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While many accounts depict the Chinese forces led by Koxinga as destined for victory over the Dutch led by Coyet, the situation was far more evenly matched. In fact, Andrade argues that the Dutch may have been in an objectively better position for victory. He believes that, if not for a mixture of natural disasters and misguided battle strategies, the Dutch could have remained in control of Taiwan. Natural disasters weakened the Dutch cause and allowed the Chinese to move into Taiwan easily. The conflict between the Dutch and Chinese constantly "turned on a storm" (Andrade 22). For example, the storm that hit Taiwan five years before Koxinga's invasion had severe consequences for Dutch defenses. Though much of the storm's damage could be repaired, the storm irreversibly altered the landscape of the island of Baxemboy. The fort on the island that guarded the Deer's Ear Gap, an important channel into the Bay of Taiwan, was completely leveled. Moreover, rebuilding this fortress became an impossible task. The geography of Baxemboy was entirely changed. The dunes that served as landmarks for navigators were erased. The landscape became entirely flat, leaving no place to build a new fort for defense of this position. With Baxemboy unguarded, there was an open path for enemies to enter the Bay of Taiwan. When Koxinga invaded, he sailed straight through the Deer's Ear Gap and into the bay…show more content…
Both factors weakened their cause until the Chinese surrounded Zeelandia Castle. Though the Chinese had a larger army, the Dutch should have had the upper hand from being in a defensive position on an island they had occupied for many years. However, they were unable to exploit their advantages and made numerous missteps in battle. Overall, the Dutch may have been able to remain in control of Taiwan if not for poorly-timed storms, emotionally weak commanders, and other unfortunate circumstances of the
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