Lying off the southeastern coast of the China mainland, Taiwan is China's largest island and forms an integral whole with the mainland.
Taiwan has belonged to China since ancient times. It was
known as Yizhou or Liuqiu in antiquities. Many historical records and annals documented
the development of Taiwan by the Chinese people in earlier periods. References to this
effect were to be found, among others, in Seaboard Geographic Gazetteer compiled
more than 1,700 years ago by Shen Ying of the State of Wu during the period of the Three
Kingdoms. This was the world's earliest written account of Taiwan. Several expeditions,
each numbering over ten thousand men, had been sent to Taiwan by the State of Wu (third
century A.D.) and the Sui Dynasty (seventh century A.D.) respectively. Since early
seventeenth century the Chinese people began to step up the development of Taiwan. Their
numbers topped one hundred thousand at the end of the century. By 1893 (19th year of the
reign of Qing Emperor Guangxu) their population exceeded 2.54 million people in 507,000 or
more households. That was a 25-fold increase in 200 years. They brought in a more advanced
mode of production and settled the whole length and breadth of Taiwan. Thanks to
Chinese governments of different periods set up administrative bodies to exercise
jurisdiction over Taiwan. As early as in the mid-12th century the Song Dynasty set up a
garrison in Penghu, putting the territory under the jurisdiction of Jinjiang County of
Fujian's Quanzhou Prefecture. The Yuan Dynasty installed an agency of patrol and
inspection in Penghu to administer the territory. During the mid- and late 16th century
the Ming Dynasty reinstated the once abolished agency and sent reinforcements to Penghu in
order to ward off foreign invaders. In 1662 (first year of the reign of Qing Emperor
Kangxi) General Zheng Chenggong (known in the West as Koxinga) instituted Chengtian
Prefecture on Taiwan. Subsequently, the Qing government expanded the administrative
structure in Taiwan, thereby strengthening its rule over the territory. In 1684 (23rd year
of the reign of Emperor Kangxi) a Taiwan-Xiamen Patrol Command and a Taiwan Prefecture
Administration were set up under the jurisdiction of Fujian Province. These in turn
exercised jurisdiction over three counties on the island: Taiwan (present-day Tainan),
After the Chinese people's victory in the war against Japanese aggression in 1945, the Chinese government reinstated its administrative authority in Taiwan Province.
Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Straits carried out a prolonged, unremitting struggle against foreign invasion and occupation of Taiwan. Since the late 15th century Western colonialists started to grab and conquer colonies in a big way. In 1624 (4th year of the reign of Ming Emperor Tianqi) Dutch colonialists invaded and occupied the southern part of Taiwan. Two years later Spanish colonialists seized the northern part of Taiwan. In 1642 (15th year of the reign of Ming Emperor Chongzhen) the Dutch evicted the Spaniards and took over north Taiwan. The Chinese people on both sides of the Straits waged various forms of struggle including armed insurrections against the invasion and occupation of Taiwan by foreign colonialists. In 1661 (18th year of the reign of Qing Emperor Shunzhi) General Zheng Chenggong (Koxinga) led an expedition to Taiwan and expelled the Dutch colonialists from the island in the following year.
Japan launched a war of aggression against China in 1894 (20th year of the reign of
Qing Emperor Guangxu). In the ensuing year, as a result of defeat the Qing government was
forced to sign the Treaty of Shimonoseki, ceding Taiwan to Japan. This wanton betrayal and
humiliation shocked the whole nation and touched off a storm of protests. A thousand or
more candidates from all 18 provinces including Taiwan who had assembled in Beijing for
the Imperial Examination signed a strongly-worded petition opposing the ceding of Taiwan.
In Taiwan itself, people wailed and bemoaned the betrayal and went on general strikes.
General Liu Yongfu and others of the garrison command stood with Taiwan compatriots and
In 1937 the Chinese people threw themselves into an all-out war of resistance against Japanese aggression. In its declaration of war against Japan, the Chinese Government proclaimed that all treaties, conventions, agreements, and contracts regarding relations between China and Japan, including the Treaty of Shimonoseki, had been abrogated. The declaration stressed that China would recover Taiwan, Penghu and the four northeastern provinces. After eight years of grueling war against Japanese aggression the Chinese people won final victory and recovered the lost territory of Taiwan in 1945. Taiwan compatriots displayed an outburst of passion and celebrated the great triumph of their return to the fold of the motherland by setting off big bangs of fireworks and performing rites to communicate the event to their ancestors.
The international community has acknowledged the fact that Taiwan belongs to China.
The Chinese people's war of resistance against
Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, 157 countries have established diplomatic relations with China. All these countries recognize that there is only one China and that the Government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government of China and Taiwan is part of China.