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3.1 Introduction

Generally, the term industrial heritage refers to those heritage sites built after the Industrial Revolution in the eighteenth century. However, the definition of the industrial heritage in Taiwan should be expanded to include heritage sites related to both pre-industrial and post-industrial activities. Taiwan‘s pre-industrial manufacturing activities can be traced back to the seventeenth century. While Japan annexed the island from the Qing in 1895, Taiwan was colonised by the Japanese. The colonial government soon turned its attention to industry and initiated many types of industry. Taiwan became modernised and industrialised during the Japanese period. At the same time, it changed the society of Taiwan in many aspects. Every industrial heritage site provides historical evidence of Taiwan‘s history, thus, the spirit of industrial heritage in Taiwan should be enlightened so that it can play an important role in the civil society.

The Empire of Japan gained the control of Taiwan in 1895 by defeating the Qing Empire at the Sino-Japanese War. After several years of suppressing both anti-Japanese resistance and local banditry, the Japanese began to modernise this island. Transportation facilities, such as modern railways, roads, bridges, and harbours, were constructed, which facilitated the development of various types of modern industry. Progress in sugar, salt, wine, and forestry industries was significant. After 1935, the Japanese colonial government in Taiwan began encouraging investment in the non-agricultural industry on the island. Although most of the industries were monopolised by the Japanese, the society did change gradually from one dominated by the agricultural economy toward one with industrial production. Sugar, together with rice, tea, and camphor, were the four main products during the Japanese period. Through the development of modern Taiwan, various types of industry have played a crucial role. Industries such as sugar, wine, mining, tea, salt, textiles, forestry, wood, shoe-making, and shipbuilding are cases in point. All of them were supported by transportation, power, and water-supply facilities.

After the end of the war in 1945, the Chinese Nationalist government took control of both Taiwan and the whole structure and facilities of Japanese industrialisation on the island as state-owned enterprises operating under a period of violence and hyperinflation in the late 1940s. In the 1950s, Taiwan was dependent on American aid. The government implemented a land reform program that increased equality among the farm population and strengthened government control of the countryside. High-speed economic growth accompanied by quick industrialisation began in the late 1950s. Taiwan became known for its cheap manufactured exports produced by small enterprises. Textiles, shoe-making, bicycle making, and shipbuilding became crucial industries in Taiwan. However, the success of these industries depended on cheap labour, and the use of the land and resources was not sustainable. Beginning in the 1980s, rapid changes in the urban expansion, land exploitation, population growth, industrial structure, technology innovation, and methods of production occurred. Consequently, the close and demolition of several types of industry in urban and suburban areas became a common phenomenon.

Taiwan’s former commodity industries (such as sugar, wine, tobacco, and forestry), and heavy industries (such as metallurgy, mining and collieries) have been forced out of production due to changes in the business model or from the impact of globalisation and now these industrial complexes lie idle. This industrial heritage is very different from the generally understood traditional cultural heritage and monuments. Currently, in Taiwan, the question of how to preserve, reuse and transfer old industrial buildings into a base for cultural and creative industries is an extremely relevant concern for government, academics and local organisations. Among various industries that used to play crucial roles in Taiwan, sugar, wine, forestry, and heavy industries in the Japanese colonial period are of great importance and deserve more discussion toward the current development of industrial heritage in Taiwan. This chapter gives a brief history background of Taiwan and her former colonists, as well as summarising the island’s industrial cultural heritage preservation within the context of cultural policy development.


3.2 The Historical Context of Taiwan

The island of Taiwan was mainly inhabited by Taiwanese aborigines until the Western colonists’ and the Han Chinese immigrants’ arrival. From that time onwards, the island country including its surrounding islands was widely involved in the global network has been the scene of international contention as long as it has had a recorded history (Table 3.1). In 1662, the pro-Ming loyalist Koxinga, Zheng Chenggong expelled the Dutch and established the first Han Chinese polity to rule on the island, the Kingdom of Tungning. The Qing Dynasty of China later conquered Taiwan in 1683. By the time Taiwan was ceded to Japan in 1895, the majority of Taiwan’s inhabitants were Han Chinese either by ancestry or by assimilation. At the end of World War II in 1945, Japan surrendered Taiwan to the Republic of China (ROC) military forces on behalf of the Allies. Subsequently, in the Chinese civil war, the Communist Party of China took full control of mainland China and founded the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949. The ROC relocated its government to Taiwan, and its jurisdiction became limited to Taiwan and its surrounding islands.


