Taiwan Province

Taiwan Province
Taiwan Province
Taiwan Province in dark grey
Taiwan Province of the Republic of China (in dark grey). The Tiaoyutai Islands to the northeast of the main island of Taiwan, claimed by the ROC are excluded from this map.
Capital Jhongsing Village
Official languages Guoyu
Demonym Taiwanese
Area 26,328.996 km² (1st)
Population (Feb 2006) 9,265,538 (1st)
Population density 351.9 /km2 (911 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups Han Chinese - 97.5%
Other - 2.5%
County-level divisions 16
Township-level divisions 287
Currency New Taiwan dollar (NT$)
Currency code TWD
GDP (PPP) NT$ to be added billion

Taiwan Province (traditional Chinese: 臺灣省 or 台灣省; simplified Chinese: 台湾省; pinyin: Táiwān Shěng) is one of the two administrative divisions referred to as provinces and is controlled by the Republic of China (ROC), also known as "Taiwan". The province covers approximately 73% of the territory controlled by the Republic of China. Geographically it covers the majority of the island of Taiwan as well as all the smaller islands surrounding it, the largest of which are the Penghu archipelago, the Green Island and the Orchid Island. Taiwan Province excludes the Kinmen and Lienchiang counties, which are administered as Fujian province, and the special municipalities of Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taichung, Tainan, and New Taipei, all of which located geographically within the island of Taiwan.

However, since 1997 most of the Taiwan provincial government's functions have been transferred to the central government of the Republic of China following a constitutional amendment, now the Taiwan provincial government effectively becomes a nominal institution under executive yuan's administration.[1][2]

The People's Republic of China (PRC) in mainland China regards itself as the "successor state" of the Republic of China (ROC)[citation needed], which the PRC claims no longer legitimately exists, following the defeat of ROC forces in Mainland China. The PRC further claims that, as such, the PRC has sovereignty over all of China, which it claims the island of Taiwan is a part of, even though the PRC itself has never had control of Taiwan or other ROC-held territories. The ROC disputes this position, maintaining that it still legitimately exists and that the PRC has not succeeded it to sovereignty.



In 1683, following a naval engagement with Admiral Shi Lang, Koxinga's (Cheng Ch'eng Kung) grandson Zheng Keshuang and ruler of Taiwan submitted to the Qing Dynasty (then romanised as Ch'ing Dynasty). Then the Qing Dynasty ruled Taiwan (including Penghu) as a prefecture of Fujian Province. In 1875, Taipei Prefecture was separated from the original prefecture. In 1885, Taiwan was made a separate province.

In 1895, Taiwan was ceded to Japan following the First Sino-Japanese War. Under Japanese rule, the province was abolished in favour of Japanese-style divisions. After Japan surrendered in 1945 Republic of China obtained control of Taiwan.

The ROC government immediately established Taiwan Provincial Government under first Chief Executive Chen Yi in September 1945.[3][4] Chen was extremely unpopular and his rule led to an uprising - the 228 incident. Chen was recalled in May 1947 and the government-general was abolished.

When the Republic of China government was relocated to Taipei in 1949 as a result of the Kuomintang's (KMT) defeat by the Chinese Communist Party forces in the Chinese Civil War, the provincial administration remained in place under the claim that the ROC was still the government of all of China even though the opposition argued that it overlapped inefficiently with the national government.

The building of the Provincial Government of the Taiwan Province at Jhongsing Village

The seat of the provincial government was moved from Taipei to Zhongxing New Village (Chunghsing Village) in 1956. In 1967 and 1979 respectively, the cities of Taipei and Kaohsiung were separated from the province and turned into special municipalities.

Until 1992, the governor of Taiwan province was appointed by the ROC central government. The office was often a stepping stone to higher office.

In 1992, the post of the governor of the province was opened to election. 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 the Taiwan province 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, Soong and his supporters claim that it was actually intended to destroy James Soong's power base and eliminate him from political life, though it did not have this effect. In addition, the provincial legislature was abolished while the Legislative Yuan was expanded to include some of the former provincial legislators.

Prior to January 1, 2007 all vehicles registered in Taiwan Province carried the label "Taiwan Province" (台灣省) on their license plates.

The provincial administration has been greatly streamlined in 1998, leaving counties and provincial cities the primary divisions in Taiwan Province. 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.


Since the streamlining of the Taiwan Provincial Government in 1998, the government has been headed by a provincial council of nine members, led by the provincial governor. The members of the Provincial Council are all appointed by the President of the Republic of China. The major operations of the provincial government, such as managing provincial highways and the Bank of Taiwan, have been transferred to the Executive Yuan.


