History of Taiwan

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History of Taiwan
Traditional Chinese臺灣歷史
Literal meaningTaiwanese history

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] From the late 13th to early 17th centuries, Chinese people gradually came into contact with Taiwan and started settling there. 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 people including Hakka immigrants from the Fujian and Guangdong areas of mainland China, across the Taiwan Strait.

In 1662, Koxinga, a loyalist of the Ming dynasty who had lost control of mainland China in 1644, defeated the Dutch and established a base of operations on the island. His forces were defeated by the Qing dynasty in 1683, and parts of Taiwan became increasingly integrated into the Qing empire. Following the First Sino-Japanese War in 1895, the Qing ceded the island, along with Penghu, to the Empire of Japan. Taiwan produced rice and sugar to be exported to the Empire of Japan, and also served as a base for the Japanese invasion of Southeast Asia and the Pacific during World War II. Japanese imperial education was implemented in Taiwan and many Taiwanese also fought for Japan during the war.

In 1945, following the end hostilities in World War II, the nationalist government of the Republic of China (ROC), led by the Kuomintang (KMT), took control of Taiwan, however there was no transfer of territorial sovereignty.[4][5] In 1949, after losing control of mainland China in the Chinese Civil War, the ROC government under the KMT withdrew to Taiwan and Chiang Kai-shek declared martial law. The KMT ruled Taiwan (along with the Islands of Kinmen, Wuqiu and the Matsu on the opposite side of the Taiwan Strait) as a single-party state for forty years, until democratic reforms in the 1980s, which led to the first-ever direct presidential election in 1996. During the post-war period, Taiwan experienced rapid industrialization and economic growth known as the "Taiwan Miracle", and was known as one of the "Four Asian Tigers".

Prehistory[edit]

History of Taiwan is located in Taiwan
Liang Island
Liang Island
Zuojhen
Zuojhen
Changbin
Changbin
Eluanbi
Eluanbi
Dapenkeng
Dapenkeng
Taiwan, with early sites, and the 130 km-wide (81 mi) Taiwan Strait

In the Late Pleistocene, sea levels were about 140 m lower than in the present day, exposing the floor of the shallow Taiwan Strait as a land bridge that was crossed by mainland fauna.[6] A concentration of vertebrate fossils has been found in the channel between the Penghu Islands and Taiwan, including a partial jawbone designated Penghu 1, apparently belonging to a previously unknown species of genus Homo. These fossils are dated 450,000 to 190,000 years ago.[7] The oldest evidence of modern human presence on Taiwan consists of three cranial fragments and a molar tooth found at Chouqu and Gangzilin, in Zuojhen District, Tainan. These are estimated to be between 20,000 and 30,000 years old.[1][8] The oldest artefacts are chipped-pebble tools of the Paleolithic Changbin culture found in four caves in Changbin, Taitung, dated 15,000 to 5,000 years ago, and similar to contemporary sites in Fujian. The same culture is found at sites at Eluanbi on the southern tip of Taiwan, persisting until 5,000 years ago.[2][9] Analysis of spores and pollen grains in sediment of Sun Moon Lake suggests that traces of slash-and-burn agriculture started in the area since 11,000 years ago, and ended 4,200 years ago, when abundant remains of rice cultivation were found in such period.[10] At the beginning of the Holocene 10,000 years ago, sea levels rose, forming the Taiwan Strait and cutting off the island from the Asian mainland.[6]

In December 2011, the ~8,000 year old Liangdao Man skeleton was found on Liang Island. In 2014, the mitochondrial DNA of the skeleton was found to belong to Haplogroup E, with two of the four mutations characteristic of the E1 subgroup.[11][12]

The only Paleolithic burial that has been found on Taiwan was in Xiaoma cave in Chenggong in the southeast of the island, dating from about 4000 BC, of a male similar in type to Negritos found in the Philippines.[13] There are also references in Chinese texts and Taiwanese aboriginal oral traditions to pygmies on the island at some time in the past.[14]

Around 3,000 BC, the Neolithic Dapenkeng culture abruptly appeared and quickly spread around the coast of the island. Their sites are characterised by corded-ware pottery, polished stone adzes and slate points. The inhabitants cultivated rice and millet, but were also heavily reliant on marine shells and fish. Most scholars believe this culture is not derived from the Changbin culture, but was brought across the Strait by the ancestors of today's Taiwanese aborigines, speaking early Austronesian languages.[3][15] Some of these people later migrated from Taiwan to the islands of Southeast Asia and thence throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Malayo-Polynesian languages are now spoken across a huge area from Madagascar to Hawaii, Easter Island and New Zealand, but form only one branch of the Austronesian family, the rest of whose branches are found only on Taiwan.[16][17][18][19] Trade links with the Philippines continued from the early 2nd millennium BC, including the use of jade from eastern Taiwan in the Philippine jade culture.[20]

The Dapenkeng culture was succeeded by a variety of cultures throughout the island, including the Tahu and Yingpu cultures. Iron appeared at the beginning of the current era in such cultures as the Niaosung Culture.[21] The earliest metal artifacts were trade goods, but by around 400 AD wrought iron was being produced locally using bloomeries, a technology possibly introduced from the Philippines.[22]

Chinese contact and settlement[edit]