5Table 3.1 Regimes in Taiwan

Regime Years Alternation
Kingdom of Middag (central western plains of Taiwan) ???? – 1732 1732 Conquered by Qing
Dutch (northeast of Taiwan ) 1624 – 1662 1662 Expelled by Zheng
Spanish (southwest of Taiwan) 1626 – 1642 1642 Expelled by Dutch
Kingdom of Tungning (Zheng) 1662 – 1683 1683 Defeated by Qing
Qing 1683 – 1895 1895 1st Sino-Japanese War, defeated and ceded Taiwan.
(Republic of Formosa) (1895.5 – 10) Collapsed after Japan’s invasion
Japan 1895 – 1945 1945 Ending 2nd Sino-Japanese War, returned Taiwan.
The Republic of China, ROC (Nationalist) 1945 – 1996 1946-50 2nd Chinese Civil War (Martial Law, 1949-1987)
Republic of China, ROC (Full electoral democracy) 1996 – present KMT, 1996-2000, 2008-present; DPP, 2000-2008

Source: summarised by the author.

There are various names for the island of Taiwan in Chinese history recorded since the third century (Chen, 1978; Fan, 1978), derived from explorers or rulers by each particular period. However, in the modern history, the former name Formosa dates from the 1540s, when Portuguese sailors passing Taiwan in 1544, first jotted in a ship’s log the name of the island ‘Ilha Formosa’, which means ‘Beautiful Island’ (Borao Mateo, 2007). In the early Seventieth century, the Dutch East India Company established a commercial post at Fort Zeelandia (modern Anping, Tainan) on a coastal islet called ‘Tayouan’ in the local Siraya language (Oosterhoff, 1985); when the Qing formally designated the Taiwan Prefecture (now Tainan) as a part of Fujian Province in 1684, the name was later extended to the whole island. Modern Taiwan is a multicultural country and is still on her way of shaping its unique National/ Cultural Identity (See Figure 3.1). Since at least the eleventh century, the book of Description of the Foreign Lands in 1225 (Song Dynasty, AD 907-1276) shows Penghu as a part of its territories. Penghu, the closest archipelago away the western coast of Taiwan, is the first place Han Chinese from southern Mainland China began to establish fishing communities on; hereafter, representatives were intermittently stationed there by the Southern Song, Yuan and Ming governments. As for Taiwan Island, Chen Di (1540-1617) documented his eyewitness account of Taiwan in the earliest extant literature, Records of the Eastern Savages in 1603 (Teng, 2004). Before the series colony battles among of the Dutch (1624-1662), Spanish (1626-1642), the pro- Ming Dynasty state, Kingdom of Tungning (1662-1683) and Qing Dynasty (1683-1895), Taiwanese aborigines were living on the island for centuries. Due to major Han Chinese immigration beginning in the seventeenth century, the population of mixed Han-aboriginal heritage had the border to Han shift around them in this short span between 1650 and 1685 (Brown, 2004). Despite the loss of territories caused by population and military pressure of Han Chinese immigration, both the Plains and Mountain aboriginal tribes still strive to perpetuate their own customs and rituals until today. Moreover, there are increasingly new immigrants from Southeast Asia (mostly from Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and Philippines) through marriage in Taiwan, and this number is closer to Taiwanese aborigines’ year by year (MOI, 2014; CIP, 2014).


6Figure 3.1 Relation of ethnic terms used for peoples in Taiwan


3.2.1 Two Colonists and Two Kingdoms in 1600s’ Formosa

In 1624, threatened by the army of the Ming Dynasty, the Dutch (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie, VOC) withdrew from the Penghu Islands after about two years of occupancy. Later, the Dutch seized Tayouan (or Taijoung, now Tainan) in 1624. Not long after the Dutch, the Spanish dispatched part of their armada from Taiwan’s east coast to the north, occupying Quelang (now Keelung) in 1626. By 1642 the increasingly strong Dutch presence led a military force to defeat the Spanish garrison at Quelang, nominally making the Dutch into the single ruling power in Taiwan until 1662. To compare the two European colonial powers, the Dutch overcame problems such as the shifting political allegiances of the indigenous people and the sovereignty disputes of Japanese immigrants, presenting an example of a colonial rule that began in hardship and later became relatively successful. The Spanish faced problems in the Philippines regarding alternating political regimes, as well as the conflict between church and state. Coupled with their unsuccessful Taiwanese colonial administration, Spanish rule became an opposite model of initial success followed by failure (Andrade, 2005).

Prior to Dutch arrival, the native inhabitants did not use writing, and the missionaries created a number of Romanization schemes for the various Formosan languages. Experiments were also made with teaching native children the Dutch language (Everts, 2000). This is the first record in the history of a written language in Taiwan (Li, 2009). The habit of smoking tobacco among Taiwanese aborigines was also first noted in the colonial literature within this period (Chiang, 2002). Today, their legacy in Taiwan is visible in Tainan City where the remains of the Dutch castle and fort. And the fort which the Dutch rebuilt at Tamsui still stands as a preserved heritage. Moreover, the Dutch and Spanish Historical Materials are helpful to understand the development of Taiwan in the seventeenth century. Furthermore, much of the economic policies driven by the Dutch during the colonial period were subsequently used as a basis for the beginnings of mercantile history and international trade economy can be attributed to the port systems that were facilitated during the Dutch Formosa period (Chiu, 2008).


