Major events since the end of World War II
- Oct. 1945:
- Chiang-Kai-shek's troops
- Feb. 1947:
- "February 28th Incident"
- May 1949:
- Martial law declared
- Apr. 1952:
- San Francisco Peace treaty
- Feb. 1972:
- Shanghai Communiqué
- Dec. 1979:
- Kaohsiung Incident
- Sep. 1986:
- DPP founded
- July 1987:
- Martial Law lifted
- Dec. 1992:
- First democratic legislative elections
- Mar. 1996:
- First presidential elections
- Mar. 2000:
- DPP's Chen Shui-bian wins presidency
- Mar. 2004:
- President Chen Shui-bian re-elected
For news and events in recent years:
or the Overview 1995 - 1996
Taiwan's 400 years of history
On the following pages
we will take you on a walk through the history of Taiwan. Originally
Taiwan was settled by people of Malay-Polynesian descent, who settled in
the low-lying coastal plains. They were the ancestors of the present-day
Overview of important milestones:
modern history goes back about 400 years, to the day when the first
Western ship passed by the island, and Jan Huygen van Linschoten, a
Dutch navigator on a Portugese ship, exclaimed "Ilha Formosa"
- Read 400 years of Taiwan history, an general overview of important milestones of the history of Taiwan from the early 1600s to the present,
- or the more detailed Taiwan-400 Years of History and Outlook , written by Dr.Kiyoshi Ito, translated and edited by Walter Chen,
- Take a look at the fascinating Takao Club website: fully illustrated explorations into the history and culture of Taiwan (Formosa), with particular focus on Takao (Takow, Kaohsiung).
- The young-at-heart, go to Prof. Jerome Keating's What did you say Taiwan has always been?
- In particular journalists who continue to cling to the fiction that Taiwan "split" from China in 1949, read Prof. Jerome Keating's two-part Taiwan Was Never Part of China's Civil Wars Part I and Part II
- Scholars and politicians can read Li Thian-hok's historic 1958 articles in Foreign Affairs and the New Republic magazines
- or check out historic documents, treaties, declarations, and communiqués in the Taiwan Documents Project, which had a major impact on Taiwan's history.
Go directly to some major events:
theTreaty of Shimonoseki
in 1895, when the Chinese Imperial government
ceded sovereignty over Taiwan to Japan in perpetuity,
- the February 28th
Incident of 1947, when Chiang Kai-shek's troops
came over from the mainland, and brutally slaughtered between 18,000
and 28,000 Taiwanese -- many of them local leaders, doctors,
lawyers, and students. Also read an article from the
New York Times of 29 March 1947 about
what happened in Taiwan during those fateful days.
- the The 60th Commemoration of 228 in February 2007, including a Seminar at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC.
- and the Kaohsiung Incident
of 1979, when the Kuomintang's military and police
broke up the island's first major Human Rights Day celebration (10
December 1979), and subsequently arrested and imprisoned virtually
all leading members of Taiwan's budding democratic movement.
- Take a look at our chronology of recent events leading up
to the 1995-96 missile crisis
in the Taiwan Straits and the March 1996 Taiwanese presidential