Friday, March 5, 2010


This time the earthquake is in Taiwan. On 4 March 2010 at about 01:20 UTC, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake hit southern Taiwan. Is the earth angry on mistreatment by human being, the movement of earth plates is now active. After Taiwan, will it be California or Padang, Indonesia?......There have been many earthquake above magnitude of 6 this year,more than 10 times....

The epicenter of the quake was in the mountains northeast of the city of Kaohsiung at a depth of 5 km. No major damage was reported near the epicenter, a rural area hard hit in August by a deadly typhoon.

Taiwan,also known as Formosa, is the largest island of the Republic of China (ROC) in East Asia. Taiwan is located east of the Taiwan Strait, off the southeastern coast of mainland China. Since the end of World War II in 1945, the island group has been under the government of the Republic of China(中華民國).

The island of Taiwan lies some 180 kilometers off the southeastern coast of China, across the Taiwan Strait, and has an area of 35,801 km2 (13,822.8 sq mi). The East China Sea lies to the north, the Philippine Sea to the east, the Luzon Strait directly to the south and the South China Sea to the southwest.

Map of Taiwan

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Taiwan is a province of China, it is part of China. But the province is today ruled by Republic of China after they have defeated in the civil war. Taiwan was initially under military rule, it has now ruled by democratic elected government. Taiwan's rapid economic growth in the decades after World War II has transformed it into an advanced economy as one of the Four Asian Tigers. This economic rise is known as the Taiwan Miracle. It is categorized as an advanced economy by the IMF and high-income economy by the World Bank. Its technology industry plays a key role in the global economy. Taiwanese companies manufacture a large portion of the world's consumer electronics, although most of them are made in their factories in mainland China

The dominant political issues continue to be the relationship between Taiwan and China - specifically the question of Taiwan's eventual status - as well as domestic political and economic reform. Taiwan's diplomatic isolation and low birth rate are also major long-term challenges. Taiwan's birth rate of only 1.0 child per woman is among the lowest in the world, raising the prospect of future labor shortages and declining tax revenues. The island runs a large trade surplus, and its foreign reserves are the world's fourth largest, behind China, Japan, and Russia. The dominant political issues continue to be the relationship between Taiwan and China - specifically the question of Taiwan's eventual status - as well as domestic political and economic reform.


According to the 1947 constitution, written before the ROC(Republic of China) government retreated to Taiwan, the highest level administrative division is the province, which includes special administrative regions, regions, and direct-controlled municipalities. However, in 1998 the only provincial government to remain fully functional under ROC jurisdiction, Taiwan Province, was streamlined, with most responsibility assumed by the central government and the county-level governments (the other existing provincial government, Fuchien, was streamlined much earlier). The ROC administers two provinces and two provincial level cities. Under ROC law, the area under ROC jurisdiction is officially called the "free area of the Republic of China

Taiwan Province is divided into 16 counties (縣; hsien) and 5 provincial cities (市; shih):

Chiayi County(嘉義縣), Changhua County(彰化縣), Hsinchu County(新竹縣), Hualien County(花蓮縣),Kaohsiung County(高雄縣),Miaoli County(苗栗縣),Nantou County(南投縣),Penghu County(澎湖縣), Pingtung County(屏東縣),Taichung County(台中縣),Tainan County (台南縣),Taipei County(台北縣),Taitung County (台東縣),Taoyuan County(桃園縣),Yilan County(宜蘭縣),Yunlin County(雲林縣)

The provincial municipalies are:
1. Chiayi City (嘉義市)
2. Hsinchu City (新竹市)
3. Keelung City (基隆市)
4. Taichung City (台中市)
5. Tainan City(台南市)

The cities of Taipei(台北市) and Kaohsiung(高雄市) are administered directly by the central government and are not part of Taiwan province, though the counties of the same name surrounding these cities are part of the province. Taipei(台北市)is the largest city in Taiwan, and the capital of Taiwan Province.

Fujian Province

Kinmen County(金門縣)
Lienchiang County(連江縣)

Early History
The island of Taiwan (excluding Penghu) was first populated by Austronesian people. It was colonized by the Dutch in the 17th century, followed by an influx of Han Chinese including Hakka immigrants from areas of Fujian and Guangdong of mainland China, across the Taiwan Strait. The Spanish also built a settlement in the north for a brief period, but were driven out by the Dutch in 1642.

