Taiwan is one of the great sucess stories of Asia. It is a country with limited national resources that has constructed not only a successful industrial economy, but a vibrant democracy as well. Taiwan has long been a part of China until seized by Japan (1895). Taiwan under the Japanese was known as Formosa. We know very little about the native Taiwanese people or Japanese rule at this time. We do know that as in Korea, the Japanese attempted to impose Japanese culture and the Japanese language. Taiwan was returned to China after the Japanese surrender in World War II (1945). After defeat on the Mainland, Chang Kai-Shek's Nationalists fled to Taiwan (1948). For many years Taiwan was dominated by the Nationalists, but as democratic governmet took hold the native Taiwanese became the dominant force. Taiwan for years represented itself as the legitimate government of China. Today increasing numbers of Taiwanese see themselves as independent country. Taiwan does not, however, dare declre independence because China has threatened to invade. Today boys in Taiwan dress much as boys in the West, but Japanese fashions are also an influence. We have not yet done much work on Taiwan, but we do have a Taiwan history page. We do not yet know much about boyhood activities on Taiwan. We know baseball is very popular. We do have a page on education. Hopefully readers in Taiwan will tell us more about their fascinating island country.
Taiwan formerly known as Formosa is located in located in the extreme Western Pacific off the coast of southeast China (Fujian and Guangdong) between Japan and Korea to the north and and the Philippines to the south. Taiwan and China are separated by the Taiwan Strait -- a Cold war hot spot. The island has total area of nearly 36,200 square kilometers. It is 394 kilometers long and 144 kilometers wide at its widest point. Much of the island is mountanous with areas over 1,000 meters consituting (30 percent). Hills and terraces between 100 and 1,000 meters (40 percent). The rest of the island is An alluvial plain below 100 meters in elevation (30 percent). This is where most of the population lives and the farming and industrial activitoes occur.
Taiwan's most notable geographic feature is its 270-kilmoeter central mountain range. There are more than 200 peaks over 3,000 meters high.
Penghu, also known as the Pescadores, un tghe Taiwan Strait is a group of about 65 small islets. The primary islands are Penghu, Yuwong, and Baisha. Only 20 of the islands are inhabited. Penghu has about 70 percent of the small popultion. Taiwan has spectacular cliffs which drop into the ocean on the eastern side of the islnd. The western coast of the islandis very different
There is an extend plain where much of the populatioj is found and most of the cities lke Taichung. This islso where the island'sagriculture is conducted. vast plains which occupy most of Taiwan's agriculture and population.
Taiwan is seismologically unstable as it is located limng the Pacific Ring of Fire. Two plates grind together unfer Taiwan. The Eurasian Plate is moving under the Philippine Plate at about 3 inches per year. This constant grinding movement means that the two lates builds up tremendous pressure that can cause destructive earthquakes.
Taiwan has long been a part of China until seized by Japan (1895). Taiwan under the Japanese was known as Formosa. We know very little about the native Taiwanese people or Japanese rule at this time. We do know that as in Korea, the Japanese attempted to impose Japanese culture and the Japanese language. Taiwan was returned to China after the Japanese surrender in World War II (1945). After defeat on the Mainland, Chang Kai-Shek's Nationalists fled to Taiwan (1948). For many years Taiwan was dominated by the Nationalists, but as democratic governmet took hold the native Taiwanese became the dominant force. Taiwan for years represented itself as the legitimate government of China. Today increasing numbers of Taiwanese see themselves as independent country. Here both ethnicity and rejection of police state policies are factors. Taiwan does not, however, dare declre independence because China has threatened to invade.
Taiwan is one of the great sucess stories of Asia. It is a country with limited national resources that has constructed not only a successful industrial economy, but a vibrant democracy as well. It is one of two large islands located off the coast of China. The other is Hainan located further south. Despite the close location, China until the modern era took virtually no interest in the island and the populatiion was not Chinese, but Austronesian aborigines. There is virtually no mention of Taiwan in Chinese sources. Thus we know virtually nothing about the economy until the Dutch arrived (1622). The Dutch reported a population of about 70,000 aborigines, about 1,000 Chinese, and a few Japanese. The Chinese and Japanese were mostly merchants, male transients. The aborigines had a agricultural economy supplemented by the export of dear hodes. The Dutch conducted an extended campaign to seize seized control (1630s-40s), but made no real attempt to change the economy. Chinese emigration go Taiwan developed. Koxinga, a Chinese-Japanese war lord with a fleet, expelled the Dutch (1661). Chinese emigration to Taiwan continued. The Qing dynasty defeated Koxinga's grandson and seized control (1683). The Qing government originally saw control of Taiwan as financial burden, but necessary to control piracy. The principal Qing policy was to restrict the Chinese emigration to Taiwan. The reason for this was to limit conflict with the aboriginees. Much more information on the Taiwan economy before the First Sino-Japanese War (1895-95) during which the modernizing Japanese Empire stunned China with its new power. Part of the settlement was transferring Taiwan to Japan. The Japanese called it Formosa. Japanese rule was brutal, but it also brought economic development. Thus by the end if the Pacific War (1941-45), Taiwan was the most modern part of China. The Japanese were rquired to return Taiwan to China. The Taiwan popiulation was not consulted. After losing the Chinese Civil War, Chiang Kai-check and the Nationalists retreated to Taiwan. The Chinese Communists did not have the naval and air capability to briudge the Taiwan Straits. After the outbreak of the Korean War, the United states extended its security zone to include Taiwan. This also brought increased economic commerce with America. And this led to both South Korea and Taiwan along with Singapore emergging as the economic Asian Tigers. Taiwan prospered under a capitalist system while Mainland China agressivly pursuing socialism languished in poverty and economic stagmation. It is interesting that the to most successful Asian Tigers came from the former Japanese Empire.
Today boys in Taiwan dress much as boys in the West, but Japanese fashions are also an influence.
We do not yet know much about boyhood activities on Taiwan. Two of the most important are school and religion. Japan acquired Taiwan in the first Sino-Japanese War (1894-95). Japanese rule was represive, but it also included prograns to modernize the islands. This included both infrastructure and to build a public school syste, Until the Japanese invasion, Taiwn which the Japanese called Formosa.. Japan introduced the first modern schools to island and the pattern was similar to that of the adminintration of Korea. The schools were taught in Japanese. When China took control after World war II, Taiwan unlike most of China had a modern eduction system. This and free market capitalism are factors in why both South Korea and Taiwan became ecconomic powerhouses in Asia--two of the Asian Tigers. Economic success and a government emhasis on education has enabled Taiwan to build a fine public school system. We have a page on education. Taiwan as a result of the different countries influencing the island has a wide range of religious practices. The traditional religions still survive, including Yiguandao and others. Many religions are practiced in China and all the major ones have spead to Taiwan. One interesting aspect of China is that they have never engaged in religious wars as were common in other regions. This tradition has also prevailed on Taiwan. Buddhism originated in India, but became the most widely professed belief in China. The same is true of Taiwan located along the Chinese coast. Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism reflect the Chinese cultural otbit. The Japanese were also Buddhists. They also brought Shitism with them, but did not insist that local people adopt the religion. As in China, the various religions coexisted peacefully on Taiwan, even after the Japanese occupation. Trade and commerce brought Hinduism, Islam, and Christiamity to Taiwan. There are many different Christian churches active as well as the relazted Mormon and Unification Church. Missionaries were active in Taiwan during the Japanese colonial period. Modern Taiwan not only respects traditional faiths but also guaranttes religious freedom. Sports are popular. We know baseball is very popular as a resut of the Americam security relationhip following World War II. Taiwan teams have won Little League competitons.
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