Thursday, May 8, 2008

Today In History; China Cedes Formosa (Taiwan) To The Japanese

1895: Although the question of who owns Taiwan, the island off the southeast coast of China, remains current to this day, it is not a modern problem. Foreign nations seeking empires, trade, and strategic military location have been wrangling over its possession for years. Ruled by the Dutch throughout most of the 1600s, in 1683 the Manchu dynasty regained control of the territory they called "land of rebellion and unrest" for its fiercely independent attitude. After a war with the Japanese, China conceded the island to their enemy "in perpetuity" in 1895. Perpetuity, however, did not last very long. With the defeat of the Japanese at the end of World War II, Taiwan was again made the property of China - that is, of Nationalist leader President Chiang Kai-shek. With the Communist Revolution of 1949 on mainland China the fate of Taiwan remained up in the air as it does to this day. Mainland China has threatened military action against the territory it considers its own, while the independent Taiwanese continue to thrive economically.

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