second generation Taiwanese Australians are exposed to Taiwanese, but their level of proficiency varies. Many second generation immigrants speak Taiwanese as their heritage language and may not know any Mandarin. This is typical for many overseas Taiwanese. There are also second generation Taiwanese, especially whose families are from the Taipei Metropolitan Area, who speak Mandarin as their heritage language and know little Taiwanese. Mandarin or Taiwanese as the heritage language, however, depends on parents, and whether the individuals are exposed to Mandarin through Taiwanese Mandarin schools. Second generation Taiwanese of Hakka descent tend to speak better Mandarin as their heritage language. There are many first generation Taiwanese of full Hakka heritage who may speak all three languages. Taiwanese Australians of mixed Hoklo and Hakka Heritage may speak only Taiwanese Mandarin as their heritage language. Second Generation Taiwanese who are of mixed Hoklo Taiwanese and Waisheng Taiwanese (or other Chinese) heritage may only know Taiwanese Mandarin at most and not a word of Taiwanese.
Brisbane remains as Australia's top Taiwanese settling city with Sydney and Melbourne coming in close. The number of Taiwanese people in Brisbane vastly surpasses those from Japan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China, Korea and Singapore.