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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 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.

Selected article

Shin Kong Life Tower
Shin Kong Life Tower (Chinese: 新光人壽保險摩天大樓) is the third tallest building in Taiwan at 51 stories. The rose-coloured skyscraper topped by a pyramid is a landmark in Taipei. Its first twelve floors and two underground floors house a Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store. The remaining floors provide office space and serve as headquarters for the Shin Kong Life Insurance Company. The structure stands across Chunghsiao Road from Taipei Main Station near the Asiaworld Department Store. The Shin Kong Life Tower was Taiwan's tallest building when it opened in December 1993. In 1997 the building was surpassed as Taiwan's tallest by the Tuntex Sky Tower in the city of Kaohsiung. Both were surpassed in height by Taipei 101 in 2004.

Selected biography

Chen Chun-yu (陳君玉) was a Taiwanese songwriter and author born in 1905 at Dadaocheng. He wrote many Hokkien songs such as Thiau Bu Si Tai (跳舞時代) and Siu Be Toa Kang Tiau (想要彈同調), and had served as an officer of the Columbia Record, a Japanese-owned disc company. Chen could speak Mandarin Chinese fluently, he was an introducer of Standard Mandarin in postwar era of Taiwan. Chen died from hepatic cancer on March 4, 1963.

Selected picture

Holy Rosary Cathedral
The Holy Rosary Cathedral in Lingya, Kaohsiung is the oldest Catholic church in Taiwan, established in 1860 and rebuilt in 1928.

Photo credit: User:小鄧


Did you know?

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?

On this day...


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