May - September 2019
Taiwan - Beautiful Island
Taiwan, an island located in the Pacific Ocean, separated from China by the Taiwan Strait appeared in historical records as early as 206 BC. It was not until 1590 that the island was discovered for the Western world by the Portuguese. Amazed by her beauty, they gave her the name Ilha Formosa - Beautiful Island. However, they were the first to colonize it in 1624. The Dutch founded the forts Zeelandia and Provintia. They found the ethnic population here - the Polynesian-Malay aborigines, as well as immigrants from China, among others from the Hakka and Hoklo peoples. And with time, the Chinese dominated the Beautiful Island. Due to the strategic location of Taiwan, it remained constantly in the interest of not only European colonizers but Japan and China. In 1945, under international agreements, Taiwan was granted to China. Four years later, the Beautiful Island became an asylum for the authorities of the Republic of China, the troops of Chiang Kai-shek and 2 million refugees from the communist invasion led by Mao Zedong. As a result, Taiwan has become one of the fastest growing regions of the world, one of the "Asian tigers" alongside Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Beautiful Island combines tradition and modernity amidst the beautiful nature and fantasy of its inhabitants - you can see it in many places, in the hustle and bustle of cities such as Taipei, Tainan, Kaohsiung, the tranquility of the Temple of Fo Guang Shan and the picturesque landscape of Taroko National Park.
Krzysztof Muskalski, EFIAP/b, AFRP, ZPAF