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Taiwan (/tˈwɑːn/ (About this sound listen), UK also /-ˈwɒn, -ˈwæn/), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a state in East Asia. Its neighbors include the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the west, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. It is the most populous state and largest economy that is not a member of the United Nations.

The island of Taiwan, formerly known as Formosa, was inhabited by aborigines before the 17th century, when Dutch and Spanish colonies opened the island to mass Han immigration. After a brief rule by the Kingdom of Tungning, the island was annexed by the Qing dynasty, the last dynasty of China, the Qing ceded Taiwan to Japan in 1895 after the Sino-Japanese War. While Taiwan was under Japanese rule, the Republic of China (ROC) was established on the mainland in 1912 after the fall of the Qing dynasty. Following the Japanese surrender to the Allies in 1945, the ROC took control of Taiwan. However, the resumption of the Chinese Civil War led to the ROC's loss of the mainland to the Communists, and the flight of the ROC government to Taiwan in 1949, although the ROC continued to claim to be the legitimate government of China, its effective jurisdiction had, since the loss of Hainan in 1950, been limited to Taiwan and its surrounding islands, with the main island making up 99% of its de facto territory. As a founding member of the United Nations, the ROC represented China at the UN until 1971, when it lost its seat to the PRC.

In the early 1960s, Taiwan entered a period of rapid economic growth and industrialization, creating a stable industrial economy; in the 1980s and early 1990s, it changed from a one-party military dictatorship dominated by the Kuomintang to a multi-party democracy with a semi-presidential system. Taiwan is the 22nd-largest economy in the world, and its high-tech industry plays a key role in the global economy, it is ranked highly in terms of freedom of the press, healthcare, public education, economic freedom, and human development. The country benefits from a highly skilled workforce and is among the most highly educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentages of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree.

Selected article

People gathered in front of the Tobacco Monopoly Bureau on February 28, 1947
The 228 Incident (Chinese: 二二八事件; pinyin: èr èr bā shìjiàn; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Jī-jī-pat sū-kiāⁿ) or 228 Massacre was an uprising in Taiwan that began on February 28, 1947 and was suppressed by the Kuomintang (KMT) government, resulting in between ten thousand to twenty thousand civilians killed. The number "228" refers to the day of the incident, February 28 (28th day of the 2nd month, 2/28), this event is now commemorated in the Taiwan as Peace Memorial Day. Official government policy had repressed the education of the events until recently, for various reasons. Many of the details of the incident are still highly controversial and hotly debated in Taiwan today, as the largely conservative-controlled government often tries to stifle discussion on the topic. Some people point to Communist involvement as a "justification" for the KMT's action.

Selected biography

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Vivian Hsu (Chinese: 徐若瑄; pinyin: Xú Ruòxuān; Wade–Giles: Hsu Jo-hsuan; Japanese: ビビアン・スー; born March 19, 1975 in Taichung, Taiwan) is a famous singer, actress, and model who has worked mainly in Taiwan and Japan.

The second of three children, Vivian was born Hsu Su-chuan (Chinese: 徐淑娟; pinyin: Xú Shújuān), and used this name until she began modeling. Her parents divorced when she was a child, she attended Taipei Jianxing Elementary School and Taipei Shulinguo Junior High School.

She got her start in entertainment after winning first place in a "Talented Beautiful Girl" contest held by Taiwan CTS TV in 1990, at this point, she was working by delivering food on her bicycle, and her customers began to recognize her from her television appearances. The same year she joined a musical duo named Shaonu Dui (Chinese: 少女隊; pinyin: Shàonǔ Dùi; lit. Girls Team), they released two albums, in 1991 and 1992. Following the dissolution of the duo, Vivian got her start in modeling.

Selected picture

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Chen Cheng-po was a Taiwanese painter whose oil painting Street of Chiayi was the first painting of a Taiwanese artist displayed in the Empire Art Exhibition in Japan. Chen was captured and killed by the Kuomintang government as a result of the 228 Incident.

Illustration credit: Chen Cheng-po


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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