Formosaprop. n. An island off the coast of China, also called Taiwan. It was occupied by Japan from 1895 to 1945, when it was returned to Chinese sovereignty. After the Communist revolution which took over the Chinese mainland in 1949, the Nationalist Chinese under Chang Kai-Shek retreated to the island of Formosa and established that island as the base of their government, being recognized for several years as the de jure possessor of the China seat in the United Nations. The capital is Taipei. As of 1998, both the Taiwan government and the mainland China government recognized Taiwan as properly a part of China, but the island is currently ruled as a de facto independent nation, though it does not possess a seat in the United Nations. The question of when and under what circumstances the island will be reunited with the mainland government is still unresolved.
Syn. -- Taiwan.
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