A chronology of key events in Taiwan's transformation into a democracy

Adopted from CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/asiapcf/03/19/taiwan.timeline.reut/index.html

Also refer to History of Taiwan for details


17th century: an influx of Han Chinese immigrants from areas of Fujian and Guangdong of mainland China, sailed across the Taiwan Strait.

1624-1662: the period of colonial Dutch government on Formosa, known as Dutch Formosa

1661: Koxinga 國姓爺 (aka Zheng Cheng-Gong 鄭成功) led his troops on a landing at Lu'ermen to attack the Dutch colonists at Taiwan.

February 1662:  The Dutch Governor of Taiwan, Frederik Coyett, surrendered Fort Zeelandia to Koxinga

1885:  Qing dynasty (清朝) made Taiwan a province of China.

1895:  China ceded Taiwan to Japan.

1911:  The Nationalist Party (aka: the KuoMinTang 中國國民黨) led by Sun Yat-Sen (孫中山) overthrown the Qing Dynasty, the last imperial dynasty of China, and founded the Republic of China (中華民國)

1924:  in order to hasten the conquest of China, Suun Yat-Sen began a policy of active cooperation with the Chinese Communists (中国共产党)

1925:  Sun Yat-Sen died of liver cancer on 12 March 1925, at the age of 58 at the Rockefeller Hospital in Beijing.

1927:  The Communists and the Kuomintang split marked the start of the Chinese Civil War

1937-1945 Chinese put the Civil War on hold and fought Japanese in World War II

1945:  Taiwan returned to Chinese control after World War II.

February 28, 1947:  Nationalist troops crushed islandwide rioting by Taiwanese disgruntled at widespread corruption.

1949:  Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek (蔣中正) lost civil war to Mao Zedong's (毛澤東) Communist armies and retreated to Taiwan along with about 2 million refugees (so called the “mainlanders”). The military strongman ruled the island until his death in 1975.

1968:  Taiwan held first by-elections to replace deceased China-elected deputies. A majority remained lifetime legislators and only a small minority were elected.

1971:  United Nations expeled the Republic of China, Taiwan's official name, and accepts Beijing's People's Republic of China.

1972:  Chiang Kai-shek appointed his son, Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國), as premier.

1975: Vice President yen chia-kan (嚴家淦) succeeded Chiang Kai-shek as president of Taiwan  upon Chiangś death

1978:  Chiang Ching-kuo was elected president of Taiwan after the term of President Yen Chia-Kan

1979:  Washington switched diplomatic recognition to Beijing. U.S. Congress passes the Taiwan Relations Act promising to help Taiwan defend itself. 

1984:  Chiang Ching-kuo was re-elected and handpicks Taiwan-born Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) to succeed him.

1986:  Chiang Ching-kuo promises political reform. Emboldened dissidents form Taiwan's first illegal opposition party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) 民主進步黨. Government turns blind eye.

July 1987: Taiwan lifted almost four decades of martial law.

January 1988: Chiang Ching-kuo died. Lee Teng-hui became president and curbs on newspapers were eased.

May 1990: Lee Teng-hui took office and pardoned dissidents Shih Ming-teh and Hsu Hsin-liang, who became chairmen of the DPP.

1991: Lifetime members of tri-cameral legislature forced to retire.

1992:  Taiwan held first full elections to parliament.: Parliament ordered destruction of tens of thousands of personnel dossiers, ending checks for ideological reliability.

1993:  Ban on new radio stations lifted. Parliament ended restrictions on broadcasts in Taiwanese dialect.

1994:  Government allowed new television stations.

1996:  Voters made Lee Teng-hui first directly elected president in Chinese history in defiance of weeks of menacing war games by China. Lee takes landslide 54 percent of vote.

2000:  Voters put DPP in power for first time, electing Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) as president and ending more than five decades of Nationalist Party rule.

Nov 27, 2003: Parliament passed law permitting referenda on issues such as national sovereignty.

March 20, 2004:  Taiwan voters re-elected Chen Shui-bian  as the president and casted their votes in the island's first referendum.

March, 2008: Ma Ying-Jeou (馬英九), the chairman of the KuoMinTang (KMT), became the next president of Taiwan.

March, 2016: Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), became the first female president of Taiwan.

Present: The democracy of Taiwan lives on