Taiwan officially the Republic of China (ROC; Chinese: 中華民國;pinyin: Zhōnghuá Mínguó), is a state in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China now governs the island of Taiwan(formerly known as “Formosa”), which makes up over 99% of its territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and other minor islands. Neighboring states include the People’s Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east and northeast, and the Philippines to the south. Taipei is the political capital as well as economic and cultural centre in Taiwan. New Taipei is the most populous city.
The island of Taiwan was mainly inhabited by Taiwanese aborigines until the Dutch period in the 17th century when ethnic Chinese began immigrating to the island. The Qing Dynasty of China later conquered Taiwan in 1683. By the time Taiwan was ceded to Japan in 1895, the majority of Taiwan’s inhabitants were Han Chinese either by ancestry or by assimilation. The Republic of China (ROC) was established in China in 1912. At the end of World War II in 1945, Japan surrendered Taiwan to ROC military forces on behalf of the Allies. Following the Chinese civil war, theCommunist Party of China took full control of mainland China and founded the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949. The ROC relocated its government to Taiwan, and its jurisdiction became limited to Taiwan and its surrounding islands. In 1971, the PRC assumed China’s seat at the United Nations, which the ROC originally occupied. International recognition of the ROC has gradually eroded as most countries switched recognition to the PRC. Only 22 UN member states and the Holy See currently maintain formal diplomatic relations with the ROC, though it has informal ties with most other states via its representative offices.