Taiwan Province is a
province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire's territorial possessions outs ...
claimed by the
People's Republic of China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.4 billion. Covering approximately 9.6& ...
(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 usually referred to by mainland media as the Taiwan Region or Taiwan Area. The PRC has never administered Taiwan: the Taiwan Area, including all of the contemporary Taiwan Province, is currently administered by the government of the Republic of China. Maps published by the PRC (and other sources that adopt the PRC's views) show Taiwan Province in accordance with its pre-1949 boundaries as a part of the preceding Chinese republic. While the PRC claims Taiwan to be its rightful territory, it recognises Taiwan is outside its actual territory of control and does not maintain a shadow government or government-in-exile for Taiwan Province. However, its National Congress reserves a position for legislators that represents Taiwan, most of whom are of Taiwanese descent but were born in and are residents of mainland China, except for one representative ( Lu Li'an) who was born and grew up in Taiwan. In deference to the PRC's claim, the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for har ...
for official purposes calls the Taiwan Area "Taiwan, Province of China". The
political status of Taiwan The controversy regarding the political status of Taiwan, sometimes referred to as the ''Taiwan Issue'' or ''Taiwan Strait Issue'' or, from a Taiwanese perspective, as the ''mainland Issue'', is a result of the Chinese Civil War The Chines ...
is complex. The PRC considers itself the successor state of the pre-1949 ROC and the sole legitimate government of "China" since its founding on 1October 1949, and regards Taiwan as a part of an " indivisible China". The ROC government disputes this claim, and is Foreign relations of Taiwan, currently recognised by 14 UN member states and the Holy See as the government of "China", although since 1971 it is no longer a member of the
United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and international security, security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a centre for har ...
or its suborganisations. Most other countries retain unofficial bilateral ties with Taiwan via respective De facto embassy#Taiwan, ''de facto'' embassies.


The People's Republic of China was founded in 1949. While by 1950 it had obtained control over most of the territories previously administered by the ROC, it never gained control of an area made up of Taiwan Province and some other islands (together called the "Taiwan Area"). Instead, the Taiwan Area had been administered by the ROC (now commonly known as "Taiwan") since the end of World War II in 1945, continuing through the Chinese Civil War and past the foundation of the People's Republic of China in 1949. Despite the PRC's claim over Taiwan, the PRC has no provisional nor shadow provincial government or provincial governor for Taiwan. The Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council of the People's Republic of China is the part of the PRC government that has responsibility over Taiwan-related matters, but it is neither tasked with, nor presented as, a shadow administration for Taiwan. Instead, the ROC government, which actually controls Taiwan Province, is referred to by the PRC as the "Taiwan authorities".

Taiwan Province and Taiwan Area (PRC Perspective)

Despite formal status of a province, the term "Taiwan Province" is now only used in the most formal circumstances such as National People's Congress. In domestic contexts that excludes Hong Kong and Macau, the number of provinces (including autonomous regions, municipalities) is always stated as 31 (Taiwan is not counted). In statistics actually involving Taiwan, "Taiwan Area" is widely used instead. Note, however, "Taiwan Area" (as used by PRC) is different from Taiwan Province (as used by PRC): Taiwan Province only includes Taiwan and associated islands such as Penghu and Senkaku Islands, Diaoyu, but "Taiwan Area" (the same as "Taiwan Area" as used by ROC, a.k.a. Free Area of the Republic of China) is all area administered by Taiwan, Taipei and includes Fujian islands such as Kinmen, Matsu Islands, Matsu, as well as (at least in principle) Pratas Island (Tungsha/Dongsha) (part of Cijin District, Kaoshiung; claimed as part of Guangdong Province by the PRC) and Taiping Island, Taiping Islands (assigned to Kaoshiung by ROC, and to Sansha and Hainan by PRC). The "Taiwan Area" is treated together with Special Administrative Regions rather than other provinces in statistics.

Boundary changes since 1949

Maps published by the PRC show Taiwan Province in accordance with its pre-1949 boundaries. Until recently, the ROC adopted an analogous practice of depicting mainland China, mainland administrative boundaries in maps the way they were in 1949, to demonstrate that the ROC did not recognise the PRC government - or any boundary changes enacted by them since 1949 - as legitimate. In 2017 Xinhua News Agency issued guidelines mandating no scare quotes for all members of local governments of Taiwan authorities (except Fujian Province, Republic of China, Fujian and Lienchiang County, Lienchiang). Even before this, the practice of not recognizing any boundary changes made to Taiwan had ended. For example, New Taipei is accepted instead of Taipei County, and the merging of Kaohsiung City and Kaohsiung County is accepted on all maps published by PRC entities. Maps published in PRC do not treat borders between Taiwan Province (Republic of China) and Special Municipalities as provincial borders, but county borders, and often do not mandate a capital for Taiwan at all. The borders between Kinmen and Matsu and rest of Fujian Province are never denoted as provincial borders let alone international. The official databases of PRC do not show any internal divisions of Taiwan, all of them showing "data not yet available" (this no longer applies to Hong Kong and Macau). As of 2018, PRC official map service Tianditu treats all six special municipalities as prefecture-level cities, all three provincial cities as county-level cities directly administered by the province, and all fourteen county-administered cities as subdistricts under each individual county's jurisdiction.

