When they find out that the island’s name literally means “seven beauties,” would-be visitors to Qimei could be forgiven for thinking the appellation refers to scenic spots. Qimei is, after all, a spectacular place of rocky coves, basalt cliffs, and undulating grasslands. Qimei (sometimes spelled Chimei or Cimei) is the southernmost link in the chain…

From the 17th century, when Taiwan first began to be settled by migrants from Fujian Province on the Chinese mainland, through the 19th century, strong economic and family relationships continued to tie Taiwan to Fujian. For much of that period, Taiwan produced surpluses of rice, sugar, and other commodities that it exported to the mainland….