The corrupt Qing Court was defeated in the Sino-Japanese War of 1894-95 and was forced to sign the unequal "Treaty of Shimonoseki" with Japan, under which Taiwan was ceded to Japan, and since then Taiwan had been reduced to a colony of Japan for as long as 50 years.
During this half century, the Taiwan people launched indomitable struggle against Japanese colonial rule. From 1895 to 1915, the armed struggle against Japanese aggression was raging across the whole island. From Chien Ta-shi AhTieh, Lin Shaomao to Luo Fu-hsing, Lai Lai and Yu Ching-fang, the anti-Japanese armed forces they led dealt a heavy blow to Japanese colonialists. Between 1915 and 1936, the national bourgeoisie and intellectuals of Taiwan led the Taiwan people in a non-violence political resistance movement to fight the autocratic rule of Japanese colonialists and to seek national liberation. Lin Hsien-tang, Chiang Wei-shui, Lien Wen-ching, etc. were all national movement directors who were highly reputed in Taiwan at that time. In 1930 Taiwan natives rose in resistance to the colonial authorities' "policy for dealing with aborigines" and launched the Wushe uprising (Wushe is a place in Taiwan).
After the outbreak of the Chinese anti-Japanese war in 1937, many Taiwan compatriots personally took part in the war. According to incomplete statistics, there were over 50,000 Taiwan people who returned to the Chinese mainland to participate in the war of resistance after the "July 7 incident" in 1937. Taiwan compatriots on the mainland established the Taiwan Volunteers Unit, the Dongjiang Service Team, the Taiwan Revolutionary League, etc. Together with all Chinese people, they made important contributions to victory in the anti-Japanese war and the recovery of Taiwan.
In Taiwn people's struggle against Japanese colonial rule, showing concern for the motherland was the deepest feeling in the hearts of Taiwan people, and returning to the motherland was their highest political demand.
In the earlier armed struggles, what Ah Tieh wrote on the banner hoisted on top of a grassplot was these words "Serving the Qing Court and fighting the aggressors". Japanese colonialists also described the Taiwan people's armed struggle as being aimed at "returning to the Qing government". The so-called "Qing" meant the Qing Court, that is seeking to return to their motherland��China.
During the period of non-violence political resistance movement, participants in the national movement publicized Chinese culture, boycotted the assimilation policy of the Japanese colonialists, strengthened ties with the motherland and expected that the motherland could recover Taiwan. In their classified documents, Japanese colonialists admitted, "The fundamental source of the national awareness of Taiwanese is tied to the system in which they belong to the Han ethnic group", "their feeling of regarding China as their motherland cannot be easily shaken off, and this is a hardly deniable fact."
After the outbreak of China's all-out anti-Japanese war in 1937, the Taiwan people, in face of the Japanese colonialist movement to turn Taiwanese into Japanese citizens and the fascist rule, waged indomitable resistance struggle.
They upheld the traditional culture of the Chinese nation and resisted the wave of forced assimilation by Japanese colonialists and maintained their own national characters.
Although the aforesaid frenzied movement to turn Taiwanese into Japanese citizens had brought tremendous disaster to the Taiwanese society, the overwhelming majority of Taiwanese people, as what Mr. Yang Chao-chia, one of the famous leaders of the national movement, said, "Under the brutal rule of the Japanese, we have experienced 50 years of hardships and sufferings. We, all Taiwan people, have finally returned to the motherland with pure Chinese blood and contributed our pure patriotic feeling to our motherland."
Taiwan people's history of anti-Japanese struggle fully indicates that in the period of 50 years of colony, their hearts were linked to the motherland, they rose heroically in resistance; in the powerful current of the anti-Japanese war, they served the motherland with their bloods and lives. It was precisely due to the united war of resistance by the Chinese nation, including Taiwan compatriots, that we finally won great victory in the anti-Japanese war and welcomed in the recovery of Taiwan, the treasure island of the motherland.
This article by Chen Xiaochong, deputy director of the History Research Institute of the School of Taiwan Studies of Xiamen University, is carried on the front page of People's Daily Overseas Edition on September 2 and translated by People's Daily Online