formosa: Latin, literally meaning ‚Äúshapely and beautiful.‚Äù Formosa is the name Portuguese explorers gave the island of Taiwan in the early 1500s, before Chinese people inhabited it. Pirates of various nationalities used Formosa as their base before it was finally brought within the Chinese Empire by the Qing Emperor Kangxi in the 1680s. Tea was introduced from Fujian in 1855. In 1895, it was seized by the Japanese, who developed the modern tea industry on Formosa before losing it in 1945. China regards it as a province belonging to her; the Taiwanese consider themselves an independent nation.