Other territories administered by the ROC

Taiwan Province (whether disregarding the ROC's post-1949 boundary changes or not) does not include all the territory under the Republic of China's administration. PRC maps show the islands of Kinmen (Quemoy) and Wuqiu, Kinmen, Wuqiu, and the Matsu Islands as part of Fujian Province; Pratas Island and the Vereker Banks as part of Guangdong Province; and Taiping Island as part of Hainan province. The ROC administered Kinmen, Wuqiu and the Matsu Islands as part of its alternative Fujian Province, Republic of China, Fujian Province (now disbanded), and Pratas Island and Taiping Island under Cijin District, Kaohsiung, Kaohsiung municipality.

Territories claimed to be part of Taiwan Province by both the ROC and PRC

Both the PRC and the ROC claim the Senkaku Islands, called Diaoyu Islands or Diaoyutai Islands via Mandarin Chinese, which are administered by Japan, as a part of Taiwan Province.

Legislative representation in PRC

Although Taiwan Province is not under PRC control, thirteen delegates are elected to represent Taiwan Province to the National People's Congress. The election of these delegates for Taiwan Province is done in accordance with the Decision (from time to time made) of the relevant Session of relevant National People's Congress of the PRC on the number of deputies to the National People's Congress and the election of the deputies.Plan for the Consultative Election of Deputies of Taiwan Province to the Tenth National People's Congress, 2002 (Government of the PRC website) For example, in 2002 that Decision was as follows: Having regard to the relevant Decision, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress adopts a "Plan for the Consultative Election of Deputies of Taiwan Province to the National People's Congress". The Plan typically provides that "the deputies will be elected in Beijing through consultation from among representatives sent by Taiwan compatriots in these provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government and in the Chinese People's Liberation Army." In the case of the 2002 election, the Standing Committee noted that there were more than 36,000 "Taiwan compatriots" in the 31 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government and the central Party, government and army institutions. It was decided that 122 representatives would participate in the conference for election through consultation. The number of representatives was allocated on the basis of the geographic distribution of Taiwan compatriots on the mainland and the standing committees of the people's congresses of the provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities directly under the Central Government were responsible for making arrangements for the election of the representatives through consultation. The Standing Committee's Plan also provided that the election should be "conducted in a democratic manner". After the latest election at the 13th National People's Congress, 13 of the Taiwan representatives for the National People's Congress are: * Cai Peihui () * Ceng Liqun () * Chen Jun (), Amis people, Amis * Chen Yunying (), born in Taipei * Fu Zhiguan () * Huang Zhixian (), born in Mainland China to a mother from Tainan * Liang Zhiqiang (), born in Mainland China to parents from Miaoli County * Liao Haiying () * Lin Qing (), born in Taipei * Xu Pei () * Zhang Xiaodong () * Zhang Xiong () * Zou Zhenqiu ()

Names used for ROC government, officials, and institutions

Since the PRC does not recognise the ROC as legitimate, PRC government and media refers to some ROC government offices and institutions using generic description which does not imply endorsement of the ROC's claim to be a legitimate government of either Taiwan or China. The precise replacements used are not officially designated, so the politically designated names for Taiwan have small variations across different source from within the PRC. For some cases, where the name does not significantly imply sovereignty, the name remains the same, such as for the ''Mainland Affairs Council'', ''County'' and ''Mayor''.

ROC government bodies

* ''Government of the Republic of China, Government'' as ''Taiwan authorities'' * ''Presidential Office Building, Taipei, Presidential Office Building'' as ''Taiwan leader's office building'' * ''Executive Yuan'' as ''executive body'' * ''Legislative Yuan'' as ''legislative body'' * ''Ministry of Economic Affairs (Taiwan), Ministry of Economic Affairs'' as ''economic affairs authority'' * ''Ministry of Health and Welfare (Republic of China), Ministry of Health and Welfare'' as ''health and welfare authority'' * ''Ministry of the Interior (Republic of China), Ministry of the Interior'' as ''interior authority'' * ''Ministry of Justice (Republic of China), Ministry of Justice'' as ''justice authority'' * ''Ministry of Transportation and Communications (Republic of China), Ministry of Transportation and Communications'' as ''transportation and communications authority'' * ''Central Election Commission (Taiwan), Central Election Commission'' as ''election commission'' * ''Central Weather Bureau'' as ''weather and earthquake monitoring agency''

