POLITICS OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA
The politics of the Republic of China function in a structure of a representative democratic republic, in which the President serves
as head of state and the Premier (President of the Executive Yuan) serves as head of government, and of a dominant party system.
The government exercises executive power.
Legislative power is vested mostly in parliament and restricted by government.
The Judiciary is independent of both the executive and the legislature.
The Kuomintang (“Chinese Nationalist Party”, KMT) is currently the governing party; it supports closer ties to mainland China.
The ROC currently exercises jurisdiction over Taiwan (Formosa), Penghu (the Pescadores), Kinmen (Quemoy), Matsu, and numerous
The five biggest cities in Taiwan (Kaohsuing, New Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, and Taipei) are special municipalities.
The remaining territories are divided into three cities and fourteen counties.
MAJOR LEADERS OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA
Major leaders of the Republic of China
Government Unitary semi-presidential constitutional republic
President Ma Ying-jeou
Vice President Wu Den-yih
Premier Jiang Yi-huah
President of the Legislative Yuan Wang Jin-pyng
President of the Judicial Yuan Rai Hau-min
President of the Examination Yuan John Kuan
President of the Control Yuan Wang Chien-shien
The ROC is ruled under the constitution of the Republic of China, written in 1947 prior to mainland China’s fall to the communist forces of Mao
Zedong in 1949, and outlined a government for all of China.
In 1991, considerable changes were made to the Constitution; there have been numerous judicial interpretations made to consider that the
Constitution covers a far smaller area than what was initially foreseen.
The Taipei government formally affirms itself to be the only true government of all of China, which it defined as comprising Taiwan, mainland
China, and outer Mongolia; in living up to that assertion, the Kuomintang (KMT), upon escaping to Taipei in 1949, re-established the entire array of
important political bodies, which also was prevalent in mainland China in the de jure capital of Nanjing (Nanking).
Even though much of this structure is still in place, President Lee Teng-hui informally abandoned the government’s claim of authority over
mainland China, saying that they do not “dispute the fact that the Communists control mainland China."
Conversely, the National Assembly has not formally changed the national borders because doing this would be viewed as a prelude to official
independence for Taiwan (the People’s Republic of China intends to begin a war if the government of Taiwan formalizes independence).
Note: neither the National Assembly nor the Supreme Court has really defined what existing national boundaries really means with respect to the
constitution; the latter refused to on the grounds that it is a “major political issue”.
Premier Jiang Yi-huah (KMT) since 18 February 2013
Vice Premier Mao Chi-kuo (KMT) since 18 February 2013
The Executive Yuan includes the premier, vice premier, and the cabinet
members whose duties are policy and administration.
The President nominates the Premier, who is formally the President of the
The Legislative Yuan (LY), first elected in 1947, is the primary lawmaking body.
The first LY, made up of 773 seats, was seen as a “rubber stamp” institute.
Representatives elected in 1947/1948, as with the National Assembly, occupied these seats
“indefinitely” until the ruling in 1991.
The second LY was elected in 1992.
The third LY, elected in 1995, was made up of 157 members serving three-year terms; the fourth LY,
elected in 1998, was expanded to a membership of 225.
The LY has considerably increased its position with respect to the Executive Yuan, establishing itself as a
significant actor on the central level.
Together with cumulative strength, this body is starting to mirror the recently liberalized political system.
The biggest opposition party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), challenged the Kuomintang
(KMT) rule of the Legislature in the elections of 1992 and 1995; they pulled a considerable share of the
LY seats in both elections, while the KMT claimed only half the LY’s seats.
However, in 1998, the KMT increased its LY majority from 50% to 55%, and maintained its governing role
in the legislature as the largest opposition party.
The DPP became the biggest party in the 2001 election after the KMT suffered huge losses.
The Judicial Yuan (JY) governs the court system of the ROC.
It comprises a sixteen-member Council of Grand Justices (COGJ) that interprets
With the permission of the Legislative Yuan, the President nominates Grand
Justices to nine-year terms.
Rai Hau-min is the current President of the Judicial Yuan.
The Control Yuan (CY) observes the effectiveness of public service and
examines cases of corruption.
The President nominates the twenty-nine members of the Central Yuan, who are
approved by the Legislative Yuan, and serve six-year terms.
The Control Yuan has become more active in recent years; it has carried out
numerous major investigations and impeachments.
Wang Chien-shien is the current President of the Control Yuan.
The Examination Yuan (ExY), functioning as a civil service commission, comprises
two ministries: the Ministry of Examination (which employs officials by means of
modest examination), and the Ministry of Personnel (which supervises the civil
The President of the ROC nominates the President of the Examination Yuan.
John Kuan is the current President of the Examination Yuan.
The Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan (Formosa), Penghu
(Pescadores), Kinmen (Quemoy), and the Matsu Islands.
The entire nation is divided into streamlined provinces (Taiwan and Fukien) and
five special municipalities.
As the provinces are streamlined, the cities and countries are directly ruled by
the central government, notably by Executive Yuan.
The central ruled administrative divisions are as follows:
Five special municipalities (直轄市 zhíxiáshì): Kaohsiung, New Taipei, Taichung, Tainan, and
Three provincial cities (市 shì): Chiayi, Keelung, Hsinchu
Fourteen countries (xiàn):
Changhua, Chiayi, Hsinchu, Hualien, Kinmen, Lienchiang, Miaoli, Nantou, Penghu,
Pingtung, Taitung, Taoyuan, Yilan, and Yunlin
Administrative Divisions map
Political party in the Republic of China and currently Taiwan’s governing party.
