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The free area of the Republic of China also known as Taiwan Area of the Republic of China", "Tai-Min Area (
Taiwan Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. Neighbouring countries include the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. The main island of Ta ...
and
Fujian Fujian (; alternately romanized as Fukien or Hokkien) is a province on the southeastern coast of China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, Guangdong to the south, and the Taiwan Strait to the east. Its capital ...
)" or simply the "Taiwan Area" is a term used by the
government of the Republic of China The Government of the Republic of China, also known retroactively as the Government of Nationalist China, is the unitary government that exercises control over Taiwan and other islands in the free area. The president is the head of state. Th ...
(ROC) to refer to the territories under its actual control. The area under the definition consists of the island groups of
Taiwan Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. Neighbouring countries include the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. The main island of Ta ...
,
Penghu The Penghu (Hokkien POJ: ''Phîⁿ-ô͘''  or ''Phêⁿ-ô͘'' ) or Pescadores Islands are an archipelago of 90 islands and islets in the Taiwan Strait. The largest city is Magong, located on the largest island, which is also named Mag ...
,
Kinmen Kinmen, also called Quemoy, is a county of the Republic of China located in the Taiwan Strait between the island of Taiwan and mainland China. The main island of Kinmen County is Kinmen Island., United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agenc ...

Kinmen
, Matsu and some minor islands. This term is used in the "
Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China The Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China are the revisions and constitutional amendments to the original constitution to meet the requisites of the nation and the political status of Taiwan. The Additional Articles a ...
". The term "Tai-Peng-Kin-Ma" is also essentially equivalent except that it only refers to the islands of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu Area, to the exclusion of the South China Sea possessions-
Pratas Island Pratas Island, United States National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency is an island in the northern part of the South China Sea administered as part of Cijin District, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. It is located about southeast of Hong Kong.
(Tungsha/Dongsha) and
Taiping Island Taiping Island, also known as Itu Aba, and also known by various other names, is the largest of the naturally occurring Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. The island is elliptical in shape being in length and in width, with an area of . ...
. The term is complementary to "Mainland Area", which is practically viewed as being synonymous to
mainland China Mainland China, also known as the Chinese mainland, China mainland, or the Mainland Area of the Republic of China is the geopolitical area under the direct jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China (PRC) since October 1, 1949. It include ...
.