Early Chinese histories refer to visits to eastern islands that some historians identify with Taiwan. Troops of the Three Kingdoms state of Eastern Wu are recorded visiting an island known as Yizhou in the 3rd century. The Book of Sui relates that Emperor Yang of the Sui dynasty sent three expeditions to a place called "Liuqiu" early in the 7th century.[23] Later the name Liuqiu (whose characters are read in Japanese as "Ryukyu") referred to the island chain to the northeast of Taiwan, but some scholars believe it may have referred to Taiwan in the Sui period. Okinawa Island was referred to by the Chinese as "Great Liuqiu" and Taiwan as "Lesser Liuqiu".[24]

During the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368), Han Chinese people started visiting Taiwan.[25] The Yuan emperor Kublai Khan sent officials to the Ryukyu Kingdom in 1292 to demand its loyalty to the Yuan Dynasty, but the officials ended up in Taiwan and mistook it for Ryukyu. After three soldiers were killed, the delegation immediately retreated to Quanzhou in China. Another expedition was sent.[26]

In 1349, Wang Dayuan provided the first written account of a visit to Taiwan.[27] He found no Chinese settlers there but many on the Penghu Islands.[28]

By the 16th century, increasing numbers of Chinese fishermen, traders and pirates were visiting the southwestern part of the island. When the Dutch arrived in 1623, they found about 1,500 Chinese visitors and residents.[29]

Dutch and Spanish colonies[edit]

Taiwan in the 17th century, showing Dutch (magenta) and Spanish (green) possessions, and the Kingdom of Middag (orange)

Portuguese sailors, passing Taiwan in 1544, first jotted in a ship's log the name of the island Ilha Formosa, meaning "Beautiful Island". In 1582, the survivors of a Portuguese shipwreck spent ten weeks battling malaria and aborigines before returning to Macau on a raft.[30]

The Dutch East India Company (VOC) came to the area in search of an Asian trade and military base. Defeated by the Portuguese at the Battle of Macau in 1622, they attempted to occupy Penghu, but were driven off by the Ming authorities. They then built Fort Zeelandia on the islet of Tayowan off the southwest coast of Taiwan. (The site is now part of the main island, in modern Anping, Tainan.) On the adjacent mainland, they built a smaller brick fort, Fort Provintia.[31] Local aboriginals called the area Pakan[32] and on some old maps the island of Taiwan is named Pakan.[33]

In 1626, the Spanish Empire, viewing the Dutch presence on Taiwan as a threat to their colony in the Philippines, established a settlement at Santísima Trinidad on the northeast coast of Taiwan (modern Keelung), building Fort San Salvador. They also built Fort Santo Domingo in the northwest (modern Tamsui) in 1629, but had abandoned it by 1638. The small colony was plagued by disease and a hostile local population, and received little support from Manila.[34]

The Dutch were defeated at the Battle of Liaoluo Bay by the Chinese Zheng Zhilong in 1633.[35][36]

The Dutch set out to turn Taiwan into a Dutch colony.[16] The first order of business was to punish villages that had violently opposed the Dutch and unite the aborigines in allegiance with the VOC. The first punitive expedition was against the villages of Baccloan and Mattauw, north of Saccam near Tayowan. The Mattauw campaign had been easier than expected and the tribe submitted after having their village razed by fire. The campaign also served as a threat to other villages from Tirossen (modern Chiayi) to Lonkjiaow (Hengchun). The 1636 punitive attack on Lamay Island in response to the killing of the shipwrecked crews of the Beverwijck and the Golden Lion ended ten years later with the entire aboriginal population of 1100 removed from the island including 327 Lamayans killed in a cave, having been trapped there by the Dutch and suffocated in the fumes and smoke pumped into the cave by the Dutch and their allied aborigines from Saccam, Soulang and Pangsoya.[37] The men were forced into slavery in Batavia (Java) and the women and children became servants and wives for the Dutch officers. The events on Lamay changed the course of Dutch rule to work closer with allied aborigines, though there remained plans to depopulate the outlying islands.[38]

In 1642, the Dutch ejected the Spanish from the north of the island.[39][40]

Bird's eye view of Fort Zeelandia in Dutch Formosa in the 17th-century

The VOC administered the island and its predominantly aboriginal population until 1662, setting up a tax system, schools to teach romanized script of aboriginal languages and evangelizing Christianity.[41][37] Although its control was mainly limited to the western plain of the island, the Dutch systems were adopted by succeeding occupiers.[42] The first influx of migrants were the Hakkas and Hokkiens who came during the Dutch period, in which merchants and traders from the mainland Chinese coast sought to purchase hunting licenses from the Dutch or hide out in aboriginal villages to escape the Qing authorities. Most of the immigrants were young single males who were discouraged from staying on the island often referred to by Han as "The Gate of Hell" for its reputation in taking the lives of sailors and explorers.[43]

The Dutch originally sought to use their castle Zeelandia at Tayowan as a trading base between Japan and China, but soon realized the potential of the huge deer populations that roamed in herds of thousands along the alluvial plains of Taiwan's western regions.[44]

Kingdom of Tungning[edit]

Territory controlled by Koxinga, founder of the Kingdom of Tungning
Taiwan Confucian Temple built during the reign of Zheng Jing

