Taiwan lies close to the Mainland of China on the Tropic of Cancer in the western Pacific Ocean. Taiwan was named Isla Formosa by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century. Taiwan has a rich historical background and a multifaceted culture because of a long history of residency of Taiwan's own indigenous people. Taiwan is home to 12 different tribes, southern Fujianese from early China, Hakka immigrants, Dutch, Spanish, Japanese and other recent immigrants from China. About 7000 years back, Austronesian ancestors of aborigines settled in Taiwan. They are the earliest known inhabitants of Taiwan.
During the fifteenth century, Chinese emigrants occupied the coastal areas. Numerous aboriginal tribes, entrepreneurs, pirates, traders, etc lived on the western side.
In the first half of the seventeenth century, the Dutch came to Taiwan and defeated the Portuguese to capture ‘Macan’ to trade with China and Japan. They controlled and exploited the island. They built forts, conducted missionary activities, engaged in trade, produced various goods, etc. The Spanish came shortly after the Dutch and settled in the north to trade with China and Japan but they were driven out by the Dutch who in turn were expelled by supporters of the Ming emperors. In 1684, Taiwan was conquered by the Manchu and officially became part of China.
The French came and briefly planted their flag in the north in 1885. They signed a treaty with the Manchu Qing and left.