Recent History of Taiwan
Prior to the arrival of the Dutch East India company to colonize Taiwan in the 17th century, the island was occupied by Austronesian Aboriginal people. No indigenous Chinese population was evident in Taiwan at that point in its history. The Dutch occupied and ruled Taiwan, known then as Formosa, from 1624 to 1661. The Dutch were routed from the island in 1661. Taiwan then became, rather loosely, a dependency of the Chinese Empire. In 1885, the island became an official province of China. In 1895, following a Japanese invasion, Taiwan became a Japanese colony. This situation continued until the defeat of the Japanese by the Allied forces in 1945. Following the capitulation of the Japanese, control of Taiwan was vested in the hands of Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang government, which presided briefly in mainland China. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) came into being when the rebel forces of Mao Tse Tung overran and displaced the corrupt and decadent regime of the Kuomintang in 1949, which then fled to Taiwan. The Kuomintang-dominated government has ruled Taiwan, as a government-in-exile from the mainland, ever since. The PRC has never exercised sovereignty over the province of Taiwan.