Timeline of Taiwanese history

This is a timeline of Taiwanese history, comprising important legal and territorial changes and political events in Taiwan and its predecessor states. To read about the background to these events, see History of Taiwan and History of the Republic of China. See also the list of rulers of Taiwan.

3rd century

230Eastern Wu expedition troops land on an island known as Yizhou (suspected to be Taiwan) where most of them die but manage to bring "several thousand" natives back to China[1]

7th century

607–610The Sui dynasty sends expeditions to an island known as Liuqiu, which may or may not be Taiwan, but is probably Ryukyu[1]

12th century

1170The Song dynasty stations officers at the Penghu Islands[2]
1171Chinese fishermen settle on the Penghu Islands[3]

13th century

1271Chinese people start visiting Taiwan[4]
1292The Yuan dynasty sends an expedition to Liuqiu, which may or may not be Taiwan[5]
1297The Yuan dynasty sends an expedition to Liuqiu, which may or may not be Taiwan[5]

14th century

1349Wang Dayuan provides the first account of a visit to Taiwan and also notes substantial settlements of Chinese traders and fishermen on the Penghu Islands[2]

16th century

1525Some merchants from Fujian are able to speak Formosan languages[4]
1544Portuguese sailors passing Taiwan record in the ship's log the name Ilha Formosa (Beautiful Island).[6]
1563Pirate Lin Daoqian retreats to southwestern Taiwan after being chased by Ming naval forces[7]
A walled town is built in Penghu (Pescadores) on the orders of a Ming general[8]
15743 NovemberPirate Lin Feng lands in southwestern Taiwan only to be attacked by aboriginals[9]
27 DecemberLin Feng returns to Taiwan again[9]
1582Portuguese shipwreck survivors, the first Europeans known to have landed on Taiwan, build a raft after 45 days and return to Macau[6]
1590Chinese from Fujian start settling in southwestern Taiwan[9]
1592Japan unsuccessfully seeks sovereignty over Taiwan (Takayamakoku 高山国 in Japanese, lit. high mountain country).[10]
1593Ming officials issue ten licenses each year for Chinese junks to trade in northern Taiwan[11]

