Taiwan (臺灣, formally the Democratic State of Taiwan), is a state located on the island of the same name in East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. It was a former Japanese colony between 1895-1945.
Near the end of the Great Pacific War the Provisional Government proclaimed independence and established the Democratic State of Taiwan. The Provisional Government had previously coordinated the retreat and evacuation of Japanese soldiers and officials.
The Joint Allies Administration of Taiwan (JAAT), integrated by China, USA, France and ICF, recognized the already installed government after the surrender of the Empire of Japan (1945).
In 1945 constituent assembly elected by universal suffrage drafted and adopted a constitution. The question of Chinese reunification, was left to be decided in a referendum in a future date to be determined, once the situation in the mainland had stabilized.
Previously, Japan's educational and cultural policies where to Japanize Taiwan. This effort taught Taiwan’s elite, Japanese culture and language. After independence two opposing policies, Sinicization and Taiwanization, disputed the organization of the educational system. Over time a form of compromise was reached, Mandarin has the state language, instructional medium used secondary education, and Hokkien recognized has auxiliary language in local government and courts of justice.
In 1947, the People's Liberation War in continental China opened negotiations United States and Federation of Socialist Republics. Both powers feared a regional conflict in Asia due to a new Chinese civil war, so they agreed a Security of China Agreement. By this treaty both parties agreed not to deploy their armed forces or permit any third parties to intervene in China. Mongolia and Taiwan where guaranteed their defense from attacks of China or any party. This allowed the signing between US and Taiwan of the Mutual Defense Treaty.
According to the constitution, based on the Chinese Five-power Constitutional theory, the State is organized as follows:
- the executive is organized with a:
- President that is the Head of State. He is elected by direct election for a term of four years. The President is commander-in-chief of the military. The president is responsible for conducting foreign relations, such as concluding treaties, declaring war, and making peace. The president must promulgate all laws and decree and has right of complete and partial veto. Other powers of the president include granting amnesty, pardon or clemency, declaring martial law, and conferring honors and decorations. The President is also safeguards relationship and is mediator of the five Yuans and and arbitrates if differences arise.
- The Head of State is Premier and the Executive Yuan that functions the central government. Legally, the Executive Yuan must present the Legislative Yuan with an annual policy statement and an administrative report. The Legislative Yuan may also summon members of the Executive Yuan for questioning. Also the Legislative Yuan can impeach the President and Executive Yuan, and censure the Executive Yuan previous report from the Control Yuan.
- The main legislative body is the unicameral Legislative Yuan. A number of seats are reserved to represent aboriginal groups. Members serve four-year terms. The Legislative Yuan may initiate a no-confidence vote against the premier. The Legislative Yuan ca override a Presidential veto by two-thirds majority.
- The Judicial Yuan is the highest judicial organ. It interprets the constitution and other laws and decrees, the justices administrative suits, and disciplines public functionaries. The President and Vice-President of the Judicial Yuan and fifteen Justices form the Council of Grand Justices. They are nominated and appointed by the President of the Republic, with the consent of the Legislative Yuan. The highest court, the Supreme Court, consists of a number of civil and criminal divisions, each of which is formed by a presiding Judge and four Associate Judges, all appointed for a six year term.
- The Control Yuan is highest audit agency. The structure of the Control Yuan consists of the President, Vice President (both appointed by the President, with the consent of the Legislative Yuan), a 27-member council and the Ministry of Audit. The members of the council are appointed by the councils provinces and special municipalities, and
- The Examination Yuan is the civil service examination and organization agency. The Examination Yuan has a president, a vice president, and 19 ministers without portfolio, all of whom are special appointees nominated by the President of the Republic. They are appointed to six-year terms upon confirmation by the Legislative Yuan. The Examination names two ministries to the Executive Yuan (Ministry of Examination and the Ministry of Civil Service).
Internal administrative divisions
Taiwan is divided in Provinces and Special Municipalities (Taiwan and Tainan), below this level the provinces are divided in districts and Villages.
The main political parties are: New People Society, Taiwanese Cultural Association, Taiwanese People's Party, Taiwanese Communist Party, Democratic Constitutional Party and Taiwan Independence Party.
The Armed forces are organized in the Taiwan Defense Forces. It is composed of the following services:
- Taiwan Defense Army
- Taiwan Navy
- Taiwan Air Force and Air Defense, and
- Taiwan Coastal Guard Service
The armed forces where organized from the personal of disbanded Taiwan Army of Japan (part of the Imperial Japanese Army) and equipment left behind during the Japanese retreat and evacuation. The Mutual Defense Treaty, allows defensive military assistance, sale of appropriate defensive military equipment and use of naval bases in Taiwan by US.
Public order is in charge of the Taiwan Police Administration, based on the former Japanese Colonial Police.