Liu, Ming-Chuan

Liu, Ming-Chuan (1836-1896): The first governor of Taiwan during the Manchurian rule (1683-1895). He was born in An-Huy, China. He joined the local militia and was promoted to high-rank officer during the pacification of Tai-Pin-Tien-Kuo insurrection (1851-1864), which devastated half mainland China. During the Sino-Franco War (1883-1885), he successfully defended northern Taiwan from the invasion of French navy and marine. He was appointed as the first governor of Taiwan (1885-1891), introducing western reformations in hopes of fortifying the island and sheltering the southeastern China against foreign invasions. His achievements included: constructing the first railway of China, linking northern port Keelung and capital Taipei (1891); starting the telegram service connecting Taipei and mainland China; initializing modern post office; establishing schools for foreign languages and engineering. He witnessed Japan taking over Taiwan in his last months.