Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Friday, December 14, 2001
DNA Analysis Reveals Taiwanese Have Ancestors on Mainland
A DNA analysis revealed that at least four ethnic groups in Taiwan share the same chromosome with the Li ethnic people now living on Hailan island, and they are all descended from the ancient Baiyue people in East China. That means many Taiwanese originated in the mainland and cross-straits exchanges began 6,000 years ago.
New findings have shown that many Taiwanese originated in the mainland and cross-straits exchanges began 6,000 years ago.
A DNA analysis revealed that at least four ethnic groups in Taiwan share the same chromosome with the Li ethnic people now living on Hailan island, and they are all descended from the ancient Baiyue people in East China.
Li Hui, an expert from the Life Sciences Institute at ShanghaiFudan University, said that the Baiyue people's Y chromosome is relatively simple compared with that of Southeast Asians and those whose genes include any type of Y chromosome, No.9, 10, 11 or 12 are the descendants of the Baiyue people. Other ethnic people's genes do not include any of these Y chromosome types.
According to Li, DNA analysis based on blood samples collected from men of Taiwan's four ethic minorities and Hainan's Li ethnic groups show their genes are made up of part or all of these Y chromosomes.
"This indicates that the four Taiwan ethnic minorities, Amei, Yatai, Bunong and Paiwan, as well as Li ethnic group, are related to the Baiyue people." Li Hui said.
Li's research has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Nature Review and Science, all international science magazines.
Taiwan is the largest island in China, and Hainan is the second largest. "As well as the genetic similarity, the aboriginal inhabitants of the two islands are also similar in life styles, customs and tradition. They all originated from the ancient Baiyue people, who lived in Hemudu in east China's Zhejiang Province about 7,000 years ago, "said Shi Shi, professor and director of the Chinese Nationalities History Research Institute.
Hemudu is a famous historical and cultural site located in Yuyao, Zhejiang Province and the Baiyue people have been regarded as one of the original forebears of the modern Chinese.
Shi said that about 5,000 to 6,000 years ago Baiyue descendants gradually immigrated to Taiwan and Hainan islands. Separated by the straits and with little contact with other mainland ethnic groups, they have kept their ancient life styles, customs and tradition.
Professor Shi has studied Hemudu culture for years and has visited the ancient sites and compared Taiwanese, Li ethnic people with Baiyue people.
At a recent meeting Taiwanese ethnologist Ruan Chang-rui also said he had come to the same conclusion. By studying Li ethnic people's religious ceremonies and medical treatment, he found they are almost the same as that of the ancient Taiwanese.
"There is a 99 percent similarity , "said Professor Ruan.