15,000 B.C. -1550
1300 - 1400
There is evidence of human settlement in Taiwan dating as far back as 30, 000–40, 000 years ago.
Taiwan settled by people of Malay-Polynesian descent and named "Pakan."
For most of history, China seemed mostly not concerned with Taiwan. Early Chinese texts from as far back as AD 206 contain references to the island, but for the most part it was seen as a savage island, best left alone.
1400 - 1500
China believed the Island was full of savages until the early 1400s. Boatloads of immigrants from China’s Fujian province arrived in Taiwan at this time. These people were unhappy with the political troubles in their homeland.
1450 - 1500
Hakka, another ethnic group in China left the mainland for Taiwan in great numbers.
1500 - 1550
By the early 1500s there were three groups of people on the island: Hakka, Fujianese and the aboriginal tribes.
The people in Taiwan today are mainly descended from these early Chinese immigrants
The Island is named and Trade Begins 1544- 1662
1544 - 1623
Taiwan is covered by the lush plains, rugged mountains and rocky coasts. The Portuguese named Taiwan Ilha Formosa, meaning ‘beautiful island’.
1622 - 1662
Dutch East India Company sets up trading base on the Penghu Islands in the Taiwan Strait.
China’s Ming court suddenly and took notice of Taiwan. The Ming government sent the army and made laws to ban trade ships in order to kick the Dutch out. The Dutch left Penghu and then letter returned to establish a trading port in what is now known as Makung City. The Ming court gave in.
1626 - 1638
Spain invaded Taiwan in 1626 and took control of a large portion of the coast line. They tried to compete with the Dutch trade, but failed because of natural disasters and trouble with the aborigine people.
1642 - 1662
After Spain retreats the Dutch take control of Keelung in 1642.
Taiwan under Cheng and Qing 1662-1894
1662 - 1663
Cheng Chen-kung (also known as Koxinga), a general from China's Ming Dynasty, invaded and took control of the island of Taiwan. The Dutch surrendered to Cheng in 1662 and left for good.
His dreams of overthrowing the Manchu remained unfulfilled; he died a year after landing on Taiwan.
Many Taiwanese today regard Cheng as a hero for driving the Dutch out of Taiwan.
1663 - 1683
After Cheng’s death, his son and grandson ruled the island but they were poor leaders and this caused a lot of poverty and despair.