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Tainan was the capital of Taiwan in 1661 when Koxinga took the island from Dutch colonial rule. In 1684, the Qing Dynasty conquered Taiwan and created "Taiwan Fu" (the first local government in Taiwan). This was later renamed to "Tainan Fu" in 1885. Because it was the capital of Taiwan, Tainan is also called Fu-cheng (Government City). Tainan was also the capital of the Republic of Formosa.
Tainan is one of the oldest cities in Taiwan, with the Dutch port at An-ping (安平) in 1624. It is also one of Taiwan's cultural capitals, as it built the First Confucian School/Temple on the island. There are remains of the Northern and Southern gates of the old city, and other old monuments.
Tainan City once had six districts: Anping, Annan, East, West Central, South, and North districts. Annan district was originally the An-Shun township of Tainan County, and was added into Tainan City in 1946.
In December 25, 2010, it got merged with Tainan county, and upgraded into a special municipality. Its name remains Tainan City. Now the great Tainan City has 31 districts, and the central government want those districts incorporated into 10 to 12 districts in the future.
But people in every township are not very positive about this. Because people are afraid that their budget would be downsized while every administrative area become much larger. For the central and local city government, there is a long way to go.
Twin towns and sister cities
Tainan has 28 twin towns and sister cities worldwide. Tainan signed the agreements with 9 cities in the US between 1965 to 1991. They are:
- Monterey, California (1965)
- San Jose, California (1977)
- Kansas City, Missouri (1987)
- Columbus, Ohio (1980)
- Orlando, Florida (1982)
- Fairbanks, Alaska (1983)
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (1986)
- Huntsville, Alabama (1986)
- Carbondale, Illinois (1991)