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Taiwan: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: none
conventional short form: Taiwan
local long form: none
local short form: Taiwan
former: Formosa
CapitalTaipei Taipei
geographic coordinates: 25 02 N, 121 31 E
time difference: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisionsincludes main island of Taiwan plus smaller islands nearby and off coast of China's Fujian Province; Taiwan is divided into 14 counties (hsien, singular and plural), 3 municipalities (shih, singular and plural), and 5 special municipalities (chih-hsia-shih, singular and plural)
counties: Changhua, Chiayi, Hsinchu, Hualien, Kinmen, Lienchiang, Miaoli, Nantou, Penghu, Pingtung, Taitung, Taoyuan, Yilan, Yunlin
municipalities: Chiayi, Hsinchu, Keelung
special municipalities: Kaohsiung (city), New Taipei (city), Taichung (city), Tainan (city), Taipei (city)
note: Taiwan uses a variety of romanization systems; while a modified Wade-Giles system still dominates, the city of Taipei has adopted a Pinyin romanization for street and place names within its boundaries; other local authorities use different romanization systems; names for administrative divisions that follow are taken from the Taiwan Yearbook 2007 published by the Government Information Office in Taipei.
Constitutionprevious 1912, 1931; latest adopted 25 December 1946, promulgated 1 January 1947, effective 25 December 1947; revised several times, last in 2005 (2013)
Executive branchchief of state: President MA Ying-jeou (since 20 May 2008); Vice President WU Den-yih (since 20 May 2012)
head of government: Premier JIANG Yi-huah (President of the Executive Yuan) (since 18 February 2013); Vice Premier MAO Chi-kuo (Vice President of the Executive Yuan) (since 18 February 2013)
cabinet: Executive Yuan - ministers appointed by president on recommendation of premier
elections: president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for four-year terms (eligible for a second term); election last held on 14 January 2012 (next to be held in January 2016); premier appointed by the president; vice premiers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the premier
election results: MA Ying-jeou elected president; percent of vote - MA Ying-jeou 51.6%, TSAI Ing-wen 45.6%, James SOONG Chu-ye 2.8%
Flag descriptionred field with a dark blue rectangle in the upper hoist-side corner bearing a white sun with 12 triangular rays; the blue and white design of the canton (symbolizing the sun of progress) dates to 1895; it was later adopted as the flag of the Kuomintang Party; blue signifies liberty, justice, and democracy; red stands for fraternity, sacrifice, and nationalism, white represents equality, frankness, and the people's livelihood; the 12 rays of the sun are those of the months and the twelve traditional Chinese hours (each ray equals two hours)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the court president, vice president, and approximately 100 judges organized into 8 civil and 12 criminal divisions, each with a division chief justice and 4 associate justices); Constitutional Court (consists of the court president, vice president, and 13 justices)
judge selection and term of office: both Supreme Court and Constitutional Court justices appointed by the president of the republic with the approval of the Legislative Yuan; Supreme Court justices appointed for life; Constitutional Court president, vice-president, and 8 grand justices serve 4-year terms and remaining justices serve 8-year terms
subordinate courts: high courts; district courts; hierarchy of administrative courts
Legal systemcivil law system
Legislative branchunicameral Legislative Yuan (113 seats - 73 district members elected by popular vote, 34 at-large members elected on basis of proportion of islandwide votes received by participating political parties, 6 elected by popular vote among aboriginal populations; members to serve four-year terms); parties must receive 5% of vote to qualify for at-large seats
elections: Legislative Yuan - last held on 14 January 2012 (next to be held in January 2016)
election results: Legislative Yuan - percent of vote by party - KMT 44.6%, DPP 34.6%, TSU 9.0%, PFP 5.5%, others 6.3%; seats by party - KMT 64, DPP 40, PFP 3, TSU 3, NPSU 2, independent 1
International organization participationADB, APEC, BCIE, ICC (national committees), IOC, ITUC (NGOs), WTO
National holidayRepublic Day (Anniversary of the Chinese Revolution), 10 October (1911)
Political pressure groups and leadersenvironmental groups
independence movement
various business groups
note: debate on Taiwan independence has become acceptable within the mainstream of domestic politics on Taiwan; public opinion polls consistently show a substantial majority of Taiwan people supports maintaining Taiwan's status quo for the foreseeable future; advocates of Taiwan independence oppose the stand that the island will eventually unify with mainland China; advocates of eventual unification predicate their goal on the democratic transformation of the mainland
Political parties and leadersDemocratic Progressive Party or DPP (SU Tseng-chang)
Kuomintang or KMT (Nationalist Party) (MA Ying-jeou)
New Party (YOK Mu-ming)
Non-Partisan Solidarity Union or NPSU (LIN Pin-kuan)
People First Party or PFP (James SOONG Chu-ye)
Taiwan Solidarity Union or TSU (HUANG Kun-huei)
Suffrage20 years of age; universal
Government typemultiparty democracy
Diplomatic representation in the USnone; commercial and cultural relations with the people in the United States are maintained through an unofficial instrumentality, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the United States (TECRO), a private nonprofit corporation that performs citizen and consular services similar to those at diplomatic posts
representative: SHEN Lyu-shin (since 1 April 2014)
office: 4201 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone: (1) 202 895-1800
Taipei Economic and Cultural Offices (branch offices): Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Guam, Houston, Honolulu, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Seattle
National anthemname: "Zhonghua Minguo guoge" (National Anthem of the Republic of China)
lyrics/music: HU Han-min, TAI Chi-t'ao, and LIAO Chung-k'ai/CHENG Mao-Yun
note: adopted 1930; the anthem is also the song of the Kuomintang Party; it is informally known as "San Min Chu I" or "San Min Zhu Yi" (Three Principles of the People); because of political pressure from China, "Guo Qi Ge" (National Banner Song) is used at international events rather than the official anthem of Taiwan; the "National Banner Song" has gained popularity in Taiwan and is commonly used during flag raisings
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)white, 12-rayed sun on blue field
Diplomatic representation from the USnone; commercial and cultural relations with the people on Taiwan are maintained through an unofficial instrumentality, the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), a private nonprofit corporation that performs citizen and consular services similar to those at diplomatic posts
director: Christopher J. MARUT
office: #7 Lane 134, Hsin Yi Road, Section 3, Taipei 106, Taiwan
telephone: (1) (886) (02) 2162-2000
FAX: (1) (886) (02) 2162-2251
other offices: Kaohsiung