Relationhship between China and Taiwan in Emma Tung's Book, Taiwan’s Imagined Geography

1497 WordsFeb 17, 20186 Pages
In her book Taiwan’s Imagined Geography Emma Tung presents the history of the relationship between China and Taiwan beginning in 1683 and ending in 1895. In this work she presents and defends the crucial role of travel writing in the Qing Empire moving past seeing Taiwan as a “ball of mud” without worth to incorporating the island into the Chinese empire. The majority of the book is a summarization of the history of Taiwan after it was conquered by China, as well as the way in which travel writing was used in developing the Chinese’ early beliefs about Taiwan. Despite having captured Taiwan the Xangqi Emperor did not feel that the island was of much use or importance. His court agreed and proposed to dispose of the land once the Chinese had been removed from the area, however a man named Shi Lang disagreed and argued the merits of the island. The popular opinion of Taiwan was influenced by its distance from mainland China, the socio-political climate, and lore applied from popular mythologies due to the lack of true information about Taiwan and its people. The predominant belief being that the people were savages and the island fell outside of the natural limits of China and should not be included in the domain. The beliefs were also influenced by the lack of political connection between China and Taiwan – who unlike Korea did not acknowledge China as superior and pay tribute to the large empire .In addition spiritual beliefs about the cosmos placed Taiwan as a wilderness

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