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Pre 1600's

Taiwan was originally settled by the people of Malay-Polynesian decent. They initially inhabited in the costal plains. At that time Taiwan was known as the Island Pakan. 

During the occasional settlements of the Dutch and the waves of Chinese that immigrated to Taiwan the natives were forced to move to the mountainous areas of Taiwan. 

Soon the aboriginals were known as the "Mountain People"

The 17th Century

In the year 1590 the first Western ship passed by Taiwan, Jan Huygen van Linschoten, a Dutch navigator on a Portuguese ship, saw this beautiful island and excitedly said, "Ilha Formosa."

The name Formosa became the name for Taiwan for nearly 4 centuries.

The Dutch Era - 1624-1662

The Dutch Indie Company arrived Taiwan and found only native people and found no reminisce of administrative structures of Chinese Imperial Government. Which indicated Taiwan was already not apart of China.

On a narrow peninsula in southwestern coast of Taiwan, the Dutch established a fortress, "Zeelandia", after the Dutch province of Zeeland. The peninsula was called Tao Yuan, meaning terrace bay. The name later evolved to Taiwan, which is the name for the country now.

The Dutch brought Chinese laborers as refugee workers for the sugar plantations and rice fields. They usually came for a few years (without the whole family) and then returned to China. Eventually, people began to settle, and marry aboriginal wives. Thus Taiwanese arose.

In 1662 the Dutch were defeated by a Chinese pirate, Cheng Cheng-kung, a loyalist of the Ming dynasty, who himself was on the run from the newly established Ching dynasty. Cheng Cheng-kung died shortly afterwards, and his son took over his place, but in 1683, this last remnant of the Ming dynasty was defeated by the Ching dynasty troops.

From the 1680s to the 1880s

The Manchu emperors were not willing to colonize Taiwan because they did not care for the country, and the Manchu were very interior people. They had almost no understanding with naval warfare and little knowledge of offshore islands.

Through the years, immigration to Taiwan from the coastal province of China amplified rapidly. People came not because they were sent by the Peking rulers, but came to flee their country due to wars, famines, and lost of pride.

Taiwan remained an altering country for the next two hundred years. At times, the Manchu people attempted to take control and enforce order on the natives, but time and time again the island of Taiwan fought back remain strong and victorious. There were numerous hostilities between the local populations and Chinese officials, which were sent from China, leading to the saying: “Every Three years an uprising, every five years a rebellion.”

The 19th Century

China barley influenced Taiwan or even uses their ability to say Taiwan was under their control.  An example, which makes it apparent China, wanted nothing to do with Taiwan. In the 1870’s Taiwanese captured American, Japanese and French ships which were passing Taiwan, the governments of the countries protested to Beijing, but the Manchu emperor replied saying: “Taiwan is beyond our territory.”

The French were so outraged by the attacks from Taiwan on their ships and the Chinese effortless actions, they sent a fleet to Taiwan and for nine months in 1884-85, the northern part of Taiwan was French territory.

It wasn’t until 1887, that the Manchu Imperials decided with no interaction with the Taiwanese people, and declared Taiwan to be a province of their Empire. They wanted to take over Taiwan and outmaneuver the Japanese, whom were expanding their influence to the South.

Their scheme did not work because in 1895 the Japanese defeated the Manchu’s in the Sino-Japanese War, and in the Treaty of Shimonoseki, China ceded Taiwan to Japan in perpetuity. Unlike Hong Kong’s New Territories, which ended after 99 years, perpetuity means forever.

An important fact is that Taiwan was occupied by the Imperial China only for less then eight years. Not ‘always’ as the Kuomintang and the Chinese Communist are claiming.  

The Taiwan Republic    

Taiwanese despite the idea of becoming a Japanese state, and on 25 May 1895—with the assistance of former Manchu officials – the Taiwan republic, the first independent Republic in Asia was established. However, on 29 May 1895, the uprising for Taiwan ended quickly when Japanese military force of over 12,000 soldiers landed in Northern Taiwan, and started to crush the revolutionary movement. On 21st of October 1895, Japanese imperial troops entered Tainan, the southern capital of the Taiwan Republic, ending its short life.

