World Country Taiwan Republic of China

About the world country Taiwan part of the Republic of China, its location, size, population, and who is in power.



Location: An island off the coast of southern China. Size: 13,885 sq. mi. (35,962 sq. km.), including the Pescadores. Population: 18,342,000, excluding Quemoy and Matsu (84% native Taiwanese, 14% mainlanders, 2% aboriginal).

Who Really Rules: Taiwan, historically a province of China with its own dialect and culture, is ruled by the leaders of the Kuomintang (KMT), or Chinese Nationalists. Since 1949, when the KMT retreated to Taiwan following the Communist victory in the Chinese civil war, it has ruled the island under martial law. Though it has occasionally permitted limited dissent, the KMT maintains power through censorship, imprisonment of opponents, electoral manipulation, and economic harassment.

When the KMT moved to Taiwan, it carried out a land reform program that it had never implemented on the mainland, building a constituency among Taiwanese peasants and eliminating political competition from the local landlord class. However, Taiwan's economic expansion--based on exports such as garments and electronics--actually undermined the KMT's popularity, because it required that rural income be held down and that labor organizing be suppressed.

Although all major powers and most minor ones recognize the Communist government of the People's Republic of China, the KMT still claims to be the government of China. Isolated diplomatically, it retains strong economic links with business interests in Japan and the U.S., and it continues to receive modern arms from the U.S.

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