On the mainland, Manchu forces broke through Shanhai Pass in 1644 and rapidly overwhelmed the Ming dynasty. In 1661, a naval fleet led by the Ming loyalist Koxinga arrived in Taiwan to oust the Dutch from Zeelandia and establish a pro-Ming base in Taiwan.[45] Koxinga was born to Zheng Zhilong, a Chinese merchant and pirate, and Tagawa Matsu, a Japanese woman, in 1624 in Hirado, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan. He was raised there until seven and moved to Quanzhou, in the Fujian province of China. In a family made wealthy from shipping and piracy, Koxinga inherited his father's trade networks, which stretched from Nagasaki to Macao. Following the Manchu advance on Fujian, Koxinga retreated from his stronghold in Amoy (Xiamen city) and besieged Taiwan in the hope of establishing a strategic base to marshal his troops to retake his base at Amoy. In 1662, following a nine-month siege, Koxinga captured the Dutch fortress Zeelandia and Taiwan became his base (see Kingdom of Tungning).[46]

The Taiwanese Aboriginal tribes who were previously allied with the Dutch against the Chinese during the Guo Huaiyi Rebellion in 1652 turned against the Dutch during the Siege of Fort Zeelandia and defected to Koxinga's Chinese forces.[47] The Aboriginals (Formosans) of Sincan defected to Koxinga after he offered them amnesty. The Sincan Aboriginals then proceeded to work for the Chinese and behead Dutch people in executions. The frontier aboriginals in the mountains and plains also surrendered and defected to the Chinese on 17 May 1661, celebrating their freedom from compulsory education under the Dutch rule by hunting down Dutch people and beheading them and trashing their Christian school textbooks.[48] Koxinga died four months after the siege was over, there were speculations that he died in a sudden fit of madness when his officers refused to carry out his orders to execute his son Zheng Jing. Zheng Jing had an affair with his wet nurse and conceived a child with her.[49] Other accounts are more straightforward, attributing Koxinga's death to a case of malaria.[50][51]

Following the death of Koxinga, his son Zheng Jing took over the Zheng regime, leading the remaining 7,000 Ming loyalist troops to Taiwan. In response to raids by Zheng Jing and in an effort to starve out the forces in Taiwan, the Qing decreed to relocate all of the southern coastal towns and ports that had been the targets of raids by the Zheng fleet and thus provided supplies for the resistance. This measure largely backfired, and between 1662 and 1664, six major waves of immigration occurred from these coastal towns to Taiwan, spurred by the severe hardships incurred from the Qing relocation policy. In a move to take advantage of this Qing misstep, Zheng Jing promoted immigration to Taiwan by promising free eastern land cultivation and ownership for peasants in exchange for compulsory military service by all males in case the island was in danger of a Qing invasion.[citation needed]

Qing rule[edit]

The Qing Empire in 1820, with provinces in yellow, military governorates and protectorates in light yellow, tributary states in orange.
Main gate of Lukang Longshan Temple, built in 1786

Initial immigration restriction[edit]

In 1683, following a naval engagement with Admiral Shi Lang, one of Koxinga's father's trusted friends, Koxinga's grandson Zheng Keshuang, surrendered to the Qing dynasty.

There has been much confusion about Taiwan's association with the rumored "Island of Dogs," "Island of Women," etc., which were thought, by Han literati, to lie beyond the seas. Taiwan was officially regarded by the Kangxi Emperor as "a ball of mud beyond the pale of civilization" and did not appear on any map of the imperial domain until 1683.[52] The act of presenting a map to the emperor was equal to presenting the lands of the empire. It took several more years before the Qing court would recognize Taiwan as part of the Qing realm. Prior to the Qing dynasty, China was conceived as a land bound by mountains, rivers and seas. The idea of an island as a part of China was unfathomable to the Han prior to the Qing frontier expansion effort of the 17th century.[53]

Despite the expense of the military and diplomatic campaign that brought Taiwan into the imperial realm, the general sentiment in Beijing was ambivalent. The point of the campaign had been to destroy the Zheng-family regime, not to conquer the island.[citation needed] The Kangxi Emperor expressed the sentiment that Taiwan was "the size of a pellet; taking it is no gain; not taking it is no loss" (彈丸之地。得之無所加,不得無所損). His ministers counseled that the island was "a ball of mud beyond the sea, adding nothing to the breadth of China" (海外泥丸,不足為中國加廣), and advocated removing all the Chinese to mainland China and abandoning the island. It was only the campaigning of admiral Shi Lang and other supporters that convinced the emperor not to abandon Taiwan. Koxinga's followers were forced to depart from Taiwan to the more unpleasant parts[which?] of Qing controlled land.[citation needed] By 1682 there were only 7000 Chinese left on Taiwan as they had intermarried with aboriginal women and had property in Taiwan. The Koxinga reign had continued the tax systems of the Dutch, established schools and religious temples.

From 1683, the Qing dynasty ruled part of the island as Taiwan Prefecture and in 1875 divided the island into two prefectures, north and south. In 1887, the island was declared as a separate Fokien-Taiwan Province.

The Qing authorities tried to limit immigration to Taiwan and barred families from traveling to Taiwan to ensure the immigrants would return to their families and ancestral graves. Illegal immigration continued, but many of the men had few prospects in war-weary Fujian and thus married locally, resulting in the idiom "has Tangshan[a] father, no Tangshan mother" (Chinese: 有唐山公,無唐山媽; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Ū Tn̂g-soaⁿ kong, bô Tn̂g-soaⁿ má).[54][55] The Qing tried to protect aboriginal land claims, but also sought to turn them into tax paying subjects. Chinese and tax paying aborigines were barred from entering the wilderness which covered most of the island for the fear of raising the ire of the non taxpaying, highland aborigines and inciting rebellion. A border was constructed along the western plain, built using pits and mounds of earth, called "earth cows", to discourage squatting.

