Kao-hsiung

Port city (pop., 2002 est.: 1,504,061), southwestern Taiwan.

It is Taiwan's leading port and a major industrial centre. Settled late in the Ming dynasty, it became a treaty port in 1863 and a customs station in 1864. It grew in importance during the Japanese occupation (1895–1945) and served as the southern terminus of the main north-south railway line. The city was named Takao by the Japanese and was made a municipality in 1920. It came under Chinese rule in 1945.

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Taiwan
Japanese  Takao,  

      shih (municipality) and major international port in southwestern Taiwan, with an area of 59 square miles (154 square km). The site has been settled since the later part of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). In early times the Chinese called the place Ta-kou, a rough rendering of the name of the local aboriginal tribe, the Makattao, or Takow. The Dutch, who occupied the area from 1624 to 1660, knew it as Tancoia. Settlement began in earnest in the late 17th century, when the place was known as Ch'i-hou. Opened in 1863 as a treaty port, subsidiary to the port of An-p'ing farther north on the coast, Kao-hsiung became a customs station in 1864 and then gradually became an important port for the southern Taiwan coastal plain. While it has a splendid natural harbour, its harbour entrance is narrow and rock-strewn and requires dredging.

      Kao-hsiung's real importance began under the Japanese occupation (1895–1945). The Japanese needed a good port in southern Taiwan to serve those areas that were to become a major source of raw materials and food for Japan, and Kao-hsiung was chosen. It became the southern terminus of the main north-south railway line, and from 1904 to 1907 extensive harbour works were undertaken. In 1920 the port was given the name Takao, the Japanese pronunciation of the Chinese characters for Kao-hsiung; in the same year, it became a municipality. Before and during World War II it was a major base for Japan's campaigns in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, and extremely ambitious plans for the construction of a massive modern port were drawn up. At the same time, it handled a growing share of Taiwan's agricultural exports to Japan. Toward the end of the war, too, the Japanese promoted some industrial development at Kao-hsiung, establishing an aluminum industry based on the abundant hydroelectric power produced by the Jih-yüeh Lake project in the mountains.

      After it came under Chinese administration in 1945, Kao-hsiung developed rapidly. The port, badly damaged in World War II, was restored. It also became a fishing port for boats sailing to Philippine and Indonesian waters. Largely because of its climate, Kao-hsiung has overtaken Chi-lung as Taiwan's major port. As an exporting centre, it serves the rich agricultural hinterland of southern Taiwan, as well as the southeast. The main raw-material exports shipped from Kao-hsiung are rice, sugar, bananas, pineapples, peanuts (groundnuts), and citrus fruits.

      Kao-hsiung is also a major industrial city. The 5,500-acre (2,225-hectare) Linhai Industrial Park, located on the waterfront, was completed in the mid-1970s. It includes a steel mill, shipyard, petrochemical complex, and other industries. The city also has an oil refinery, aluminum works, cement works, fertilizer factories, sugar refineries, brick and tile works, and salt-manufacturing and papermaking plants. Designated an export-processing zone in the late 1970s, Kao-hsiung has succeeded in attracting foreign investment to process locally purchased raw materials for export. A large canning industry in the city processes both fruit and fish.

      Kao-hsiung has a number of colleges and junior colleges offering training in commerce, education, maritime technology, medicine, modern languages, nursing, and technology. An international airport and the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Freeway serve the city. Pop. (1989 est.) 1,364,356.

      hsien (county), southwestern Taiwan. With an area of 1,078 square miles (2,793 square km), it is bordered by the hsiens of T'ai-nan and Chia-i (north), T'ai-tung and Hua-lien (east), and P'ing-tung (south) and by the Taiwan Strait (west). Kao-hsiung city and its major international port with a large dry dock are situated in the western-coastal region of the hsien. The Yü Mountains, extending over most of the northern part, give rise to the Ch'i-shan and Lao-nung rivers and merge gradually with the fertile coastal plains in the south. Mount Yü (also called Mount Hsin-kao, formerly Mount Morrison), at 13,114 feet (3,997 m) above sea level, is Taiwan's highest peak. Rice, sugarcane, tobacco, bananas, and pineapples are grown in the hsien. The town of Mei-nung, known as the “tobacco kingdom,” has about 4,950 acres (2,000 hectares) devoted to tobacco farming. One of the chief industrial regions of Taiwan, Kao-hsiung hsien produces cement, aluminum, paper, fertilizer, plywood, and small machinery; shipbuilding and oil refining are also important. Fo-kuan Hill in Hsin-tien has one of the largest Buddhist temples in southeast Asia. Ch'eng-ch'ing Lake, the tomb of king Ning-ching, and the Ch'un-ch'iu (Spring and Autumn) Pagodas are major tourist attractions. Feng-shan is the administrative seat and is linked by railway to Chi-lung Keelung in northern Taiwan. The National Sun Yat-sen University was founded in 1980 at Kao-hsiung city. Pop. (1989 est.) 1,095,790.

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Universalium. 2010.

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