Known as Ilha Formosa by Portuguese mariners, later settled by the Dutch, and then used as a Ming loyalist stronghold after collapse of China’s most brilliant Dynasty, ruled by Japan as a colony, and later the refuge of the Nationalist forces after WWII, Taiwan has been in the epicenter of tumultuous historical and political events until the present.
Between 1895 and 1945, Japan ruled over a wayward but oft-neglected Chinese province. Nonetheless, Japan brought economic development at the expense of any political freedom.
Taiwan’s role during WWII, barely noted except in a fleeting paragraph in most accounts, will be elaborated on to show the island’s crucial support to Tokyo’s war effort in men and material.
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