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Quick History Taiwan is a small island off the shores of China In 1895 military defeat forced China to cede Taiwan to Japan however it reverted to Chinese control after World War II Following the Communist victory on the mainland in 1949 2 million Nationalists fled to Taiwan and established a government using the 1947 constitution drawn up for all of China Over the next five decades the ruling authorities gradually democratized and incorporated the native population within its governing structure This culminated in 2000 when Taiwan underwent its first peaceful transfer of power from the Nationalist to the Democratic Progressive Party Throughout this period the island has prospered to become one of East Asias economic leaders Taiwan is one of Asias big traders yet has been diplomatically isolated since the 1970s China insists that no country can have formal ties with both Mainland China and Taiwan It has formal diplomatic relations with only 27 countries and has no seat at the United Nations Taiwan Facts There are right now around 22 million people living on the island The major religions are Taoism Buddhism and Christianity The capital of the country is Taipei The current leader is Chen Shui-bian who won the presidential elections in March 2000 ending more than 50 years of uninterrupted Nationalist rule Its main exports are computer equipment textiles basic metals equipment plastic and rubber products and vehicles The media environment in Taiwan is among the freest in Asia and extremely competitive There are about 350 newspapers all privately owned and reflecting a wide range of views Laws which prohibit the promotion of independence from China or communism are not generally enforced Taiwan is considered to have achieved an economic miracle becoming one of the worlds top producers of computer technology In the early 1990s it made the transition from an authoritarian one-party state to a democracy Taiwans Push for Peace Taiwan is the little island which has
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