Taiwan cuts ties with Kuwait
March 26, 1971: The Republic of China (ROC) severs diplomatic relations with the State of Kuwait after it switches recognition to China. The Middle Eastern country currently has no representation of any kind in Taiwan.
Indonesia rectifies name blunder
March 24, 2011: After mistakenly listing Taiwan as “Taiwan, PRC” on its Web site for visa applications, Indonesian foreign ministry swaps the name to “Chinese Taipei” in response to the protest issued by Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Lee becomes Taiwan’s first directly elected president
March 23, 1996: Taiwan’s first direct presidential election takes place. Incumbent president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) and his running mate Lien Chan (連戰) win with 54 percent of the vote.
March 24, 2000: Lee, who concurrently serves as Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) chairman, steps down from the party chairmanship to assume political responsibility for the party’s defeat in the presidential election. The Democratic Progressive Party’s Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) won the election, ending 55 years of rule under the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).
Official fired for inappropriate comments
March 23, 2009: Kuo Kuan-ying (郭冠英), a former government press officer who was fired over articles he wrote under his pen name Fan Lan-chin (范蘭欽), in which he referred to Taiwanese as “rednecks” and himself as a “high-class Mainlander.” Kuo’s rhetoric got him into trouble again the next year, when National Taiwan University professor Chen Shih-meng (陳師孟) and political commentator Chin Heng-wei (金恆煒) sued him for defamation. Kuo had called them “official violent dogs for Taiwanese independence.” Kuo was ordered to pay NT$50,000 in damages.
Political assassination criminalized intelligence officials
March 26, 1985: High-ranking intelligence officials Wang Hsi-ling (汪希苓), Hu Yi-min (胡儀敏) and Chen Hu-men (陳虎門) are indicted for involvement in the murder of journalist and writer Henry Liu (劉宜良), known under his pen name Chiang Nan (江南). Liu had written articles critical of the KMT and its former leader Chiang Kai-shek (蔣介石), as well as an unauthorized and unflattering biography of the then-president Chiang Ching-kuo (蔣經國). Liu, a naturalized US citizen, was assassinated in California in October 1984 by Taiwanese gangsters reportedly assigned by Taiwan’s military intelligence. The incident grew into a political scandal and damaged Taiwan-US relations.
Residency permit quota for Chinese spouses increases
March 23, 1994: The Legislative Yuan doubles from 300 to 600 the annual quota of permanent residency permits for Chinese spouses of Taiwanese citizens. The quota began in 1992, with the allowance growing dramatically to its current 15,000 per year.
SARS declared statutory infectious disease
March 27, 2003: The Executive Yuan declares severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) a statutory infectious disease and set up special clinics in major hospitals. Taiwan’s first SARS patient was identified on March 14 the same year. In April, the outbreak aggregated when Taipei Municipal Hoping Hospital was shut down for a month and a half after a mass infection was discovered among medical personnel. The WHO removed Taiwan from the list of affected areas in July. Later in the same year, Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control released an official record documenting 346 SARS cases of which 37 died.