ROC government officials

* ''President of the Republic of China'' as leader of the Taiwan Area () * ''Vice President of the Republic of China, Vice President'' as deputy leader () * ''Premier of the Republic of China, Premier'' (or ''President of the Executive Yuan'') as executive chief () * ''Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Republic of China), Minister of Foreign Affairs'' as chief official in charge of foreign exchange * ''Ministry of Health and Welfare (Republic of China), Minister of Health and Welfare'' as chief of health and welfare authority * ''Mainland Affairs Council, Minister of Mainland Affairs Council'' as mainland affairs chief * ''Ministry of National Defense (Taiwan), Minister of National Defense'' as military chief * ''Ministry of Transportation and Communications (Republic of China), Minister of Transportation and Communications'' as chief of transportation and communications authority

ROC institutions

* ''National Taipei University'' as Taipei University * ''National Taiwan University'' as Taiwan University * ''National Taiwan Normal University'' as Taiwan Normal University

ROC events

* ''Presidential elections in Taiwan, Republic of China Presidential Election'' as leadership elections in the Taiwan area

Proposal under hypothetical reunification

The PRC's current policy proposal for a potential future reunification with Taiwan includes a proposal for Taiwan to become a Special administrative regions of China, Special Administrative Region (analogous to Hong Kong and Macau today), rather than Provinces of China, a province.

"Taiwan, Province of China" or "Taiwan, China"

In deference to the PRC's position, the United Nations Secretary General has referred to the Taiwan Area as "Taiwan, Province of China". "Taiwan, Province of China" appears as a disputed name in the ISO 3166-1 list of two letter country codes. A variant of this name "Taiwan, China", is seen in other contexts. The FAQ for the ISO list attributes the provincial styling of the area's name to the UN Bulletin list of country names, which lists the names of countries in the official languages in use by the UN. The UN bulletin does not in fact contain any name for Taiwan, Formosa, or the TW code. The ISO country code for the area is "TW" under ISO 3166-1. Along with Hong Kong and Macao, Taiwan is also included as subdivisions of China in ISO 3166-2:CN as "CN-TW".

Demographic data

While demographic data for Taiwan Province published by the PRC government respects the census figures published by the ROC government for the territory, the PRC government does not recognise the ethnic classifications of Taiwanese Aborigines adopted by the ROC. Instead, the PRC government classifies all Taiwanese Aboriginese as ''Gaoshan'' people, one of the 56 recognized ethnicities of China.

Naming disputes

In July 2017, Taiwanese crew members of the Malaysian airline AirAsia X were required to change their citizenship from Taiwan (TWN) to China (CHN) for any flight flying to and from Mainland China.

Name change

In 2017 Xinhua News Agency issued guidelines abolishing the term Taiwan Province, People's Republic of China. Although Taiwan would be a traditional province of China, considering the circumstances, Taiwan Area is used instead. This apparently does not include Kinmen and Matsu, which are expressly forbidden to denote as part of Taiwan as being simply incorrect.

See also

* Provinces of China ** Taiwan Province, Republic of China * Free area of the Republic of China ** Leader of the Taiwan Area * Taiwan Affairs Office * Political status of Taiwan


Further reading

* Bush, R. & O'Hanlon, M. (2007). ''A War Like No Other: The Truth About China's Challenge to America''. Wiley. * Bush, R. (2006). ''Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait''. Brookings Institution Press. * Carpenter, T. (2006). ''America's Coming War with China: A Collision Course over Taiwan''. Palgrave Macmillan. * Cole, B. (2006). ''Taiwan's Security: History and Prospects''. Routledge. * Copper, J. (2006). ''Playing with Fire: The Looming War with China over Taiwan''. Praeger Security International General Interest. * Federation of American Scientists et al. (2006)
Chinese Nuclear Forces and U.S. Nuclear War Planning
* Gill, B. (2007). ''Rising Star: China's New Security Diplomacy''. Brookings Institution Press. * Shirk, S. (2007). ''China: Fragile Superpower: How China's Internal Politics Could Derail Its Peaceful Rise''. Oxford University Press. * Tsang, S. (2006). ''If China Attacks Taiwan: Military Strategy, Politics and Economics''. Routledge. * Tucker, N.B. (2005). ''Dangerous Strait: the U.S.-Taiwan-China Crisis''. Columbia University Press.

External links

Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council

Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council
{{DEFAULTSORT:Taiwan Province, People's Republic Of China Provinces of the People's Republic of China Politics of Taiwan 1949 in international relations Legal fictions