Zheng Chenggong considered a national hero was a military leader during the late Ming and early Qing Dynasties. Born to a Chinese father; Zheng Zilong, a renowned merchant and skilled pirate and to a Japanese mother in Hirado, Nagasaki in Japan, he had much to suffer as a child. He was oppressed by the village children for his Chinese kin and to drive away from the mockery he worked hard at his school work and perfected his martial arts. When his father was offered amnesty and appointed a military leader in the Ming court, the family returned to their ancestral hometown in southeast China.
In 1644 trouble began with the rebellion led by Li Zicheng followed by the Manchurian troops and the establishment of the city as the capital of Qing Dynasty. Zheng’s father still served the Ming dynasty and helped establish Prince Tang as Emperor Longwu in today’s Nanjing to continue the Ming Dynasty. In 1646 Zheng was offered safety by the Qing court in return for his troops in southern and south-eastern China where he was appointed a military leader to fight the Qing troops. He was however deceived and once he surrendered was sent to the Qing capital in the north and attacked Zheng’s hometown. Zheng’s hatred towards the Qings and determination to fight the Qing invaders was further steeled by his mother hanging herself during the chaos of the battle.
Zheng was as patriotic towards the Ming Dynasty as was his father and attacked Qing controlled areas with a strong armed force he created for himself. Rejecting all peace offers he still fought on but was finally defeated and was forced to retreat. In 1661 he identified Taiwan as a good military base for long term resistance against the Qing troops and set about to free Taiwan from the clutches of its Dutch rulers. After 9 months of fierce battle the 38 years of Dutch rule finally fell making Zheng the liberator of Taiwan from its colonial rule and established a Chinese kingdom. In commemoration of this noble hero are many statues found in Fujian and Taiwan. One such is the immense statue found at a mountain top in Quanzhou where Zheng Chenggong lives on in all his glory mounting a massive stallion.