Background

The term "free area" or " Free China" was used during the
Second Sino-Japanese War The Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) was a military conflict that was primarily waged between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. In China, the war is known as the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (), or as the Asi ...
(1937–45) to describe the territories under the control of the
Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT) () is a major political party in Taiwan which originated as a revolutionary political party during the Republican Era on the Chinese mainland, where it is sometimes referred to as the Chinese Nationalist Party. Founded ...
led
Nationalist Government#REDIRECT Nationalist government#REDIRECT Nationalist government {{R from move ...
{{R from move ...
in Chungking (today
Chongqing Chongqing (Sichuanese pronunciation: , Standard Mandarin pronunciation: , , ,), alternately romanized as Chungking, is a municipality in southwest China. Administratively, it is one of the four municipalities under the direct administration ...
), as opposed to the parts of
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3.7 million m ...
under Japanese occupation, including Nanking (today
Nanjing Nanjing ( ), formerly romanized as Nanking, is the capital of Jiangsu province of the People's Republic of China and the second largest city in the East China region. With 11 districts, Nanjing, which is located in southwestern Jiangsu, has an ...
) the capital of the Republic of China until the Japanese invasion in 1937. The Japanese occupation ended with the imperial surrender in 1945, but the term "Free China" was soon to acquire a new meaning in the context of the early
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union and the United States and their respective allies, the Eastern Bloc and the Western Bloc, after World War II. Historians do not fully agree on the dates, but the per ...
. Following the
Communist Party A communist party is a left-wing political party that seeks to realize the social and economic goals of communism. The term ''communist party'' was popularized by the title of ''The Manifesto of the Communist Party'' (1848) by Karl Marx and Frie ...
's victory in the
Chinese Civil War The Chinese Civil War was a civil war in China fought between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led government of the Republic of China (ROC) and forces of the Communist Party of China (CPC) lasting intermittently between 1927 and 1949. The war is genera ...
in 1949, the newly inaugurated
People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3.7 million m ...
solidified its control of
mainland China Mainland China, also known as the Chinese mainland, China mainland, or the Mainland Area of the Republic of China is the geopolitical area under the direct jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China (PRC) since October 1, 1949. It include ...
, while the
Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT) () is a major political party in Taiwan which originated as a revolutionary political party during the Republican Era on the Chinese mainland, where it is sometimes referred to as the Chinese Nationalist Party. Founded ...
government retreated to Taiwan and selected
Taipei Taipei (), officially Taipei City, is the capital and a special municipality of Taiwan (officially the Republic of China, ROC). Located in Northern Taiwan, Taipei City is an enclave of the municipality of New Taipei City that sits about south ...
to serve as the provisional capital of the Republic of China. Mainland China was officially considered to be in a state of " Communist Rebellion", also known as "Communist China" or "Red China", and furthermore all territories still under Nationalist administration were said to constitute the "Free Area" of China, also known as "Nationalist China" or "Free China". This "Period of Communist Rebellion" was officially terminated by the government on 1 May 1991 with the implementation of the Additional Articles of the Constitution. Prior to the
Battle of Dachen Archipelago The Battle of Dachen Archipelago () was a struggle between the Nationalists and the Communists for the control of several archipelagos just off the coast of Zhejiang, China, during the Chinese Civil War in the post-World War II era, and it was pa ...
in 1955, the Free Area also encompassed a group of islands off Zhejiang, up to then part of the ROC province of
Chekiang Zhejiang (, formerly romanized as Chekiang) is an eastern, coastal province of the People's Republic of China. Its capital and largest city is Hangzhou. Zhejiang is bordered by Jiangsu and Shanghai to the north, Anhui to the northwest, Jiang ...
. The islands have since been administered exclusively by the People's Republic of China.


Nomenclature

Various names used to describe the geopolitical area include:


Legal use

The term "free area of the Republic of China" has persisted to the present day in the ROC legislation. The
Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China The Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China are the revisions and constitutional amendments to the original constitution to meet the requisites of the nation and the political status of Taiwan. The Additional Articles a ...
delegates numerous rights to exercise the sovereignty of the state, including that of electing the
President President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) *President (education), a leader of a college or university *President (government title) President may also refer to: Automobiles * Nissan President, a 1966–2010 Japanese full- ...
and
Legislature A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a political entity such as a country or city. Legislatures form important parts of most governments; in the separation of powers model, they are often contrasted with th ...
, to citizens residing in the "free area of the Republic of China". This term was first used in the Constitution with the promulgation of the first set of amendments to the Constitution in 1991 and has been retained in the most recent revision passed in 2005. The need to use the term "free area" in the Constitution arose out of the discrepancy between the notion that the Republic of China was the sole legitimate government of China and the pressures of the popular sovereignty movement. In the 1980s and 1990s, there were demands, particularly by the
Tangwai The ''Tangwai'' movement, or simply ''Tangwai'' (), was a loosely knit political movement in the Republic of China (Taiwan) in the mid-1970s and early 1980s. Although the ruling Kuomintang (KMT) had allowed contested elections for a small numb ...
movement and other groups opposed to one-party authoritarian KMT rule, to restructure the ROC government, long dominated by mainlanders, to be more representative of the Taiwanese people it governed. For example, until 1991, members of the National Assembly and Legislative Yuan elected in 1948 to serve mainland constituencies remained in their posts indefinitely and the President of the Republic of China was to be elected by this same "ten thousand year parliament" () dominated by aging KMT members. However, more conservative politicians, while acquiescing to the need for increased democracy, feared that constitutional changes granting localized sovereignty would jeopardize the ROC government's claims as the legitimate Chinese government and thereby promote
Taiwan independence Taiwan (), officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia. Neighbouring countries include the People's Republic of China (PRC) to the northwest, Japan to the northeast, and the Philippines to the south. The main island of Ta ...
. While the 1991 revisions of the Constitution granted the sovereignty rights to the
Taiwanese people Taiwanese people may be generally considered the people of Taiwan who share a common culture, ancestry, and speak Taiwanese Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, or indigenous Taiwanese languages as a mother tongue. Taiwanese people may also refer to the i ...
, it did not explicitly name Taiwan and instead used the term "free area" to maintain the notion that the Republic of China encompassed more than Taiwan. In ordinary legislation, the term "Taiwan Area" is usually used, especially in contexts of trade and exchange. In contrast to the "free area" is the "mainland area", which the Act Governing Relations between the People of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area defines as "the territory of the Republic of China outside the Taiwan Area". However, on more practical grounds, the "mainland area" refers simply to
Mainland China Mainland China, also known as the Chinese mainland, China mainland, or the Mainland Area of the Republic of China is the geopolitical area under the direct jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China (PRC) since October 1, 1949. It include ...
. In addition, there are two other Acts defining other "areas": the "
Hong Kong Hong Kong (, ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR) (), is a metropolitan area and special administrative region of the People's Republic of China on the eastern Pearl River Delta o ...
and
Macau Macau (; , ; ), also spelled Macao and officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (Chinese: 中華人民共和國澳門特別行政區), is a city and special administrative region of the People's Republ ...
Area" (). The hand-over of these former European
colonies In political science, a colony is a territory subject to a form of foreign rule. Though dominated by the foreign colonizers, colonies remain separate from the administration of the original country of the colonizers, the metropolitan state (or ...
to the People's Republic of
China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6 million square kilometers (3.7 million m ...
necessitated laws governing the relations of the Taiwan Area with them. The Acts are worded in a manner to avoid discussing whether the Republic of China claims sovereignty over
Hong Kong Hong Kong (, ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR) (), is a metropolitan area and special administrative region of the People's Republic of China on the eastern Pearl River Delta o ...
and
Macau Macau (; , ; ), also spelled Macao and officially the Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (Chinese: 中華人民共和國澳門特別行政區), is a city and special administrative region of the People's Republ ...
.


