The Sino-Japanese War was fought over the control of Korea. Since Korea is the entrance and exit for Japan into the continent, the control of Korea is extremely important. Japan invaded Korea which prompted a response from Qing Dynasty. However, due to the corruption and lack of training in the Qing forces, Japan won the war after invading Taiwan and the Pescadores (Penghu Islands).
The Treaty of Shimonoseki was signed and Taiwan was given over to Japan. At this time, Taiwan was heavily sought after as it had plentiful amount of resources such as sugar, rice and tea.
Republic of Formosa
At the end of the war, Taiwan has been under the Qing Dynasty from 1683 to 1895 and the coastal cities were mainly inhabited by Han people. The thought of being ruled by foreigners was something that the people could not put up with. Tang Jingsong, the Qing governor-general of Taiwan, looked to form the Republic of Formosa. Gathering the public to fight off foreigners was not the only reason before the formation of this republic. With the Treaty of Shimonoseki, the Qing Dynasty could not go against the treaty and support people in Taiwan from fighting the Japanese. If the rebels set themselves up as an independent nation, they would be considered a foreign government and seek the Qing Dynasty’s support.
The Republic of Formosa’s president would flee to China after thirteen days leaving the commander in chief Liu Yongfu for another four months. The Republic of Formosa would last a total of five months.
Japan vs Taiwan Volunteer Troops
After the Japanese troops and government entered Taipei, they headed down south to take over the rest of Taiwan. This campaign was set to be accomplished in one month, but instead took five months. Compared to the officials of the Republic of Formosa, the volunteer troops amassed around Taiwan were the true deterrents to the Japanese troop.
While the Japanese troops were able to enter Taipei with ease, their trek down south was met with heavy resistance. Many Hakka families were starting to take up arms against the Japanese troops. Led by Chiang Sao-Chu (姜紹祖), Shu Shiang (徐驤) and Wu Tang-Xing (吳湯興), the volunteer troops fought the Japanese from Taoyuan all the way down to ChangHua, where in the Battle of Baguashan saw the end of the Hakka volunteer troops and its leaders.
After the fall of the Republic of Formosa, Hokkien volunteer troops also took up arms and fought against the Japanese from 1896 to 1902