17th century

1603Chinese scholar Chen Di spends some time at the Bay of Tayouan (which Taiwan takes its name from) during a Ming dynasty anti-pirate mission and provides the first significant description of Taiwanese aborigines[6]
1604Sino-Dutch conflicts: Dutch envoy Wijbrand van Waerwijck and his army are ordered to occupy Penghu (Pescadores) in order to open trade with China[10]
1609The Tokugawa Shogunate sends feudal lord Arima Harunobu on an exploratory mission to Taiwan.[10]
1616Nagasaki official Murayama Tōan leads troops on an unsuccessful invasion of Taiwan.[10]
1622AugustThe Dutch start building a fort at Penghu (Pescadores)[12]
1623Chinese population in southwestern Taiwan reaches 1,500[4]
162426 AugustSino-Dutch conflicts: Ming forces evict the Dutch from Penghu (Pescadores) and they retreat to Taiwan, settling near the Bay of Tayouan next to a pirate village[13]
There are two Chinese villages in Southwestern Taiwan, on a long thing peninsula on the Bay of Tayouan, and on the mainland in what would become Tainan[14]
Chinese laborers start building the Fort Zeelandia at the Bay of Tayouan for the Dutch[14]
1625The Dutch clash with 170 Chinese pirates in the Madou and are forced to retreat; later the pirates are driven away[15]
1626JulyThe Dutch force the Chinese inhabitants of Taiwan to obtain a permit of residence[14]
Spanish expedition to Formosa: The Spanish arrive at Santissima Trinidad (Keelung) and build a fort[11]
1627Chinese trade with Spanish Formosa picks up after the Spanish manage to ingratiate themselves with the governor of Fujian by defending him from attacks by the aborigines[11]
1628The Dutch sign a trade treaty with Zheng Zhilong[14]
The Spanish establish a settlement at Danshui and build Fort Santo Domingo in an attempt to attract Chinese merchants.[11]
1629summerMadou ambushes and kills 35 Dutch soldiers[15]
1630FebruaryMadou signs a nine-month truce with the Dutch[15]
1631Spanish Formosa uses sulphur in Taiwan to trade for Chinese goods[11]
16337 JulyBattle of Liaoluo Bay: Hans Putmans' fleet sails into the harbor of Xiamen and fire on Zheng Zhilong's fleet without warning[14]
22 OctoberBattle of Liaoluo Bay: Hans Putmans' fleet is defeated by Zheng Zhilong off of Kinmen[14]
1634OctoberThe Dutch forbid Chinese trade of deerskins to anyone but them[16]
5 NovemberDutch forces rout Taccariang's forces[15]
Liu Xiang attacks Fort Zeelandia in retaliation for their refusal to aid him against Zheng Zhilong, but fails[14]
Chinese start planting sugarcane near Fort Provintia[4]
1635winterDutch pacification campaign on Formosa: The Dutch defeat Madou[15]
1636The Dutch declare a pax hollandica in the plains around the Bay of Tayouan[15]
The Chinese start conducting large scale commercial hunting in Taiwan with assistance from the Dutch East India Company[16]
1637The Spanish withdraw half their forces from Taiwan[11]
1640The Dutch force Chinese people in Taiwan to pay a residency tax[17]
1641The Dutch attempt to oust the Spaniards from Keelung but fail[18]
1642AugustThe Dutch oust the Spaniards in Keelung; so ends Spanish Formosa[18]
The Dutch forbid Chinese from settling outside of areas of company control[17]
1645The Chinese are forbidden from hunting deer in Taiwan[17]
1651Reports of violence and extortion of the Chinese by the Dutch are reported[17]
16527–11 SeptemberGuo Huaiyi rebellion: Chinese farmers rebel against the Dutch and are defeated; considered to be the first Chinese anti-western uprising[17]
Chinese population in Taiwan reaches 20,000 to 25,000[17]
1654MayLocusts, plague, and earthquakes greatly damage Taiwan[19]
1655AugustMing loyalist Zheng Chenggong declares sovereignty over Chinese citizens in Taiwan[19]
16569 JulyAn edict from Zheng Chenggong arrives at Fort Zeelandia declaring all Chinese trade of foreign products to be illegal and punishable by death, and Chinese merchants start leaving Taiwan as a result[19]
1660MarchThe Dutch receive news of Zheng Chenggong's plans to invade Taiwan[20]
Albrecht Herport notes that even in their depleted state, there are an abundance of deer in Taiwan[6]
166121 AprilZheng Chenggong departs from Kinmen Island for Taiwan[21]
30 AprilZheng Chenggong arrives on the shores of Dutch Formosa near Fort Provintia where three Dutch ships attack them, but one sinks, and the other two retreat; two subsequent Dutch attacks are also defeated[21]
1 MayFort Provintia surrenders to Zheng Chenggong[22]
3 MayAboriginals around the Bay of Tayouan surrender to Zheng Chenggong[20]
16 SeptemberFort Zeelandia launches an attack on Zheng Chengong's army and is defeated[20]
16621 FebruarySiege of Fort Zeelandia: Fort Zeelandia surrenders to Zheng Chenggong and the Dutch depart from Taiwan; so ends Dutch Formosa[22]
23 JuneZheng Chenggong dies and is succeeded by Zheng Xi[23]
NovemberZheng Jing defeats Zheng Xi and renamed his realm the Kingdom of Dongning[24]
1663FebruaryZheng Jing returns to Xiamen[24]
JulyZheng Jing imprisons his brother Zheng Tai, and as a result their relatives surrender to the Qing dynasty[24]
NovemberThe Qing dynasty conquers Xiamen and Kinmen Island[24]
1664JulyThe Dutch occupy Keelung[25]
SeptemberQing commander Shi Lang leads a fleet of warships to invade Taiwan but is turned back by bad weather[25]
Chinese population in Taiwan rises to 50,000[26]
1665MayShi Lang attempts to invade Taiwan but his fleet is scattered by a storm[25]
1666MayChinese troops attempt to dislodge the Dutch from Keelung but fail[27]
1668The Dutch abandon Keelung after alienating local aboriginal villages[27]
1674Zheng Jing re-enters Xiamen (Amoy)[28]
1678Zheng Jing's forces under Liu Guoxuan attempt to conquer Zhangzhou but fail[29]
168026 MarchZheng Jing departs from Xiamen[29]
1681MarchZheng Jing dies and his son Zheng Kezang succeeds him, only to be ousted by Zheng Keshuang[29]
168312 JulyBattle of Penghu: Qing commander Shi Lang leads an attack on the Zheng fleet near Penghu (Pescadores) but fails[29]
17 JulyBattle of Penghu: The Qing fleet returns and defeats the Zheng fleet, occupying Penghu (Pescadores)[29]
The Qing dynasty conquers the Kingdom of Dongning; Zheng Keshuang is given a non-hereditary position in Beijing[30]
1684Taiwan is made a prefecture of Fujian, governed by a prefect, under which are magistrates of three counties, Zhuluo, Taiwan, and Fengshan[31]
Total population of Taiwan is around 100,000[6][26]
Shi Lang estimates that half of Taiwan's Chinese population has left for the mainland[32]
1699Taiwanese aborigines rebel in northern Taiwan[33]

