Taiwan Politics Database

About this website

  1. Origins and objective
  2. Remarks on sources, accuracy and more
  3. Copyright issues
  4. Acknowledgements
  5. The author/chief researcher

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◆ Origins and objective

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The origins of this website go back to the book "Politicians in the Republic of China. Register and explanations" (ISBN: 978-957-43-0827-9), self-published in September 2013 by Tilman Aretz who subsequently kept updating, revising and extending the book as a Taiwan politics database in PDF format. In August 2018 Swiss sinologist and entrepreneur Andy Grünberg suggested to the author the establishment of this website based on the contents of the database as an open access publication for cutting-edge research in the field of Taiwan politics. Mr Grünberg also created the logo "Taiwan politics database" and holds that logo's copyright.

This website is dedicated to the democratic Taiwan and its incredible transition from a martial law dictatorship to a full-fledged democracy. It is also a tribute to the legendary one-and-only band   這是什麼 & the 沒有's  that rocked Taipei in the late 1980s and has been a wellspring of invaluable inspiration.

(The image above right shows the band performing in F+M Station, Taipei 1988; click on it to enlarge.)

The purpose of this website is also explained on its welcome page, click here.

 ❤️    ❤️    ❤️    ❤️  

Contact information

Taiwan Politics Database 台灣政治資料庫
P. O. Box 952 Taipei Qingtian, Taipei City 10699, Taiwan ROC
[10699 台北青田郵局第 952 號信箱]


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◆ Remarks on sources, accuracy and more

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(Remarks by the chief researcher)

The main sources of information used to collect the material presented in this website include the Republic of China Yearbooks which were published by the ROC government on a regular basis for decades until 2016. Another reference book I occasionally used was the Directory of Taiwan (Taiwan zhinan 台灣指南) published annually since 1951 by the China News (renamed "Taiwan News" in May 1999). I also often referred to the websites of ROC government agencies (e. g. the Executive Yuan, the Legislative Yuan, cabinet-level agencies, local governments etc.), and in several cases when available data were insufficient wrote to respective agencies directly to ask for information.

Data shown in the menu about ROC democratic elections were gathered from the ROC Central Election Commission; additional information came from Taiwanese newspapers and from Taiwan Communique (published since December 1980). For cross-reference I used websites like Wikipedia or Google.

For this reason no lengthy list of reference literature/further reading can be presented here. Please note that although I collected the data and information for this website with utmost care and checked the material equally vigilantly, I cannot completely rule out that the website may still contain errors and/or misprints. In case a user discovers details including facts deemed faulty, he/she is welcome to notify me by email (address as listed in my blog) so that I can look into the matter in question and make necessary corrections.

Personal names are presented in their official English spelling as they are found in ROC Yearbooks and popular Taiwanese media, plus traditional Chinese characters. An alphabetical index which gives those names' pronunciation in Hanyu Pinyin 漢語拼音—which was adopted as standard Romanization system for modern Chinese by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1979—is placed under "Name Index" in the tool menu bar. Hanyu Pinyin is also used for the Chinese version of organization names and other terms in this website.

Please note that complete information about an individual politician's official English spelling, biographical data and home province is not always available, especially regarding the first decades of the ROC. In some cases information listed in reference books published by the ROC government, directories like "Who's Who in China" in the National Central Library (NCL) or on the internet (e. g. websites of ROC government agencies) is inconclusive. Example: The birth year of Wu Hua-peng 吳化鵬, MTAC head from 1986 to 1993, was 1921 according to the MTAC website but 1925 according to the yearbook "Republic of China 1988". As for the home province, the borders of some Chinese provinces like Sichuan, Gansu or those in Manchuria were redrawn after the establishment of the ROC, therefore in several cases data provided by official ROC government sources do no longer match the administrative zones in the provinces of today's China. All said, I cannot guarantee that the data shown in this website are 100 percent error-free.

Tilman Aretz (chief researcher, Taiwan Politics Database)
Taipei, June 4, 2021


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◆ Copyright issues

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This website contains more than 600 image files, the majority being logos of agencies, institutions, organizations, and companies. Naturally, their respective copyright belongs to the entity which the logo represents. As for the portrait images and other pictures with miscellaneous contents on this website, a copyright notice is usually added directly above or below the image(s).

Maps on this website

Most of the maps used on this website are sketches created by the chief researcher based on various sources for practical information and orientation purposes only. The depiction of boundaries and related data shown on these maps are not warranted to be error free as minor inaccuracies cannot be completely ruled out. Unless otherwise indicated, all maps are oriented with North at the top.

In addition to creating his own maps, the chief researcher also took the liberty using maps from outside sources. In particular, maps used for the illustration of earthquakes and typhoons were taken from the website of the Central Weather Bureau (CWB).

The following table lists the nineteen maps on this website which were not created by the CWB or the chief researcher.

Map content Copyright owner / origin
South China SeaWikipedia / Wikimedia © Creative Commons, author: Goran tek-en (Jan. 23, 2014)
Taiwan’s Indigenous PeoplesROC Yearbook 2016, p. 45 (Source: CIP)
Taiwan’s Indigenous Peoples National Chiayi University
Taiwan’s Indigenous PeoplesROC Yearbook 2000, p. 29 (Source: MOI)
Distribution of Taiwan’s Indigenous Peoples before ColonizationWikimedia © Creative Commons, author: Kwamikagami (at English Wikipedia, date: Aug. 28, 2008)
Air Defense Identification Zones in East Asia (as of October 2021)Deutsche Welle (DW)
Taiwan’s active faults (English)Central Geological Survey, MOEA (CGS)
Taiwan’s active faults (Chinese)Central Geological Survey, MOEA (CGS)
Taiwans seismicityWikimedia © Creative Commons, author: Hsu Shih-hung 許世弘 ("Hsu.shihhung")
Physical map of Taiwan Copyright © Relief Maps,

 computed by Hans Braxmeier,

 courtesy maps-for-free.com
Physical map of Penghu
Physical map of Kinmen
Physical map of Matsu
Composite physical map of smaller islands: Lanyu, Ludao, Liuchiu, Guishan Island
Okinawa Trough
Taiwan in the world
Taiwan in Asia
Taiwan in East Asia
Taiwan off continental China

Please note that Ludao 綠島 (Green Island) is sometimes referred to in English as Lyudao or Lüdao.

