Taiwan - Country history and economic development

1206. The Island of Taiwan is declared a protectorate of the Chinese Empire.

1622. The Dutch establish a trading post and control much of the Republic of China (ROC) until 1662 when the Chinese expel them.

1887. Taiwan is granted provincial status by the Chinese mainland government.

1895-1945. Taiwan is declared a Japanese colony after the Sino-Japanese war in 1895, and remains a Japanese colony until the end of World War II in 1945.

1947. The Constitution of Taiwan is adopted.

1949. Chinese nationalist forces under Chiang Kai-Shek retreat from the Communist armies on the mainland to Taiwan and take power in Taiwan.

1949-91. Taiwan is officially in a state of war with the Peoples' Republic of China (PRC).

1951-64. The United States injects US$100 million annually into Taiwan's economy, supplying needed capital to Taiwan's industries, which grow rapidly during this period.

1953. The Taiwanese government begins a series of 4-year plans, setting goals and guidelines for economic development.

1961. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is established.

1969. For the first time, a popular national election is held and a handful of national politicians are elected with tenure for life.

1973-74. Taiwan's economic growth suffers a temporary setback due to the world oil crisis.

1975. President Chiang Kai-shek dies. For the next 3 years, the vast powers of the presidency rest in the hands of Premier Chiang Ching-kuo, chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT), the country's sole political party.

1978. Chiang Ching-kuo is elected president. The United States announces its decision to end recognition of the government of Taiwan and to transfer recognition and the United States embassy to the Peoples' Republic of China.

1983. The government opens the stock market to foreign investment.

1987. A vocal opposition, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), is established, thereby challenging the long-running dominance of the Kuomintang (KMT).

1988. The government lifts restrictions on the publication of new daily newspapers.

1989-93. Elections are described by foreign observers as progressively freer, leaving the KMT in power but facing a strong parliamentary opposition.

1993. The Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of China allow the establishment of foreign exchange brokerage businesses and foreign insurance companies.

1994. The government assigns top priority to the implementation of the Twelve Major Construction Projects. A Comprehensive Physical Development Plan is initiated with a view to rationalizing land use, improving the investment climate, and upgrading the quality of life.

1994. President Lee and Premier Lien initiate the White Paper on China, which redefines Taiwan's one-China principle. The leaders of China bitterly oppose Taiwan's new one-China principle and accuse it of trying to establish an independent Taiwan.

1996. Conduct of the first presidential election results in victory for the KMT, with President Lee Teng Hui garnering 54 percent of the vote.

1996. Foreign mutual fund companies are allowed to invest in the stock market.

1997. The Plan for National Development into the Next Century is introduced. Aimed at accelerating Taiwan's transformation into a modern industrialized society, this plan is centered on the achievement of 3 goals: strengthening national competitiveness, improving the quality of life, and promoting sustainable development.

1999. President Lee provokes Beijing's fury in July when he declares that, in the future, Taiwan and China should conduct relations on a "special state-to-state basis," a move away from the official formula that they constituted one temporarily divided country.

2000. The opposition party, DPP, captures the top national positions as Chen Shui-bian and running mate Annette Lu are elected as president and vice-president respectively, breaking 55 years of uninterrupted rule by the KMT.

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