18th century

172119 AprilZhu Yigui and a group of 80 rebels attack a military outpost at Gangshan, south of Tainan, and rob its weapons; Du Junying also rebels[34]
30 AprilZhu Yigui's rebels attack Tainan but fail[35]
1 MayZhu Yigui takes Tainan and Zhuluo[35]
3 MayZhu Yigui is declared a king[35]
16 JuneQing forces land near Tainan and defeat Zhu Yigui[35]
10 SeptemberDu Junying surrenders to Qing forces[36]
1723Danshui subprefecture is created[37]
1728Tax registers are expanded to Changhua County[38]
1731The Dajiaxi (大甲西) aboriginals around Taichung rebel and kill a subprefect[37]
1732Qing forces suppress the Dajiaxi (大甲西) aboriginal rebellion.[39]
1733Quarantine policies are abandoned by the Qing government and the military organization in Taiwan is overhauled; families on the mainland are allowed to move to Taiwan[39]
1734A total of 47 aboriginal schools are created[40]
1738Reclamation of aboriginal land is banned[40]
1740Legal migration to Taiwan is ended[41]
1756Non-aboriginals in Taiwan number 600,147[42]
1770Chinese settlers start moving into Yilan[43]
1777Non-aboriginals in Taiwan number 839,800[42]
1782Chiayi and Changhua prefectures go to war over gambling debts and more than 400 villages are destroyed[44]
Non-aboriginals in Taiwan number 912,000[42]
1786Lin Shuangwen rebellion: Ling Shuangwen rebels and takes over Changhua[45]
Individuals whose relatives are already in Taiwan are allowed to emigrate[42]
1788Lin Shuangwen rebellion: The rebels are defeated[46]
1795Chen Zhouchuan rebellion[47]

