Taiwan How Its History Demands Its Fight And Protection From Red Chinese Aggression.

944 words - 4 pages

For Taiwanese, the most offensive and insulting foreigners are those who begin a meeting with the words, "Well, Taiwan has always been . . ." One perfect example is the current lie going around, "Well, Taiwan has always been a part of China."The Taiwanese have their own reasons to disagree.Taiwan was once a beautiful island, long before the Portuguese named it Ihla Formosa. Many aboriginal tribes inhabited the island and enjoyed it completely and ecstatically while they fought for hunting grounds and territory, even doing a little head-hunting on the side. Entrepreneurs, pirates, traders, and farmers fleeing poverty and taxes in China lived on the western side.Then the resourceful Dutch came and planted their flag near Tainan. This location was not really their first choice as they had tried to capture Macao from the Portuguese. Then they fought Ming forces over the Pescadores. Both sides compromised and the Dutch came to Taiwan in 1624 at which time they built lovely little forts and brought improvements; but helping the island was not their main concern. What they really lusted over was a base for their highly profitable trade with both China and Japan. For this purpose they sought to control and exploit the island, going so far as encouraging settlers to come from China to work under them.The Spanish came shortly after the Dutch and in turn planted their flag and settled in the north around Tamsui and Keelung. They brought their silly missionaries, and made some improvements in their own fashion. However, what they really desired especially was trade with China and Japan on the same lines as the Dutch. To do that, they also had to control and exploit the island. They were driven out by their competitors, the Dutch.The fleeing Ming loyalists came later led by Zheng Ch'eng-gong. After a 9-month siege, they forced the Dutch to flee and they planted their flag in 1662. They did not come because they wanted to but instead did so because they were running from the Manchus who were taking over Ming China. They desperately needed a refuge from which they could hope to retake China. To do that it was imperative for them to control and exploit the island. Nevertheless, they managed only to control a very small part.The Manchu Qing navies under Shi Lang followed the Ming and in a pretty short time, they took Penghu and forced the Ming on Taiwan to surrender. They did not really care for the island but as with the others they stayed because they did not want any Ming supporters to return. Therefore they needed to control the island, so they planted their flag in 1683 and garrisoned the western side, while at the same time encouraging settlement but at other times discouraging it.While they were here, the French themselves actually came and...

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