By Rylie Baldes

Basic Facts

Population: 23,391,000 people.

Capital: Tainan.

Leader and title: Head of State Premier Chang San-cheng.

Government: Multiparty Democracy.

Language: Mandarin Chinese.

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Introduction to Taiwan's History

The History of Taiwan has evidence from ten thousand years ago. This evidence showed that the first settlers created pottery and artifacts. They were fishermen, hunters, and farmers, that used boats to get across the sea. Then the Chinese Immigration began in AD 618, during the reign of the T'ang Dynasty. These Immigrants traveled across the Taiwan Strait from China's Fujian and Guangdong provinces, and they settled on the western coast. They were forced to leave their villages to build new homes in the mountains. There the Chinese Immigrants grew rice and sugarcane, which became a great trading industry with China.

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Taking control of the Island

During the 16th century Portuguese explorers came in hope to find trade. They found an Island and named it Ilha Formosa which means "beautiful island." The Dutch came and invaded the island in 1624 and took over trading posts. Spanish traders then joined on the northern part of the island. The two groups fought over Taiwan, but eventually the Dutch drove the Spanish out in 1641. The Ming Dynasty came over and started a rebellion, which forced the Dutch out in 1662. Zheng known as Koxinga ruled Taiwan. When he died he passed control down to his son, and then to his grandson. Later the Manchu troops came from the mainland and took control of the island.

Japan taking Control

Manchu's ruled for 200 years, soon later there was war between China and Japan who was in control of Korea, and Japan won the war. Next the Taiwanese tried to rebel but soon failed. So Japan was in control of the island from 1895-1945. They built railroads, new buildings, schools, and farms. Because Japan was in control the people were forced to learn Japanese instead of Chinese. When World War II ended, Taiwan became Republic of China. Soon China had civil war. Mao Zedong's communists against General Chiang kai-sheks Nationalists. The Nationalists fled to Taiwan, but the United States helped keep them out of Taiwan through the 1950s and 1960s. When the United States were stationed in Taiwan, the people learned English.

China is leading

China figured that they owned Taiwan.Since there was so much tension between Taiwan and China, in the 1970s Taiwan tried to have peace with China. In 1950s and 1960s Chiang Kai-Shek decided to rule Taiwan with a strong leadership. Chiangs son ruled for a decade, but when he died the first democracy came. In 1990 Lee Teng-hui was elecected president. He is the first Taiwanese born, to lead the country.

Taiwan Now

In 1990 Lee Teng-hui was elected president. He is the first Taiwanese born, to lead the country. Then people called for independence. So in 1997 Taiwan got rid of provincial government, but China threatens to invade if they call for Independence.

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People in Taiwan eat very different than what we eat in the United States. For breakfast they have steamed buns, rice noodles, fried bread sticks, coffee and tea. There main meal is at dinner time, and they usually have soup, rice, meat, and vegetable dishes. They continue to drink tea throughout the day as well. A common veggie is yam leaves. They taste and look like spinach leaves. Some fruits they usually eat are apples, bananas, strawberries, pineapples, mangoes, and watermelons. They snack on shrimp chips, dried squid, and dried tofu. They eat their food with chopsticks and soup spoons.


One of their celebrations is called Ten Day, which represents the Chinese evolution on October 10th in 1911, when the Qing dynasty got overthrown. They celebrate with fireworks, parades, folk dancing, and martial arts. They also celebrate the New Year with fireworks, feasts, and temple worships. The people take the week off for this holiday. Most of the time families have reunions during this time as well. Elders will give kids "lucky money" that come in red envelopes. Most people get up early on New Years Day. Families play Onmahjong, dice games, cards throughout the day. These celebrations last for fifteen days. Another big celebration is the Lantern Festival. Colorful lanterns fill the streets while people watch. Last is the Summer Dragon Boat Festival. This festival celebrates the death of the famous poet Chu Yaun. He died by throwing himself in the river. People that were there at the time of his death, tried to distract the fishes from eating him by dropping rice dumplings in the river. At the festival people eat these dumplings. They are made of sticky rice, pork, boiled peanuts, boiled egg, thats wrapped in bamboo leaf. They are triangle shaped and held together by a small rope. Each year at the Festival there are boat races in hope to find his body.

Lantern Festival

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In Taiwan their literacy rate is 95.55 percent, and schooling is free. You are required to take six years at elementary school starting at the age of six. Then three years at junior high starting at age 12. Last you have to take three years at high school at age fifteen. There are school uniforms required, and junior high and high school classes get out at 9:00 pm. There are placement tests held to decide what high school and college you go to. You also have a choice to prepare for an occupation or to go to a university. The main subjects that are taught are mathematics, science, and literature. In Taiwan art and p.e. are considered important, but they are changing this thought. Students are required to take military and swimming courses, and the boys have to serve for a year after they graduate. Classes have been reduced from 40-50 students, to 25-35 students to improve education. They have gotten better technology in classes, and most parents are helping there kids with homework.

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Most boys in Taiwan wear hoodies, jeans, and hats or blazers. Most Girls wear tights, shorts, skirts, tennis shoes, sandals, and flats.

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