Flag of Taiwan
  1. Taiwan Main Page
  2. Breaking from Mainland Influence
  3. New President Brings New Beginning
  4. Heightened Tensions
  5. Independence Rejected
  6. Political Leaders Stumble, Fall
  7. Taiwan and China Benefit from Trade Agreement
  8. Fallout over Closer Ties to China and Poor Economy
  9. Taiwan Elects First Female President
New President Brings New Beginning

In the March 2000 presidential race, voters elected pro-independence candidate Chen Shui-bian of the Democratic Progressive Party, ending more than 50 years of Nationalist rule.

Taiwan joined the World Trade Organization in Jan. 2002, just one day after China gained entry. In August President Chen outraged China when he asserted that Taiwan and China are separate countries and that a referendum on independence for Taiwan is a “basic human right.”

The day before the March 20, 2004, elections, President Chen Shui-bian and Vice President Annette Lu survived an assassination attempt. Chen won the election over Lien Chan by just 30,000 votes out of 13 million cast. The country's first-ever referendum failed because less than 50% of eligible voters weighed in on its questions. The referendum asked if Taiwan should arm itself with additional defensive weapons if China does not withdraw its missiles and if Taiwan should continue to negotiate with China.

Next: Heightened Tensions
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