Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952415 | Print ISBN: 9780761926498 | Online ISBN: 9781412952415| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Located in eastern Asia, Taiwan is a country of islands off the southeastern coast of China with an area of 35,980 square kilometers. It has a population of 22.6 million people (July 2003 estimate). In 1895, military defeat forced China to cede Taiwan to Japan, and it remained under Japanese occupation until 1945, under the name Formosa. Following the Communist victory on mainland China in 1949, two million Chinese nationalists fled to Taiwan and established a government using the 1947 Constitution drawn up for all of China. Over the next five decades, the ruling authorities gradually democratized and incorporated the native population within the governing structure. Throughout this period, the island prospered and became one of East Asia's economic tigers. In 1971, Taiwan lost its United Nations (UN) membership because of the pressure of the Peoples Republic of China. For this same reason Taiwan is also not a member of ...