Portuguese sailors, passing Taiwan in 1544, first jotted in a ship's log the name of the island "Ilha Formosa", meaning Beautiful Island. In 1582 the survivors of a Portuguese shipwreck spent ten weeks battling malaria and Aborigines before returning to Macau on a raft.

Dutch traders, in search of an Asian base first arrived on the island in 1623 to use the island as a base for Dutch commerce with Japan and the coastal areas of China. The Spanish and allies established a settlement at Santissima Trinidad, building Fort San Salvador on the northwest coast of Taiwan near Keelung in 1626 which they occupied until 1642 when they were driven out by a joint Dutch-Aborigine invasion force. They also built a fort in Tamsui (1628) but had already abandoned it by 1638. The Dutch later erected Fort Anthonio on the site in 1642, which still stands (now part of the Fort San Domingo museum complex).

Dutch Rule(1624-1662)

Dutch Formosa refers to the period of colonial Dutch government on Formosa (now known as Taiwan), lasting from 1624 to 1662. In the context of the Age of Discovery the Dutch East India Company established its presence on Taiwan to trade with China and Japan, and also to interdict Portuguese and Spanish trade and colonial activities in East Asia.

The Dutch East India Company (VOC) administered the island and its predominantly aboriginal population until 1662, setting up a tax system, schools to teach romanized script of aboriginal languages and evangelizing. Although its control was mainly limited to the western plain of the island, the Dutch systems were adopted by succeeding occupiers. The first influx of migrants from coastal Fujian came during the Dutch period, in which merchants and traders from the mainland Chinese coast sought to purchase hunting licenses from the Dutch or hide out in aboriginal villages to escape the Qing authorities. Most of the immigrants were young single males who were discouraged from staying on the island often referred to by Han as "The Gate of Hell" for its reputation in taking the lives of sailors and explorers

The time of Dutch rule saw economic development in Taiwan, including both large-scale hunting of deer and the cultivation of rice and sugar by imported labour from Fujian in China. The government also attempted to convert the aboriginal inhabitants to Christianity and suppress some cultural activities they found disagreeable (such as forced abortion and habitual nakedness), in other words, to "civilise" the inhabitants of the island.

However, they were not universally welcomed and uprisings by both aborigines and recent Han Chinese arrivals were crushed brutally by the Dutch military on more than one occasion. The colonial period was brought to an end by the invasion of Koxinga's army after just 37 years.

Kingdom of Tungning

The Kingdom of Tungning was a Han Chinese government which ruled Taiwan, between 1661 and 1683. It was a pro-Ming Dynasty kingdom, and was founded by Koxinga (國姓爺), literally Lord with the Imperial Surname, because he was given the Ming Emperor's Surname), after the destruction of Ming power by the Manchu. Koxinga was son of a former merchant who styled himself as a Ming Dynasty loyalist; he hoped to marshal his troops on Taiwan and use it as a base to regain mainland China for the Ming Dynasty.

The Kingdom of Tungning (simplified Chinese: 东宁王国; traditional Chinese: 東寧王國; pinyin: Dōngníng Wángguó) is also sometimes called the Kingdom of Zheng (Cheng) (simplified Chinese: 郑氏王朝; traditional Chinese: 鄭氏王朝; pinyin: Zhèngshì Wángcháo) or the Kingdom of Yanping (延平王國). Admiral Koxinga called Taiwan Tungtu/Dongdu. It has been called in western histories the Kingdom of Taiwan, and the period of rule is sometimes referred to as the Koxinga dynasty.

In 1683, following the defeat of Koxinga's grandson by an armada led by Admiral Shi Lang of Southern Fujian, the Qing formally annexed Taiwan, placing it under the jurisdiction of Fujian province.

Qing Dynasty(1662 - 1895)
The Chinese Qing Dynasty ruled Taiwan from 1683 to 1895. Qing China in 1683 sent an army led by general Shi Lang and annexed Taiwan. The early Qing Dynasty ruled Taiwan passively. Taiwan was governed as part of Fujian province at the time. In 1885, the Qing upgraded Taiwan's status from prefecture of Fujian to full province, the twentieth in the country, with its capital at Taipei. This was accompanied by a modernization drive that included building Taiwan's first railroad and starting a postal service.

The Republic of Formosa
The Republic of Formosa (台湾民主国), Democratic State of Taiwan, also known informally in English as the Formosan Republic, Taiwan Republic or Republic of Taiwan was a short-lived republic that existed on the island of Taiwan in 1895 between the formal cession of Taiwan by the Qing Dynasty of China to the Empire of Japan by the Treaty of Shimonoseki and its invasion and occupation by Japanese troops. The Republic was proclaimed on 23 May 1895 and extinguished on 21 October, when the Republican capital Tainan was occupied by the Japanese.

