Taipei has been at the centre of Taiwan’s political history since 1912, and Liberty Square in the heart of the city commemorates many milestone events and characters of this journey.
Taiwan’s battle for independence began in 1912, when the last Imperial Dynasty of China, the Qing Dynasty, was overthrown and Taiwan began to establish itself an independent state as the Republic of China.
Under the guidance of the “Founding Father” Dr Sun Yat-Sen, a prominent revolutionary and political leader, the Kuomintang (the Chinese Nationalist Party) was formed and began to establish power across Taiwan.
However, the new republic envisioned by Sun and his contemporaries developed slowly and was to encounter many further challenges.
After Sun’s death in 1925, his young protégé Chiang Kai-shek took Sun’s place as the leader of the Kuomintang party and
continued to strengthen Taiwan’s position as the Republic of China through the Northern Expedition, a series of widespread military offensives.
After falling under Japanese control in 1895 until the end of the Second World War, Taiwan emerged from this with a view to establishing itself as a completely independent state from China.
As China disagreed with this, the two sides were effectively still at war with each other until 1979, when a peace agreement was brokered with assistance from the United States.
During this period, there were a growing number of local uprisings against what many saw as an increasingly corrupt Kuomintang party, paving the way for the Democratic Progressive Party becoming the first opposition party in 1986.
Liberty Square was originally built in the 1970s as a memorial through the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.
It has played host to a huge variety of gatherings, protests and celebrations which make up key milestones of Taiwan’s history.