Chinese history


Chinese history

Tai means 'Platform' and wan means 'gulf'. The old name for Taiwan, Formosa, was given by the Portuguese, and it means 'beautiful' in their language. The use of the term 'Taiwan' by the Chinese dates from the late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

Taiwan became the base for the nationalist Republic of China when Chairman Mao defeated Chang Kaishek in 1949. Tensions between the 'People's Republic of China' and Taiwan have rumbled on ever since. China considering it a renegade province that belongs to China. Taiwan is financially and militarily backed by the United States.

230Sun Quan, King of the State of Wu (in central China), sent a naval expedition to Taiwan.
1335Bureau of survey and examination set up in Fujian Province to administer civil affairs in Taiwan.
1403-1424Great Chinese explorer Zheng He stationed fleet in Taiwan during South East Asian voyages.
1624Dutch first settled in Taiwan.
1642Taiwan became a Dutch colony.
1661Koxinga (Zheng Chengong) drove out the Dutch, re-establishing Chinese control over island.
1683Qing (Manchu) armies conquered Taiwan (defeating Ming loyalist Zheng Keshuang, Koxinga's grandson).
1885Taiwan became a separate province of China.
1895Taiwan ceded to Japan by Treaty of Shimonoseki.
1945Japanese forces in Taiwan surrendered.
1949Chiang Kai-shek (Jiang Jieshi) fled to Taiwan after defeat in Civil War.
1950President Truman ordered US Seventh Fleet to enter Taiwan Strait.
1954Mutual Defence Pact between Nationalist government on Taiwan and USA signed.
1971People's Republic of China joined the United Nations replacing the Taiwan representative
1975Death of Chiang Kai-shek.
1978Chiang Ching-kuo (Jiang Jingguo) became 'Premier'.
1979USA established diplomatic relations with PRC, US Congress passed Taiwan Relations Act.
1984Deng Xiaoping proposed 'one country, two systems' solution for settling problems of Hong Kong and Taiwan.
1988Li Denghui became 'Premier'.

See Also Hong Kong and Macau.

© Copyright Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding (SACU) 2001 reprinted from China Now 132, Page 18, 1990

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