History of Taiwan
Taiwan has a unique and tumultuous history due to its important location in the South China Sea. In 1895, after losing a war with Japan, the Manchurian Empire ceded their claim of Taiwan to Japan. Under Japanese rule Taiwan's economy prospered and a rule of law was strictly enforced, but the native Taiwanese were forced to speak Japanese rather than their native tongues. After World War II, Chiang Kai-shek and the Kuomintang (KMT) Military fled to Taiwan in 1949 after being defeated by Mao Zedong and the Communists in China. Two million Nationalists fled to Taiwan and set up a Republic of China (ROC) government in Taiwan. Chiang Kai-shek established martial law and suppressed any opposition by the Taiwanese to his rule. He also forbid the use of Taiwanese languages and only allowed the use of Mandarin Chinese in public settings and at schools.
In 1987, martial law was officially ended and a multi-party democracy slowly emerged by 1996. Taiwan had been under martial law for more than 38 years, which was one of the longest periods of martial law any country has had to endure. Throughout the 1980s, the island prospered and became one of East Asia's economic "Tigers." The dominant political issues continue to be the relationship between Taiwan and China; specifically the question of Taiwan's status as an independent, democratic Nation which is fiercely opposed by the Communist Party ruled People's Republic of China (PRC).
In 2001, the research organization ‘Operation World’ said, Taiwan was “the only Han Chinese population in the world where the spiritual breakthrough has yet to come.”