Photo by: tylerdurden, Creative Commons

The story of Taipei began when the Han Chinese stayed in the basin of Taipei in 1709. It was caught between colonial politics. Though there is insufficient knowledge about its earliest inhabitants, human life started here about 5000 years ago.

A Portuguese writer once called this “Ilha Formosa” or beautiful island when translated in English. The Dutch were the first ones to colonize this land where at that time, a few Chinese fishermen inhabited the land. Spanish red beards claimed Dan Shui in 1626. The Dutch managed to chase away the Spaniards in 1641, but its rise to power didn’t last upon Koxinga coming to the scene.

He was a loyal Ming follower and also the son of a merchant in China. When the Ming Dynasty fell, Koxinga was forced to get out of China because of his refusal to pledge his loyalty to the Quing. Koxinga made Taiwan his base of operations regarding the rebellion against the Quing. After getting rid of the Dutch, he and his approximately 30,000 men went on to war against the Quing, where they unfortunately lost the battle. When the French occupied Taiwan in 1884, it became the province of China. In 1895, Taiwan was handed over to Japan at the end of the war.

Japan was overthrown after World War II and Taiwan was again under China. When the Qing died, Sun Yat Sen established the republic of China.

Taiwan’s government underwent a vast transformation after the Martial Law Ended. It started and lasted for 40 years after the mainland lost the war to Chiang Kai-Shek. Many treasures were taken away from the Forbidden City. There was also a prior massacre which killed many innocent people.
The Democratic Progressive Party was established in 1986. The citizens were allowed to send letters through mail and get travel permits for the first time in 40 years.

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