The early days of Taiwanese politics

Pre 1949
The early days of Taiwanese politics,China and Taiwan relations
  • From 1624-1684, Taiwan was under Dutch rule.
  • From 1684-1895, Taiwan was under China's Qing dynasty.
  • In 1895, Taiwan was ceded to the Japanese and remained under Japanese rule until the end of World War 2 in 1945.
  • From 1945-1949, China and Taiwan were ruled as the Republic of China by the Kuomintang (KMT) government of Chiang-Kai Shek.

The Communist Party rises to power

1949
The Communist Party rises to power
  • In 1949, after weeks of fighting against Mao Zedong, the Kuomintang government fled to Taipei, and established a 'temporary capital' there.
  • World powers refused to acknowledge Mao's control over China (PRC) and the Koumintang government's Republic of China (ROC) was considered the official Chinese government.
  • Following a series of nuclear tests by the PRC, the UN officially recognized it as China's government in 1971.

Taiwan's identity crisis

Fact
Information

Officially, its status as a nation is disputed. However, Taiwan calls itself a sovereign nation and has its own constitution, democratically-elected leaders, and about 300,000 active troops in its armed forces.

One country, two systems

Progress
One country, two systems
  • Relations began to improve in the 1980s and the PRC presented the 'One Country, Two Systems' policy.
  • Under this, Taiwan would be given significant autonomy if it accepted Chinese reunification.
  • Taiwan rejected this offer outright, but relaxed trade and travel restrictions with the mainland.
  • In 1991, Taiwan declared the end of the 'war' with the PRC, that began in 1949.

Transition to democracy

Fact
Personal

Chiang Ching-kuo, Chiang Kai-shek's son and successor as the President, began to liberalize the political system in the mid-1980s. In 1986, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was formed and inaugurated as the first opposition party in the ROC to counter the KMT.

The independence movement and anti-secession laws

Tensions
The independence movement and anti-secession laws
  • In 2000, the DPP's Chen Shui-bian, a pro-independence politician, was voted to power and was re-elected in 2004.
  • This prompted Beijing to issue the anti-secession law, which empowered the PRC to use "non peaceful means" if Taiwan tried to secede.
  • In 2008, Ma Ying-jeou of the Koumintang came to power and resumed reconciliation efforts with the mainland in his 2 successive terms as President.

Protests and a new pro-independence President

Sunflower Movement
Protests and a new pro-independence President
  • Following Ma Ying-jeou's reconciliation policies, many Taiwanese began to grow weary of China's growing influence.
  • In 2014, students began the 'Sunflower Movement' protests against the Cross-Straits Service Trade Agreement and dissent against the Koumintang government picked up pace.
  • In January 2016, Tsai Ing-wen of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party became Taiwan's first female President.
  • The outcome raised significant concerns in Beijing.

China vows to disallow Taiwanese independence bids

6 Mar 2016
China vows to disallow Taiwanese independence bids
  • Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed to disallow any attempts of Taiwan being "split" from China, offering a strong warning to the island against any moves towards independence.
  • Xi made the statements while addressing delegates at the annual meeting of China's national legislature.
  • The statements come after a landslide win by Tsai Ing-wen and her pro independence party in Taiwan's presidential and parliamentary elections.

India dismisses China's protest to Taiwanese delegation, calls them 'informal'

17 Feb 2017
India dismisses China's protest to Taiwanese delegation, calls them 'informal'
  • After the presence of a Taiwanese parliamentary delegation in India was not taken kindly by China, the Indian government said that political conclusions shouldn't be drawn from visits by an "informal" group.
  • Official spokesperson of the MEA Vikas Swarup described the group comprising of Taiwanese academics and business persons.
  • India's reaction followed the Chinese government's diplomatic protest against the same.