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Taiwan Province of the Republic of China
Taiwan Province (Traditional Chinese: 臺灣省) is an administrative subdivision of the Republic of China (ROC) that includes most of the Taiwan Island and surrounding islets, and the Pescadores. Since 1998, the provincial administration has been greatly streamlined, leaving counties and provincial cities the primary divisions in Taiwan Province. Even though the province-level municipalities of Taipei City and Kaohsiung City are on the island of Taiwan, they are not administratively part of the Province, and instead are administered directly by the ROC government. Taiwan Province also excludes Kinmen and Lienchiang Counties, which are adminstered as the ROC part of Fujian Province. The capital of Taiwan Province is Jhongsing Village.
Note: The cities of Taipei and Kaohsiung 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.
Taiwan Province was established in 1887 by the Qing Empire. Previously, the Qing Empire had administered Taiwan as part of Fujian province - as one prefecture from 1680 to 1875 and two prefectures (north and south from 1875 to 1887).
In 1895, Taiwan and the Pescadores was ceded to Japan. Under Japanese rule, the Province was abolished in favor of Japanese-style divisions. After Japan surrendered to the Allied Powers in 1945, the administration of Taiwan was transferred to the Republic of China. The ROC government did not immediately make Taiwan into a province, but put it under military occupation under Chief Executive Chen Yi. Chen was extremely unpopular and under his administration, there was an uprising known as the 228 incident. Chen was recalled in May of 1947 and governor-generalship was abolished. To assure the Taiwanese that they will be treated equally as Chinese people, the Taiwan Provincial Government was established.
When the Kuomintang government fled to Taiwan in 1949, the provincial administration remained in place under the theory that the ROC was still the government of all of China even though critics argued that it overlapped inefficiently with the national government. Until 1992, the governor of Taiwan province was appointed by the ROC central government, and this office was often a stepping stone to higher office.
In the early 1990s, the status of Taiwan Province was reopened. The then-opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) agreed to retain the province with an elected governor in the hopes of creating a Yeltsin effect in which a popular local leader could overwhelm the national government. These hopes proved unfulfilled as then-Kuomintang member James Soong was elected governor of Taiwan by a wide margin defeating the DPP candidate Chen Ding-Nan .
In 1997, as the result of an agreement between the KMT and the DPP, the administration of the province was streamlined in curtailed constitutional changes. For example, the post of provincial governor and the provincial assembly were both abolished and replaced with a nine-member special council. Although the stated purpose was administrative efficiency, many believe that it was actually intended to destroy James Soong's power base and eliminate him from political life. In addition, the provincial legislature was abolished while the Legislative Yuan was expanded to include some of the former provincial legislators. In contrast to the past where the head of Taiwan province was considered a major official, the Governor of the Taiwan Provincial Government after 1999 has been considered a very minor position.
Administrative history (decisions by the Executive Yuan):
- December 25, 1945:
- 8 counties of Taipei, Hsinchu, Taichung, Tainan, Kaohsiung, Hualien, Taitung, and Penghu
- 9 provincial cities: Taipei, Keelung, Hsinchu, Taichung, Changhua, Chiayi, Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Pintung.
- 2 county-controlled cities: Hualien and Yilan
- August 16, 1950:
- 16 counties: all existing ones
- 8 provincial cities: reduced Chiayi a county-controlled city
- December 1, 1951: 5 provincial cities: reduced Hsinchu, Changhua, and Pintung to county-controlled cities
- 1967: Taipei became the first Taiwanese municipality
- November 11, 1967: All county seats (originally towns) upgraded to county-controlled cities.
- 1979: Kaohsiung became the second Taiwanese municipality
- July 1, 1982: 2 new provincial cities: Hsinchu and Chiayi (approved on April 23, 1981)
List of Governors
Chief Executive (行政長官 xingzheng zhangguan):
- Chen Yi (Oct 25, 1945 - May 1947)
Temporarily part of the Executive Yuan, the position was legalized in Taiwan Province Administrative Official Public Ministry Organization Statute (臺灣省行政長官公署組織條例) of September 20, 1945.
Governors (省主席 shengzhuxi, "provincial chairperson"):
- Wey Daw-ming (May 16, 1947 - Jan 5, 1949)
- Chen Tsyr-shiou (Jan 5, 1949 - Dec 21, 1949)
- Wu Gwo-jen (Wu Kuo-chen ) (Dec 21, 1949 - Apr 16, 1953)
- Yu Horng-jiun (Apr 16, 1953 - Jun 7, 1954)
- Yen Chia-kan (Jun 7, 1954 - Aug 16, 1957)
- Chow Chih-jou (Aug 16, 1957 - Dec 1, 1962)
- Huang Chieh (Dec 1, 1962 - Jul 5, 1969)
- Shien Ta-ching (Jul 5, 1969 - Jun 6, 1972)
- Shien Tung-min (Jun 6, 1972 - May 20, 1978)
- Lin Yang-kang (Jun 12, 1978 - Dec 5, 1981)
- Lee Teng-hui (Dec 5, 1981 - May 20, 1984)
- Chiu Chuang-huan (Jun 9, 1984 - Jun 16, 1990)
- Lien Chan (Jun 16, 1990 - Dec 21,1998)
- James Soong (Mar 20, 1993 - Dec 20, 1994):
- James Soong (Dec 20, 1994 - Dec 21, 1998, as Governor of the Province, 省長 shengzhang). The title "Governor" was first legally used in the Self-Governance Law for Provinces and Counties (省縣自治法) of July 29, 1994.
- Chao Shou-po (Dec 21, 1998 - May 20, 2000)
- Chang Po-ya (May 20, 2000 - Feb 1, 2002)
- Fan Kuang-chun (Feb 1, 2002 - Oct 14, 2003)
- Lin Kuang-hua (Oct 14, 2003 - present)
- Taiwan Provincial Government official site
- Data by the Department of Civil Affairs, Ministry of Interior, ROC
"Taiwan Province" of the People's Republic of China
Taiwan Province (Simplified Chinese: 台湾省) is a term used by leaders and people from the People's Republic of China to refer to Taiwan and depending on the context (if referring to the entire Republic of China government as "provincial," as such is often the case) can provoke a bad reaction by most Taiwanese people. The PRC state press commonly uses the term "China's Taiwan province" to refer to Taiwan and "the Taiwan authority" to refer to the ROC government. The United Nations uses the term "Taiwan, Province of China" to refer to the ROC and its jurisdiction. Certain web-based postal address programs also label the country designation name for Taiwan as "Taiwan, Province of China" to the chagrin of the Taiwanese postal authorities. The PRC regards the Republic of China as a defunct (and therefore illegitimate) government replaced by the PRC in the Chinese Civil War and does not recognize the ROC's elevation of Taipei and Kaohsiung into central municipalities. Thus, Taiwan Province is officially represented by the PRC using the borders as they were when the PRC was established in 1949, much in the same way the ROC drew maps depicting mainland borders the way they were in 1949 before the communist takeover.
The main reason that the PRC makes great effort to label Taiwan a province is in preparation for possible military action against Taiwan. In the event of an invasion, the conflict would be considered a civil war, or an internal affair with which other countries, particularly the United States, should not interfere. As the term in these contexts is not neutral and suggests PRC sovereignty over Taiwan, the Republic of China is represented in most international organizations it is part under the name "Chinese Taipei."
See also: political status of Taiwan
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