Cover: Taiwan’s Imagined Geography: Chinese Colonial Travel Writing and Pictures, 1683–1895, from Harvard University PressCover: Taiwan’s Imagined Geography in PAPERBACK

Harvard East Asian Monographs 230

Taiwan’s Imagined Geography

Chinese Colonial Travel Writing and Pictures, 1683–1895

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Product Details


$25.00 • £18.95 • €22.50

ISBN 9780674021198

Publication: March 2006


400 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

17 color illustrations, 1 halftone, 21 line drawings, 18 maps

Harvard University Asia Center > Harvard East Asian Monographs


Refreshingly, Teng divorces the relationship of the island and the mainland from the now stale arguments over reunification, or whether or not Taiwan is part of China, and grounds it in the tantalizing history of Chinese imperialism. She draws on Qing dynasty (1644–1911) travel writing and paintings to argue that China effectively colonized the island… Teng makes adroit use of a growing body of literature stigmatizing China as a colonial conqueror—rather than a victim of European colonialism—and incorporates the importance of Taiwan into the debate on Chinese expansionism.—Macabe Keliher, Far Eastern Economic Review

Teng paints an intriguing picture of the debates that emerged concerning the colonization of Taiwan and official Qing policy towards the island’s indigenous peoples… Teng is making a significant contribution to the study of imperialism overall, and is suggesting that it is time to move beyond the confines by which colonialism is seen as the exclusive practice of Western men.—Jeremy E. Taylor, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History

Thoroughly examining Qing dynastic travel accounts and maps of Taiwan, Teng has written a splendid analysis of changing Chinese perceptions of Taiwan and its indigenous peoples from the late 17th century on, culminating in Taiwan’s becoming a province of China in 1887… This book should be read by anyone interested in early Taiwanese history or in better understanding the current views about Taiwan held by Chinese in both the Republic of China and the People’s Republic of China. Those interested in discourses about the nature of imperialism or in how depictions of indigenous native peoples are manipulated to suit colonizers’ needs will also find this book worthwhile.—V. J. Symons, Choice