19th century

1805Cai Qian rebellion[48]
1809Pirate Cai Qian is surrounded by the Qing navy and commits suicide. [citation needed]
1812Northeast Taiwan is taken over by Chinese people[49]
1824Non-aboriginals in Taiwan number 1,786,883[42]
1832Zhang Bing rebellion[47]
1839Qing authorities demarcate Chinese territories in Taiwan and prohibit Chinese settlers from encroaching on native lands[26]
1853Lin Gong rebellion[48]
1860Convention of Beijing: Danshui and Anping are opened to foreigners[50]
1862Dai Wansheng rebels[51]
1863Lin Wencha is promoted to commander-in-chief of Fujian troops, the highest position ever attained by a Taiwanese during the Qing dynasty[52]
1865Dai Wansheng's rebellion is defeated[51]
1867American military expedition sent to Kenting in response to the Rover incident.
186820 NovemberCamphor War: British Navy occupies Anping over rights to export camphor without regard for Chinese regulations[53]
1 DecemberCamphor War: Qing dynasty gives in to British demands for reparations, freedom of missionary activity, and trade rights[53]
John Dodd calls in British gunboats to force Qing authorities to apologize and pay reparations for being accosted by an angry crowd[53]
1869Government troops are decreased from 14,425 to 7,621[54]
1871NovemberMudan Incident: Ryukyuan sailors shipwreck off of southern Taiwan and Paiwan people mistake them for enemies, causing the death of 54 mariners[55]
1874Japanese invasion of Taiwan (1874): Japan sends a punitive expedition to Taiwan in retribution for the Mudan Incident and forces the Qing dynasty to pay indemnities[56]
Shen Baozhen has three roads constructed linking eastern and western Taiwan[57]
1875Taiwan is divided into two prefectures, Taipeh Prefecture and a modified Taiwan Prefecture[58]
1881Government troops are decreased to 4,500[54]
1884AugustKeelung Campaign: French forces try to land at Keelung but are forced to withdraw by Chinese troops[59]
OctoberKeelung Campaign: French forces capture Keelung[59]
8 OctoberBattle of Tamsui: A French attack on Danshui is defeated[59]
188522 JuneKeelung Campaign: The French evacuate from Keelung[59]
1887Taiwan is reorganized as Taiwan Province with Liu Mingchuan as its first governor[57]
AprilConstruction on a road from Taipei to Keelung begins[60]
1888Construction on a Taipei-Hsinchu road begins[61]
1891Construction of the Taipei-Keelung road is completed[61]
1893Construction of the Taipei-Hsinchu road is completed[61]
1895MarchPescadores Campaign (1895): Japan seizes Penghu (Pescadores)[62]
17 AprilTaiwan and Penghu (Pescadores) are ceded by the Qing dynasty to Japan in the Treaty of Shimonoseki[63]
20 MayThe Qing dynasty orders all officials to evacuate from Taiwan[62]
25 MayThe Republic of Formosa is formed with Tang Jingsong as its leader, who secretly leaves for the mainland a few days later, and is succeeded by Liu Yongfu[64]
29 MayJapanese invasion of Taiwan (1895): Japanese forces land near Keelung[64]
7 JuneJapanese invasion of Taiwan (1895): Japanese forces occupy Taipei[62]
OctoberLiu Yongfu leaves for the mainland[65]
21 OctoberCapitulation of Tainan: Tainan surrenders; so ends the Republic of Formosa[64]
1896JuneYunlin Massacre: 6,000 Taiwanese are massacred by the Japanese at Yunlin[65]
1899The Bank of Taiwan established to encourage Japanese investment[66]
Taiwanese are recruited as policemen after a lower rank is created[67]

