Taiwan Province

Taiwan Province

Full name transcription(s)
 • Chinese臺灣省
 • Mandarin PYTáiwān Shěng
 • Taiwanese POJTâi-oân-séng
 • Hakka PFSThòi-vàn-sén or
Flag of Taiwan Province
Official seal of Taiwan Province
Map showing the location of Taiwan Province
Map showing the location of Taiwan Province
Coordinates: 23°48′N 121°00′E / 23°48′N 121°00′E / 23.8; 121.0
CountryRepublic of China
Split from Fukien Province1885
Province ceded to JapanApril 17, 1895
Resumption of Chinese ruleOctober 25, 1945
Government streamlinedDecember 21, 1998
Government defunctJuly 1, 2018[1]
Named forSee Taiwan
Provincial capitalTaipei (1945–1956)
Zhongxing New Village (1956–2018)
Largest cityHsinchu
Divisions3 cities, 11 counties
 • BodyTaiwan Provincial Government (defunct)
 • Governor(vacant)
 • CouncilTaiwan Provincial Consultative Council (defunct)
 • Total25,110.0037 km2 (9,695.0266 sq mi)
(Oct 2018)
 • Total7,095,464
 • Density280/km2 (730/sq mi)
 • LanguagesTaiwanese Hokkien
Taiwanese Hakka
Formosan languages
Time zoneUTC+8 (National Standard Time)
Postal codes
200–206, 260–369, 500–655, 880–885, 900–983
Area codes(0)2, (0)3, (0)4, (0)5, (0)6, (0)8
www.tpg.gov.tw (not updated after July 1, 2018)
Taiwan (Chinese characters).svg
"Taiwan" in Traditional (top) and Simplified (bottom) Chinese characters
Traditional Chinese臺灣
Simplified Chinese台湾
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Taiwan Province
Traditional Chinese臺灣 or 台灣
Simplified Chinese台湾

Taiwan Province (Chinese: 臺灣省; Pinyin: Táiwān Shěng; POJ: Tâi-oân-séng; PFS: Thòi-vàn-sén or Thòi-vân-sén) is a province of the Republic of China without administrative function. Its administrative powers have been transferred to the central and county governments.

Taiwan Province covers approximately 69% of the actual-controlled territory of the Republic of China, with around 31% of the total population. The province initially included the island of Taiwan (Formosa), Penghu (the Pescadores), Orchid Island, Green Island, Xiaoliuqiu Island, and their surrounding islands. Between 1967 and 2014, six special municipalities (Kaohsiung, New Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, Taipei and Taoyuan) were split off from the province, all in the most populous regions.

The Taiwan Provincial Government was established in September 1945, after the Japanese rule. It was downscaled in December 1998, and all the remaining duties and functions have been transferred to the National Development Council and other ministries of the Executive Yuan in July 2018.[2]

Note that Kinmen and Matsu Islands are placed under the Fujian Province by the government of the Republic of China. (not to be confused with the Fujian Province of the People's Republic of China)


Qing Dynasty

In 1683, Zheng Keshuang (third ruler of the Kingdom of Tungning and a grandson of Koxinga), surrendered to the Qing following a naval engagement with Admiral Shi Lang. The Qing then ruled the Taiwanese archipelago (including Penghu) as Taiwan Prefecture of Fujian Province. In 1875, Taipeh Prefecture was separated from Taiwan Prefecture. In 1885, work commenced under the auspices of Liu Ming-chuan to develop Taiwan into a province. In 1887, the island was designated as a province (officially Fokien-Taiwan Province [zh]), with Liu as the first governor.[3] The province was also reorganized into four prefectures, eleven districts, and three sub-prefectures.[4][5] The provincial capital, or "Taiwan-fu", was intended to be moved from the south (modern-day Tainan) to the more central area of Toatun (modern-day Taichung) in the revamped Taiwan Prefecture.[6] As the new central Taiwan-fu was still under construction, the capital was temporarily moved north to Taipeh (modern-day Taipei), which eventually was designated the provincial capital.

Divisions of Taiwan (Formosa) as a province[7]
Circuit Prefectures Districts Sub-Prefectures
Taiwan Taipeh Tamsui Kelung
Taiwan Taiwan (臺灣縣)
Changwha Puli
Tainan Anping Penghu

Empire of Japan

In 1895, the entire Taiwan Province, including Penghu, was ceded to Japan following the First Sino-Japanese War through the Treaty of Shimonoseki. Under Japanese rule, the province was abolished in favour of Japanese-style divisions. After the surrender of Japan in 1945, the Taiwan was handed over to the Republic of China (ROC). The way that the ROC obtained Taiwan is a subject of controversy that gave root to the complex unresolved political status of Taiwan and the Taiwan independence movement.

Republic of China

Map of Taiwan Province, ROC (1945-1949)
Prior to January 1, 2007 all vehicles registered in Taiwan Province carried the label "Taiwan Province" (台灣省) on their license plates.

The ROC government immediately established the Taiwan Provincial Government under first Chief Executive and government-general Chen Yi in September 1945.[8][9] Chen was extremely unpopular and his rule led to an uprising – the February 28 Incident of 1947. Chen was recalled in May 1947 and the government-general position was abolished.

When the Republic of China government was relocated to Taipei in 1949 as a result of the Kuomintang's (KMT) defeat by the Communist Party of China forces in the Chinese Civil War, the provincial administration remained in place under the claim that the ROC was still the government of all of China even though the opposition argued that it overlapped inefficiently with the national government.

The seat of the provincial government was moved from Taipei to Zhongxing New Village in 1956. Historically, Taiwan Province covers the entire island of Taiwan and all its associated islands. The city of Taipei was split off to become a province-level special municipality in 1967, and the city of Kaohsiung was split off in 1979 to become another special municipality. In December 2010, Kaohsiung County left the province and merged with the original Kaohsiung City to become an expanded Kaohsiung City, Taipei County became the special municipality named New Taipei City. The cities and counties of Taichung and Tainan were also merged, respectively, and elevated to special municipality. On 25 December 2014, Taoyuan County was upgraded into a special municipality and split off from Taiwan Province.

Until 1992, the governor of Taiwan province was appointed by the ROC central government. The office was often a stepping stone to higher office.

In 1992, the post of the governor of the province was opened to election. The then-opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) agreed to retain the province with an elected governor in the hopes of creating a "Yeltsin effect" in which a popular local leader could overwhelm the national government. These hopes proved unfulfilled as then-Kuomintang member James Soong was elected governor of Taiwan province, defeating the DPP candidate Chen Ding-nan.

In 1997, as the result of an agreement between the KMT and the DPP, the powers of the provincial government were curtailed by constitutional amendments. The post of provincial governor was abolished. In addition, the provincial council was also replaced by the Taiwan Provincial Consultative Council. Although the stated purpose was administrative efficiency, Soong and his supporters claim that it was actually intended to impede James Soong's political life, though it did not have this effect.

The provincial administration was downscaled in 1998, most of its power handed to the central government. The counties and provincial cities under the province became the primary administrative divisions of the country.

Other Languages