Taiwan Province is divided into 12 counties (縣 xiàn) and 3 provincial cities (市 shì):

No. Romanization Chinese Hanyu Pinyin Population Area (km2) Province/City/County Seat Map
Provincial cities (市 shì)
Subdivision types of the Republic of China (2010).svg

     = Special Municipality (直轄市)
     = Provincial City (省轄市 or 市)
     = County (縣)
1 Chiayi City 嘉義市 Jiāyì Shì 272,390 60.0256 East District 東區
2 Hsinchu City 新竹市 Xīnzhú Shì 415,344 104.1526 North District 北區
3 Keelung City 基隆市 Jīlóng Shì 384,134 132.7589 Zhongzheng District 中正區
Counties (縣 xiàn)
4 Changhua County 彰化縣 Zhānghuà Xiàn 1,307,286 1,074.3960 Changhua City 彰化市
5 Chiayi County 嘉義縣 Jiāyì Xiàn 543,248 1,903.6367 Taibao City 太保市
6 Hsinchu County 新竹縣 Xīnzhú Xiàn 513,015 1,427.5369 Zhubei City 竹北市
7 Hualien County 花蓮縣 Huālián Xiàn 338,805 4,628.5714 Hualien City 花蓮市
8 Miaoli County 苗栗縣 Miáolì Xiàn 560,968 1,820.3149 Miaoli City 苗栗市
9 Nantou County 南投縣 Nántóu Xiàn 526,491 4,106.4360 Nantou City 南投市
10 Penghu County 澎湖縣 Pénghú Xiàn 96,918 126.8641 Magong City 馬公市
11 Pingtung County 屏東縣 Píngdōng Xiàn 873,509 2,775.6003 Pingtung City 屏東市
12 Taitung County 臺東縣,台東縣 Táidōng Xiàn 230,673 3,515.2526 Taitung City 臺東市
13 Taoyuan County 桃園縣 Táoyuán Xiàn 2,002,060 1,220.9540 Taoyuan City 桃園市
14 Yilan County 宜蘭縣 Yílán Xiàn 460,486 2,143.6251 Yilan City 宜蘭市
15 Yunlin County 雲林縣 Yúnlín Xiàn 717,653 1,290.8326 Douliu City 斗六市

Note: The cities of Kaohsiung, New Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, and Taipei are administered directly by the central government and are not part of Taiwan province. The PRC, which does not administer Taiwan Province, does not recognize Kaohsiung, New Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, and Taipei as central municipalities and lists them as provincial municipalities.

The Senkaku Islands, which is currently administered by Japan is disputed by both the ROC and PRC which claims them as Tiaoyutai/Diaoyutai Islands. The ROC government claims them as part of Toucheng Township, Yilan County.

Administrative history

Decisions by the Executive Yuan since 1945:

  • 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
  • July 1, 1967: Taipei became the first Taiwanese municipality
  • November 11, 1967: All county seats (originally towns) upgraded to county-controlled cities.
  • July 1, 1979: Kaohsiung became the second Taiwanese municipality
  • July 1, 1982: 2 new provincial cities: Hsinchu and Chiayi (approved on April 23, 1981)
  • December 25, 2010: Taipei County (renamed New Taipei City) was upgraded to municipal status along with the merged Taichung City (encompassing Taichung City and Taichung County) and the merged Tainan City (encompassing Tainan City and Tainan County); also Kaohsiung County was merged with the already upgraded Kaohsiung City.

List of Governors

Chief Executive

The position of Chief Executive (Chinese: 行政長官; Tongyong Pinyin: síngjhèng jhǎngguan; Hanyu Pinyin: xíngzhèng zhǎngguān) was 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 Táiwān-shěng xíngzhèng zhǎngguān gōngshǔ zǔzhī tiáolì) of September 20, 1945.

Governor Chinese Tongyong Pinyin Hanyu Pinyin Term in office
Chen Yi 陳儀 Chen Yí Chen Yí August 29, 1945 - April 22, 1947

Chairman of the Provincial Government

Governors (Chinese: 省主席; Tongyong Pinyin: shěngjhǔsí; Hanyu Pinyin: shěngzhǔxí, "provincial chairperson"):

Governor Chinese Tongyong Pinyin Hanyu Pinyin Term in office
Wey Daw-ming 魏道明 Wèi Dàomíng Wèi Dàomíng May 16, 1947 - January 5, 1949
Chen Cheng 陳誠 Chén Chéng Chén Chéng January 5, 1949 - December 21, 1949
Wu Gwo-jen (Wu Kuo-chen) 吳國楨 Wú Guójhen Wú Guózhēn December 21, 1949 - April 16, 1953
Yu Horng-jiun 俞鴻鈞 Yú Hóngjun Yú Hóngjūn April 16, 1953 - June 7, 1954
Yen Chia-kan 嚴家淦 Yán Jiagàn Yán Jiāgàn June 7, 1954 - August 16, 1957
Chow Chih-jou 周至柔 Jhou Jhìhróu Zhōu Zhìróu August 16, 1957 - December 1, 1962
Huang Chieh 黃傑 Huáng Jié Huáng Jié December 1, 1962 - July 5, 1969
Chen Ta-ching 陳大慶 Chén Dàcìng Chén Dàqìng July 5, 1969 - June 6, 1972
Shien Tung-min 謝東閔 Siè Dongmǐn Xiè Dōngmǐn June 6, 1972 - May 20, 1978
Lin Yang-kang 林洋港 Lín Yánggǎng Lín Yánggǎng June 12, 1978 - December 5, 1981
Lee Teng-hui 李登輝 Lǐ Denghuei Lǐ Dēnghuī December 5, 1981 - May 20, 1984
Chiu Chuang-huan 邱創煥 Ciou Chuànghuàn Qīu Chuànghuàn June 9, 1984 - June 16, 1990
Lien Chan 連戰 Lián Jhàn Lián Zhàn June 16, 1990 - February 25, 1993
James Soong 宋楚瑜 Sòng Chǔyú Sòng Chǔyú March 20, 1993 - December 20, 1994


Governor of the Province(Chinese: 省長; Tongyong Pinyin: shěngjhǎng; Hanyu Pinyin: shěngzhǎng). 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.

