Jeremy Keeshin Outline- History of Taiwan Relating to its Current Problems with Works Cited I. II. III.

Island discovered by Portuguese in 1517 and named Formosa, meaning Beautiful. Later it was under the control of the Dutch, Spanish, Ming, but finally ended up in the possession of the Manchu Qing in 1683. (Peng) In 1895, after the Sino-Japanese war, the Treaty of Shimonoseki resolves that China cedes over Taiwan. (Levinson 380) Taiwan is under Japanese control until the Cairo Conference of 1943 gives it back to China. (Hutchings 404) a. This was made official in 1945 after Japan lost World War II, it lost its colonies, Taiwan being one of them b. Potsdam Conference of 1945 also solidifies this, returning Taiwan to China Chiang Kai-shek ruled all of China from 1927 until he was defeated in the Chinese Civil War from 1945-1949 (Waldron 60). He then fled to island as head of ROC while PRC continued on the mainland. a. Mao Zedong’s Communist (CCP) defeats Chiang Kai-shek’s Nationalists (KMT, or Kuomintang) b. During this time, the terrible February 28th Incident occurred (2-28 Incident) in 1947 i. Police beat up Taiwanese woman selling cigarettes untaxed in Taipei (Hutchings 407) ii. Leads to an island wide revolt of around 30,000 killed (Hutchings 407) iii. Nationalist (KMT) government declares rule over Republic of China (ROC) in massacre (Hamrin 342) c. Taiwan was then under martial law from 1947-1987 (Levinson 380) Taiwan was then never officially separated from the Mainland since, and this is why the conflict arises. Taiwan de facto has its independence as it acts as an independent entity, but de jure is still under the authority of the PRC. Chiang Kai-shek died in 1975 and was succeeded by son Chiang Ching-kuo. He died in 1988 and was replaced by Lee Teng-hui (All Nationalist, KMT). The year before in 1987, the radical Democratic Progressive party (DPP) was formed and gained strength throughout the nineties. (Waldron 62). The first democratic elections occur in Taiwan. a. In 1996 Lee Teng-hui won in a landslide as KMT but later expelled from party b. In 2000 Chen Shuibian of the DPP was elected ending the fifty-one years of KMT rule. c. In 2004 Chen Shuibian of the DPP was reelected in a very close election once again beating out his opponent Lien Chan of the KMT, who just this week visited China controversially. d. The other major party includes that of the People’s First Party (PFP) headed by James Soong. These democratic elections are of great significance because it widens the gap between the government of the ROC and PRC. The fact that Taiwan is more


V. VI.



Jeremy Keeshin of a democracy makes it even harder for a peaceful reunification of Taiwan and the Mainland. Works Cited Hamrin, C. L. & Wang, Z. “The Floating Island: change of paradigm on the Taiwan question.” Journal of Contemporary China 13 May 2004: 339-349. Ebsco. Deerfield High School Library, Deerfield IL. 26 April 2005 <>. Hutchings, Graham. Modern China: A Guide to a Century of Change. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000. Levinson, D & Karen, L. “Taiwan.” Encyclopedia of Modern Asia. Volume 5. New York: Thomson Gale, 2002 Peng, T. C. “The History of Chinese Taiwan.” Chinese American Forum April 2000. Ebsco. Deerfield High School Library, Deerfield IL. 1 May 2005 <>. Waldron, Arthur. “Our Stake in Taiwan.” Commentary October 2004: 60-66. Ebsco. Deerfield High School Library, Deerfield IL. 27 April 2005 <>.