Meanwhile, there was once a purely aborigines-led Regime in Taiwan. The Kingdom of Middag established by the Taiwanese Plains aborigines was a supra-tribal alliance located in the central western plains of Taiwan in the seventeenth century. As the leader of multiple villages, Quataong, in the Dutch colonial documents, he was known as ‘Keizer van Middag (Emperor of the Daylight)’ and his authority had extended over twenty-seven tribes (Weng, 2002). In 1645, The Dutch subdued Quataong and acknowledged his role as a local leader. Since 1661, under great pressure from the Zheng clan, the power of the leadership gradually weakened. Having survived the rule of European colonists and the Kingdom of Tungning, the aboriginal tribes that previously comprised Middag were eventually subjugated to the rule of the Qing Empire in the eighteenth century.

In 1662, after nine months of siege from the army of Zheng Chenggong, the Dutch surrendered, ending their thirty-eight-year rule of Taiwan. The Kingdom of Tungning was a government that ruled part of south-western Taiwan between 1661 and 1683. As a pro-Ming Dynasty state, it was founded by Zheng after the Ming government in China was overthrown by the Manchu Qing Dynasty. Replacing the Dutch system of government previously used in Taiwan, he instituted a Ming-style administration as the first Han-Chinese governance in Taiwan (Clements, 2004; Lin and Keating, 2008). Years after, the Qing’s army landed in Taiwan in 1683, Taiwan incorporated into the Qing Empire, ending two decades of Zheng family rule. In the period of Zheng’s rule, it is not only the first huge immigration from Han-Chinese, including many previous Ming government officials and literati but also the formal beginning of Confucian and Chinese language education in Taiwan. The Confucius Temple at Tainan today was built in 1666 by introducing the worship of Confucius and Confucian education system. Meanwhile, Zheng’s government extended the cultivation of sugarcane and the production of salt for the trade with the Europeans. Trade with the British occurred from 1670 through until the end of the Zheng regime, though for the most part limited (Wills, 2006).

3.2.2 Taiwan of Qing Dynasty

In 1685, Qing officially annexed Taiwan into its territory under Fujian province. Along with the gradual predominance of Han Chinese immigrants, the Qing government reshuffled administrative divisions constantly as the necessary. After the Japanese invasion of Taiwan in 1874, the Qing recognised the importance of Taiwan and changed their passive strategy of governance to administer aggressively and ultimately made Taiwan as a separate province in 1885. The Europeans also interested in the Taiwan and its trade potential as an East Asian base. In 1840 Keelung was invaded by the British during the First Opium War, and after the Second Opium War (1856–1860), The Qing was forced to open up four trade ports of Taiwan, including Danshui, Anping, Keelung and Kaohsiung for international trading. Due to the abundance of camphor, sugar, tea and coal in Taiwan, foreign merchants established foreign trading companies and reintroduced a global trading system (Lin, 2000; Huang, 2003). Great changes were made in Taiwan’s industrial makeup. As the major exchange of tea, camphor and coal mines were in the north, thereafter, when the Qing imperial commissioner office temporarily resided in Taipei at 1885, Taiwanese political-economic centre has moved toward the north.

From 1875, facing the increasing foreign aggression, the Qing altered its policy to promote modern infrastructure for guarding Taiwan’s borders against foreign encroachment. Moreover, when the French invaded Penghu, Danshui and Keelung during the Sino-French War (1884-1885), the Qing government then formally established Taiwan Province in 1885. Hence, Taiwan made a certain degree of progress in commerce, transportation and mining (sulphur, coal, gold, salt and oil) in the final decade of Qing rule. The Taiwan Province office promoted a series of Western-style architectural developments, such as Taipei Locomotive Repair Factory (1885), the laying of submarine cable between Taiwan and Fujian (1886), modern postal service (1888), Western School (1890) and Headquarters of Taiwan’s Telegraphy (1892), the Taipei-Hsinchu railway (1893), as well as iron bridges, modern Western-style forts, and westernized mining technique (Yeh, 2006). However, soon after these reforms, the First Sino-Japanese War broke out, and Taiwan was ceded to Japan by the Treaty of Shimonoseki in 1895 (Paine, 2003). In an attempt to prevent Japanese rule, Taiwanese elite expected the Western nations would not allow a sovereign state to be invaded by Japan by declaring themselves as a republic, and thereby allying with the Qing. The independent democratic ‘Republic of Formosa’ was established on 23rd May 1895 and mustered the former Qing troops and Taiwanese militias to fight against the Japanese (Chang, 2003). Nonetheless, the Republic of Formosa survived for only five months with no strong support from the Qing and international community. On the 23rd of October, the Japanese army entered Tainan City and ended this organised resistance-Battle of Yiwei (Xie, 2001; Chen, 2006) by inaugurating five decades of Japanese rule in Taiwan.


