When the ROC Government lost its membership of the United Nations in the 1970s, countries around the world severed their diplomatic ties with Taiwan. The most shocking event was when the US announced the ending of its diplomatic relationship with the ROC in 1978 (Year 67 of the ROC calendar). As a result, the government suspended the congressional elections in that year, leading to serious unrest and triggering the Formosa Incident in the following year, during which many people were arrested and imprisoned. The incident attracted international attention when relatives of and lawyers for those incarcerated joined the election, ultimately winning many landslide victories. In 1986 (Year 75 of the ROC calendar), the Democratic Progressive Party was formed, and this was followed by the government’s lifting of martial law the next year, symbolizing the dawning of a new age for democracy in Taiwan.

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