Early Han settlers[edit]

Depiction of Qing ships crossing the ocean to suppress the Lin Shuangwen rebellion, 1787-1788

From 1683 to around 1760, the Qing government limited immigration to Taiwan. Such restriction was relaxed following the 1760s and by 1811 there were more than two million Chinese immigrants on Taiwan. In 1875 Taipeh Prefecture was established, under the jurisdiction of Fujian Province. Also, there had been various conflicts between Chinese immigrants. Most conflicts were between Han from Fujian and Han from Guangdong, between people from different areas of Fujian, between Han and Hakka settlers, or simply between people of different surnames engaged in clan feuds. Because of the strong provincial loyalties held by these immigrants, the Qing government felt Taiwan was somewhat difficult to govern. Taiwan was also plagued by foreign invasions.[citation needed]

In 1771, Maurice Benyovszky commanded the first European ship to visit the east coast of Taiwan (which was not under Qing authority) and engaged in a series of violent conflicts with locals.[56]

Given the strategic and commercial value of Taiwan, there were British suggestions in 1840 and 1841 to seize the island.[57][58] In September 1841, during the First Opium War, the British transport ship Nerbudda became shipwrecked near Keelung Harbour due to a typhoon. The brig Ann also became shipwrecked in March 1842. Most of the crew were Indian lascars. Survivors from both ships were transferred by authorities to the capital Tainan. The Taiwan Qing commanders, Ta-hung-ah and Yao Ying, filed a disingenuous report to the emperor, claiming to have defended against an attack from the Keelung fort. In October 1841, HMS Nimrod sailed to Keelung to search for the Nerbudda survivors, but after Captain Joseph Pearse found out that they were sent south for imprisonment, he ordered the bombardment of the harbour and destroyed 27 sets of cannon before returning to Hong Kong. Most of the survivors—over 130 from the Nerbudda and 54 from the Ann—were executed in Tainan in August 1842.[57]

The Aboriginals often slaughtered the shipwrecked crews of Western ships. In 1867 the entire American crew of the Rover were massacred by aboriginals in the Rover incident. When the Americans launched the punitive Formosa Expedition in retaliation, the aboriginals defeated the Americans and forced them to retreat, killing an American marine while suffering no casualties themselves.

During the Sino-French War, the French attempted an invasion of Taiwan during the Keelung Campaign in 1884. Liu Mingchuan, who was leading the defense of Taiwan, recruited Aboriginals to serve alongside the Chinese soldiers in fighting against the French. The French were defeated at the Battle of Tamsui and the Qing forces pinned the French down at Keelung in an eight-month-long campaign before the French withdrew. Because of these incursions, the Qing government began constructing a series of coastal defenses and in 1885, work commenced to make Taiwan a province, with Liu Mingchuan serving as the first governor. He divided Taiwan into eleven counties and tried to improve relations with the aborigines. He also developed a railway from Taipei to Hsinchu, established a mine in Keelung, and built an arsenal to improve Taiwan's defensive capability against foreigners.

Following a shipwreck of a Ryukyuan vessel on the southeastern tip of Taiwan in winter of 1871, in which the heads of 54 crew members were taken by the aboriginal Taiwanese Paiwan people in the Mudan incident, the Japanese sought to use this incident as a pretext to have the Qing formally acknowledge Japanese sovereignty over the Ryukyu Islands as Japanese territory and to test reactions to potential expansion into Taiwan. According to records from Japanese documents, Mao Changxi [zh] and Dong Xun [zh], the Qing ministers at Zongli Yamen who handled the complaints from Japanese envoy Yanagihara Sakimitsu [ja], replied first that they had heard only of a massacre of Ryukyuans, not of Japanese, and quickly noted that Ryukyu was under Chinese suzerainty, and therefore this issue was not Japan's business. In addition, the governor-general of the Qing province Fujian had rescued the survivors of the massacre and returned them safely to Ryukyu. The Qing authorities explained that there were two kinds of aborigines on Taiwan: those governed by the Qing, and those unnaturalized "raw barbarians ... beyond the reach of Qing government and customs." They indirectly hinted that foreigners traveling in those areas settled by indigenous people must exercise caution.

After the Yanagihara-Yamen interview, the Japanese took their explanation to mean that the Qing government had not opposed Japan's claims to sovereignty over the Ryukyu Islands, disclaimed any jurisdiction over Aboriginal Taiwanese, and had indeed consented to Japan's expedition to Taiwan.[59] The Qing dynasty made it clear to the Japanese that Taiwan was definitely within Qing jurisdiction, even though part of that island's aboriginal population was not yet under the influence of Chinese culture. The Qing also pointed to similar cases all over the world where an aboriginal population within a national boundary was not completely subjugated by the dominant culture of that country.

The Japanese nevertheless launched an expedition to Mutan village with a force of 3600 soldiers in 1874. The number of killed Paiwan was about thirty, and that for the Japanese was six. Eventually, the Japanese withdrew after being paid a massive indemnity by the Qing. This incident caused the Qing to re-think the importance of Taiwan in their maritime defense strategy and greater importance was placed on gaining control over the wilderness regions.

