Many people will be posting on social media “Happy 103rd Birthday Taiwan!”, but this might not be entirely correct.
October 10 is the National Day for Taiwan and a day to celebrate it, but to say it’s Taiwan’s birthday is not quite right. October 10 is celebrated because on October 10, 1911 was the start of the Wuchang Uprising that led to the fall of the Qing Dynasty, and the setup of the Republic of China (ROC). However, this is not exactly Taiwan. From 1911 all the way to at least 1945, Taiwan was under the rule of the Empire of Japan. It wasn’t until the end of World War Two when Japan had to surrender Taiwan that Taiwan was out of Japan’s rule.
After the ROC was removed as the power representing China and driven out of Mainland China, Chiang Kai-Shek established Taipei, Taiwan as ROC’s temporary capital in hopes to take back all of China from Mao Ze-Dong and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). After many years, United Nations and many other countries saw that Chiang was never going to retake Mainland China and recognized PRC as the representation of all of China. Chiang slowly realizes this as well and from then on ROC has ruled over Taiwan. From these incidents, a young democracy slowly bloomed, giving rise to a country with multiple political parties, direct presidential votes and a growing freedom of speech and expression.
Read more from a post by TaiwaneseAmerican.org here.
October 10 is the National Day declared by the Taiwanese government, so it should be a day to celebrate Taiwan, the good and the bad. However, understanding the date is one of the most important part of understanding Taiwan.
So then the question still arises: “When is Taiwan’s birthday?” Below are a few dates to look into as potentially Taiwan’s birthday:
List of Possible Taiwan Birthdays
Click on each photo to link to Wikipedia article
Oct 25, 1945
Through General Order One, Taiwan (territory of the Empire of Japan) is given to General Chiang Kai-Shek until further notice.
December 7, 1949
Establishment of Taipei as capital of ROC
Chiang Kai-Shek set up Taipei, Taiwan as temporary capital of ROC
Sept 8, 1951 or April 28, 1952
Treaty of San Francisco (Signed Sept 8, 1951. In effect April 28, 1952.)
Japan officially relinquishes Taiwan. However, General Chiang Kai-Shek who oversaw Taiwan during this time was not present due to the Civil war and dispute about the representation of China
April 28, 1952 or August 5, 1952
Treaty of Taipei (Signed April 28, 1952. In effect August 5, 1952.)
Marks the end of the Second Sino-Japanese War. Signed by ROC and Japan for Japan’s official renouncement of Taiwan. However this was revoked by the Japanese Government on September 28, 1972.
October 25, 1971
Expulsion of ROC from the United Nation Security Council
Resolution 2758 was passed which marks the day that ROC is no longer representing China which could in turn mean it represents Taiwan
MM/DD/YYYY (some unknown day in the future)
Taiwan enters the United Nations as a member state
This marks the day that Taiwan was entered back into the United Nation and recognized as a member state under the name of Taiwan. This marks the start of Taiwan’s full participation on world issues, working alongside all the other countries such as United States and China to ensure peace and security in the world.