In the latter decades of the nineteenth century, a number of Chinese officials acted as agents of modernization in their own regions of authority. The achievements of such men as Li Hung-chang and Chang Chih-tung are well known. The work of Liu Ming-ch'uan in Taiwan, however, has received little recognition outside his own country. After Taiwan was ceded to Japan in 1895, even Chinese scholars paid scant attention to Liu's work there, but with the removal of the Nationalist government to the island in 1949, there has understandably been a renewed interest in him. Chinese studies of Liu, however, generally treat his seven-year administration of the island without distinguishing between his efforts along traditional lines and those which required innovations. This is, of course, a perfectly valid approach, but Liu can also be seen as a modernizer. Because this paper is focused on the latter approach, it will take up only Liu's efforts at modernization.

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