On the eve of the First Sino-Japanese War, about 45 percent of the island was administered under direct Qing administration while the remaining was lightly populated by Aborigines.[60] In a population of around 2.5 million, about 2.3 million were Han Chinese and the remaining two hundred thousand were classified as members of various indigenous tribes.

End of Qing Rule[edit]

1896 map of Formosa, revised by Rev. William Campbell

As part of the settlement for losing the Sino-Japanese War, the Qing empire ceded the islands of Taiwan and Penghu to Japan on April 17, 1895, according to the terms of the Treaty of Shimonoseki. The loss of Taiwan would become a rallying point for the Chinese nationalist movement in the years that followed.[61]

Japanese rule[edit]

A 1912 map of Japan with Taiwan, which was ruled by the Empire of Japan from 1895 to 1945.

Japan had sought to claim sovereignty over Taiwan (known to them as Takasago Koku (高砂國)) since 1592, when Toyotomi Hideyoshi undertook a policy of overseas expansion and extending Japanese influence southward[62] and westward. To the west, Japan invaded Korea in that time period, with the eventual conquest of China contemplated. To the south an initial attempt to invade Taiwan and subsequent sporadic invasion attempts spanning three centuries were unsuccessful due mainly to disease and attacks by aborigines on the island.[citation needed]

In 1609, the Tokugawa shogunate sent Harunobu Arima on an exploratory mission of the island.[63] An attempted invasion in 1616, led by Murayama Tōan, failed when the fleet was dispersed by a typhoon and the only ship to reach the island was repelled.[64]

In the Mudan Incident of 1871, an Okinawan ship was wrecked on the southern tip of Taiwan and 54 crewmen were beheaded by Paiwan aborigines. After the Qing government refused to make compensation, stating that the aboriginals were not under its control, Japan launched a punitive expedition to the area in 1874, withdrawing after the Qing promised to pay an indemnity.[65][66][67][68]

Occupation[edit]

It was not until the defeat of the Chinese navy during the First Sino-Japanese War in 1894–95 that Japan was finally able to gain possession of Taiwan, and with it saw the shifting of Asian dominance from China to Japan. The Treaty of Shimonoseki was signed on April 17, 1895, ceding Taiwan and the Penghu Islands to Japan, which would rule the island for 50 years until its defeat in World War II.[69]

Soldiers of the 1874 expedition in Taiwan

After receiving sovereignty of Taiwan, the Japanese feared military resistance from Taiwanese who followed the establishment by the local elite of the short-lived Republic of Formosa. Taiwan's elite hoped that by declaring themselves a republic the world would not stand by and allow a sovereign state to be invaded by the Japanese, and therefore allied with the Qing. The plan quickly turned to chaos as the Green Standard Army and ethnic Yue soldiers took to looting and pillaging Taiwan. Given the choice between chaos at the hands of Chinese or submission to the Japanese, the Taipei elite sent Koo Hsien-jung to Keelung to invite the advancing Japanese forces to proceed to Taipei and restore order.[70]

1901 map with red line marking approximate boundary separating territory under actual Japanese administration from "Savage District"

Armed resistance was sporadic, yet at times fierce, but was largely crushed by 1902, although relatively minor rebellions occurred in subsequent years, including the Ta-pa-ni incident of 1915 in Tainan County.[71] Nonviolent means of resistance began to take place of armed rebellions and the most prominent organization was the Taiwanese Cultural Association, founded in 1921. Taiwanese resistance was caused by several different factors (e.g., the Taishō democracy). Some were goaded by Chinese nationalism, while others contained nascent Taiwanese self-determination.[61] Rebellions were often caused by a combination of the effects of unequal colonial policies on local elites and extant millenarian beliefs of the local Taiwanese and plains Aborigines. Aboriginal resistance to the heavy-handed Japanese policies of acculturation and pacification lasted up until the early 1930s.[71] The last major Aboriginal rebellion, the Musha (Wushe) Uprising in late 1930 by the Atayal people angry over their treatment while laboring in the burdensome job of camphor extraction, launched the last headhunting party, in which over 150 Japanese officials were killed and beheaded during a school's opening ceremonies. The uprising, led by Mona Rudao, was crushed by 2,000–3,000 Japanese troops and Aboriginal auxiliaries with the help of poison gas.[72]

Japanese colonization of the island fell under three stages. It began with an oppressive period of crackdown and paternalistic rule. The second stage was a dōka (同化) period of aims to treat all people (races) alike proclaimed by Taiwanese Nationalists who were inspired by the Self-Determination of Nations (民族自決) proposed by Woodrow Wilson after World War I. Finally, during World War II, the Japanese colonial government followed a policy of kōminka (皇民化) - cultural and educational Japanization which aimed to transform Taiwanese people into loyal subjects of the Japanese Emperor.[73]

Reaction to Japanese rule among the Taiwanese populace differed. Some felt that the safety of personal life and property was of utmost importance and went along with the Japanese colonial authorities. The second group of Taiwanese were eager to become imperial subjects, believing that such action would lead to equal status with Japanese nationals. The third group was influenced by Taiwan independence and tried to get rid of the Japanese colonials to establish a native Taiwanese rule. The fourth group on the other hand were influenced by Chinese nationalism and fought for the return of Taiwan to Chinese rule. From 1897 onwards, this last group staged many rebellions, the most famous one being led by Luo Fuxing [zh], who was arrested and executed along with two hundred of his comrades in 1913. Luo himself was a member of the Tongmenghui, an organization founded by Sun Yat-sen and was the precursor to the Kuomintang.[74] Several strategies of resistance were undertaken.[75]

Modern development[edit]

Bank of Taiwan established in 1897 headquartered in Taihoku (Taipei).

