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(CNN Español) — These are some quick facts about Taiwan, including its location, the autonomous government that rigged the island and the relationship with the People’s Republic of China.

Datos básicos

The official name of Taiwan is the Republic of China and its capital is Taipei.

Formerly known as Formosa (Hermosa, in Portuguese), the name given to Portuguese explorers, Taiwan is an island with a surface area of ​​35,980 kilometers located in eastern Asia.

It borders the Oriental China Sea in the north, the Southern China Sea in the south, the Philippine Sea in the east, and the Taiwan Strait in the west.

The island was inhabited by the indigenous peoples of the region until the arrival of Chinese populations, of the Han ethnicity, in the XVII century. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to divide the island in the 16th century, then they were also explorers from the Netherlands.

En tanto the population rose to 23,580,712, and the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is US$ 24,502 (according to the data of 2,018).

The official language is mandarin Chinese, although they speak Chinese min nan and Chinese Hakka, as well as 16 indigenous languages. While Buddhism (35.3%) and Taoism (33.2%) are the principal religions, followed by Christianity (3.9%).

The political situation in the island

Taiwan tiene un gobierno autónomo basado en el sistema semipresidentialista. The current president is Tsai Ing-wen, elected in 2016.

Since the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949, the governments of mainland China (People’s Republic of China) and Taiwan (República de China) considered that Taiwan is a Chinese province and both assured the legitimate governments of all the territory of China, Taiwan included La dispute se ha mantenido tensa hasta la actualidad.

Taiwan — as the Republic of China — occupied until 1971 the bank reserved to China in the Security Council of the United Nations for its participation among the allied powers in the Second World War. In this year, sin embargo, los países members of the UN recognized the legitimacy of the People’s Republic of China, which occupied their place.

A view of Taipei, the capital of Taiwan.

The People’s Republic of China, invoking the principle of “una sola China”, does not admit that the countries have diplomatic relations with Beijing and Taipei at the same time. Consequently, only 14 countries in the world have chosen to recognize the legitimacy of the Republic of China in Taiwan: Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Tuvalu, Eswatini, Belize, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Paraguay, San Cristóbal y Nieves, Santa Lucia, San Vicente y las Granadinas, y el Vaticano.

Historical Chronology

Siglo XVI – Portuguese explorers divided the territory, al que called Ilha Formosa.

1624 – La Compañía Neerlandesa de las Indies Orientales establece su presencia en el sur de Taiwan.

1662 – Immigrants originating from China began to settle in the island of Taiwan during the Ming dynasty and expelled the colonists of the Netherlands.

1895 – After being defeated in the First Sino-Japanese War, China must hand over control of Taiwan to Japan.

Chiang Kai-shek, leader of the Kuomintang, in 1950 in Taiwan. (Credit: Central Press/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

[1945- At the end of the Second World War, Japan returned control of Taiwan to China, governed by the Nationalist Party, or Kuomintang (KMT), led by Chiang Kai-shek.

1949 – The communists led by Mao Zedong won the civil war against the forces of the Kuomintang, whose government exiled them to Taiwan together with 1.2 million of their supporters.

From Taiwan, the Kuomintang of Chiang Kai-shek maintains its claim to be the legitimate ruler of all China, based on the constitution of 1947. Meanwhile, on the continent, the People’s Republic of China, led by Mao, was founded.

1949 to 1987 – The Kuomintang ruled Taiwan under martial law, with Chiang Kai-shek in the presidency until his death in 1975.

In the decade of 1980, a process of democratization begins: in 1986, it allows the creation of the Democratic Progressive Party (PPD), the first opposition force, and in 1987, martial law is lifted.

The president of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen.

Unlike the Kuomintang, which shares the principle of “one China” and opens the doors to unification in the future, the PPD is linked to the Taiwanese independence movement.

1992 – Tienen lugar las primeras legislative elections en 40 años.

1996 – They realized the first direct presidential elections in Taiwan: Lee Teng-hui, the Kuomintang, and the winner.

2000 – Por primera vez en su historia, el PPD gana las elecciones presidenciales y desplaza al Kuomintang del Gobierno. Commienza un periodo de alternancia.

2016 – Tsai Ing-wen, the PPD, Ghana las elecciones presidenales: es la primera mujer en occupar el cargo.

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