See also

*
Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China The Additional Articles of the Constitution of the Republic of China are the revisions and constitutional amendments to the original constitution to meet the requisites of the nation and the political status of Taiwan. The Additional Articles a ...
* Anti-Secession Law *
Constitution of the Republic of China The Constitution of the Republic of China () is the fifth and current constitution of the Republic of China, ratified by the Kuomintang during the session on December 25, 1946, in Nanjing, and adopted on December 25, 1947. The constitution, alon ...
*
History of the Republic of China The History of the Republic of China begins after the Qing dynasty in 1912, when the formation of the Republic of China as a constitutional republic put an end to 2,000 years of imperial rule. The Manchu-led Qing dynasty ruled China proper from 1 ...
*
Kuomintang The Kuomintang (KMT) () is a major political party in Taiwan which originated as a revolutionary political party during the Republican Era on the Chinese mainland, where it is sometimes referred to as the Chinese Nationalist Party. Founded ...
*
Mainland China Mainland China, also known as the Chinese mainland, China mainland, or the Mainland Area of the Republic of China is the geopolitical area under the direct jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China (PRC) since October 1, 1949. It include ...
*
Politics of the Republic of China The politics of the Republic of China take place in a framework of a representative democratic republic, whereby the President is head of state and the Premier (President of the Executive Yuan) is head of government, and of a multi-party s ...
*
Taiwan Province, People's Republic of China Taiwan Province is a province claimed by the People's Republic of China (PRC). The PRC claims the island of Taiwan to be part of its territory under its Constitution. In combination with the Republic of China-controlled Fujian islands, it is u ...
* The term "
Taiwan, China "Taiwan, China", "Taiwan, Province of China", or "Taiwan Province, China" are a set of politically controversial terms that characterize Taiwan and its associated territories as a province or territory of "China". The term "Taiwan, China" ( ...
"


Notes


Words in native languages


References


External links


Relations with Hong Kong and Macau

Relations Between Peoples of the Taiwan Area and the Mainland Area
{{DEFAULTSORT:Free area Of The Republic Of China Geography of Taiwan Politics of Taiwan Politics of the Republic of China Politics of China Taiwan Strait