Taiwan was originally occupied by the
Taiwanese Aborigines until Dutch colonization in the seventeenth century. The
Dutch encouraged Chinese immigration which caused the rapid arrival of many Han
Chinese and Hakka immigrants from Chinese provinces. However, in 1662, Dutch surrendered Taiwan
to Zheng Chenggong. He established a Ming-style government while promoting Chinese
culture. For a while, the island was governed as part of Fujian province.
During that period, Chinese officials sent to govern Taiwan did not take their
job seriouslySL1 . The Qing government
was also occupied by Manchu rule not Han Chinese, who were ethnically Chinese.
The Manchu are an ethnic minority in China from the Northeastern China, which
is known as Manchuria today. During that time period, they were not seen as
ethnically Chinese even though the Manchu have been in control of the
government since the Jin Dynasty in 1115 until the fall of the Qing Dynasty in
1911. The Treaty of Shimonoseki caused China to lose Taiwan to Japan. During
Japanese rule, Japanese leaders created “race” classification which were used
for household registers. This type of “race” classification gave the Taiwanese
a strong sense of the different types of ethnicity and race in Taiwan and
separated the Aborigines from the Taiwanese citizens. This was the first time
there was an idea of a Taiwanese identity, and it was just simply an identity
that the Aborigines were different from the Chinese immigrants. Eventually,
Taiwan was returned to China after the second Sino-Japanese War, and the
Kuomintang (KMT) party, or Nationalist party, became in charge of Taiwan.
During the Nationalist rule, the martial laws implemented after the February 28th
Incident, separated those who identified as Taiwanese and those who were
considered Mainlanders. Taiwanese identity was heavily influenced by the idea
of a national identity that separated the Mainlanders that came during the KMT
period and those who came before that, and this idea was cultivated after the
Japanese rule, February 28th Incident, and the rise of Lee Teng Hui.