Taiwan. According to countryaah, the current population of Taiwan is 23,816,786. The country got its first female head of state during the year since Tsai Ingwen won the January presidential election. Tsai, who represents the Democratic Progress Party (DPP), was voted against Eric Chu, Nationalist Party (Guomindang, GMD), and James Soong, Party People First (PFP), which she clearly defeated by 56% of the vote. She took office in May. The parliamentary election, held on the same day as the presidential election, also became a success for the DPP, which increased from 43 to 68 seats while the Nationalist Party lost almost half of its seats, from 67 to 35.
In February, 116 people died when a skyscraper collapsed in the city of Tainan in the southwestern part of the country. The disaster was caused by a powerful earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale. An investigation was set up to find out if the house suffered from any design defects.
In January, then-President Ma Ying-jeou visited the island of Itu Aba, which is part of the Spratly Islands. The visit is controversial as China, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines also claim these coral islands and reefs in the South China Sea. In August, President Tsai Ing-wen apologized to the recognized groups in Taiwan’s indigenous peoples for their rights being violated. The President promised increased self-determination, the right to land and greater opportunities for them to preserve their languages.
In December, US incumbent President Donald Trump chose to answer a phone call from President Tsai. Thus, Trump broke with the US foreign policy line that has been operating since 1979, when the United States officially broke with Taiwan and instead established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. A Chinese protest was answered by the White House, which assured that no changes in Chinese policy would occur.
In 2012, six people were executed by the authorities. All in December. They were followed by a further 6 executions in April 2013. At the same time, human rights organizations criticized the authorities’ application of special legislation adopted after typhoon Morakot in 2009 to forcefully displace groups of the country’s indigenous population.
Jiang Yi-huah was appointed prime minister in February 2013. Two weeks into his tenure, he threatened to resign if a referendum to halt the building of the country’s 4th nuclear power plant blocked the work.
- Abbreviation Finder: Check to see how the 3-letter abbreviation of TWN stands for the nation of Taiwan in geography.
In April 2013, Taiwan registered the first case of H7N9 avian influenza outside mainland China. The government adopted a number of measures to prevent the spread in Taiwan.
In May, according to thereligionfaqs, a Taiwanese fishing boat was shot by a Philippine patrol boat in a water both countries claimed. The patrol boat chased the fishing boat for 50 minutes and fired it with automatic weapons. A Taiwanese fisherman was killed. While the Philippines regretted the killing, Taiwan escalated the situation by sending its fleet into the disputed territory. At the same time, Taiwan strongly discouraged Taiwanese from traveling to the Philippines.
Also in May, several high-ranking government officials were arrested for corruption. The government subsequently decided that the Justice Minister should initiate an investigation into the extent of corruption in the state administration and have the corrupt officials and ministers removed.
World recognition of Taiwan has been steadily declining since the 1960s. While 71 states in 1969 recognized Taiwan, the figure was down to 21 in 2014. There were predominantly small island states in the Pacific, and states in Central America and the Caribbean that had previously been US dictatorships. The development was partly due to the decline of the anti-communism that characterized the Cold War and partly to China’s increasing economic importance.
After decades of high economic growth, growth in 2013 fell to 1.7%. Many Taiwanese capitalists chose to invest in China rather than Taiwan to be part of the mainland growth engine. In March 2014, the Taiwan Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement (CSSTA) signed the agreement with China. The cooperation agreement triggered extensive demonstrations in Taiwan, with many believing that the agreement was first and foremost for the rich and for the poor. Students and other activists occupied parliament in the period March 18 to April 10 in protest of the deal.
The November 14 local elections became a disaster for the ruling Kuomintang. The people reacted to the party’s arrogance and to the spring’s CSSTA deal with China. In the capital city of Taipei, an independent candidate won over the KMT candidate. At national level, KMT lost 15-20% of its support. As a result of the election, Prime Minister Jiang resigned the day after. President Ma instead appointed former Deputy Prime Minister Mao Chi-kuo to the post.