Taiwan under Qing Dynasty rule

Taiwan under Qing Dynasty rule

Infobox Former Country
native_name = 台灣清治時期
conventional_long_name = Taiwan under Qing Dynasty rule
common_name = Taiwan under Qing Dynasty rule
continent = moved from Category:Asia to East Asia
region = East Asia
country = Taiwan
era = Qing Dynasty
status = Part of Fujian Province, later Province
empire = Qing
year_start = 1683
year_end = 1895
event_start = Conquered
event_end = New nation declared
p1 = Kingdom of Tungning
flag_p1 =
p2 = Kingdom of Middag
s1 = Republic of Formosa
flag_s1 = Flag of Formosa 1895.svg

image_map_caption = Territory of Taiwan
national_motto =
national_anthem =
capital = Tainan
common_languages = Mandarin, Hoklo, Hakka
government_type = Monarchy
title_leader = Governor
leader1 = Liu Mingchuan
year_leader1 = 1885 - 1891
leader2 = Tang Ching-sung
year_leader2 = 1894 - 1895
currency = Qing Tael

The Chinese Qing Dynasty ruled Taiwan from 1683 to 1895. Qing China in 1683 sent an army led by general Shi Lang and annexed Taiwan.


Qing Emperor Kangxi annexed Taiwan because he wanted to remove the remaining resistance forces against the Qing Dynasty. However, Qing did not want to develop Taiwan over aggressively as this may encourage any potential resistance force to build a base in Taiwan. Accordingly, the early Qing Dynasty ruled Taiwan passively. Taiwan was governed as part of Fujian province at the time, only becoming a separate province later.

There were more than a hundred rebellions during the early Qing Dynasty reign. The frequency of rebellions, riots, and civil strife in Qing Dynasty Taiwan is evoked by the common saying "every three years an uprising; every five years a rebellion" (三年一反、五年一亂).

Qing's Policy on Taiwan

Qing had two main policies relating to the governance of Taiwan. The first policy was to restrict the qualification and number of migrants who were allowed to cross the Taiwan strait and settle in Taiwan. This was to prevent a rapid growth in population. The other policy was to restrict Han Chinese from entering the mountain area which was mainly settled by Indigenous Taiwanese peoples. This policy was to prevent conflict between the two groups of settlers.

Despite the restrictions, the population of Han Chinese in Taiwan grew rapidly from 100,000 to 2,500,000, while the population of Taiwanese Aborigines shrank.

The restrictions on mainland Chinese residents migrating to Taiwan stipulated that no family members could accompany the migrant. Therefore, most migrants were mostly single men or married men with wives remaining on mainland China. Most early male migrants to Taiwan would choose to marry the indigenous women. Accordingly, there was a saying which stated that "there were Chinese men, but no Chinese women" (有唐山公無唐山媽).

The Han people frequently occupied the indigenous land or conducted illegal business with the indigenous peoples, so conflicts often happened. During that time, the Qing government was not interested in managing this matter. It simply drew the borders and closed up the mountain area so they could segregate the two groups. It also implemented a policy which assumed that the indigenous peoples would understand the law as much as the Han Chinese, so when conflicts arose the indigenous peoples tended to be judged unfairly. Accordingly, indigenous land were often taken through both legal and illegal methods, sometimes the Han Chinese even used inter-marriage as an excuse to occupy land. Many people crossed the maintain borders to farm and to conduct business, and conflicts frequently arose.


The Han people occupied most of the plains and developed good agricultural systems and prosperous commence, and consequently transformed Taiwan into a Han society.

Taiwan had a strong agricultural sector in the economy, while the coastal provinces of mainland China had a strong handcrafting sector, the trade between the two regions prospered and many cities in Taiwan such as Tainan, Lukang and Taipei became important trading ports.

During 1884-1885, the Sino-French War affected Taiwan. Qing then realised the strategic importance of Taiwan in relation to trade and geographical location and decided rapidly developed Taiwan. In 1885, Taiwan became Taiwan Province, and Liu Mingchuan was appointed as the governorFact|date=August 2008. He increased the administrative regions in Taiwan to tighten control and to reduce crime. He implemented land reform and simplified land management. As a result of the land reform, the taxation received by the government increased by more than threefold. He also developed the mountain area to promote harmony between the Han Chinese and the Indigenous Taiwanese peoples.

However, modernisation of Taiwan was his main achievement. He encouraged the use of machineries and built military defence infrastructure. He also improved the road and rail systems. In 1887, he started building the first Chinese-built railway (completed in 1893). In 1888, he opened the first post office in Taiwan (see Chunghwa Post), which was also the first in China. Taiwan was then considered the most developed province in China.

However, soon after his reforms Taiwan was ceded to Japan by the Treaty of Shimonoseki in 1895.


* cite web
title=Qing China conquered Taiwan and for the first time included Taiwan into the territory of the Chinese Empire
publisher=Government Information Office of the Republic of China (Taiwan) website
language=Traditional Chinese

ee also

* Tai Chao-chuen incident

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