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(P’enghu), an archipelago in the Formosa Strait, a territory of China. The Pescadores consist of 64 islands. Area, 127 sq km.
Flat basaltic plateaus predominate on the islands, with elevations reaching 48 m. The coastline is very rugged. The climate is tropical and monsoonal. Rainfall exceeds 1,000 mm annually and is heaviest in summer. Typhoons are frequent in autumn. Much of the population is engaged in fishing. Sweet potatoes, peanuts, corn, and millet are cultivated.
The first migration from continental China to the Pescadores Islands was in the third century B.C. According to Chinese chronicles, late in the sixth century an emperor of the Sui dynasty sent Ch’en Leng, a military leader, to govern the islands. In 1360, during the Mongol dynasty in China, a bureau for the supervision of the Pescadores Islands was established. In the late 15th century, during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Chinese troops were quartered in the archipelago.
In 1623, the Pescadores Islands and Taiwan were seized by the Dutch, who were only driven off in 1661 and 1662 by the troops of the Chinese military leader Cheng Ch’eng-kung.
As a result of the Sino-Japanese War of 1894 and 1895, the Pescadores and Taiwan were seized by Japanese imperialists. In 1945, after the defeat of Japan in World War II (1939–45), these territories were restored to China. In 1949, after the overthrow of the Kuomintang in China, Chiang Kai-shek’s remaining troops were evacuated to the Pescadores Islands and Taiwan.