Facts About Taiwan
Little is known of Taiwan's earliest hisotry, but with the results of
radiocarbon dating of primitive utensils it has been estimated that people
have inhabited Taiwan for at least 10,000 years. The first inhabitants of
Taiwan were not Chinese at all - Taiwan has always been on the preiphery
of the Chinese Empire and, although Chinese history dates back more than
3000 years, there was no significant Chinese migration to Taiwan until the
15th century. Taiwan's earliest inhabitants-these days simply known as
'aborigines' - probably migrated from the Pacific islands, as evidenced by
their racial features which resemble those of the people of the nearby
When the Chinese arrived in Taiwan, there were two distinct groups of aborigines.
Onelived on the rich plains of central and southwestern Taiwan, and the other
groupl live in the mountains.
The 17th Century:
Interestingly enough, the most comprehensive historical records on Taiwan go
back some 350 years, to the period of the Dutch occupation, 1624-1662. When the
Dutch East Indies Company arrived, they found only the aborigine population on
the island: there were no signs of any administrative structure of the
Chinese Imperial Government. Thus, at that time Taiwan was not "part
Taiwan in the Dutch period
The Dutch brought in Chinese laborers as migrant workers. They usually came
for a few years (without family) and then returned to mainland. Eventually,
more settled, and married aborigine wives.
In 1662 Dutch were defeated by a Chinese pirate, Cheng Cheng-kung (Koxinga),
a loyalist of the Ming dynasty, who himself was on the run from the newly
established Ching dynasty. Cheng Cheng-kung himself died shortly afterwards,
his son took over, but in 1683, this last remnant of the Ming Dynasty was
defeated by the Ching troops.