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Taiwan (Chinese: 臺灣 or 台灣; pinyin: Táiwān), officially the Republic of China (Chinese: 中華民國), is a political entity in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China now governs the island of Taiwan (known in the past as Formosa), which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu, and other minor islands. Neighboring states include the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east and northeast, and the Philippines to the south. Taipei is the capital city and economic and cultural centre of the region, and New Taipei, which surrounds Taipei is the largest city by population.

The earliest evidence of Taiwan being inhabited is from the late Paleolithic era. The island of Taiwan was mainly inhabited by Taiwanese aborigines before being colonized in the 17th century by the Dutch as Dutch Formosa in 1624 and the Spanish as Spanish Formosa in 1626. The Spanish were expelled from the island in 1644 by the Dutch. The first Han Chinese polity on Taiwan began when Koxinga's troops defeated Dutch forces and established the Kingdom of Tungning. The island was subsequently ruled by the Qing Dynasty after the kingdom's defeat in the Battle of Penghu in 1683, a period that lasted for over 200 years. Following Japan's victory over the Qing Dynasty in the first Sino-Japanese war, Taiwan was ceded to Japan under the Treaty of Shimonoseki in 1895.

The Republic of China was established in mainland China in 1912 and governed varying amounts of the mainland until 1949. At the end of World War II, Japan surrendered Taiwan and associated islands to ROC forces. When Communist forces took control of mainland China and founded the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1949, the ROC government moved to Taiwan. The ROC government still officially claims to represent all of China, in a definition including Taiwan, but has not made retaking the mainland a political goal since 1992.

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Kaohsiung City (Chinese: 高雄市; Hanyu Pinyin: Gāoxióng; Tongyong Pinyin: Gaosyóng; Wade–Giles: Kao-hsiung; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Ko-hiông; old name: Takao, Takow, Takau) is a city located in southern Taiwan. Kaohsiung City is also the most dense and the second largest city in Taiwan, with a population around 1.51 million. As one of two central municipalities under the administration of the Republic of China (Taiwan), Kaohsiung City is a second-level political division, with the same status as a province. The city is further divided into eleven districts, each with a district office that handles day-to-day businesses between the Kaohsiung City government and its citizens.

Kaohsiung is a major center for manufacturing, refining, and transportation. Kaohsiung is the major port through which most of Taiwan's oil is imported, which accounts for the large amount of heavy industry. It is an export processing zone—producing aluminium, wood and paper products, fertilizers, cement, metals, machinery, and ships. With its harbor one of the four largest in the world, Kaohsiung is the center of Taiwan's shipbuilding industry, as well as home to a large Republic of China Navy base.

Selected biography

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Liu Chi-hsiang (Chinese: 劉啟祥; pinyin: Liú Qǐxiáng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Lâu Khé-siông; February 3, 1910 – April 27, 1998) was a Taiwanese painter born in Liouying, Tainan, in the period of Japan-ruled Taiwan. Liu study abroad in Japan and went to Paris to further his studies. He studied painting by imitating some European oil paint works, especially the impressionism paintings. After his return, Liu received several art awards in Japan and Taiwan for his oil paint works, and got married in 1937. He lived in Japan until the end of World War II and returned to Taiwan afterwards to continue to work on his artistic creations. He moved to Kaohsiung in 1948 and married with his second wife in 1952. Liu spent his old age promoting art education in Taiwan.

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Food court in Shilin night market.

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