As Eurasia’s pathway to the Pacific Ocean, Taiwan and the outlying islands, in addition to being homes of the indigenous peoples, served various roles in different times: during the Age of Discovery several centuries ago, Taiwan was a logistics hub for different maritime powers as they expanded global trades. Foreigners, such as the Dutch and the Spanish, constructed strongholds at Fenggui in Penghu, Anping in Tainan, and Heping Island in Keelung. Taiwan also became a logistic base of pirates, as well as a trade hub where maritime powers traded products. Later, Taiwan became the destination for those living in the Southeast coast of China who were searching for a new life, the base of the Southern Expansion of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere during the Japanese Colonial Period, the springboard of KMT Government’s counterattack after retreating to Taiwan, and a vital part of the Indo-Pacific Strategic Partnership today.
Regardless of mountains, hills, wetlands, rivers, drylands, or oceans, the tiny island of Taiwan possesses the richest natural ecosystem. For centuries, we, who come from different backgrounds, have left behind in these different environments traces of our hard work and existence as well as different styles of manmade architectures, preserving for us our own cultural fabrics.