Taiwan Political System

According to Countryaah.com, with capital city of Taipei, Taiwan is a country located in Eastern Asia with total population of 23,816,786.

Where is Taiwan

State and politics

Taiwan, although in practice independent since 1949, has a unique position among the world’s countries. For a long time, both the People’s Republic of China, which has been controlling the Chinese mainland since 1949, and Taiwan, whose official name is the Republic of China, agreed that Taiwan was part of China. What separated the parties was that both claimed to be China’s legitimate representatives. But after the Republic of China lost its place as China’s representative in the UN in 1971 and the United States recognized the People’s Republic of China in 1979, the People’s Republic of China gained an international takeover that only a few countries now recognize and have complete diplomatic relations with the Republic of China. Double recognition has been accepted since 1988 by Taiwan but not by the People’s Republic of China.

The People’s Republic of China, which regards Taiwan as a Chinese province, in 1984 advocated a reunification under the model “one country, two systems”, similar to that of Hong Kong and Macao. But this would give Taiwan a minor role that is unacceptable to the leadership and majority of Taiwan. See ABBREVIATIONFINDER for how TW can stand for Taiwan.

In Taiwan, the political leadership in the 1990s and the 2000s has gradually abandoned the position that the Republic of China claims the whole of China and instead emphasized Taiwan’s particularity and its political role as an independent state. This has provoked anger in Beijing which carried out threatening military maneuvers targeting Taiwan and declared that there will be war if Taiwan declares itself independent. A law banning exit from China was also passed by the Beijing National People’s Congress in 2005 as a further pressure on Taiwan.

The United States supports the principle of a united China, but opposes a military solution. The People’s Republic of China’s threatening actions have led the United States to continue its arms exports to Taiwan, despite its earlier promise to reduce it.


The Constitution adopted by the Republic of China in 1947, which also claims to include the Chinese mainland, still applies in Taiwan, even though it was put off by an emergency permit in 1949-87 and has since been revised on some points. By breaking the Constitution, the President, in accordance with the Chinese one-world tradition, came under the rule of both Chiang Kai-shek and his son Chiang Ching-kuo to obtain a significantly stronger position than the Constitution provides. In the traditional nepotistic spirit, members of the Chiang family were also placed on strategic positions in the party and state apparatus. The media’s ability to express dissenting opinions was limited.

However, the years 1986-87 began an unprecedented democratization process in Chinese history. The main manifestations of this are the legalization of opposition parties, the liberalization of the terms of the press and the direct elections to leading positions in society. In 1994 it was decided that from 1996 the head of state (the president), who was previously elected by Parliament, should be elected directly by the people. The president is elected for four years and can be re-elected once.

In addition to the presidential office, in accordance with Sun Yat’s three people principles, there are five administrative bodies that are executive, legislative, judicial, investigative and controlling. These are called the yuan, which means roughly ‘advice’. The government is the executive yuan and the parliamentary legislative yuan. The government is led by the prime minister, who is appointed by the president.

Since 2008, Parliament has 113 members, whose term of office is four years. The election system is a mixture of proportional and majority elections in one-man election circles. 17 mandates are reserved for women and six mandates for representatives of the indigenous population.


In practice, from 1949 to 1986-87, there was a one-party system controlled by the Nationalist Party (Guomindang). Two other parties were admittedly allowed to exist, but like the small parties on the Chinese mainland, they were not real opposition parties. Since 1986, however, many new parties have been organized.

The Nationalist Party ‘s main rival for power is the Democratic Progress Party (DFP), which was formed in 1986. DFP’s candidates captured many leading positions in local elections in the 1990s, but the biggest success to date came in the 2000 presidential election, when the party’s candidate Chen Shui-bian won and ended the Nationalist Party’s long holding of the presidential post.

Fraction formation and personal contradictions within both parties have led to several outbursts and the formation of new parties. In 1993, some more mainland-friendly politicians broke out of the Nationalist Party and formed the New Party. Even the Party people were first founded by a defender from the Nationalist Party, James Soong Chu-yu (born 1942). These two parties, as well as the Nationalist Party, are considered the so-called blue alliance, where the idea of “a China” has remained strong.

The so-called green alliance, where the parties support Taiwan’s independence, is dominated by the DFP. The new power party, founded in 2015, wants to stand outside the two alliances but cooperated with the DFP ahead of the 2016 parliamentary elections.


At the 2008 presidential election, the Nationalist Party regained power when the party’s candidate Ma Ying-jeou won a clear victory. Unlike the DFP during Chen Shui-bian’s term as president, the party also got its own majority in the legislative assembly, where the number of seats was reduced from 225 to 113. Ma was re-elected president in January 2012, and the Nationalist Party received 64 of 113 seats in the parliamentary elections..

During Ma Ying-jeou’s time as president, Taiwan approached China. Many Taiwanese are highly suspicious of what they see as too much financial dependence on the neighbor, which led to increased support for DFP presidential candidate Tsai Ing-wen, who stressed the importance of holding on to independence.

Tsai Ing-wen won the presidential election in 2016 with 56 percent of the vote and DFP gained its own majority in parliament with 68 out of 113 seats. The party backed slightly in the 2020 election but retained its majority while Tsai was re-elected with 57 percent of the vote.

During Tsai’s time in power, relations with mainland China have become more strained and Beijing has taken several steps to isolate Taiwan internationally. The president is considered to have a moderate line on the issue, but has nevertheless clearly indicated that she does not support the idea that there is only “one China”. She also rejected Beijing’s demand for Taiwan to be incorporated into the People’s Republic of China on the principle of “one country, two systems”.


The legal system in Taiwan is mainly codified according to Western European continental role models. civil law, civil law, criminal law and criminal law. The judicial system consists of, inter alia, district courts, appellate courts and the Supreme Court. Confucianism’s strong position, however, means that the legal system plays a relatively minor role in the everyday life of the population. The death penalty can be punished for some serious crimes.

Heads of State


1950-75 Chiang Kai-shek
1975-78 Yen Chia-kan
1978-88 Chiang Ching-kuo
1988-2000 Lee Teng-hui
2000-08 Chen Shui-bian
2008-16 Ma Ying-jeou
2016- Tsai Ing-wen