Taiwan, formerly known as Formosa (Beautiful Island, a name given by the Portuguese), has been an independent nation since 1949 when the Nationalist government of China fled the mainland and established the Republic of China in Taiwan, claiming to be the legitimate government of all China. Prior to 1949, Taiwan has been a colony of Japan since the Sino-Japanese war of 1895. Mainland China claims that Taiwan is the 23rd province of China; however, since the death of Chiang Kai Shek, the “President’ of Taiwan, the island has gradually evolved into a democracy which has little interest in reunification with China; hence there is great tension over this and the “Taiwan/China” issue is a “hotspot” in Asia. Taiwan is one of the “Little Tigers of Asia” with a rapidly expanding economy and a good standard of living. For more information on Taiwan, please click on the above buttons.