The island was the where Chiang Kai Shek's Nationalist forces retreated to once Mao Zedong and the communists took control of the mainland. Taiwan was protected by Communist invasion by the United States Navy. On March 3, 1955, the United States and the Republic of China signed the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty which prevented mainland Chinese takeover of the island. Around this time, the ROC was recognized as the legitimate China over the PRC. This changed in the late 1960s and the 1970s when much of the international community recognized the PRC. In 1971, the ROC was replaced by the PRC in the United Nations Security Council. In 1979, the United States severed relations with Taiwan as it recognized the People's Republic of China as the legitimate government of China as per the "One-China policy." The Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty was terminated on December 31, 1979. Despite this, the United States and most of the international community maintained unofficial relations with Taiwan. The U.S. still continued to supply the most advanced military hardware to the ROC Armed Forces, which included during the 1980s up to the 1990s including the F-16 Falcon as of the breakup of World War III. The Taiwanese were in the process of creating their own fighter jet, the ADIC FCK-1, while was in the process of ordering the French Dassault Mirage 2000.
World War III
Taiwan took a cautious role in the initial stages of the war. It partially mobilized its armed forces after reports of Soviet Air Force TU-95s that crossed nearby Taiwanese and Philippine air space. The ROC anticipated a potential Chinese invasion. Fears of the invasion finally came through in January 1990 when the People's Republic of China entered the war on the side of the Soviet Union. China declared war on the United States and its allies, which included Taiwan. For many years, analysts have predicted that the political status of Taiwan would be a flashpoint for a war in Asia. However, Taiwan had the upper hand since their navy and air force was technologically superior compared to the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy. As predicted, the Taiwan Strait became the a battleground between Chinese and Taiwanese vessels. Taiwanese destroyers were able to sink several PLA vessels, with Taiwan's two submarines purchased from the Netherlands in 1986, the ROCS Hai Lung and the ROCS Hai Hu, became the hunters for PLA ships within the strait. They would also join American, Australian, British, and Japanese submarines attacking ships and naval yards within the Chinese coastline.
Taiwan is a unitary semi-presidential republic. It is heavily based on the ideals of democracy and the right to free-speech. Its political system, the one of the first of its kind in Asia dating back to the 1900-1930s when the Republic of China ruled the mainland, is heavily based on American and European politics.
The founding document is now known as the Constitution of the Republic of Taiwan (formerly known as the Constitution of the Republic of China). It is basically a major revision drafted in January 17, 1992 and went into effect on May 10, 1993.
The three branches of the government are the executive, judiciary, and the legislative.
After the Chinese Civil War and the death of dictator Chiang-Kai Shek in 1975, Taiwan's economy rapidly grew. While the Mainland PRC regime experienced political and economic upheavals, investment and trade agreements from Japan, Europe, and the United States ensured that Taiwan would prosper. The country exports technology advancements, some military equipment to neighboring countries, hardware, fish, aquaculture, rice, and fruits.
Taiwan is one of the four Asian Tigers, alongside with Singapore, Japan, and the Hong Kong Special Autonomous Region.
Defense is the responsibility of the Republic of Taiwan Armed Forces (formerly known as the Republic of China Armed Forces).
As of current times, the military is divided into the following branches:
- Republic of Taiwan Army
- Republic of Taiwan Navy
- Republic of Taiwan Marine Corps (naval infantry)
- Republic of Taiwan Air Force
- Republic of Taiwan Military Police
- Republic of Taiwan Joint Logistics Command
- Republic of Taiwan Armed Forces Reserve
It first saw its action during the turbulent times in the Mainland in the 20th century. Its major engagements included World War II, the Second Sino-Japanese War, First Chinese Civil War, limited action during the Vietnam War, and finally in World War III. It was in the latter where its armed forces were put to the test against the numerically superior People's Liberation Army of the PRC. Taiwan was able to inflict damages on the PRC forces because it had a much superior Navy and Air Force, being supplied by Europe and the United States. It also managed to capture a few PLAN ships and incorporated it in its Navy, of which some are in use and some returned to the Chinese Federated Union.
Taiwan produces some firearms, armored vehicles, and tanks for its military. It sees limited exports to countries abroad.
Taiwan retains its traditional Chinese culture with a blend of Western influences. The country has managed to preserve thousands of years of culture such as teachings, writings, philosophy, religion, sports, art, and cuisine when the KMT retreated to the island at the conclusion of the Chinese Civil War. Taiwan's main religion is Buddhism, although Taoism and Christianity are also practiced by a few of its citizens.
Taiwanese cuisine is comparable to Hong Kong, Macau, and southern China cuisine. Western tourists particularly find Taiwanese cuisine better than the mainland.