Kao-hsiung, Taiwan’s second-largest city, was founded during the Ming dynasty. The city has Asia’s biggest oil refinery and is of strategic importance because of its naval base.

Kao-hsiung (in Pinyin, Gaoxiong) is Taiwan’s second-largest city. It is situated on the southwestern coast of the island. The city was founded during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) but was under Dutch occupation from 1624 to 1660. In 1863 Kao-hsiung became a treaty port for trade with the European colonial powers. During the Japanese occupation (1895–1945) of Taiwan, Kao-hsiung was transformed into a major industrial center, and the port sustained heavy damage during World War II. The port was rebuilt, and in the 1970s and 1980s it became Taiwan’s most important seaport, covering an area of 154 square kilometers.

Kao-hsiung has shipyards, steel mills, and other heavy industry, as well as petrochemical plants and Asia’s biggest oil refinery. The city is among the most heavily polluted in Taiwan. The port also has a large fleet of fishing boats, and agricultural products are exported from Kao-hsiung by ship. Kao-hsiung is of strategic importance because of its large naval base. The city enjoys equal status with Taipei and is administered directly by an executive committee (yuan) instead of the Taiwan provincial government. Kao-hsiung has a university and several institutions of higher education and an international airport. The eighth International World Games will be held in Kao-hsiung in 2009 from 16 to 26 July.

Further Reading

Knapp, R. G. (1980). China’s island frontier: Studies in the historical geography of Taiwan. Honolulu: University Press of Hawaii.

Lu Miaofang. (Ed.). (1999). Gaoxiong jianzhu san bainian [The architectural beauty of Kao-hsiung 1683–2000]. Gaoxiong, China: Gaoxiong shilu meishuguan.

Source: Nielsen, Bent. (2009). Kao-hsiung. In Linsun Cheng, et al. (Eds.), Berkshire Encyclopedia of China, pp. 1240–1240. Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Publishing.

Kao-hsiung (Gāoxióng 高雄)|Kao-hsiung (Gāoxióng 高雄)

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