With over 2.7 million inhabitants the city of Kaohsiung (Gāoxióng in Pinyin) is the second largest city in Taiwan. Kaohsiung lies at the southern end of the west coast of Taiwan and has large natural harbour, bordered by the island of Cijin to the south. Kaohsiung was founded at the end of the 17th century by Chinese settlers and became part of China in 1684. Following the treaty of Shimonoseki Taiwan became part of Japan in 1895 and Kaohsiung experienced a phase of rapid development. Kaohsiung was heavily bombed by the Americans during World War II. As a consequence there is a dearth of old buildings in Kaohsiung. Nowadays Kaohsiung is a predominantly modern city, with lots of skyscrapers and pleasant shopping areas.
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