Initial infrastructural development took place quickly. The Bank of Taiwan was established in 1899 to encourage Japanese private sectors, including Mitsubishi and the Mitsui Group, to invest in Taiwan. In 1900, the third Governor-General of Taiwan passed a budget which initiated the building of Taiwan's railroad system from Kīrun (Keelung) to Takao (Kaohsiung). By 1905 the island had electric power supplied by water power in Nichigetsu Lake (Sun Moon Lake), and in subsequent years Taiwan was considered the second-most developed region of East Asia (after Japan). By 1905, Taiwan was financially self-sufficient and had been weaned off of subsidies from Japan's central government.

Under the governor Shimpei Goto's rule, many major public works projects were completed. The Taiwan rail system connecting the south and the north and the modernizations of Kīrun and Takao ports were completed to facilitate transport and shipping of raw material and agricultural products.[76] Exports increased by fourfold. 55% of agricultural land was covered by dam-supported irrigation systems. Food production had increased fourfold and sugar cane production had increased 15-fold between 1895 and 1925 and Taiwan became a major foodbasket serving Japan's industrial economy. A health care system was widely established and infectious diseases were almost completely eradicated. The average lifespan for a Taiwanese resident would become 60 years by 1945.[77]

Kagi Shrine, one of many Shinto shrines built in Taiwan.

World War II[edit]

The Takasago Volunteers were a unit of the Japanese Army recruited from Taiwanese aboriginal tribes.

As Japan embarked on full-scale war in China in 1937, it expanded Taiwan's industrial capacity to manufacture war material. By 1939, industrial production had exceeded agricultural production in Taiwan. At the same time, the "kōminka" imperialization project was put under way to instill the "Japanese Spirit" in Taiwanese residents, and ensure the Taiwanese would remain loyal subjects of the Japanese Emperor ready to make sacrifices during wartime. Measures including Japanese-language education, the option of adopting Japanese names, and the worship of Japanese religion were instituted. In 1943, 94% of the children received 6-year compulsory education. From 1937 to 1945, 126,750 Taiwanese joined and served in the military of the Japanese Empire, while a further 80,433 were conscripted between 1942 and 1945. Of the sum total, 30,304, or 15%, died in Japan's war in Asia.[citation needed]

The Imperial Japanese Navy operated heavily out of Taiwan. The "South Strike Group" was based out of the Taihoku Imperial University (now National Taiwan University) in Taiwan. Many of the Japanese forces participating in the Aerial Battle of Taiwan-Okinawa were based in Taiwan. Important Japanese military bases and industrial centers throughout Taiwan, like Takao (now Kaohsiung), were targets of heavy American bombing.[citation needed]

In 1942, after the United States entered the war against Japan and on the side of China, the Chinese government under the KMT renounced all treaties signed with Japan before that date and made Taiwan's return to China (as with Manchuria, ruled as the Japanese wartime puppet state of "Manchukuo") one of the wartime objectives. In the Cairo Declaration of 1943, the Allied Powers declared the return of Taiwan (including the Pescadores) to the Republic of China as one of several Allied demands. The Cairo Declaration was never signed or ratified and is as such not legally binding. In 1945, Japan unconditionally surrendered with the signing of the instrument of surrender and ended its rule in Taiwan as the territory was put under the administrative control of the Republic of China government in 1945 by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration.[78][79] In accordance with the provisions of Article 2 of San Francisco Peace Treaty, the Japanese formally renounced the territorial sovereignty of Taiwan and Penghu islands, and the treaty was signed in 1951 and came into force in 1952. At the date when the San Francisco Peace Treaty came into force, the political status of Taiwan and Penghu Islands was still uncertain.[78] The Republic of China and Japan signed the Treaty of Taipei on April 28, 1952 and the treaty came into force on August 5.[80] Writing in the American Journal of International Law, professors Jonathan I. Charney and J. R. V. Prescott argued that "none of the post–World War II peace treaties explicitly ceded sovereignty over the covered territories to any specific state or government."[81]

Republic of China rule[edit]

Taiwan under martial law[edit]

Woodcut of the mass killings which took place during the February 28 Incident
Beside President Chiang Kai-shek, the U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower waved to crowds during his visit to Taipei in June 1960.

The Cairo Conference from November 22–26, 1943 in Cairo, Egypt was held to address the Allied position against Japan during World War II, and to make decisions about postwar Asia. One of the three main clauses of the Cairo Declaration was that "all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and The Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China". According to Taiwan Civil Society quoting the Taiwan Documents Project, the document was merely a statement of intent or non-binding declaration, for possible reference used for those who would draft the post-war peace treaty and that as a press release it was without force of law to transfer sovereignty from Taiwan to the Republic of China. Additional rationale to support this claim is that the Act of Surrender, and SCAP General Order no. 1, authorized the surrender of Japanese forces, not Japanese territories.[82]