The Qing court defeated the Zheng regime in 1683 then annexed Taiwan into its realm in 1684 and ruling it for 212 years, until it ceded Taiwan to the Japanese in 1895. This was the first time Taiwan had been united with the mainland, and also the time of greatest development in Taiwan. Politically, the fixed Chinese regime allowed the development of patriotic ideology; economically, Taiwan developed rapidly, forming a reciprocal economic system with the mainland; socially, there was a large influx of Han Chinese immigrants, who took over the most fertile parts of the plains, superseding the aboriginal people as the dominant ethnic group and reinforced the establishment of Han society there. Culturally, Confucian thought and cultural and educational systems were established. Comprehensively, during the Qing Dynasty, Taiwan made a certain extent of progress in farming, trade, mining and transport industries. Before the next stage of Taiwan history - Japanese Colonial Period, in order to understand the industrial heritage context in Taiwan, the following paragraph will focus on the development of heritage system in Taiwan to realize the framework of Taiwanese Authorized Heritage Discourse, and then continue to review the colonised Taiwan and its industrialisation in the colonial industrial heritage perspective.


3.3 The Construction of Heritage System in Taiwan

The Heritage System in a nation reflects directly its development of cultural policy and discourse. The structure of national politics significantly affects the cultural affairs and citizens’ opinions toward the arts (Mulcany, 1998). McGuigan (2001) considers there are three main streams of cultural policy discourse, which are state discourse, civil discourse and market discourse. In the beginning of the twentieth century, the Western Democracies adopted positive measures to advocate cultural affairs among the people or by national intervention for the purpose of advancing national integration and the practice of political rights (Gripsrud, 2000). Later, there is an increasing number of national authorities for culture and communication. After the Second World War to 1970s, a framework of the national cultural policy was gradually constructed by the national centralisation as a state discourse. At the same time, the global heritage preservation issues were frequently discussed as well. In the 1980s, due to the rise of Neoliberalism, the government declined the public subsidies to support cultural affairs, and this was the start of the market discourse in cultural policy.

The concept of heritage preservation in Taiwan was first promoted by the Japanese during the colonial period. After 1945, the Nationalist government used the Antiquities Preservation Act which the legislated in 1931 to regulate heritage issues. Until the 1970s, Taiwan had a better and more stable situation in society, economy and politics, and began to process cultural infrastructure, especially the Council for Cultural Affairs, CCA and Cultural Heritage Preservation Act in 1980s which demonstrated the awareness of the importance of culture and its identity in Taiwan. Also, at that time, Taiwan widely accepted the cultural approach of French Socialism (Tien and Lin, 2010). Following in the 1990s, the CCA introduced the ‘Community Development’ from Japan which leads to a localised model of cultural popularisation highlighting local culture and history. After 2000, because of the trend towards ‘New Public Management’ and ‘Creative Industry’ in global, heritage was linked with tourism and included in the cultural and creative industries field. Meanwhile, the connection and exchange with international heritage organisations also provoke the domestic debate to rethink and improve the current heritage system in Taiwan.

3.3.1 Concept of Culture Heritage in the Early Stage

The first request to cultural heritage in Taiwan is in the early local chronicles in Qing Dynasty, Jiang Yu-Ying’s Taiwan Prefecture Gazetteer (1685) with thirteen historical sites and the subsequent general records of counties in Taiwan also listed some historical sites, but they referred only to the cultural, natural or controversial heritage rather than intangible cultural heritage such as traditional arts, crafts or customs. The Qing authorities did not implement any preservation task, they saw these sites as the practical goal and political achievements instead of monumental meaning (Lin, 2007).

With the coming of Japanese rule in Taiwan, the Taiwan Governor-General founded a series of committees for the investigation of Taiwan which offered various research reports and journals of Taiwanese culture and natural resources. In 1908 the Governor-General’s Office issued a formal ordinance to establish a ‘Museum Affiliated with the Taiwan Governor-General’s Colonial Civil Administration Office’ in Taipei. In fact, the purpose of the museum was not only based on the resource investigation of the colony for the exploitation but as a showcase for introducing the empire’s colony to Japanese tourists, a classic colonial museum (Huang; Chang 2007). These collections and studies also provided great materials for subsequent official exhibitions for the purpose of practising the emerging Japanese Empire’s achievement and successful colonisation, including the Taiwan Industrial Competitive Exhibition (1916), Chubu Competitive Exhibition (1926), Kaohsiung Harbor Exhibition (Takao Kou Exhibition, 1931), and Taiwan Expo of Dominion for Forty Years since the Inauguration (1935). In all, 13 museums were set up during the period of Japanese rule (Noritaka, 1987; Lu, 2005). The  Government General enacted the rules for the Implementation of the Preservation Law of Taiwan’s Historic Site, Scenic and National Monument, it is the first time the heritage in Taiwan within the authority system. A ‘Researching Commission of Taiwan’s Historic Site, Scenic and National Monument’ was established later for the investigation and examination of the candidate sites. Based on the surveys of scholars and experts in 1933, 1935 and 1941, a total of 29 historic monuments and natural monuments were named until 1945. The researchers carried out by the Taiwan Governor-General’s Office under the Japanese Colonial Period admittedly were done with particular objectives in mind. But the results of over 50 years of accumulated research are a rich trove. They are a gateway to the academic study of modern Taiwan, and they are the foundation for any academic study of Taiwan in the post-war years.

