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Taiwan History

Taiwan was previously known as Formosa and the island was inhabited by the Chinese until the 17th century. It was then occupied by the Dutch and Spanish for about 40 years. In 1684, Taiwan was taken over by supporters of the deposed Ming Dynasty and was a tao (a sub-province of county), which lasted till the Chinese were defeated by the Japanese in the Sino – Japanese War. Although the local population didn’t like it, they were controlled by the Japanese from 1895 until its defeat at the end of World War II. After World War II, a Chinese Civil War broke out, as Mao’s Communists took control of the country and the country’s nationalists fled to Taiwan, so they wouldn’t be persecuted by the Communists. They then went on to start up the Kuo min-tang (KMT), which was a new democratic political wing, in Taiwan. They went on to develop a strong relationship with the US, while depending on military weapons from them. In this time Taiwan’s economy was booming and today is one of the top trading nations in the world, as many of clothing and electric goods made in the country get exported around the world. The Chinese still consider Taiwan to be part of the national territory and continue to harbour the long-term objective of reunifying Taiwan with the mainland. Many of the citizens of Taiwan think they should be unified, but don’t want to be under Communist rule. The international community has tried to stay out of the discussions about the reunification as it doesn’t want to upset the Chinese and show they are picking sides. Taiwan’s strongest ally is the Americans, which they rely on for military and as a trading partner.

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