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.
|230||Sun Quan, King of the State of Wu (in central China), sent a naval expedition to Taiwan.|
|1335||Bureau of survey and examination set up in Fujian Province to administer civil affairs in Taiwan.|
|1403-1424||Great Chinese explorer Zheng He stationed fleet in Taiwan during South East Asian voyages.|
|1624||Dutch first settled in Taiwan.|
|1642||Taiwan became a Dutch colony.|
|1661||Koxinga (Zheng Chengong) drove out the Dutch, re-establishing Chinese control over island.|
|1683||Qing (Manchu) armies conquered Taiwan (defeating Ming loyalist Zheng Keshuang, Koxinga's grandson).|
|1885||Taiwan became a separate province of China.|
|1895||Taiwan ceded to Japan by Treaty of Shimonoseki.|
|1945||Japanese forces in Taiwan surrendered.|
|1949||Chiang Kai-shek (Jiang Jieshi) fled to Taiwan after defeat in Civil War.|
|1950||President Truman ordered US Seventh Fleet to enter Taiwan Strait.|
|1954||Mutual Defence Pact between Nationalist government on Taiwan and USA signed.|
|1971||People's Republic of China joined the United Nations replacing the Taiwan representative|
|1975||Death of Chiang Kai-shek.|
|1978||Chiang Ching-kuo (Jiang Jingguo) became 'Premier'.|
|1979||USA established diplomatic relations with PRC, US Congress passed Taiwan Relations Act.|
|1984||Deng Xiaoping proposed 'one country, two systems' solution for settling problems of Hong Kong and Taiwan.|
|1988||Li Denghui became 'Premier'.|
© Copyright Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding (SACU) 2001 reprinted from China Now 132, Page 18, 1990
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