The Japanese Period

The occupation of Japanese in Taiwan was harsh and corrupt; it is hard to say if it was good or bad. There were great accomplishments but then they were their accomplishments. The educational system was built under the Japanese way of thinking; the Japanese made an extravagant modern infrastructure, with trains roads industry etc. were developed extensively.

A excellent book on the Japanese period in Taiwan is by George Kerr’s “Formosan Home Rule Movement.”

A very interesting anecdote from 1930s was that, at the time of the Chinese Communist under Mao Tse-Tung were vying for control over China with Chiang Kai-Shek’s Nationalists. In an interview with American reporter Edgar Snow, Chairman Mao said: “…we will extend them (the Koreans) our enthusiastic help in their struggle for independence. The same thing applies for Taiwan"  (p. 110 in Red Star over China, by Edgar Snow).

Occupation by the Chinese Nationalists

Taiwan’s position dramatically changed during WWII, in 1943, the Allied Powers held a Cairo Conference. It must have been something they ate or the heat made them sleepy, but for some foolish reason they decided to agree with Chiang Kai-Shek’s proposal that Taiwan would be “returned to (Nationalist) China.” This proposal snuck its way into the Cairo Declaration, but of course this occurred without the consent of any presence or agreement of the representatives of the Taiwanese people.

When WWII ended in 1945, the Allied Powers agreed that Chiang’s troops would “temporarily occupy Taiwan, on behalf of the Allied Forces.” As we see now, this statement of “temporary” has become relatively permanent. Initially, the Taiwanese were glad to get rid of the Japanese Imperialist, but soon their joy turned into distress and rage, once it was clear the newcomers from China turned to be corrupt, exploitive and vulgar.

After World War II

On February 28th the tension burst out in flames in Taiwan. Later to be known as the February 28th Incident of 1947, when a small incident in Taipei led to large-scale demonstrations. The Kuomintang initially withdrew most of their troops, but secretly they sent troops from China, which started to round up and execute a whole generation of leading figures, lawyers, students, and doctors. Up to 28,000 people were killed during the “white terror”, and the following years, thousands of people were arrested, imprisoned, tortured and murdered by the Kuomintang’s highly efficient KGB-machine, the Taiwan Garrison Command.

The Beginning Of Martial Law

In 1949, Chiang Kai-shek lost the war in China so he fled to Taiwan, where he established the remains of his regime. For the next four decades, the people of Taiwan lived under the ruthless policy of Martial Law, while the Kuomintang attempted to uphold their fantasy that they rule all of China “which was technically true, for a brief time in history”, and that some day they would “recover” China back and unite the country. The mainlanders who came along Chiang Kai-shek consisted of only 10% of the population of the country. But this 10% somehow maintained itself in a position of power over then 90% native Taiwanese through firmly controlled political system of the police, military, educational system and media.

“Chiang Kai-shek ruling can be considered similar to the ruling of Adolf Hitler, using martial law and deciding everything for the whole country. He represented the whole country of Taiwan and not being a Taiwanese, much like Hitler, an Austrian representing all of Germany.”

The San Francisco Peace Treaty

The years 1951-1952 marked a milestone for Taiwan’s history. The San Francisco Peace Treaty was the interaction with the Allied Powers and Japan ended WWII by finishing the San Francisco Peace Treaty. This treaty is above all important for Taiwan, because it decided that Japan gave up sovereignty over Taiwan, but was not determined who was the beneficiary, it concluded that, "...the future status of Taiwan will be decided in accord with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations."

The UN Charter contains article 1.2, which states the purpose of the UN is “To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples…” The official result of the San Francisco Peace Treaty is that the people of Taiwan should determine the future status of the island based on the principle of self-determination.  This treaty is the first, and the last, international treaty of the 20th Century, which deals with the status of Taiwan.

Taiwan, the UN and the Shanghai Communiqué

From 1952 to 1972, the Kuomintang was able to build up a strong economy, thanks to the hard dedicated work of the Taiwanese, sound infrastructure built up by the Japanese. But in those 20 years the Kuomintang lost their ground in the diplomatic front. In 1971, their dream world of representing all of China fell apart when Nixon and Kissinger made their “opening” for China.

