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Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a state in East Asia. Neighbouring states include the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the west, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. Taiwan is the most populous state and largest economy that is not a member of the United Nations (UN).

The island of Taiwan was inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousands of years before the 17th century, when Dutch colonialists opened the island to mass Han immigration. After a brief rule by the Kingdom of Tungning, the island was annexed in 1683 by the Qing dynasty of China, and ceded to Japan in 1895. Following the surrender of Japan in 1945, the Republic of China, which had overthrown and succeeded the Qing in 1911, took control of Taiwan. The resumption of the Chinese Civil War led to the loss of the mainland to the Communists and the flight of the ROC government to Taiwan in 1949. Although the ROC government continued to claim to be the legitimate representative of China, since 1950 its effective jurisdiction has been limited to Taiwan and several small islands. In the early 1960s, Taiwan entered a period of rapid economic growth and industrialisation. In the 1980s and early 1990s, it changed from a one-party military dictatorship to a multi-party democracy with a semi-presidential system.

As a founding member, the ROC represented China in the UN until it was replaced by the PRC in 1971. The PRC has consistently claimed sovereignty over Taiwan and refused diplomatic relations with any country that recognises the ROC. As of 2019, Taiwan maintains official ties with 17 out of 193 UN member states. Most international organisations in which the PRC participates either refuse to grant membership to Taiwan or allow it to participate only as a non-state actor. Nevertheless, most major powers maintain unofficial ties with Taiwan through representative offices and institutions that function as de facto embassies and consulates. In Taiwan, the major political division is between parties favouring eventual Chinese unification and promoting a Chinese identity contrasted with those aspiring to independence and promoting a Taiwanese identity, though both sides have moderated their positions to broaden their appeal.

Selected article

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Taiwanese (pe̍h-oē-jī: Tâi-oân-oē or Tâi-gí; Chinese: 台語, 台灣話; pinyin: Táiyǔ, Táiwānhuà) is a dialect of Min Nan Chinese spoken by about 70% of Taiwan's population. The sub-ethnic group in Taiwan for which Taiwanese is considered a native language is known as Hoklo (the correspondence between language and ethnicity is generally true though not absolute, as some Hoklo speak Taiwanese poorly while some non-Hoklo speak Taiwanese fluently). Pe̍h-oē-jī (POJ) is a popular orthography for this language, and Min Nan in general.

Selected biography

Teresa Teng (sometimes spelled Teresa Tang or Teresa Deng; Chinese: 鄧麗君; pinyin: Dèng Lìjūn; Wade–Giles: Teng Li-chün; Japanese: テレサ・テン Teresa Ten; January 29, 1953 - May 8, 1995) was one of the most famous singers in East Asia.

She was born in Tianyang (田洋村), a village in Yunlin County, Taiwan, to a mainlander family originating from Hebei Province. She was educated at Ginling Girls High School, and commenced her professional singing career in 1967 with Universal Records.

She recorded several famous songs, including "When Will You Return?" (Chinese: 何日君再來; pinyin: Hérì Jūn Zàilái) and "The Moon Represents My Heart" (Chinese: 月亮代表我的心; pinyin: Yuèliàng Dàibiǎo Wǒ de Xīn). In addition to her Mandarin repertoire, she had also recorded songs in the Hokkien, Cantonese, Japanese, Indonesian (in 1977) and English.

Teng, a lifelong sufferer from asthma, died from a severe respiratory attack while on vacation in Thailand in 1995, at the age of 42.

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?

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