In the Early Republic of China (ROC), by reason of political unrest and a sequence of civil wars, the Nationalist Government had no specific cultural policy such as found in the West for promoting the arts. The Cultural policy was similar to ‘Enlightenment’ policy to accelerate living modernisation and then the cultural policy was similar to ‘Enlightenment’ policy to accelerate living modernisation. However, the realisation of antiquities preservation was overspread, thus Antiquities Preservation Act was legalised in 1930, and the Central Committee of Antiquities Preservation was established four years later. The act became the only legal basis of cultural heritage preservation in Taiwan since 1945 to 1982. Nevertheless, the Committee was suspended and its business was transferred to Ministry of Education , MOE and Ministry of the Interior (MOI) due to the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945). After 1949, Taiwan Historica (an institution established to compile the common history of Taiwan Province) began the post-war investigation of historic attractions /buildings and accumulated a lot of basic studies and data within the emphasis on the inheritance of cultural heritage between Taiwan and China. When the Nationalist Government finally settled in Taiwan and improved the civil living in the islands under the furtherance of U. S. Aid (1951 – 1965) in the following decades, the cultural policy of the Nationalist Government keened on maintaining Chinese culture in response to the Communist Government’s Cultural Revolution (1966 – 1976). President Chiang Kai-shek initiated the Chinese Culture Renaissance Movement in the end of 1966, the aim of this was to promote Confucian orthodoxy and to oppose the Communist authorities that were destroying the nation’s heritage by upholding Nationalist Government’s leadership and defending Chinese culture. In the days before localism came to be emphasised, the renaissance movement was used to enhance the legitimacy of the ROC’s political authority. In the meantime, the Bureau of Culture, MOEwas established in 1968. It was the first central authority of Cultural Affairs, including the affairs for culture, arts, film, broadcast and TV development. But the Central Committee of Antiquities Preservation was not reestablished in Taiwan by the Nationalist Government. This result of no competent authority of heritage preservation since 1937 enlarged the gap between the heritage studies and cultural administrative department and caused lots of destruction and loss of heritage. However, instituting the Bureau of Culture reveals the attempt to specify and systematise cultural authority within the official-led approach to form cultural policy. The Bureau is under Ministry of Education, it appears the initial cultural affairs are included in the education system. Furthermore, although the Bureau was abolished in 1975 due to its functions overlapping with Council for Chinese Cultural Renaissance, this experience also provides a reference point for the of cultural model and organisation framework for the future CCA (Huang, 2010).

3.3.2 Establishment of Cultural Authorities: 1970s-1990s

After a long-term negligence of local custom and tradition, the 1970s, relatively, is an era full of disputes on the cultural issue in Taiwan. When the Republic of China’s (ROC) right to represent China at the United Nations (UN) was transferred to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1971, Taiwan lost its voice and position in the international heritage preservation sphere. Moreover, after breaking off the diplomatic relations with Japan in 1972, Directions of Eliminating the Colonial Memorial Monuments of Japanese Imperialism Superiority in Taiwan was announced in 1974 by MOI to demolish the Japanese architecture (such as shrines) and prohibit the use of Japanese era name. The act caused many Japanese monuments to be destroyed. In 1972, the government started a ‘Proposed Monument Survey’ which ultimately included 344 proposed monuments on the list between 1972 and 1979. Then in 1980, the government boosted a series cultural infrastructure programme to build Culture Centres and museums in each city and county with the number of the museums from 30 in the 1970s up to 90 in the 1990s (Tien and Lin, 2010). Simultaneously, at this period, the Taiwanese people had attached importance to cultural awareness and tended to treasure the historical buildings and heritage through a string of controversy over the heritage preservation, such as Preservation of Changhua Confucian Temple (1975), Lukang Old Street (1977) and Taipei Linantai Mansion (1977). The Ordinances of Developing Tourism (1969) was also enacted for promoting heritage tourism. While Guidelines of Taiwan Provincial Government Subsidising County (City) Monuments Restoration (1976) was announced by Taiwan Provincial Government, it is the first official policy of subsidising monuments restoration. But in practice, the Government is in a passive stand with no clear policy support and the inadequate of rules, it is a government with culture acts without cultural policy (Han, 2001). Until 1981, the CCA (CCA), authorized to provide subsidies and rewards for Arts workers and organizations, and Cultural Heritage Preservation Act was proclaimed and replaced Antiquities Preservation Act in the next year, hereafter, cultural policy in Taiwan was provided with preliminary execution units and rules to deal with issues of cultural heritage.

