Taiwan is a member state of Fujian, Taiwan and Hainan. Taiwan was established as an independant entity in 1959. It had formerly been a part of China, from 1920 until the End of the Great Oriental War. Prior to 1920, it had been ruled by Japan since 1895, being divided in various ways, the final division having 7 provinces.
The island has been occupied for some 5,000 years. The native population speaks a variety of Austronesian languages.
The Portuguese were the first Europeans to discover the island, naming it Ilha Formosa (Beautiful Island). It was claimed in 1624 by Batavians (?) who used it as a base for trade with Japan and China. A Castilian colony existed on the northern end from 1626 until 1642. Until 1662, the Dutch East Indies company administered the island, setting up a tax system, education, and evangelizing to the natives. The Batavians set out to make the island a colony. Primarily male immigrants came to the island from mainland China, though mostly traders and merchants who did not stay.
The Kingdom of Taiwan and Chinese Rule
In 1661, a Ming loyalist, Zheng Chenggong, also known as Koxinga, lead a fleet to take Taiwan from the Batavians, with the intention of using it as a base of operations for taking back his mainland bases and supporting the Ming Emperor. Koxinga was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and a Chinese father. In 1662, he drove the Batavians out, becoming the first King of Taiwan. At the same time, the last Ming claimant was captured and executed. Six months later he died of malaria. He was succeeded as King of Taiwan by his son, Zheng Jing. Zheng Jing continued the fight against the Ming. He committed suicide in 1681, and was succeeded by his son Zheng Ke-Shuang. The Qing took the island back in 1683, and Taiwan became a prefecture, later a province (in 1887). The island was lost to Japan in 1895 after the Sino-Japanese War. At that time, only about 45% of the island was actually subject to Chinese rule, the rest of it being ruled by the native population.
Upon the assumption of Japanese rule, a short-lived Republic of Taiwan was proclaimed by the local elite, and quickly crushed by Japan. Taiwanese resistance to Japan, while fierce, was sporadic and largely crushed by 1902. Subsequent minor rebellions continued to occur from time to time.
Despite these rebellions and subsequent repressions, overall Japanese administration of Taiwan was considered fair and largely beneficial. Taiwan was treated as an integral part of Japan, and therefore the government invested time and effort into developing the local economy.
Taiwan was treated as being "separate but equal", and was divided into 7 provinces, considered to be on a level with the provinces of mainland Japan. Unlike the provinces of the mainland, the provinces of Taiwan were referred to as xù (州) and txò (庁). In addition, a Governor-General had power over the entire island.
In 1920, China invaded Japanese possessions, taking Taiwan, along with Corea and Lùquiù. Taiwan was once more, a province of China. Re-sinicization efforts were made. The aboriginal groups of Taiwan, considered to be pro-Japanese, are heavily persecuted by the Chinese government.