The island nation of Taiwan gets a torch run

Although MSNBC is still on probation as far as I’m concerned, I like the way they handled this story.

Compromise reached between island nation, China amid 58-year split

Of course, they get the history wrong, as does everyone else.

Taiwan and China had held months of discussions about the route. They split 58 years ago amid civil war and have remained politically estranged ever since.

Before Chiang Kai Shek came to Taiwan and before Americans came in to WWII, Taiwan was a prefecture of Japan, not China, for fifty or so years. Overt Chinese control of Taiwan was brief, only eight years (1887-1895). It has been 112 years since Taiwan was part of China.


11 Responses to “The island nation of Taiwan gets a torch run”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    So. before 1887, Taiwan belong to which country?

  2. Logipundit Says:

    Actually, noone really. The Japanese were trying to control the Island of Taiwan as early as 1592, and the main reason they ever really controlled it was mainland China essentially didn’t claim the “wild/aboriginals” as under their jurisdiction.

    So the official answer would be China, but they didn’t really “belong” to anyone before Japan took control in 1895…

    This is according to Wikipedia, of course.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    From the Wikipedia, I found that “Japan had sought to control Taiwan since 1592, when Toyotomi Hideyoshi began extending Japanese influence overseas. In 1609, the Tokugawa Shogunate sent Haruno Arima on an exploratory mission. In 1616, Murayama Toan led an unsuccessful invasion of the island.”

    Also from Wikipedia. 🙂 China and Japan had a war between 1592-1598. And when Japanese defeated (and also Toyotomi Hideyoshi died), Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616, the 1st ruler of Tokugawa shogunate) killed the son of Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

    I also found the Han Chinese began settling in the Pescadores in the 1200s. When I look at the map, the Pescadores to Taiwan island is like the Greek islands to the Peloponnesus peninsula. So, Pescadores is a part of Taiwan.

    One more question: how about before 1592 and after 1662 (especially after 1683)?

  4. Logipundit Says:

    “In 1683, following the defeat of Koxinga’s grandson by an armada led by Admiral Shi Lang of Southern Fujian, the Qing Dynasty formally annexed Taiwan, placing it under the jurisdiction of Fujian province.”

    I’m getting the feeling that you’re trying to make a point. Go ahead.

  5. Anonymous Says:


    Just wanna point out that some information can mislead our mind.

    I really like your blog.

  6. Logipundit Says:

    Thanks for that, come back often and sign up to be a contributor on LogiReaders.

    So Johnny’s statement that Taiwan hadn’t been a part of China for 112 years is still accurate, right?

  7. Anonymous Says:

    I only can agree with that between 1895 and 1945, Japan conquered Taiwan coz of the Treaty of Shimonoseki

    For modern Taiwan, I feel that is a bit complicated.
    Coz, the formal title of the modern president of Taiwan, Chen Shui-bian, is the president of Republic of China. So, I think that China and Taiwan is like North and South Korea (or East and West Germany).

    I feel sorry to give the comment as anonymous. Hope you can accept. 🙂

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Maybe it’s better to make a list:

    1200– Han Chinese settled in Taiwan.

    1592-1598 war between China ( MIng ) and Japan

    1662-1683 Koxinga (the MIng general)

    1683-1895 Qing

    1895-1945 Japan

    1945-1949 Republic of China (capital: Nanking)

    1950-present Republic of China (capital: Taipei)

  9. JohnnyB Says:

    The comparison of Taiwan and China to North and South Korea is facile, to say the least. The history is complex, but the case for Taiwanese sovereignty is pretty strong. Assembling this case will take time I unfortunately don’t have right now.

    A more proper analogy would be Estonia and Russia. We could talk all day about the migration patterns and cultural and linguistic similarities between Estonia and Russia, but try convincing the Estonians that they are Russians, and see how far you get. Taiwan (and US and Japanese allies) fears invasion from the mainland, that fear has kept the status quo for some time now. By any independent metric Taiwan is as sovereign as Canada, Australia (which still print money with the Queen on it), or the former Soviet Republics, all of which were subject to Imperial rule for quite some time. That China points its missiles at Taiwan and is obsessed with blocking WHO status for this island nation in defiance of the will of the Taiwanese is not proof of Chinese dominion over Taiwan, except for those that worship the UN.

    Also, if Taiwan were allowed UN membership, like North Korea does (a laughable contrast), it would make his/her comparison more valid. I take it our anonymous friend wouldn’t object to Taiwan’s status as a UN member if Taiwan petitioned? Because, they’re working on that.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Just give a brief reply to JohnnyB:

    I agree that, in some Taiwanese group, the sovereignty is pretty strong. Especially in the south. It like in the north Ireland, some people think they’re UK citizen and others think they’re Irish.

    Australia is another example: some people wanna be republic and some wanna be a subject of Her Majesty.

    In the item of Taichung (a city in the central of Taiwan) in Wikipedia, it says “Unlike Taipei in the north, which is solidly in the Pan-Blue (preferred reunification with the mainland China) political camp, and the southern cities of Kaohsiung and Tainan that are solidly Pan-Green (inclined to Taiwan independence) , Taichung is far more balanced with the city leaning Blue and the county leaning Green. In fact, each of the two major political parties has won a mayoral election among the last three with at least 49 percent of the vote.”

    I also agree that Taiwan should take part in the activity in the world healthcare improvement. But I am surprise that Taiwan is a member of the WTO but not WHO. It’s no point that Peking against one but not against another. So, it seems either the rule of WHO is different to WTO, or Taiwan DPP government wanna use the WHO issue as a tool to get other aims.

    I am not against the political status of Taiwan, just point out the most of the Taiwan citizens are ethical Han Chinese (according to the item of Demographics of Taiwan in Wikipedia, 98% of Taiwan’s population is made up of Han Chinese, while 2% are Taiwanese aborigines).

    According to Taiwan local newspaper, a cousin of President Chen Shui-bian visited to Fujian’s Zhaoan County in May 2006. President Chen’s own relatives have taken ancestry research experts to his ancestral hometown in mainland China in an effort to seek out the roots of Chen’s family heritage.

  11. Logipundit Says:

    Anonymity is superfine with us, however I would enter in a “call-sign” if you could to distinguish you from others.

    You could use that same callsign on LogiReaders…email address, location, etc, remains completely private.

    Either way, come back anytime.

    Anyway, I think you’re mixing up national identity with ethnic background. It’s not hard for us to distinguish those two in the States because they’re almost by definition indistinguishable.

    Obviously, most Taiwanese are of Han Chinese heritage, but that doesn’t mean they “belong” to mainland China, any more than the US “belongs” to the UK, or France, or Spain, or whoever else once owned property here.

    It’s easy for instance for all of us wherever we are to be simulaneously proud of our heritage, but proud of our national identity as well…don’t you think?

    Most African-Americans I’ve met are typically proud of their heritage, but wouldn’t think of identifying themselves with the GOVERNMENT of any African nation…

    Italian-Americans are proud of being Italian but probably don’t even know who the president of Italy is…

    Now, I have NO idea what the thought process is for your average Taiwanese, because I’ve never been there, but I can’t help but assume there’s nothing odd about identifying with Han Chinese Heritage, while not identifying with Communist Chinese government.


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