The CCA leaded the Comprehensive Community Building Plan (1994) by the aim of promoting cultural industries through local cultural institutions and cultural events in 1990s, along with running ‘Public Art Projects’, enacting Culture and Arts Reward Act (1992), creating ‘National Culture and Arts Foundation’ and ‘Cultural Office, Taiwan Provincial Government’ that moved in a positive direction of decentralization and bottom-up approach advocated in these policies in Taiwan. The establishment of National Culture and Arts Foundation in 1996 which in charge of sponsorship, reward, training, promotion and counselling for arts workers, organisations and events, it indeed activates the contemporary cultural heritage study and preservation in Taiwan. And in 1998, CCA announced the first White Paper on Cultural Affairs with the start of a defined cultural policy on developing Taiwanese culture and literature.

3.3.3 Alternation of Political Parties in Power: After 2000

When first alternation of political parties in power in 2000, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government urged to boot Challenge 2008 National Development Plan which contains a series of measures lead by CCA including Repurposing of Unused Space Project (2000), New Hometown Community Building Programme (2002), Local Museums (2002) and Cultural and Creative Industries Development Plan (2002). As a result, in the 2000s, there are over 400 museums in Taiwan through cultural heritage management and regeneration of local industries. And the local Culture Centres built by the government in the 1980s began to cover the regional cultural heritage affairs and reshuffled to Bureau of Culture of local government to bridge the local policy articulation and implementation with CCA in central government. An unexpected truth was the 921 Earthquake on 21st September 1999 which caused damage and demolition to many historical buildings and heritage being collapsed and damaged. Therefore, in 2001, CCA conducted General Survey of Historic Buildings (2001-2003), it is a national historic building survey work and there are 300s historic buildings being designated at the close. Likewise, the ‘Industrial Heritage Survey’ was undertaken by the Industrial Cultural heritage Survey Team since 2002 to assist the ministries and institutions doing inventory, preservation (Cultural Heritage inventory Plan) and re-use for the valuable cultural heritage in Taiwan’s industrial modernisation process (Industrial and Cultural Heritage Regeneration Plan).              At this period, the official systematic reports were published: Cultural Statistics presents the yearly development of cultural affairs within cultural statistics data showing the development of Taiwan cultural affairs since 2001; the Almanac of Taiwan Cultural Properties Conservation records Taiwan important persons, properties and issues of cultural heritage, including tangible and intangible cultural heritage since 2001; Annual Report for the Development of Taiwan Cultural and Creative Industries introduces the status of the development of Taiwan cultural and creative industries, and describes the current cultural and creative industries policy since 2003; and CCA announced new edition of White Paper on Cultural Affairs in 2004 to review the cultural policy between 2000 and 2004. In order to link with global heritage preservation groups, ‘Potential World Heritage Sites in Taiwan’ was selected twelve sites in 2003 by CCA’s Selection Meeting, and then established ‘the Committee of Promoting the World Heritage’ in 2009. After 6 times’ meetings, the total number of Potential World Heritage Sites in Taiwan is 18 since 2012. Correspondingly, Cultural Heritage Preservation Act was amended six times in 1997 (1, 2), 2000 (3), 2001 (4), 2005 (5), and 2011 (6) to be in accordance with domestic needs and international standards. Following up with the Preparatory Office, Headquarters Administration of Cultural Heritage (CCA) was founded in 2007 (it was restructured as Bureau of Cultural Heritage, BOCH, MOC in 2012) responsible for all kinds of heritage issues except the natural landscape management (the authority belongs to Council of Agriculture, MOI).

When KMT government returned in 2008, President Ma Ying-Jeou issued a White Paper of Cultural Policy and the statement of cultural governance with the aim of establishing a Ministry of Culture, MOC. Law for the Development of the Cultural and Creative Industries. This was enacted in 2010 to legalise the policy of developing cultural and creative industries since 2002, in addition, CCA listed ten Taiwanese Potential Intangible Cultural Heritage sites in the year. In 2011, Culture Basic Law Draft was proposed by CCA. And CCA was upgraded to the MOC next year, extending its cultural affairs to include broadcast, TV, film and publishing services, but, currently, Culture Basic Law Draft is still in the process of legalisation. Overall, in the early stage of ROC, Taiwan’s cultural infrastructure policies under the martial law strongly emphasised national spirit to fight against the ideology of the Communists. However, in the 1990s, CCA advanced policies based on community development, public art and local autonomy over culture moving in a positive direction to embody the reflective climate of the times. In the 2000s, although the decentralisation and bottom-up approach advocated in these policies resonated with the ideas of democratisation and civil society in Taiwan, the only concern is the unstable term in office of the head of CCA (MOC) since the alternation of political parties in power.

