China and Inner Asia
Organized Panel Session
To date there have been many studies of the Qing conquest of Taiwan in 1683, but little attention has been paid to a debate on the future of Taiwan that followed that triumph. Two court factions disagreed about how to deal with the newly conquered land: one suggested relinquishing it, while the other called for integrating it into imperial Qing territory. To the extent that this event has been addressed by modern scholars, it has been interpreted in terms of the Chinese concern with the possibility of invasion by Western nations. I hope to explain what led the Qing court to place Taiwan under its sovereignty.