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Taiwan Government

    Country name:
    conventional long form: none
    conventional short form: Taiwan
    local long form: none
    local short form: T'ai-wan

    Data code: TW

    Government type: multiparty democratic regime headed by popularly elected president

    Capital: Taipei

    Administrative divisions: since in the past the authorities claimed to be the government of all China, the central administrative divisions include the provinces of Fu-chien (some 20 offshore islands of Fujian Province including Quemoy and Matsu) and Taiwan (the island of Taiwan and the Pescadores islands); note—the more commonly referenced administrative divisions are those of Taiwan Province—16 counties (hsien, singular and plural), 5 municipalities* (shih, singular and plural), and 2 special municipalities** (chuan-shih, singular and plural); Chang-hua, Chia-i, Chia-i*, Chi-lung*, Hsin-chu, Hsin-chu*, Hua-lien, I-lan, Kao-hsiung, Kao-hsiung**, Miao-li, Nan-t'ou, P'eng-hu, P'ing-tung, T'ai-chung, T'ai-chung*, T'ai-nan, T'ai-nan*, T'ai-pei, T'ai-pei**, T'ai-tung, T'ao-yuan, and Yun-lin; the provincial capital is at Chung-hsing-hsin-ts'un
    note: Taiwan uses the Wade-Giles system for romanization

    National holiday: National Day, 10 October (1911) (Anniversary of the Chinese Revolution)

    Constitution: 1 January 1947, amended in 1992, 1994, and 1997

    Legal system: based on civil law system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction, with reservations

    Suffrage: 20 years of age; universal

    Executive branch:
    chief of state: President LEE Teng-hui (succeeded to the presidency following the death of President CHIANG Ching-kuo 13 January 1988, elected by the National Assembly 21 March 1990, elected by popular vote in the first-ever direct elections for president 23 March 1996); Vice President LIEN Chan (since 20 May 1996)
    head of government: Premier (President of the Executive Yuan) Vincent SIEW (since 1 September 1997) and Vice Premier (Vice President of the Executive Yuan) LIU Chao-shiuan (since 10 December 1997)
    cabinet: Executive Yuan appointed by the president
    elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms; election last held 23 March 1996 (next to be held NA 2000); premier appointed by the president; vice premiers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the premier
    election results: LEE Teng-hui elected president; percent of vote—LEE Teng-hui 54%, PENG Ming-min 21%, LIN Yang-kang 15%, and CHEN Li-an 10%

    Legislative branch: unicameral Legislative Yuan (225 seats—168 elected by popular vote, 41 elected on the basis of the proportion of nationwide votes received by participating political parties, eight elected from overseas Chinese constituencies on the basis of the proportion of nationwide votes received by participating political parties, eight elected by popular vote among the aboriginal populations; members serve three-year terms) and unicameral National Assembly (334 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms)
    elections: Legislative Yuan—last held 5 December 1998 (next to be held NA December 2001); National Assembly—last held 23 March 1996 (next to be held NA 2000)
    election results: Legislative Yuan—percent of vote by party—KMT 46%, DPP 29%, CNP 7%, independents 10%, other parties 8%; seats by party—KMT 123, DPP 70, CNP 11, independents 15, other parties 6; National Assembly—percent of vote by party—KMT 55%, DPP 30%, CNP 14%, other 1%; seats by party—KMT 183, DPP 99, CNP 46, other 6

    Judicial branch: Judicial Yuan, justices appointed by the president with the consent of the National Assembly

    Political parties and leaders: Kuomintang or KMT (Nationalist Party) [LEE Teng-hui, chairman]; Democratic Progressive Party or DPP [LIN Yi-Hsiung, chairman]; Chinese New Party or CNP [leader NA]; Taiwan Independence Party or TAIP [HSU Shih-Kai]; other various parties

    Political pressure groups and leaders: Taiwan independence movement, various business and environmental groups
    note: debate on Taiwan independence has become acceptable within the mainstream of domestic politics on Taiwan; political liberalization and the increased representation of opposition parties in Taiwan's legislature have opened public debate on the island's national identity; advocates of Taiwan independence oppose the ruling party's traditional stand that the island will eventually reunify with mainland China; goals of the Taiwan independence movement include establishing a sovereign nation on Taiwan and entering the UN; other organizations supporting Taiwan independence include the World United Formosans for Independence and the Organization for Taiwan Nation Building

    International organization participation: APEC, AsDB, BCIE, ICC, IOC, WCL, WTrO (applicant)

    Diplomatic representation in the US: none; unofficial commercial and cultural relations with the people of the US are maintained through a private instrumentality, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO) with headquarters in Taipei and field offices in Washington and 12 other US cities

    Diplomatic representation from the US: none; unofficial commercial and cultural relations with the people on Taiwan are maintained through a private institution, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), which has its headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia (telephone: [1] (703) 525-8474 and FAX: [1] (703) 841-1385) and offices in Taipei at #7 Lane 134, Hsin Yi Road, Section 3, telephone [886] (2) 2709-2000, FAX [886] (2) 2702-7675, and in Kao-hsiung at #2 Chung Cheng 3d Road, telephone [886] (7) 224-0154 through 0157, FAX [886] (7) 223-8237, and the American Trade Center at Room 3207 International Trade Building, Taipei World Trade Center, 333 Keelung Road Section 1, Taipei 10548, telephone [886] (2) 2720-1550, FAX [886] (2) 2757-7162

    Flag description: red with a dark blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing a white sun with 12 triangular rays

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Revised 1-Mar-99
Copyright © 1999 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)