When the news of the treaty's contents reached Taiwan, a number of notables from central Taiwan led by Chiu Feng-chia (丘逢甲) decided to resist the transfer of Taiwan to Japanese rule. On 23 May, in Taipei, these men declared independence, proclaiming the establishment of a free and democratic Republic of Formosa. T'ang Ching-sung (唐景崧), the Ch'ing governor-general of Taiwan, was prevailed upon to become the republic's first President, and his old friend Liu Yung-fu (劉永福), the retired Black Flag Army commander who had become a national hero in China for his victories against the French in northern Vietnam a decade earlier, was invited to serve as Grand General of the Army. Chiu Feng-chia was appointed Grand Commander of Militia, with the power to raise local militia units throughout the island to resist the Japanese. On the Chinese mainland Chang Chih-tung (張之洞), the powerful governor-general of Liangkiang, tacitly supported the Formosan resistance movement, and the Republicans also appointed Ch'en Chi-t'ung (陳季同), a disgraced Chinese diplomat who understood European ways of thinking, as the Republic's foreign minister. His job would be to sell the Republic abroad.

Japanese Rule(1895-1945)
The Japanese colonial period, Japanese rule in the context of Taiwan's history, refers to the period between 1895 and 1945 during which Taiwan was a Japanese colony. The expansion into Taiwan was a part of Japan's general policy of southward expansion during the late 19th century.

As Taiwan was Japan's first overseas colony, Japanese intentions were to turn the island into a showpiece "model colony". As a result, much effort was made to improve the island's economy, industry, public works and culture. However, Japanese rule of Taiwan also had a negative side, such as the prostitution of Taiwanese women as comfort women.

Japan had sought to expand its imperial control over Taiwan (known in Japan as Takasago Koku (高砂国, "Highland nation") since 1592, when Toyotomi Hideyoshi undertook a policy of overseas expansion and extending Japanese influence southward. Several attempts to invade Taiwan were unsuccessful, mainly due to disease and armed resistance by aborigines on the island. In 1609, the Tokugawa Shogunate sent Haruno Arima on an exploratory mission of the island. In 1616, Murayama Toan led an unsuccessful invasion of the island.

In November 1871, 69 people on board a vessel from the Kingdom of Ryukyu were forced to land near the southern tip of Taiwan by strong winds. They had a conflict with local Paiwan aborigines and many were killed in the process. In October 1872, Japan sought compensation from the Qing Dynasty of China, claiming the Kingdom of Ryukyu was part of Japan. In May 1873, Japanese diplomats arrived in Beijing and put forward their claims, but the Qing government immediately rejected Japanese demands on the ground that the Kingdom of Ryukyu at that time was an independent state and had nothing to do with Japan. The Japanese refused to leave and asked if the Chinese government would punish those "barbarians in Taiwan".

The First Sino-Japanese War broke out between Qing Dynasty China and Japan in 1894 following a dispute over the sovereignty of Korea. Following its defeat, China ceded the islands of Taiwan and Penghu to Japan in the Treaty of Shimonoseki, signed on April 17, 1895. According to the terms of the treaty, Taiwan, Penghu, and regions between 119˚E-120˚E and 13˚N-14˚N were to be ceded to Japan in perpetuity. Both governments were to send representatives to Taiwan immediately after signing to begin the transition process, which was to be completed in no more than two months. Because Taiwan was ceded by treaty, the period that followed is referred to by some as the "colonial period", while others who focus on the fact that it was the culmination of a war refer to it as the "occupation period".

The new Japanese colonial government gave inhabitants two years to choose whether to accept their new status as Japanese subjects, or leave Taiwan. The Japanese occupation were divided into 3 periods:
(i) Early years (1895-1915)
(ii) Dōka: "Integration" (1915-1937)
(iii)Kōminka: "Subjects of the Emperor" (1937-1945)

The KMT(1945-1987)
In 1949, during the Chinese Civil War, the Kuomintang (KMT), led by Chiang Kai-shek, retreated from mainland China and the ROC(Republic of China) government fled from Nanjing (then romanised as "Nanking") to Taipei, Taiwan's largest city, while continuing to claim sovereignty over all China, which the ROC defines to include mainland China, Taiwan, Outer Mongolia and other areas. In mainland China, the victorious Communists established the PRC(People Repblic of China), claiming to be the sole representative of China (which it claimed included Taiwan) and portraying the ROC government as an illegitimate entity. Taiwan was governed by a party-state dictatorship, with the KMT as the ruling party, and military rule continued.

