Zhōnghuá Mínguó

Republic of China

Flag of the Republic of China File:Emblem of the Republic of China.svg
National Anthem of the Republic of China
National Flag Anthem
Location of Taiwan
Government Semi-presidential republic
President of the Republic of China
- From 2008Ma Ying-jeou
President of the Executive Yuan
- From 2009Wu Den-yih
Legislature Legislative Yuan
December 7, 1949Government relocated to Taipei
Area36,191.4667 km²
- 201023,150,923
GDP2010 (PPP)
- TotalUS$ 804.3 billion
- Per capitaUS$ 34,743
CurrencyNew Taiwan dollar
Flag of the Republic of China Republic of China

The Republic of China is a semi-presidential republic in Asia, which has been located on the island of Taiwan since 1949. The Republic of China was established in 1912 and was the internationally recognized government of China until the 1970's. Mainland China has been under the control of the People's Republic of China since 1949, and has since the 1970's gradually established itself as the internationally recognized government of China.


In 1895, military defeat forced China to cede Taiwan to Japan. Taiwan reverted to Chinese control after World War II. Following the Communist victory on the mainland in 1949, 2 million 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 local population within the governing structure. In 2000, Taiwan underwent its first peaceful transfer of power from the Nationalist to the Democratic Progressive Party. Throughout this period, the island prospered and became one of East Asia's economic "Tigers." 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.[1]


Taiwan has a dynamic capitalist economy with gradually decreasing government guidance of investment and foreign trade. In keeping with this trend, some large, state-owned banks and industrial firms have been privatized. Exports, led by electronics and machinery, generate about 70% of Taiwan's GDP growth, and have provided the primary impetus for economic development. This heavy dependence on exports exposes the economy to upturns and downturns in world demand. In 2009, Taiwan's GDP fell by 1.9%, due primarily to a 20% year-on-year decline in exports. In 2010 GDP grew 10.5%, as exports returned to the level of previous years. Taiwan's diplomatic isolation, low birth rate, and rapidly aging population are major long-term challenges. Free trade agreements have proliferated in East Asia over the past several years, but so far Taiwan has been excluded from this greater economic integration, largely because of its diplomatic status. Taiwan's birth rate of only 1.0 children per woman is among the lowest in the world, raising the prospect of future labor shortages, falling domestic demand, and declining tax revenues. Taiwan's population is aging quickly, with the number of people over 65 accounting for 10.7% of the island's total population as of the end of 2010. The island runs a large trade surplus, and its foreign reserves are the world's fourth largest, behind China, Japan, and Russia. Since President MA Ying-jeou took office in May 2008, cross-Strait economic ties have increased significantly. Since 2005 China has overtaken the US to become Taiwan's second-largest source of imports after Japan. China is also the island's number one destination for foreign direct investment. Taiwan has focused much of its efforts on improving the cross-Strait economic relationship. Three financial memorandums of understanding, covering banking, securities, and insurance, took effect in mid-January 2010, opening the island to greater investments from the mainland's financial firms and institutional investors, and providing new opportunities for Taiwan financial firms to operate in China. Taiwan and the mainland in June 2010 signed the landmark Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA), an agreement that the Taiwan authorities hope will eventually lead to a free-trade arrangement that will increase cross-Strait economic ties by lowering tariffs on a number of goods and by reducing market access barriers for services. The Taiwan authorities have said that the ECFA will serve as a stepping stone toward trade pacts with other regional partners and they announced that formal negotiations towards an economic cooperation agreement with Singapore would begin in 2011. Closer economic links with the mainland brings greater opportunities for the Taiwan economy, but also poses new challenges. For example, FDI in China has resulted in Chinese import substitution away from Taiwan's exports and a restriction of potential job creation in Taiwan.[2]

President of the Republic of China

  • Ma Ying-jeou () (May 20, 2008 - )

President of the Executive Yuan

  • Wu Den-yih () (10 September 2009 - )


  • Flag of the Republic of China China (Republic of China)

Republic of China


  1. The CIA World Factbook: Introduction - Background
  2. The CIA World Factbook: Economy - Overview
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