20th century

1900Sun Zhongshan visits Taiwan[68]
1905Population census records 2,492,784 Chinese, 82,795 "mountain people", and a total of 3,039,751 Taiwanese residents[26]
1911Liang Qichao visits Taiwan[68]
1913Japanese forces engage in a campaign bring aboriginals on the east coast under government control [69]
Hakka people rebel in Miaoli and are defeated [70]
1914DecemberItagaki Taisuke creates the Taiwan Doukakai, a Taiwan assimilationist movement with popular support from Taiwanese[71]
1915JanuaryTaiwan Doukakai comes under attack by Japanese residents and authorities in Taiwan, and it is quickly disbanded[71]
Tapani Incident: Marks 20 years of resistance against Japanese rule[69]
1921The Taiwanese Cultural Association is founded[72]
1925Population of Taiwan grows to 3,993,408[26]
1927The Taiwanese People's Party breaks from the Taiwanese Cultural Association[73]
1930Wushe Incident: 300 Seediq people led by Mona Rudao raid a Japanese police station and attack an elementary school, killing 134 Japanese and two Han Chinese (by mistake); in response the government intensifies their efforts to subjugate the Atayal aborigines[74]
1935Population of Taiwan grows to 5,212,426;[26] Chinese population of eastern Taiwan increases to 70,000[75]
1937AprilChinese language in newspapers is banned and Classical Chinese is removed from the school curriculum[76]
1943Compulsory primary education begins. Enrollment rates reached 71.3% for Taiwanese children (including 86.4% for aborigine children) and 99.6% for Japanese children in Taiwan making Taiwan's enrollment rate the second highest in Asia after Japan.[77]
1943 Cairo Declaration: The Allies of World War II demand the restoration of all Chinese territories lost to Japan including Taiwan and Penghu[78]
1944Taiwan is bombed by American forces as part of Allied effort to defeat Japan[79]
194514 AugustJewel Voice Broadcast: Hirohito announces Japan's surrender[79]
25 OctoberRetrocession Day: Rikichi Andō signs documents "restoring" Taiwan and Penghu (Pescadores) to the Republic of China with Chen Yi appointed as Chief Executive.[79]
Population of Taiwan grows to 6,560,000[26]
194714 FebruaryTaipei's rice market closes due to a riot[80]
28 FebruaryFebruary 28 Incident: Six officers attempt to arrest a woman selling cigarettes illegally in Taipei, a Taiwanese man is killed, and as a result mass riots break out all over the island[80]
8 MarchFebruary 28 Incident: Reinforcements from mainland China arrive in Keelung[81]
13 MarchFebruary 28 Incident: The Taiwanese resistance is defeated by KMT[81]
22 AprilChen Yi is replaced by Wei Daoming[82]
1948NovemberMore than 31,000 refugees enter Taiwan per week[83]
30 DecemberWei Daoming is replaced by Chen Cheng[84]
1949Approximately 5,000 refugees enter Taiwan each day[83]KMT retreat to Taiwan
19 MayWhite Terror (Taiwan): KMT begins imposing 38 years of Martial law in Taiwan[85]
JuneThe New Taiwan dollar is introduced at an exchange rate of one NT to 40,000 old Taiwan dollars[86]
10 DecemberChinese Civil War: The ROC relocates its government to Taipei.
19501 MarchChiang Kai-shek admits that he is personally responsible for the loss of mainland China at his inaugural ceremony for resuming the presidency of the Guomindang[87]
Elections are held at local and provincial levels, but not at the national level[88]
1 MayLanding Operation on Hainan Island: Hainan falls to the Communists.
1951Land Reform in Taiwan: The government starts selling public land to tenant farmers, nearly a fifth of Taiwan's arable land[86]
1952Agricultural exports reach U.S.$114 million[89]
1953JanuaryLand Reform in Taiwan: Amount of land available to landlords is restricted and excess land is sold to tillers[86]
195520 JanuaryBattle of Yijiangshan Islands: People's Liberation Army forces ROC forces off the Yijiangshan Islands[89]
Population of Taiwan grows to 9,078,000[26]
1958Second Taiwan Strait Crisis: People's Liberation Army attacks Kinmen and the Matsu Islands but fail to take them[90]
Population of Taiwan reaches 10 million[91]
1960Chiang Kai-shek's presidency is extended past two terms[92]
Institutions of higher education increase to 15, primary schools rise to 1,982, and secondary schools to 299[93]
1961Slightly over half of Taiwan's population lives in urban areas[94]
1964Taiwanese Hokkien language is banned in schools and official settings[95]
1965Population of Taiwan grows to 12,628,000[26]
1968Compulsory education is extended from 6 to 9 years[96]
1970Taiwan's Gini coefficient falls to 0.321[96]
1971China and the United Nations: The United Nations recognizes the People's Republic of China as the government of China. The Republic of China withdraws from the United Nations.
1975Population of Taiwan grows to 16,150,000[26]
1979The United States withdraws recognition of the Republic of China and recognizes the People's Republic of China. Four months later, the United States Congress passes the Taiwan Relations Act which establishes unofficial relations.
1980Hsinchu Science Park founded[97]
1985Population of Taiwan grows to 19,258,000[26]
198715 JulyMartial law in Taiwan: Martial law is lifted from Taiwan[98]
The Environmental Protection Administration reveals that 15 percent of farmland is contaminated by heavy metals[94]
1990Wild Lily student movement in Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.
Number of farm households fall to less than 20 percent[94]
1991Legislative Yuan and National Assembly elected in 1947 were forced to resign.
The first democratic election of National Assembly.
1992Fair Trade Law enacted.
The first democratic election of the Legislative Yuan.
1992 Consensus
1994National Health Insurance begins.
1995US government reverses policy and allows President Lee Teng-hui to visit the US. The People's Republic of China responds with the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis by launching a series of missiles into the waters off Taiwan. The Taiwan stock market loses one-third of its value.
February 28 Incident monument erected; President Lee Teng-hui publicly apologizes on behalf of the KMT.
Population of Taiwan grows to 21,300,000[26]
1996President Bill Clinton dispatches the USS Nimitz supercarrier to patrol the Taiwan Strait.
The first direct presidential election; Lee Teng-hui elected.
1997Private cellular phone companies begin services.
1999Resolution on Taiwan's Future
Chi-Chi earthquake.