The Republic of China established the Taiwan Provincial Government in September 1945[83] and proclaimed on October 25, 1945 as "Taiwan Retrocession Day." This is the day in which the Japanese troops surrendered. The validity of the proclamation is subject to some debate, with some supporters[who?] of Taiwan independence arguing that it is invalid, and that the date only marks the beginning of military occupation that persists to the present.[84][85] By 1938 about 309,000 Japanese lived in Taiwan.[86] Between the Japanese surrender of Taiwan in 1945 and April 25, 1946, the Republic of China forces repatriated 90% of the Japanese living in Taiwan to Japan.[87] During the immediate postwar period, the Kuomintang (KMT) administration on Taiwan was repressive and extremely corrupt compared with the previous Japanese rule, leading to local discontent. Anti-mainlander violence flared on February 28, 1947, prompted by an incident in which a cigarette seller was injured and a passerby was indiscriminately shot dead by Nationalist authorities.[88] During the ensuing crackdown by the KMT administration in what became known as the February 28 Incident, tens of thousands of people were killed or arrested, and the incident became a taboo topic of discussion for the entire martial law era. The Memorial Foundation of 228 was established to provide compensation for the victims of the crackdown. From 1995 To 2006, the foundation approved compensation in 2,264 cases, including 680 cases wherein the victim died in the massacre, 179 case wherein the victim was unaccounted for, and 1,405 other cases (including victims who suffered from imprisonment, injuries or damage to reputation). [89]

From the 1930s onward the Chinese Civil War was underway in mainland China between Chiang Kai-shek's ROC government and the Chinese Communist Party led by Mao Zedong. When the Communists gained complete control of Mainland China in 1949, two million refugees, predominantly from the Nationalist government, military, and business community, fled to Taiwan. On October 1, 1949 the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) was founded in mainland China by the victorious communists; several months before, Chiang Kai-shek had established a provisional ROC capital in Taipei and moved his Nanjing-based government there. Under Nationalist rule, the mainlanders dominated the government and civil services.[90]

Economic development[edit]

The Chinese Civil War led to severe inflation. Currency was issued in denominations of 1 million Old Taiwan dollars.

In the immediate aftermath of World War II, post-war economic conditions compounded with the then-ongoing Chinese Civil War caused severe inflation across mainland China and in Taiwan, made worse by disastrous currency reforms and corruption. This gave way to the reconstruction process and new reforms.[citation needed]

The KMT took control of Taiwan's monopolies that had been owned by the Japanese prior to World War II. They nationalized approximately 17% of Taiwan's GNP and voided Japanese bond certificates held by Taiwanese investors.[91] These real estate holdings as well as American aid such as the China Aid Act and the Sino-American Joint Commission on Rural Reconstruction helped to ensure that Taiwan would recover quickly from war. The Kuomintang government also moved the entire gold reserve from the Chinese mainland to Taiwan,[92] and used this reserve to back the newly issued New Taiwan dollar to stabilize the new currency and put a stop to hyperinflation.[93]

The KMT authorities implemented a far-reaching and highly successful land reform program on Taiwan during the 1950s. The 375 Rent Reduction Act alleviated tax burden on peasants and another act redistributed land among small farmers and compensated large landowners with commodities certificates and stock in state-owned industries.[citation needed] Although this left some large landowners impoverished, others turned their compensation into capital and started commercial and industrial enterprises. These entrepreneurs were to become Taiwan's first industrial capitalists.[citation needed] Together with businessmen who fled from mainland China, they once again revived Taiwan's prosperity previously ceased along with Japanese withdrawal and managed Taiwan's transition from an agricultural to a commercial, industrial economy.[citation needed]

From 1950 to 1965, Taiwan received a total of $1.5 billion in economic aid and $2.4 billion in military aid from the United States. In 1965 all American aid ceased when Taiwan had established a solid financial base.[94] Having accomplished that, ROC president Chiang Ching-kuo[95] (the son of Chiang Kai-shek) started state projects such as the Ten Major Construction Projects that provided the infrastructure for building a strong export-driven economy. Taiwan has developed steadily into a major international trading power with more than $218 billion in two-way trade and one of the highest foreign exchange reserves in the world. Tremendous prosperity on the island was accompanied by economic and social stability. Taiwan's phenomenal economic development earned it a spot as one of the Four Asian Tigers.[citation needed]

Democratic reforms[edit]

Chiang Kai-shek died in April 1975, and was succeeded to the presidency by Yen Chia-kan while his son Chiang Ching-kuo succeeded to the leadership of the Kuomintang (opting to take the title "Chairman" rather than the elder Chiang's title of "Director-General"). Formerly the head of the feared secret police, Chiang Ching-kuo recognized gaining foreign support to securing the ROC's future security required reform. His administration saw a gradual loosening of political controls, a transition towards democracy, and moves toward Taiwanization of the regime.[96] Opponents of the Nationalists were no longer forbidden to hold meetings or publish papers. Though opposition political parties were still illegal, when the Democratic Progressive Party was established as the first opposition party in 1986, President Chiang decided against dissolving the group or persecuting its leaders. Its candidates officially ran in elections as independents in the Tangwai movement. In the following year, Chiang ended martial law and allowed family visits to mainland China.[97] Chiang selected Lee Teng-hui, a Taiwan born technocrat to be his vice president; the first in the line of succession to the presidency. The move followed other reforms giving more power to native born citizens and calmed anti-KMT sentiments.[98]