Governor Chinese Tongyong Pinyin Hanyu Pinyin Term in office
James Soong 宋楚瑜 Sòng Chǔyú Sòng Chǔyú December 20, 1994 - December 21, 1998

Chairman of the Provincial Government

Since the streamlining of the Taiwan Provincial Government in 1998, the government has been headed by a provincial council of nine members, led by the provincial governor. The members of the Provincial Council are all appointed by the president of the Republic of China. The major operations of the provincial government, such as managing provincial highways and the Bank of Taiwan, have been transferred to the Executive Yuan.

Governor Chinese Tongyong Pinyin Hanyu Pinyin Term in office
Chao Shou-po 趙守博 Jhào Shǒubó Zhào Shǒubó December 21, 1998 - May 20, 2000
Chang Po-ya 張博雅 Jhang Bóyǎ Zhāng Bóyǎ May 20, 2000 - February 1, 2002
Fan Kuang-chun 范光群 Fàn Guangcyún Fàn Guāngqún February 1, 2002 - October 13, 2003
Lin Kuang-hua 林光華 Lín Guanghuá Lín Guānghuá October 13, 2003 - January 25, 2006
Lin Si-yao 林錫耀 Lín Síyào Lín Xíyào December 7, 2007 - May 19, 2008
Tsai Hsun-hsiung 蔡勳雄 Cài Syunsyóng Cài Xūnxióng May 20, 2008 - September 10, 2009
Chang Jin-Fu 張進福 Jhang Jìnfú Zhāng Jìnfú September 10, 2009 - February 26, 2010
Lin Jenq-Tzer 林政則 Lín Jhèngzé Lín Zhèngzé February 26, 2010 -

PRC's claims

The PRC claims the entirety of the island of Taiwan and its surrounding islets, including the Pescadores, as parts of its Taiwan Province. The PRC claims that Taiwan is part of China, that the PRC succeeded the ROC as the sole legitimate authority in all of China upon its founding in 1949, and that therefore Taiwan is part of the PRC.

The claimed official borders and divisions of the Taiwan Province of People's Republic of China mirror those of the ROC Taiwan Province before 1949. The PRC has not acknowledged any changes made post-1949 by the ROC. Thus, the elevation of Taipei, Kaohsiung, Taipei County (now New Taipei City), Taichung, and Tainan to be provincial-level cities have not been recognized by the PRC, and all of these cities appear as part of Taiwan Province in publications issued by the PRC. Also, the PRC still regards Taipei as the capital city of Taiwan Province, instead of Jhongsing Village which is the capital of the ROC Taiwan Province. This is analogous to the previous practice of the ROC in producing maps depicting mainland administrative boundaries the way they were in 1949.

Both the PRC and the ROC claim the Diaoyutai (Senkaku) Islands, administered by Japan, as a part of their own respective Taiwan Provinces.


Thirteen delegates are elected to the National People's Congress to represent Taiwan Province. These delegates have Hokkien and Holo ancestry whose ancestors were in Taiwan at some point, and are elected by a constituency comprising people with Taiwanese ancestry, not by present residents of Taiwan. As the older members retire or die, newer members tend to be born in mainland China.[citation needed]

Sister States/Provinces

See also

Further reading

  • Bush, R. & O'Hanlon, M. (2007). A War Like No Other: The Truth About China's Challenge to America. Wiley. ISBN 0471986771
  • Bush, R. (2006). Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait. Brookings Institution Press. ISBN 0815712901
  • Carpenter, T. (2006). America's Coming War with China: A Collision Course over Taiwan. Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 1403968411
  • Cole, B. (2006). Taiwan's Security: History and Prospects. Routledge. ISBN 0415365813
  • Copper, J. (2006). Playing with Fire: The Looming War with China over Taiwan. Praeger Security International General Interest. ISBN 0275988880
  • Federation of American Scientists et al. (2006). Chinese Nuclear Forces and U.S. Nuclear War Planning
  • Gill, B. (2007). Rising Star: China's New Security Diplomacy. Brookings Institution Press. ISBN 0815731469
  • Shirk, S. (2007). China: Fragile Superpower: How China's Internal Politics Could Derail Its Peaceful Rise. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195306090
  • Tsang, S. (2006). If China Attacks Taiwan: Military Strategy, Politics and Economics. Routledge. ISBN 0415407850
  • Tucker, N.B. (2005). Dangerous Strait: the U.S.-Taiwan-China Crisis. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0231135645


External links

Coordinates: 23°48′N 121°00′E / 23.8°N 121.0°E / 23.8; 121.0

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