Even though its name literally mean the Chinese National People’s Party, it is more often translated as
the Chinese Nationalist Party.
The Revolutionary Alliance, the KMT’s predecessor, was one of the biggest supporters of the overthrow
of the Qing Dynasty and the establishment of a republic.
Founded by Song Jiaoren and Sun Yat-sen not long after the Xinhai Revolution of 1911.
While Sun was the provisional president, he had no military authority and surrendered the presidency to
the military leader Yuan Shikai.
Warlords divided China after Yuan died, whereas the KMT only controlled part of the south.
Later led by Chiang Kai-shek; created a military and was successful in its Northern Expedition to unite
much of China.
Governing party from 1928 until it sought sanctuary in Taiwan in 1949 after it was defeated by the
Communist Party of China (CPC) in the Chinese Civil War.
Remained the only governing party in Taiwan until reforms in the late 1970s through the 1990s saw a
loosening on its ruling status.
While the Republic of China has been a multi-party state since 1987, KMT is still one of the political
parties in Taiwan.
Born 13 July 1950 in Kwong Wah Hospital, Kowloon, British Hong Kong (now Hong
Current President of the Republic of China (commonly referred to as Taiwan)
since 2008 and Chairman of the Kuomintang (KMT) since 2009; also served in
that post from 2005-2007.
Previously served as Justice Minister (1993-1996) and Mayor of Taipei (1998-2006).
Was elected President by 58.45% of the popular vote in the 2008 presidential
election; was re-elected in 2012 with 51.6% of the vote.
Assumed office as President on 20 May 2008, and reassumed the post of
Chairman of the Kuomintang on 17 October 2009.
Born 30 January 1948 in Caotun.
Vice President of the Republic of China since May 2012, and member of the governing
Running mate of President Ma Ying-jeou in the 2012 presidential election; was elected
Vice President with 51.5% of the vote.
Previously served as Premier from 2009-2012.
Attended National Taiwan University, where he studied history.
Served as President and editor-in-chief of University News (大學新聞) student publication in
1968/1969 during his university years.
Wrote an essay for the student publication that prompted future President of the ROC
Chiang Ching-kuo to inspire him to serve the people and the country.
Graduated with his BA degree in 1970; served his conscription when he graduated.
Worked as a reporter for China Times prior to entering politics when he finished his required
military service in the armed forces.
Was known for his truthful reporting and understanding commentary.
Born 18 November 1960 in Keelung.
Current Premier of the Republic of China since February 2013.
Vice Premier of the Republic of China from 2012-2013 before being nominated
Served as Minister of the Interior from 2009-2012 and Minister of Research,
Development and Evaluation Commission of the Executive Yuan from 2008-2009.
It was reported that he once wrote an essay during high school where he
dreamed of becoming the President of the Republic of China when he grew up.
Obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Political Science from National
Taiwan University (NTU).
Completed his doctoral degree in Political Science at Yale University in 1993;
returned to Taiwan after he graduated to become a professor at NTU.
Born March 17, 1941 in Luju Township, Takao Prefecture, Taiwan, Empire of Japan (now
part of Kaohsuing City).
Current President of the Legislative Yuan since February 1999.
Formerly a leading member of the Kuomintang (KMT); seen as a calm and an appeasing
Born in a simple countryside community.
Lived in villagers life; earned positive mental and physical condition.
Excelled in sports in his elementary school years; his teachers motivated him to participate
in the physical education department.
Finished elementary school in Tainan Municipal Dashe Elementary School.
Finished his junior and senior years at the Tainan First Senior High School in Tainan; he
always became the team leader of the school’s tennis team in this school.
Graduated from Taipei’s Teacher’s College of National Taiwan Normal University with a
Bachelor of Science in mathematics in 1965.
Claims that he never put extra attempts in academic studies since his youth and he does
not believe in prominent star schools, but his grades have nonetheless always been good
and his education always went well.
Born 2 January 1939 in Miaoli, Taiwan, Empire of Japan.
Current President of the Judicial Yuan of the Republic of China since 13
Also served as Chairperson of the Central Election Commission of the
Executive Yuan from 2009-2010.
Born June 9, 1940 in Tientsin.
11th and current President of the Examination Yuan of the Republic of China
since December 2008.
His daughter, Wendy Kuan (關雲娣), died in May 2011 after she fell off her kitchen
window of her 27th floor apartment in Shanghai, China; it was alleged that she
took her own life because her husband, Zero Lin (林哲樂), was having an affair.
Avoided contact with Lin ever since his daughter died; did not attend any family
events where his son-in-law would also be in attendance.
Born 7 August 1938 in Hefei, Anhui.
Founder of the New Party and current President of Control Yuan since August 2008, having
been appointed by President Ma in July 2008, and approved by the Legislative Yuan.
Finance minister of the Republic of China from 1990-1992 and chairman of the Chinese
Management Association since 1990.
Grew up in Taipei City and earned a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from
Taiwan Provincial Cheng Kung University and National Chengchi University, respectively.
Was admired in the 1990s for his clean standing and break with the Kuomintang to help
found the New Party.
The three parties of the pan-Blue coalition, the Kuomintang, the People First Party, and the
New Party, in 2001, agreed to nominate only one candidate for Taipei County magistrate
based on which of the three parties could nominate the most popular candidate in polls.
In spite of the combined ticket and a poll predicting a victory, Wang lost to Su Tseng-
Also partook in the Taipei City mayoral race in 1998.
Is married to Su Fa-jau (蘇法昭).
THE END (結束)
Kuomintang logo Flag of the Republic of China
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