from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • An island off the southeast coast of China, the seat of the Republic of China since 1949. Originally inhabited by Austronesian peoples, it was settled in the 1500s by Han Chinese, explored in 1590 by the Portuguese (who named the island Formosa), and held by the Dutch in the mid-1600s before being seized by China in 1683. Taiwan was ceded to Japan in 1895 and regained by China after World War II (1945). Taiwan broke off from mainland China in 1949 when the Nationalists under Chiang Kai-Shek fled from Mao Zedong's forces and established their government on the island. Taipei is the capital and the largest city.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • proper noun Common name for a country in East Asia. Official name: Republic of China, Its de facto capital is Taipei.
  • proper noun An island off the coast of mainland China, also known as Formosa since 16th century.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a government on the island of Taiwan established in 1949 by Chiang Kai-shek after the conquest of mainland China by the Communists led by Mao Zedong
  • noun an island in southeastern Asia 100 miles off the coast of mainland China in the South China Sea


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Tayuan, Tayoan, or other variants, meaning "foreigners" in Sirayan (a Formosan language used on the southwestern part of the island), referring to the early Chinese settlers. Recorded in Dutch records as "Tayouan" (and other variants), and in Chinese as "大員" (and other variants), as the name for a peninsula off the coast of Tainan. Eventually became the name of the entire island.


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  • TAIWAN noted in the Summary, we gave the wrong impression in our Report of Monday on why the Taiwan arms sale notifications expected by Congress last week were not sent up.

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    My Sinchew -


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