After Chiang Ching-kuo died in 1988, his successor, President Lee Teng-hui, continued to democratize the government. Lee transferred more government authority to Taiwanese born citizens, and Taiwan underwent a process of Taiwanization. In this localization process, local culture and history was promoted over a pan-China viewpoint. Lee's reforms included printing banknotes from the Central Bank instead of the usual Provincial Bank of Taiwan. He also largely suspended the operation of the Taiwan Provincial Government. In 1991 the Legislative Yuan and National Assembly elected in 1947 were forced to resign. These groups were originally created to represent mainland China constituencies. The restrictions on the use of Taiwanese languages in the broadcast media and in schools were also lifted.[citation needed]

However, Lee failed to crack down on the massive corruption that pervaded the government and many KMT loyalists felt that Lee betrayed the ROC by taking reforms too far, while those in the opposition felt he did not take reforms far enough.[citation needed]

Democratic period[edit]

The 2000 presidential election marked the end of the Kuomintang (KMT) rule. DPP candidate Chen Shui-bian won a three-way race that saw the Pan-Blue vote split by independent James Soong (formerly of the Kuomintang) and Kuomintang candidate Lien Chan. Chen garnered 39% of the vote.[99]

In 2004, President Chen was re-elected to a second four-year term after an assassination attempt which occurred the day before the election. Two shots were fired, with one bullet grazing the President's belly after penetrating the windshield of a jeep and several layers of clothing and the other bullet penetrated the windshield and hitting the vice president's knee cast. (She was wearing a knee cast due to an earlier injury.) Police investigators have said that the most likely suspect is believed to have been Chen Yi-hsiung, who was later found dead.[100]

The president faced similar accusations as his wife, but was protected from prosecution by presidential immunity. He had promised to resign if his wife was found guilty. However, after his wife fainted in the preparation hearing, she had sought and obtained absence of leave from the Court 16 times citing health concerns before President Chen Shui-bian's term was complete.[101]

In 2007, President Chen proposed a policy of Four Wants and One Without, which in substance states that Taiwan wants independence; Taiwan wants the rectification of its name; Taiwan wants a new constitution; Taiwan wants development; and Taiwanese politics is without the question of left or right, but only the question of unification or independence. The reception of this proposed policy in Taiwanese general public was unclear. It, however, was met with a cold reception by both the PRC and the United States. The PRC Foreign Minister emphasised that the Anti-Secession Law was not a piece of unenforceable legislation, while the US Department of State spokesman Sean McCormack described Chen's policy as "unhelpful".[102]

The KMT also retained control of the legislature in the Legislative Yuan elections in January 2008. In the presidential election in May 2008, KMT candidate Ma Ying-jeou ran on a platform supporting friendlier relations with mainland China and economic reforms, and defeated DPP candidate Frank Hsieh with 58.48% of the vote.[103]

On the same day President Chen left office, losing presidential immunity, the Supreme Prosecutor's Office announced that they were launching an inquiry into corruption charges regarding Chen.[104] Later in 2008, members of his administration, including Chiou I-jen, a former National Security Council secretary-general, and Yeh Sheng-mao, former director-general of the Ministry of Justice's Investigation Bureau, were arrested on corruption charges. Chiou I-jen was found not guilty,[105] while Yeh Sheng-mao was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison.[106]

Ma was re-elected, and the KMT retained its majority in the Legislative Yuan, in combined elections in January 2012.[107]

In March and April 2014, students protesting against undemocratic methods used by the KMT occupied the parliament building. In the end, the government agreed to put on hold the ratification of an agreement with China which they had pushed through without proper debate. This event had far reaching consequences, and changed the mood of the electorate. In the combined elections in January 2016 the opposition candidate for president, Tsai Ing-wen, of the DPP won with 56% of the vote, and the opposition DPP was catapulted into an outright majority in the parliament. The election marked the first time a non-KMT party won a majority in the legislature.[108]

The local elections held on November 24, 2018 resulted in a major setback for the DPP majority and led to President Tsai Ing-wen resignation as leader of the party.[109] The DPP lost a total of nine legislative seats, giving the KMT control of the majority of the 22 seats.[110] KMT mayoral candidates won in New Taipei City, Taichung and Kaohsiung, the latter of which has been a political stronghold for the DPP for 20 years.[111]

In May 2019, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage.[112]

In January, 2020, Tsai Ing-wen was re-elected in the presidential election. In the parliamentary election President Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) won majority 61 out of 113 seats. The Kuomintang (KMT) won 38 seats.[113]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Tangshan means "Chinese".

References[edit]

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Cited sources[edit]

General references[edit]

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Historiography and memory[edit]

  • Alsford, Niki JP. "Finding the Threads in Taiwan History and Historiography." European Journal of East Asian Studies 19.1 (2020): 13-47.
  • Brown, Melissa J. (2001), "Reconstructing ethnicity: recorded and remembered identity in Taiwan", Ethnology, 40 (2): 153–164, doi:10.2307/3773928, JSTOR 3773928.
  • Kleeman, Faye Yuan (2003), Under An Imperial Sun: Japanese Colonial Literature of Taiwan and The South, Honolulu, HA: University of Hawaii Press..
  • Teng, Emma Jinhua (2004), Taiwan's Imagined Geography: Chinese Colonial Travel Writing and Pictures, 1683–1895, Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, ISBN 978-0-674-01451-0.
  • Ts' ai, Hui-yu Caroline. "Diaries and Everyday Life in Colonial Taiwan." Japan Review (2013): 145-168. online

External links[edit]