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By Christopher L. Salter

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Sample text

In the last decades of the seventeenth century, these coastal provinces of southeastern China experienced a serious famine. Farmers, with no government authorization, fled to Taiwan and began to expand the agricultural base established by earlier Chinese. By 1683 the island had fallen under Manchu rule (the new dynasty on mainland China) and the estimated 150,000 farmers who had left Fukien province were brought under the wing of control of the new Ch’ing (Qing) dynasty. The new leaders of the Ch’ing dynasty began to see Taiwan as a potential threat to the stability of the mainland.

Manchus were a people of the plains and forests located north of China proper, in what has generally been called Manchuria. They were not welcomed by the Chinese in any way. Koxinga, of Chinese-Japanese parentage, was a powerful warlord, and is seen as the most powerful general in this midseventeenth-century era of disintegrating Chinese control. He established a base in the Tainan area of Taiwan in anticipation of using the island as a base for better control of the mainland Here he tried to organize a force to thwart the arrival of the Manchus in China.

They have, in most cases, completed their working lives and, with good health and a resulting relatively long life expectancy, they become a population that needs shelter, medical and societal support, and perhaps even additional economic opportunities. The under-15 and over-65 sectors of the population combine to form what is called the Dependency Ratio of a country’s population. The very young who are not yet working and the senior citizens who have, in most cases, completed their working lives are dependent upon the working population between the ages of 15 and 65.

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