The Great Transformation of 1895
Triggered by the issue of Joseon Korea, Japan and the Qing clashed and eventually fought the First Sino-Japanese War. Japan’s victory brought a sudden change in circumstances to East Asia. Resisting the ceding of Taiwan to Japan, Qing officials established the Republic of Formosa as a diplomatic strategy to thwart the handover. However, the foreign intervention which the Qing officials had anticipated never happened. After Japanese forces landed in Taiwan, the first and second presidents of the Republic of Formosa, Tang Jing-song and Liu Yong-fu, escaped from Taiwan, leaving behind the local people trying to defend their homeland. In addition to actual battles, the various sides in the conflict expressed their views through all kinds of propaganda.