Early Han Activities

Early Han Activities

Map:Early Han Activities
Fujianese fishermen have fished in the waters near Taiwan and Penghu since antiquity, and they used to produce dried fish products along the coast of modern day Chiayi and Tainan. In addition to fishing, waters along the Western coast of Taiwan are also places where Han Chinese, Japanese smugglers and pirates converged. In 1567, the Ming Dynasty partially lifted the maritime embargo, but still did not allow trade with the Japanese. As a result, several Fujianese pirates and smugglers had to follow the traditional route from Penghu to Taiwan, which was outside the jurisdiction of the Ming Dynasty, to meet and trade with Japanese merchants or the indigenous population on the island. Keelungshan was one of the names given to Taiwan by the Han Chinese during the Ming Dynasty. Keelung and Tamsui attracted attention from foreigners, because the former was an important geographical coordinate for reaching Ryukyu and Japan, while the latter served as a berth and water supply for ships. In particular, when the Ming Dynasty officially recognized Keelung and Tamsui as fishing grounds after the 1570s, this not only further highlighted the importance of these two locations, but also the fact that Han Chinese people and foreigners were already active in northern Taiwan, alongside the indigenous populations, during the 16th and 17th centuries.

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