Taiwan's leaders long believed that Taiwan
was the rightful heir to classical Chinese culture. In
Taipei there is a museum with the world's largest
collection of Chinese works of art, objects that
Kuomintang brought from the Emperor's Palace in Beijing
in connection with the flight from the mainland in 1949
(see Modern History). A variety of cultural
institutions, museums and foundations were created to
preserve and develop that culture. Beijing opera,
calligraphy (fiction) and classical landscape painting
were encouraged by the state.
But eventually "real politics" crept into the
cultural realm as well and domestic cultural production
got more leeway. Alongside the official institutions are
Taiwanese folk culture and indigenous culture. In
addition, strong influences remain from the Japanese
occupation and the long-standing trade exchange with the
Western countries has left its mark. Together, the
various impulses create their own Taiwanese cultural
Latest population statistics of Taiwan, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
The contacts with the West have not least left traces
in the visual arts, which are otherwise characterized by
influences from China and Japan. Chinese painting and
calligraphy, for example, are combined with Western
Since the 1980s, a new generation of Taiwanese
filmmakers has attracted international attention.
Director Ang Lee, a resident of the United States, has
made several award-winning films, including
Oscar-winning Crouching tiger, hidden dragon set in
Mao Chi-kuo new prime minister
Mao Chi-kuo is appointed new Prime Minister.
The president resigns as party leader
President Ma resigns as party leader for Kuomintang following the party's
defeat in the local elections.
Election loss for KMT
KMT suffers a stinging defeat in the local elections on November 29. It is
the party's biggest loss in local elections ever. KMT only manages to retain
power in one of the six special municipalities - New Taipei. DPP won in the
rest, while an independent candidate became mayor of the capital Taipei itself.
Even in the elections in the other 16 cities and districts in Taiwan, KMT is
doing poorly, which only wins in five of these. After the election, Prime
Minister Jiang Yi-huah announces that he is leaving his post and that the rest
of the government will also resign. Jiang and his ministers, however, continue
on their posts until successors are appointed.
Former Vice President emphasizes agreement
Vincent Siew, who was previously vice president, meets with Chinese President
Xi Jinping at the Apec meeting in Beijing. Siew emphasizes to Xi Jinping that
both Taiwan and China must ensure that they adhere to the 1992 agreement "that
there is only one China, but that each side has the right to interpret the
meaning of this in its own way".
Deputy Prime Minister dismissed
A Deputy Minister of Taiwan Mainland Mainland Council (MAC) is dismissed
after being accused of leaking information.
Gas explosions in Kaohsiung
Several gas explosions are triggered in the city of Kaohsiung, killing about
twenty people while injuring a few hundred. The explosions are said to have been
caused by a propylene gas leak.
Nuclear power plants have to wait
The government decides to close and seal a disputed fourth nuclear power
plant (see June 2014) for three years. This is the time period
that the government expects is required to carry out the promised referendum on
the future fate of the power plant.
Protests against new nuclear power plant
Shortly thereafter, new protests are emerging in Taipei. This time around,
the protests are about the construction of the fourth nuclear power plant in
Taiwan. Thousands of protesters block the streets of the capital, demanding that
the ongoing construction of the nuclear power plant be completed. The reason is
that the new planned facility would not only be located in an area where there
is a risk of earthquakes but that it will also be located in a very densely
populated metropolitan area north of the capital. President Ma Ying-jeou agrees
to temporarily suspend construction of the work until a referendum is held on
Student occupation ends
On April 10, the students finally end the occupation. At that time, the
President of the Legislative Yuan listened to the students' demands to pass a
law on the control and monitoring of agreements with China before work on the
planned Services and Investment Act progressed. Work on new review legislation
is then started immediately.
Student demonstrations against China cooperation
Students occupy the parliament building, the legislative yuan, in protest
against the decision to have Parliament vote on a planned law on investment and
services trade with China instead of having the law examined by a special
parliamentary committee first. The students are critical of the law, which they
believe will hurt the Taiwanese economy and cause Beijing to have greater
influence over Taiwan. A few days later, students also break into the government
headquarters, the executive yuan. Hundreds of protesters and police are injured
in clashes that follow and sixty protesters are arrested. President Ma Ying-jeou
then agrees that the new trade agreement with China should be examined in detail
in the legislative yuan.
China and Taiwan meet for government-level talks for the first time since
1949, when the Kuomintang Nationalist Party fled to Taiwan after being defeated
by Mao Zedong's Communist army. The meeting in Nanjing city on mainland China is
seen as a clear symbol that relations between Beijing and Taipei are getting
better after the approach that started when Ma Ying-jeou took over the Taiwanese
presidential post in 2008. At the meeting, government representatives agree to
establish a direct channel for further discussions on common issues. At the same
time, both semi-official organizations SEF in Taiwan and Arat in China will
continue to be responsible for negotiating joint agreements (see also Foreign
Policy and Defense).