Taiwanese society is richly diverse. It is home to indigenous peoples of the Austronesian language family, ethnic-Chinese peoples that brought traditional Han society during the Qing Dynasty and ethnic-Chinese peoples that arrived after World War II. It has experienced colonisation under the Japanese Empire, the rule under the nationalism of the Nationalist government and the impact of modern Western culture. The country is presently facing challenges involving the development of democratic government, the presence of localism alongside globalism, an influx of postmodern information and growth of consumer society. As a result, Taiwan has experienced a diversity of cultural expressions and forms of cultural development over the course of its history. As a consequence of this diversity, Taiwan’s cultural policy addresses a great plenitude of issues. These include: indigenous cultural identity; Japanese language and cultural identity stemming from the period of Japanese colonisation; colonial consciousness and cultural expressions (i.e. museums and exhibitions); disparities between nationalistic cultural policy and ethnic group cultural capital during the era of Nationalist rule; the elitist art policies of modernism; the abrupt rise of local Taiwanese cultural organizations; the community empowerment movement’s cultural thinking regarding decentralization; the dialectic of public art policy and civil society; local development and the role of large arts and culture events; the meaning of art as a type of economic investment and commercial market; the cultural and political topics addressed by different types of museums; the contradictions between the industrialization of art and culture and the nature of art and culture; the news media’s video industry and the production of ideology; cultural civil rights; Taiwan’s cultural identity and the production of its international identity and image; and Taiwan’s post-colonial and post-modern cultural expressions and cultural policy thinking.

1945 Antiquities Preservation Act

1969 Ordinances of Developing Tourism

1974 Directions of Eliminating the Colonial Memorial

____ Monuments of Japanese Imperialism Superiority in Taiwan

1976 Guidelines of Taiwan Provincial Government Subsidising ____ County (City) Monuments Restoration

1982 Cultural Heritage Preservation Act

1992 Culture and Arts Reward Act

2003 *Potential World Heritage Sites

2010 Law for the Development of the ____ ____ Cultural and Creative Industries

____ *Potential Intangible Heritage

1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010

1968 Bureau of Culture, Ministry of Education

1996 Cultural Office, Taiwan Provincial Government

____ National Culture and Arts Foundation

2000 Local Government, Bureau of Culture

2007 Preparatory Office, Headquarters Administration of Cultural Heritage

2012 BOCH, Ministry of Culture


1931 Athens Charter

1954 European Cultural Convention

1964 Venice Charter

1972 Convention Concerning the Protection of the World

______ Cultural and Heritage

1975 European Charter of the Architectural Heritage

1994 Nara Document on Authenticity

1996 Declaration of San Antonio.

1999 Burra Charter

2002 Budapest Declaration

2003 Convention for the Safeguarding

___     ___ of the Intangible Cultural Heritage

2005 Convention on the Value of

___     ___ Cultural Heritage for Society

2005 Xian Declaration

* In 2014, there are 18 Potential World Heritage Sites,12 Potential Intangible Cultural Heritage in Taiwan.

7Figure 3.2 Timeline of Heritage Development in Taiwan and in Global


3.3.4 The Framework of Cultural Heritage Preservation in Taiwan

The authorities of cultural heritage in Taiwan included MOIs, Ministry of Education, Council of Agriculture, and CCA based on the different classifications of heritage. By 2005, after the fifth amendment of Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, the competent authority of ‘Monuments, Historical Buildings, Settlements, Historical Sites, Cultural Landscapes, Traditional Arts, Folk Customs and Related Cultural Artefacts, and Antiquities’ is the MOC (National Centre for Traditional Arts, National Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute, and BOCH) with authorizing BOCH as the dedicated agency for cultural heritage affairs; and the competent authority of ‘Natural Landscapes’ is the Council of Agriculture (Taiwan Forestry Research Institute, and Forestry Bureau). Furthermore, there are several authorities and national institutes involved in the system to assist the work of heritage preservation, such as MOI: the Construction and Planning Agency, Department of Civil Affairs; Ministry of Transportation and Communication: Tourism Bureau; Ministry of Science and Technology; the Council of Aboriginal Affairs; Hakka Affairs Council; National Development Council: National Archives Administration; and Academia Historica: Taiwan Historica (Figure 3.3).

