The spelling Taipei derives from the Wade–Giles romanization T’ai-pei which means the North of Taiwan in Chinese. The Empire of Japan acquired Taiwan in 1895 under the Treaty of Shimonoseki after the First Sino-Japanese War. Taiwan became a colony of Imperial Japan with Taihoku (formerly Taipeh-fu) as its capital. Prior to the significant influx of Han Chinese immigrants, the region of Taipei Basin was mainly inhabited by the Ketagalan plains aborigines. The number of Han immigrants gradually increased in the early 18th century under Qing Dynasty rule after the government began permitting development in the area. Taipei was renamed to Taihoku in 1895 when the Empire of Japan annexed Taiwan. Taiwan’s Japanese rulers embarked on an extensive program of advanced urban planning that featured extensive railroad links. A number of Taipei landmarks and cultural institutions date from that period. Following the surrender of Japan to the United States of America of 1945, effective control of Taiwan was handed to the Republic of China (ROC). After losing mainland China to the Chinese Communist Party in the Chinese Civil War, the ruling Kuomintang relocated the ROC government to Taiwan and declared Taipei the provisional capital of the ROC in December 1949.