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History of Taiwan

History of the island of Taiwan / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The history of the island of Taiwan dates back tens of thousands of years to the earliest known evidence of human habitation.[1][2] The sudden appearance of a culture based on agriculture around 3000 BC is believed to reflect the arrival of the ancestors of today's Taiwanese indigenous peoples.[3] Han Chinese gradually came into contact with Taiwan starting in the late 13th century and started settling there by the early 17th century. Named Formosa by Portuguese explorers, the south of the island was colonized by the Dutch in the 17th century whilst the Spanish built a settlement in the north which lasted until 1642. These European settlements were followed by an influx of Hoklo and Hakka immigrants from Fujian and Guangdong.

Quick facts: History of Taiwan, Traditional Chinese, ...
History of Taiwan
Traditional Chinese臺灣歷史
Literal meaningTaiwanese history

In 1662, Koxinga defeated the Dutch and established a base of operations on the island. His descendants were defeated by the Qing dynasty in 1683 and their territory in Taiwan was annexed by the Qing dynasty. Over two centuries of Qing rule, Taiwan's population increased by over two million and became majority Han Chinese due to illegal cross-strait migrations from mainland China and encroachment on Taiwanese indigenous territory. Due to the continued expansion of Chinese settlements, Qing-governed territory eventually encompassed the entire western plains and the northeast. The Qing ceded Taiwan and Penghu to Japan after losing the First Sino-Japanese War in 1895. Taiwan experienced industrial growth and became a productive rice- and sugar-exporting Japanese colony. During the Second Sino-Japanese War it served as a base for invasions of China, and later Southeast Asia and the Pacific during World War II.

In 1945, following the end of hostilities in World War II, the nationalist government of the Republic of China (ROC), led by the Kuomintang (KMT), took control of Taiwan. The legality and nature of its control of Taiwan, including transfer of sovereignty, is debated.[4][5] In 1949, after losing control of mainland China in the Chinese Civil War, the ROC government under the KMT withdrew to Taiwan where Chiang Kai-shek declared martial law. The KMT ruled Taiwan (along with the islands of Kinmen, Wuqiu and the Matsu) as a single-party state for forty years until democratic reforms in the 1980s. The first-ever direct presidential election was held in 1996. During the post-war period, Taiwan experienced rapid industrialization and economic growth known as the "Taiwan Miracle", and was one of the "Four Asian Tigers".