c.3000 BC: The island of Taiwan was inhabited by tribes of Malayan and Polynesian origin who settled in the low-lying coastal plains; they named the island Pakan.
8th century AD: In mainland China the island of Taiwan was perceived as a savage and uncivilized place.
13th century: The Chinese began to engage in trade with Taiwan.
14th century: The first small Chinese settlements were established in Taiwan.
16th century: Chinese settlers from the provinces of Guangdong and Fujian arrived in Taiwan.
1544: The Portuguese arrived in Taiwan and named it Ilha Formosa (‘beautiful island’).
1626: The Spanish arrived in Taiwan and settled in the northern part of the island, setting up bases on the future sites of the towns of Chi-lung and Tan-shui.
1653: Following an unsuccessful rebellion by Chinese immigrants, the Dutch constructed Fort Provintia on the future site of Tainan.
1661: After his defeat in China by the Manzu tribes, the Chinese Ming loyalist Zheng Zheng Gong (Coxinga) drove the Dutch out of Taiwan and established an independent kingdom which lasted for 22 years.
1683: The Qing (Manzu) Emperor, Kang Xi, invaded and conquered Taiwan. During Qing rule immigration from mainland China established the ethnic Chinese character of the island.
August 1884: The French invaded northern Taiwan.
March 1885: The French occupied the P’enghu (Pescadores) islands, but withdrew a few months later.
17 April 1895: At the end of the Sino-Japanese War (1894-95), the Treaty of Shimonoseki was signed, by which China ceded Taiwan to the Japanese. Under Japanese rule Taiwan’s economic infrastructure was modernized.
25 May 1895: The Taiwanese Democratic Republic, the first republic in Asia, was established in resistance to Japanese rule, but lasted for only a few months.
30 May 1902: The and-Japanese leader Lim Siau-niau and his followers were killed whilst defending their stronghold near Kaohsiung, marking the end of open military resistance to Japanese rule in Taiwan.