In 1971 the Peking took over the Kuomintang’s seat in the UN as “representative of China,” and the Kuomintang authorities stepped down. Chiang Kai-shek being the genius he was, decided it was better for Taiwan not to have the support of the world, and his insane ambition of taking back China only grew stronger.

In the resolution 2758 it says nothing about Taiwan’s status or Taiwan’s representation. Resolution 2758 deals with only the question who was representing China in the United Nations, not the question of Taiwan’s representation, which is in fact a separate issue, to be dealt with as a follow up on the decisions of The San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951-1952.

In the years 1972, was the infamous Shanghai Communiqué, which were between the United States and Chinese authorities in Peking. According to the US intelligence Agencies, the US negotiator, Henry Kissinger, agreed to the reports of the Communiqué after a dinner of maotai and Peking duck.

Henry Kissinger apparently agreed to his hosts because of a quotation, “After a dinner of maotai and Peking duck, I’ll sign anything.” The Communiqué is the based assumption for the present so-called “One China Policy” by the Clinton administration. So a person enjoying his dinner, which allegedly led to 20 million peoples suffering, based the “One China policy”.

The Communiqué.

The Communiqué in 1972 “acknowledged” the Chinese position that there is but only one China, and that Taiwan is part of China. This does not mean that the United States, and other nations that used similar wording, “agrees” with the Chinese position meant anything. This merely states that these nations took not of the Chinese position, but did not give their own position on the matter. “Acknowledge” which was used by the United States. simply meant, “taking not of” but not precisely “agreeing” with someone’s position. But these communiqués between the United States and China are of little relevance to Taiwan. To being with, they were simply statements which were said at the end of a meeting, and were not ratified, either by the United States Congress, or by the international community, so this can not be taken like a Treaty. More importantly, these meetings had NO involvement or representation of the people of Taiwan, so this cannot have any validity in determining the future of Taiwan.  

Towards a Democratic and Independent Nation

1971, 1972, and even more the December 1978 United States, which switched its recognition from the Kuomintang regime to Beijing regime, hit hard in Taiwan, and the people of Taiwan. At the same time, it gave Taiwan the vigor to the growth of the democratic opposition movement, which occurred in the late 1970’s and the early 1980’s.

One significant event was the Kaohsiung Incident which occurred December 1979 that gathered Taiwanese in Taiwan and overseas into political action. The Tangwai “outside-the-party” democratic oppositions started to question the Kuomintang’s anachronistic claims to represent all of China, and began to work towards ending the 40 years of Martial Law in Taiwan. In September 1986, this movement by the Taiwanese people culminated in the formation of the Democratic Progress Party “DPP”, which then became a full-fledged opposition party.

The Martial Law, which started, by Chiang Kai-shek was finally dropped in the years 1987, which was replaced by a less forceful National Security Law. However, it was not until 1991 that the Kuomintang claims to rule all of China was dropped, and that aging Nationalist Chinese legislators – elected from China in 1947 – were sent into retirement. Since then Taiwan has made major accomplishments to the direction of a fully democratic political system, but the Kuomintang and other Pro-China parties remain strong with money in Taiwan, even though they have a history of doing immoral things and stealing money. Even to today Kuomintang authorities still grasp on the outdated principle that “Taiwan is part of China.”

Copyright © 2003 Taiwan Communiqué



Dutch Navigational Map Of "Pakan"






The Map Above Shows That Taiwan Is A Country Apart From China. "Colors"






Dutch ships in the harbor near Zeelandia







Manchu Emperor

Manchu Emperor

Signing Treaty Of Shimonoseki

Taiwanese Celebrate 100 years after the San Francisco Peace Treaty in 1951




Flag of Taiwan Republic, first in Asia


Japanese Navy

Red Star Over China by Edgar Snow

Chiang Kai-Shek

Flag Of KMT

Picture representing the tragedy of 228



Chiang Kai-Shek


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