For an overview of all maps on this website please refer to the relevant index on the page Maps.


Marquee images

The 15 images in the scrolling marquee on the top of each page are based on photos taken by the chief researcher, edited with Irfanview (effects: Oil paint, Rock). The following list provides details about the images, including a description, location and the date when the original photo was taken.

No. Image description Photo taken on (date)
Image 1Taroko Gorge 太魯閣 (Hualien County)2012, April 12
Image 2Guishan Island 龜山島 (Yilan County)2015, March 3
Image 3Aboriginal motive, Sandimen 三地門 (Pingtung County) 2018, Aug. 20
Image 4Fort San Domingo 紅毛城, Tamsui (New Taipei City)2014, March 15
Image 5Statue of Koxinga 鄭成功 (Tainan City)2010, Aug. 3
Image 6Fort Provintia 赤嵌樓 (Tainan City)2010, Aug. 4
Image 7Confucius Temple 孔廟 (Tainan City)2010, Aug. 3
Image 8Lungshan Temple 龍山寺, Lugang (Changhua County)2008, July 15
Image 9Eluanbi Lighthouse 鵝鑾鼻燈塔 (Pingtung County)2014, March 4
Image 10East Gate 東門 (Taipei City)2013, May 25
Image 11Presidential office building 總統府 (Taipei City)2013, May 25
Image 12Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall 中正紀念堂 (Taipei City) 2013, June 1
Image 13National Concert Hall 國家音樂廳 (Taipei City)2013, June 1
Image 14228 Memorial Monument 二二八紀念碑 (Taipei City)2022, April 26
Image 15Taipei 101 台北一零一 (Taipei City)2007, April 21

All 15 images listed in above table Copyright © Tilman Aretz.


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◆ Acknowledgements

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The assistance of the following persons in information gathering and other contributions to the database are sincerely appreciated:

Brian Aiello, Pierre-Yves Baubry, Thomas V. Biddick, Hans Braxmeier, Simon Chang San-cheng 張善政, Lydia Chen 陳曉卿, Chen Yi-shen 陳儀深, Schive Chi 薛琦, Chiu Bihui 邱璧輝, Luis M. Chong L. 何其忠, Andy Grünberg, Christoph Henke, Edwin Hsiao 蕭世仁, Joanne Hsiao 蕭育娟, Hu Ru-yu 胡如瑜, Huang Song-lih 黃嵩立, Lee Jui-yi 李瑞儀, L. F. Lee, C. Joanna Lei 雷倩, Anja Liao 廖琇琬, William Lue 呂禧鳴, Sven Meier, Neal Moore, Kurt Multhaup, Nagayoshi Miyuki 永吉 美幸, Jacques Oberson, Ou Yin-shi 歐茵茜, Robert Parker, Claudius Petzold, Qiu Daiyu 邱岱玉, Don Shapiro, Courtney Donovan Smith, Fred Steiner, Bo Tedards, Ace F. Trask, Tsai Chih-yuan 蔡芝苑, Alexander G. Tsverianishvili (Александр Германович Цверианишвили), Michael Turton, Wang Shih-lin 汪錫麟, Thomas Weyrauch, and Günter Whittome.

Furthermore, the chief researcher would like to thank the following professors and teachers for their guidance and contributions to his academic education in the 1980s and 1990s:

Peter Ackermann, Manfred Alexander, Wilhelm Blassen, Bernd Bonwetsch, Hsiu-fen Chou-Vetter 周秀芬, Géza S. Dombrády, Charlotte Dunsing, Peter Greiner, Hermann Halbeisen, Stefan Hase-Bergen, Suishū Tomoko Klopfenstein-Arii クロッペンシュタイン翠秀, Lee Song-gen 李松根, Li Zhaochu 李肇礎, Tienchi Liao-Martin 廖天琪, Gudula Linck, Heinz-Dietrich Löwe, Helmut Martin, Wolfgang Ommerborn, Andreas Pigulla, Peter Weber-Schäfer, and Konrad Wegmann.


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◆ The Author / Chief researcher

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Tilman Aretz (b. 1965) is a sinologist from Meerbusch (Germany) with an M. A. in Chinese Literature. He has been living in Taipei since September 1994 and works as an editor for an ROC government agency since January 1997. For a more detailed CV click here.

Favourite quote:
“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930)

Selected previous publications

The Greater China Factbook (大中華百科全書). 668 pages, published in August 2007 by Taiwan Elite Press 時英出版社, ISBN-10: 9867762975, ISBN-13: 978-986-7762-97-9, OCLC: 264977502.
Table of contentsPrefacePart 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Errata

Frühe taiwanesische Heimatliteratur. Zhong Lihe (1915-1960). Master thesis (in German), 97 pages, completed in November 1993. Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Fakultät für Ostasienwissenschaften, Sprache und Literatur Chinas, supervised by Prof. Dr. Helmut Martin 馬漢茂 教授.
Additional file (in English) containing images pertaining to the master thesis.

The two ISBN bar codes presented below are for "The Greater China Factbook" (left) and "Politicians in the Republic of China" (right).



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