Taiwan

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98% Han[1][2]
 70% Hoklo
 14% Hakka
 14% Waishengren[3]

Taiwan (/ˌtaɪˈwɑːn/  ( listen) TYE-WAHN),[5] also known, especially in the past, as Formosa (from Portuguese: Ilha Formosa, "Beautiful Island"), is an island situated in East Asia in the Western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. It comprises 99% of the territory of the Republic of China (ROC) since the 1950s. Therefore the term "Taiwan" is also a common name to refer to the Republic of China itself.[6]

Separated from the Asian continent by the 120 kilometres (75 mi) wide Taiwan Strait, the main island of the group is 394 kilometres (245 mi) long and 144 kilometres (89 mi) wide. To the northeast are the main islands of Japan and the East China Sea, and the southern end of the Ryukyu Islands of Japan is directly to the east; the Batanes Islands of the Philippines lie to its south across the Bashi Channel. The mountainous island spans the Tropic of Cancer and is covered by tropical and subtropical vegetation. Other minor islands and islets of the group include the Pescadores, Green Island, and Orchid Island, as well as the Diaoyutai Islands (Senkaku islands), which have been controlled by Japan since the 1970s.

Taiwan was ceded to Japan by the Qing court in the Treaty of Shimonoseki after the First Sino-Japanese War in 1895. In 1945 the Republic of China acquired Taiwan from the Empire of Japan as a result of World War II. Four years later the ROC lost mainland China in the Chinese Civil War to the Communist Party of China and retreated to Taiwan. Taiwan composes the vast majority of the ROC's territory since the 1950s, and this is one of multiple reasons that the ROC is commonly known as "Taiwan". The political status of Taiwan is disputed because it is claimed by the People's Republic of China, which was established in 1949 by the communists on mainland China and considers itself the successor state to the ROC.[7] Japan had originally acquired Taiwan from the Qing Empire in 1895 under Article 2 of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. At the end of World War II, Japan renounced all claims to sovereignty over its former colonial possessions, including Taiwan and Penghu (Pescadores),[8] but did not specify to whom Taiwan and Penghu should be assigned. This fact and subsequent handling of Taiwan's sovereignty by the Allies of World War II led to the complex and unresolved issues of the legal and political status of Taiwan.

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