A chronology of key events in Taiwan's transformation into a democracy
Also refer to History of Taiwan for details
1624-1662: the period of colonial Dutch government on Formosa, known as Dutch Formosa
1885: Qing dynasty (清朝) made Taiwan a province of China.
1895: China ceded Taiwan to Japan.
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.
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.
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, 2016: Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), became the first female president of Taiwan.
Present: The democracy of Taiwan lives on