21st century

2000Chen Shui-bian, the opposition candidate from the DPP, elected president by a lead of 2.5% of votes marking the end of the KMT status as the ruling party. Voter turnout was 82.69%; first peaceful transfer of power.
Four Noes and One Without
2001Three mini-links between Kinmen, Matsu and the mainland of Fujian begins.
Private fixed-line telephone companies begin services.
Serious flooding caused by Typhoon Nari.
2002Entry into the World Trade Organization.
Penetration rate of cellular phones exceeds 100%.
2003SARS outbreaks.
North-Link Line railroad electrified.
2004Second north-south freeway completed.
228 Hand-in-Hand Rally.
President Chen Shui-bian is re-elected by a margin of 0.22% votes after being shot the day before.
Taipei 101 becomes World's Tallest Building.
2005The first direct commercial airplane flights from Beijing to Taipei for the Chinese New Year.
The PRC passes an "anti-secession law" authorizing the use of force against Taiwan and the ROC government should it formally declare independence. In response, 1.6 million people marched in Taipei against China's "anti-secession law". Similar marches occur across the world by Taiwanese nationalists. Protests against the PRC were held worldwide, including, but not limited to: Chicago, New York City, Washington DC, Paris, and Sydney.
Pan-Blue leaders visit to mainland China
President Chen is invited and attends the funeral of Pope John Paul II. He is the first ROC president to visit the Vatican.
The National Assembly of the Republic of China convenes for the last time to implement several constitutional reforms, including single-member two-vote districts, and votes to transfer the power of constitutional reform to the popular ballot, essentially abolishing itself.
2006Taiwan's first high-speed rail line, Taiwan High Speed Rail, begins operation.
Rename "Chiang Kai-shek International Airport" to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
2007Rename Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall to National Taiwan Democracy Memorial Hall.
Taiwan applies for membership in the United Nations under the name "Taiwan", and is rejected by the General Assembly.
20081025 demonstration
Chen Yunlin visit
Wild Strawberry student movement
Lien Chen represents Ma Ying-jeou meets Hu Jintao at APEC Peru 2008
March 9Red Line of the Kaohsiung MRT completed.
March 22presidential election; with 58.48% of the vote, KMT candidate Ma Ying-jeou defeats DPP candidate Frank Hsieh. Many voters boycott the referendum on whether and how to join UN so the level of voter participation required for referendum to be considered valid is not achieved.
May 20Ma Ying-jeou sworn into office as the 12th President of ROC. Second peaceful transfer of power. Tsai Ing-wen inaugurate as the Chairperson of DPP.
JulyFor the first time in nearly 60 years, the first direct China-Taiwan flights are opened[99][100][101]
2009JulyWorld Games 2009 in Kaohsiung
Typhoon Morakot
October 17Ma Ying-jeou inaugurates as Chairperson of Kuomintang.
2012January 14presidential election; with 51.6% of the vote, KMT candidate Ma Ying-jeou defeats DPP candidate Tsai Ing-wen.
2013Ma Ying-jeou meets Pope Francis, the first ROC president to meet with the pope.
2014March 18Sunflower Student Movement, students occupy the Legislative Yuan force to halt the enforcement of Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement.
November 29Regional election; DPP elects 13 mayor and magistrates.
2015Ma Ying-jeou meets with Xi Jinping, the first Cross-Strait leader meeting.
2016January 16presidential election; with 56.3% of the vote, DPP candidate Tsai Ing-wen defeats KMT candidate Eric Chu.
May 20Tsai Ing-wen sworn into office as the 14th and current President of ROC. Third peaceful transfer of power.


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