Chiang Kai-shek's eventual successor, his son Chiang Ching-kuo, began to liberalize Taiwan's political system. In 1984, the younger Chiang selected Lee Teng-hui, an ethnically Taiwanese technocrat, to be his vice president. In 1986, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was formed and inaugurated as the first opposition party in Taiwan to counter the KMT. A year later Chiang Ching-kuo lifted martial law.

Modern Democratic Era(1987-until now)

After the 1988 death of Chiang Ching-Kuo, President Lee Teng-hui became the first ethnically Taiwanese president of the ROC. Lee continued to democratize the government and decrease the concentration of government authority in the hands of mainland Chinese. Under Lee, Taiwan underwent a process of localization in which Taiwanese culture and history were promoted over a pan-China viewpoint in contrast to earlier KMT policies which had promoted a Chinese identity.

In the 1990s, the ROC continued its democratic reforms, as President Lee Teng-hui was elected by the first popular vote held in Taiwan during the 1996 Presidential election. In 2000, Chen Shui-bian of the DPP, was elected as the first non-KMT President and was re-elected to serve his second and last term since 2004. Polarized politics has emerged in Taiwan with the formation of the Pan-Blue Coalition of parties led by the KMT, favoring eventual Chinese reunification, and the Pan-Green Coalition of parties led by the DPP, favoring an eventual and official declaration of Taiwan independence. Obviously China is not happy with the development, and she is against independent of Taiwan, as Taiwan is part of China, a historical fact.

On September 30, 2007, the ruling Democratic Progressive Party approved a resolution asserting separate identity from China and called for the enactment of a new constitution for a "normal country". It also called for general use of "Taiwan" as the island's name, without abolishing its formal name, the Republic of China.

The KMT increased its majority in the Legislative Yuan in the January 2008 legislative elections, while its nominee Ma Ying-jeou went on to win the presidency in March of the same year, campaigning on a platform of increased economic growth, and better ties with the PRC under a policy of "mutual nondenial". Ma took office on May 20, 2008. Part of the rationale for campaigning for closer economic ties with the PRC stem from the strong economic growth China attained since joining the World Trade Organization.

Taiwan as an island is insignificant to China on the land size, but a significant historical wound in the history of China. Like a mother lost her child for a long years. Recent development in economical cooperation between the two civil war rival groups is a positive sign for reconciliation, and a positive development to re-unification. President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九)has two chances in history, as hero of unification or miss the opportunity to have his name acknowledged as hero in China history. It is the same with President Hu Jintao(胡锦涛) of People Republic of China, if Germany can do it, why not China; and there is no opposition for German reunification. It is a home affair, the view of external parties is immaterial, as that is the wishes of Chinese people. Reunification is a natural and logical process for a separate civil war rivals. The unification will make some stakeholders uneasy and worry, the green camp and their agenda for independence, Japan which fear a strong neighbor, and USA for their political agenda. Others will welcome reunification for peace in the region. That the wall of separation fall, and a bold step forward by both leaders. Without external interference, reunification will be easy....

Taiwan has always been a wild card in the political and diplomatic games of America; like Tibet, America used the island as their Asia strategy against China, for hidden political reason know very well to themselves. They recognized the sovereign ownership of China over Taiwan, yet supplied arms to Taiwan for defense, a dichotomy in their foreign relationship. It has been played by each US President, whenever their popularity dropped in their country. A hypocritical approach not appropriate for a democracy advocate. Obviously, it is a political games, with no sincerity in recognize China's right on sovereign ownership. Taiwan issue is a domestic political issue, consequence of civil war. But the interference of USA by supplying arms revealed USA is a violation and betrayal of friendly USA-China relationship. A hypocrites with ultimate agenda for independence of Taiwan.........the arm sale need to be nation to nation basis, if the arm sale is to sub-national units, it is clear sign of political support for independence. The arm sale is not solely for business..... it is power games to control the East Asia.

Taiwan is an amazing island, for its economical development, and for its contribution to science and IT. But despite turning to multiparty democracy, the development in politic is her greatest challenge, the other being the unknown future status of Taiwan. For recent earthquake, Taiwan is able to overcome, as in previous earthquakes.

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