2013 Chuan Lyu Lectures in Taiwan Studies
Prof. Chen Kuo-tung, Academia Sinica, Taiwan
All are invited for tea at 4:45pm; the lecture starts at 5pm.
Rooms 8&9 (Ground Floor), Faculty of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies (Sidgwick Site)
Monday, 13th May, 2013
British Records, Taiwanese History:
The English East India Company in Taiwan, 1670-1686
Geographically, the island of Taiwan is situated near the Philippines, the Ryukyu Islands, as well as China and Cochin-China. But until the advent of the early modern period outside influences upon Taiwan remained few. Only when outsiders intruded did the affairs of this island begin to be recorded in words and pictures. European visitors have left more detailed accounts than did East Asians (other than the mainland Chinese). The English came to Taiwan a bit later than the Dutch and the Spaniards. Coming only to trade and not to colonize, they became less involved in Taiwan's politics and society than did the Dutch and Spanish. Nonetheless, their observations on Taiwan provide significant information about the period when Taiwan was under the Zheng (Koxinga) family's rule (1661-1683). This talk will first give a short account of the East India Company's establishment of a factory (an agency) in Taiwan and its ensuing development, and then show the significance of the early contacts between Taiwan and the British Isles. Finally, how the EIC's records can help us reconstruct the history of Taiwan will be demonstrated with some examples, including the defeat of Koxinga's descendants and the arrival of Admiral Shi Lang to attach Taiwan to the Qing regime.