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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
etymology: "Tayowan" was the name of the coastal sandbank where the Dutch erected their colonial headquarters on the island in the 17th century; the former name "Formosa" means "beautiful" in Portuguese
Government typesemi-presidential republic
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 13 counties (xian, singular and plural), 3 cities (shi, singular and plural), and 6 special municipalities directly under the jurisdiction of the Executive Yuancounties: Changhua, Chiayi, Hsinchu, Hualien, Kinmen, Lienchiang, Miaoli, Nantou, Penghu, Pingtung, Taitung, Yilan, Yunlin
cities: Chiayi, Hsinchu, Keelung
special municipalities: Kaohsiung (city), New Taipei (city), Taichung (city), Tainan (city), Taipei (city), Taoyuan (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
National holidayRepublic Day (Anniversary of the Chinese Revolution), 10 October (1911)
Constitutionprevious 1912, 1931; latest adopted 25 December 1946, promulgated 1 January 1947, effective 25 December 1947; revised several times, last in 2005 (2016)
Legal systemcivil law system
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Taiwan
dual citizenship recognized: yes, except that citizens of Taiwan are not recognized as dual citizens of the People's Republic of China
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
Suffrage20 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President TSAI Ing-wen (since 20 May 2016); Vice President CHEN Chien-jen (since 20 May 2016)
head of government: Premier LIN Chuan (President of the Executive Yuan) (since 20 May 2016); Vice Premier LIN Hsi-yao, Vice President of the Executive Yuan (since 20 May 2016)
cabinet: Executive Yuan - ministers appointed by president on recommendation of premier
elections/appointments: president and vice president directly elected on the same ballot by simple majority popular vote for a 4-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 16 January 2016 (next to be held in 2020); premier appointed by the president; vice premiers appointed by the president on the recommendation of the premier
election results: TSAI Ing-wen elected president; percent of vote - TSAI Ing-wen (DPP) 56.1%, Eric CHU Li-lun (KMT) 31.0%, James SOONG Chu-yu (PFP) 12.8%; note - TSAI is the first woman elected president of Taiwan
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Legislative Yuan (113 seats; 73 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 34 directly elected in a single islandwide constituency by proportional representation vote, and 6 directly elected in multi-seat aboriginal constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: Legislative Yuan - last held on 16 January 2016 (next to be held in January 2020)
election results: Legislative Yuan - percent of vote by party - DPP 44.1%, KMT 26.9%, PFP 6.5%, NPP 6.1%, other 16.4%; seats by party - DPP 68, KMT 35, NPP 5, PFP 3, NPSU 1, independent 1
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: Supreme Court justices appointed by the president; Constitutional Court justices appointed by the president with approval of the Legislative Yuan; Supreme Court justices appointed for life; Constitutional Court justices appointed for 8-year terms with half the membership renewed every 4 years
subordinate courts: high courts; district courts; hierarchy of administrative courts
Political parties and leadersDemocratic Progressive Party or DPP (TSAI Ing-wen)
Kuomintang or KMT (Nationalist Party) (HUNG Hsiu-chu)
New Power Party or NPP (HUANG Kuo-chang)
Non-Partisan Solidarity Union or NPSU (LIN Pin-kuan)
People First Party or PFP (James SOONG Chu-yu)
Taiwan Solidarity Union or TSU (HUANG Kun-huei)
Political pressure groups and leadersother: environmental groups; independence movement; various business groups

note: public opinion polls consistently show most Taiwanese support maintaining Taiwan's status quo; advocates of Taiwan independence oppose unification with mainland China; most advocates of eventual unification predicate their goal on the democratic transformation of the mainland
International organization participationADB (Taipei, China), APEC (Chinese Taipei), BCIE, ICC (national committees), IOC, ITUC (NGOs), SICA (observer), WTO (Taipei, China)
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 postsrepresentative: KAO Shuo-tai (a.k.a. Stanley KAO) (since 5 June 2016)
office: 4201 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
telephone: (1) 202 895-1800
Taipei Economic and Cultural Offices (branch offices): Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Denver (CO), Hagatna (Guam), Houston, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, Seattle
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 postsoffice:
telephone: (1) (886) (02) 2162-2000
FAX: (1) (886) (02) 2162-2251
other offices: Kaohsiung (Branch Office)
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)
National symbol(s)white, 12-rayed sun on blue field; national colors: blue, white, red
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; 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