Taiwan. According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in Republic of China/Taiwan include Independence Day (October 10) and New Year (January 1). Prime Minister Frank Hsieh chose to resign in January after the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lost big in the local elections in December 2005. In addition, the DPP government in 2005 had great difficulty in enforcing its policy in parliament, which was dominated by opposition party Guomindang. President Chen Shuibian, from the DPP, appointed 59-year-old Su Tseng-chang as new prime minister – the fifth in six years. Su, like the president, advocated a tougher line against China than the outgoing Frank Hsieh had done. Su appointed a new government in January and the biggest challenges for it were expected to be to improve the country’s economy and to try to curb the stubborn political opposition in Parliament.
|Land area||35,980 km²|
|Residents per km²||656|
|Income per capita||$ 50,500|
|ISO 3166 code||TW|
|Time zone UTC||+8|
|Geographic coordinates||23 30 N, 121 00 O|
In February, the president scrapped the National Reunification Council. The abolition of the Council, which in theory would work for a reunification with mainland China, was symbolic, as it had been inactive for several years. However, the decision angered the Chinese leadership in Beijing, who said the measure was “catastrophic” and warned President Chen to further step up the “breaker operations”.
In May, President Chen handed over his powers of power in all areas except defense and foreign policy to Prime Minister Su. The decision was an attempt to avoid a political crisis as a result of a major corruption scandal involving family members of Chen and close associates. Among other Chen’s sons-in-law were charged with insider dealing and his wife for bribery. Guomindang demanded Chen’s departure and tried in the summer and fall to force him to leave the presidential post through parliamentary vote of no confidence, which Chen did, however. Attempts were also made to put the president before the national court. The campaign against the president continued throughout the rest of the year. In November, two DPP members in parliament jumped off in protest against Chen choosing to remain despite growing pressure on him to step down. However, the DPP as party was behind the president. The scandals surrounding Chen adversely affected Taiwanese confidence in the ruling party and the president’s popularity curve reached bottom levels. Out in the streets, hundreds of thousands of people staged demonstrations – against or for Chen.