8Figure 3.3 Taiwan Cultural Heritage Authority

Through a series of amendment on Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, Taiwanese Cultural Heritage system tends to the following improvements: (1) establishing a unified regulatory authority for cultural affairs: MOC, BOCH is in charge of all cultural heritage category with the exception of natural landscape undertaken by Council of Agriculture; (2) designation and registration of cultural heritage: designation is a mandatory order while registration is an incentivised approach; (3) Strengthen the preventive protection of cultural heritage: to build a basic database of cultural heritage and seek a protecting measure of heritage before its designation; (4) Emphasizing a specialization of preservation tasks: to set up a dedicated preservation agency, to require a professional agency engaged in cultural heritage preservation, and to establish the specialized committee for consideration; (5) indicating the importance of traditional skills and crafts inheritance and its owners; (6) to highlight the management and reuse of heritage, to respect the private interests, and to add the incentive measures. Until 2014, the total number of cultural heritage in Taiwan is 6,745, including Monuments (786), Historical Buildings (1131), Settlements (12), Historical Sites (43), Cultural Landscapes (43), Traditional Arts (204), Folk Customs and Related Cultural Artefacts (134), Antiquities (4365), and Natural Landscapes (27).

According to the classification and definition of Cultural Heritage Preservation Act, current cultural heritage in Taiwan,the cultural heritage referred to in the Fourth Article of the Act mean the following designated or registered assets having historic, cultural, artistic or scientific value:

  1. Monuments, Historical Buildings and Settlements: the buildings and/or ancillary facilities built for needs of human life with historic and/or cultural value.
  2. Historical Sites: the places which contain the remains or vestiges of past human life with historic and/or cultural value and the spaces upon which such remains and vestiges are erected.
  3. Cultural Landscapes: the location or environment which is related to any myths, legends, a record of events, historical events, social life or ceremonies.
  4. Traditional Arts: traditional crafts and skills descended from different ethnic groups and locals, which includes traditional arts and crafts and/or performing arts.
  5. Folk Customs and Related Cultural Artefacts: customs, beliefs, festivals or any other related cultural artefacts which are related to the tradition of citizen life and has special cultural meaning.
  6. Antiquities: any parts, utensils of life or civility, and books or documents having cultural significance and of the value of different eras and from different ethnic groups.
  7. Natural Landscapes: natural areas, land formations, plants, or minerals, which are of value in preserving natural environments.

The category of cultural heritage and the relevance of each subject in the Act can be summarised as Figure 3.3. It illustrates the intersection among individuals with a subordinate relationship or an independent interaction, for example, Cultural Landscapes may cover Monuments, Historical Buildings, Settlements and Historical Sites, but Monuments, Historical Buildings, and Historical Sites are self-contained to each other and the former two could interact with Cultural Landscapes or Settlements respectively. Natural Landscapes are included as part of Cultural Landscapes. While Antiquities may be the artworks or objects containing the values or evidence of Traditional Arts and Folk Customs and Related Cultural Artefacts. However, Cultural Landscapes, as a sort of cultural heritage category in the Act, covered the rest of cultural heritage category within its limited and ambiguous definition leads to an object-oriented concept in heritage preservation in Taiwan and causes confusion on the heritage category of designation by central/local authorities, because a heritage candidate may be applicable for all classifications.


9Figure 3.4 Diagram of Cultural Heritage Category in Taiwan


Besides, when Taiwan‘s economy changed from one dependent on heavy manufacturing industry to one based on technology and service, most owners of the mentioned industries, especially those of private and semiprivate companies, generally consider the profit value rather than the heritage value of their factories and machinery. Also, by reviewing the development of Cultural Heritage Preservation Act since 1982, after the amendment in 1997 (1st, 2nd), 2000 (3rd), 2001 (4th), 2005 (5th), 2011 (6th) and 2016 (7th) respectively, there are some issues and problems still in the on-going process to be coped which could be summarized as below. Firstly, in general, the economic and social advance always have more priority than cultural heritage preservation, and there is a continuing controversy between development and preservation in the recent decades. Simultaneously, the increasing rapidly number of designated cultural heritage, especially in the 1980s and 2000s, on the one hand, causes the local authorities to be unable to provide comprehensive maintenance or complete reuse programme immediately, and leads them being deserted or damaged; on the other hand, because some designated cultural heritage is private property, the owner may refuse preservation. Second, the dissonance of position and sequence among cultural groups can be observed significantly from the context of Taiwan cultural heritage development. When the legalisation of Cultural Heritage Preservation Act was enacted in 1982, initially, the identification of cultural heritage mainly focused on Han-Chinese centralisation until 1998, and then the heritage related to the Western and Japanese were began to added, whereas the aboriginal heritage was not considered before 2005. Due to the bias of ideology and negligence of Taiwanese multiculturalism in the past, cultural heritage has been demolished and loss. Finally, the discrepancy in the discourse of national identity during the different political stance confused the heritage preservation in the aspect of legislation and practice.

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