An Island and a People Relying on the Oceans for Livelihoods
In the mid-16th century, Taiwan was gradually becoming a meeting point and transfer hub for trade in East Asia. As every major seapower of the East and the West was competing here, Taiwan’s indigenous communities had no choice but to face up to these waves of external impact. At first, it was merchants and pirates from China and Japan who used Taiwan as a meeting and trading location. During the 17th century, there also came the Dutch and the Spanish from Europe. The paths of Eastern and Western cultures converged here in Taiwan and consequently made the island a key player in the history of East Asia.