Taiwan Culture

Taiwan Culture and Mass Media

Newspapers in Taiwan

According to PROGRAMINGPLEASE.COM, Taiwan is a country located in Asia. The distribution of daily newspapers in Taiwan is relatively large (188 newspaper excl. Per 1,000 residents, 1996). There are about 35 daily newspapers, of which 25 are published in Taibei. Largest are the privately owned Lienhe Pao (1.3 million copies) and the formerly completely dominant and state-controlled Zhongguo Shibao (700,000 copies) and Zhongyang Ribao (500,000 copies), the Guomindang newspaper. Formally, censorship does not prevail, and the ban on telling China ceased in 1988, but the government often has great influence over the press.

Radio and TV are mainly privately owned but in various ways state or party controlled. In 1998, there were 78 broadcasters, four broadcasters and 143 cable broadcasters. There are about 400 radio and about 330 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (1996).


According to ANIMALERTS, Taiwan’s leaders long believed that Taiwan was the rightful heir to classical Chinese culture. In Taipei there is a museum with the world’s largest collection of Chinese works of art, objects that Kuomintang brought from the Emperor’s Palace in Beijing in connection with the flight from the mainland in 1949 (see Modern History). A variety of cultural institutions, museums and foundations were created to preserve and develop that culture. Beijing opera, calligraphy (fiction) and classical landscape painting were encouraged by the state.

But eventually “real politics” crept into the cultural realm as well and domestic cultural production got more leeway. Alongside the official institutions are Taiwanese folk culture and indigenous culture. In addition, strong influences remain from the Japanese occupation and the long-standing trade exchange with the Western countries has left its mark. Together, the various impulses create their own Taiwanese cultural identity.

The contacts with the West have not least left traces in the visual arts, which are otherwise characterized by influences from China and Japan. Chinese painting and calligraphy, for example, are combined with Western modernism.

Since the 1980s, a new generation of Taiwanese filmmakers has attracted international attention. Director Ang Lee, a resident of the United States, has made several award-winning films, including Oscar-winning Crouching tiger, hidden dragon set in historic China.



Mao Chi-kuo new prime minister

Mao Chi-kuo is appointed new Prime Minister.

The president resigns as party leader

President Ma resigns as party leader for Kuomintang following the party’s defeat in the local elections.


Election loss for KMT

KMT suffers a stinging defeat in the local elections on November 29. It is the party’s biggest loss in local elections ever. KMT only manages to retain power in one of the six special municipalities – New Taipei. DPP won in the rest, while an independent candidate became mayor of the capital Taipei itself. Even in the elections in the other 16 cities and districts in Taiwan, KMT is doing poorly, which only wins in five of these. After the election, Prime Minister Jiang Yi-huah announces that he is leaving his post and that the rest of the government will also resign. Jiang and his ministers, however, continue on their posts until successors are appointed.

Former Vice President emphasizes agreement

Vincent Siew, who was previously vice president, meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Apec meeting in Beijing. Siew emphasizes to Xi Jinping that both Taiwan and China must ensure that they adhere to the 1992 agreement “that there is only one China, but that each side has the right to interpret the meaning of this in its own way”.


Deputy Prime Minister dismissed

A Deputy Minister of Taiwan Mainland Mainland Council (MAC) is dismissed after being accused of leaking information.

Gas explosions in Kaohsiung

Several gas explosions are triggered in the city of Kaohsiung, killing about twenty people while injuring a few hundred. The explosions are said to have been caused by a propylene gas leak.


Nuclear power plants have to wait

The government decides to close and seal a disputed fourth nuclear power plant (see June 2014) for three years. This is the time period that the government expects is required to carry out the promised referendum on the future fate of the power plant.


Protests against new nuclear power plant

Shortly thereafter, new protests are emerging in Taipei. This time around, the protests are about the construction of the fourth nuclear power plant in Taiwan. Thousands of protesters block the streets of the capital, demanding that the ongoing construction of the nuclear power plant be completed. The reason is that the new planned facility would not only be located in an area where there is a risk of earthquakes but that it will also be located in a very densely populated metropolitan area north of the capital. President Ma Ying-jeou agrees to temporarily suspend construction of the work until a referendum is held on the issue.

Student occupation ends

On April 10, the students finally end the occupation. At that time, the President of the Legislative Yuan listened to the students’ demands to pass a law on the control and monitoring of agreements with China before work on the planned Services and Investment Act progressed. Work on new review legislation is then started immediately.

Student demonstrations against China cooperation

Students occupy the parliament building, the legislative yuan, in protest against the decision to have Parliament vote on a planned law on investment and services trade with China instead of having the law examined by a special parliamentary committee first. The students are critical of the law, which they believe will hurt the Taiwanese economy and cause Beijing to have greater influence over Taiwan. A few days later, students also break into the government headquarters, the executive yuan. Hundreds of protesters and police are injured in clashes that follow and sixty protesters are arrested. President Ma Ying-jeou then agrees that the new trade agreement with China should be examined in detail in the legislative yuan.


China-Taiwan Summit

China and Taiwan meet for government-level talks for the first time since 1949, when the Kuomintang Nationalist Party fled to Taiwan after being defeated by Mao Zedong’s Communist army. The meeting in Nanjing city on mainland China is seen as a clear symbol that relations between Beijing and Taipei are getting better after the approach that started when Ma Ying-jeou took over the Taiwanese presidential post in 2008. At the meeting, government representatives agree to establish a direct channel for further discussions on common issues. At the same time, both semi-official organizations SEF in Taiwan and Arat in China will continue to be responsible for negotiating joint agreements (see also Foreign Policy and Defense).

Taiwan Culture

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