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(4,387 words)

Author(s): Schubert, Gunter
The term Taiwan can mean one of three things today: first, the island of Formosa; secondly, the province of Taiwan which includes further (smaller) islands - particularly, the Pescadores (Penghu Qundao) which are situated 50 km to the west; and thirdly, the state that is usually called "Taiwan", with the official designation "Republic of China", the territory of which includes the province of Taiwan as well as a few small islands off the mainland coast which are considered to form part of the pr…

Political System

(6,434 words)

Author(s): Emmerich, Reinhard | Cabestan, Jean Pierre | Heilmann, Sebastian | Schubert, Gunter
1. Imperial Period For over 2000 years, the Chinese seriously questioned the concept of the empire neither in political theory nor in practice, and the imperial period (221 BCE to 1911) is thus by far the longest era of Chinese history. The following sketched generalizations, however, must not conceal the fact that China's political system, here understood in the restricted sense of "system of government", underwent considerable historical changes. These changes took place essentially because the I…