I am sure Taiwanese nationalists are happy about this, but reality is that no “Han Chinese” population is “pure”. There is a clear, though subtle, cline in Northern and Southern Han Chinese as both groups have absorbed non-Han ethnic groups in ancient (and fairly recent times, i.e. Manchu) and the general migration trend appears to be Northwest to South. This is well documented, so I’m not shocked that Han Chinese who went to Taiwan intermarried with the aboriginal population. I wonder how much gender bias was involved. I would assume it was mostly Han men marrying aboriginal women. In any case, this is still interesting.

Most Hoklo, Hakka have Aboriginal genes, study finds

Eighty-five percent of Hoklo and Hakka people have Aboriginal ancestry, according to a study on the DNA of non-Aboriginal ethnic Taiwanese conducted by Mackay Memorial Hospital’s transfusion medical research director Mari Lin (林媽利).

Those 85 percent have strains from both plains and mountain Aboriginal tribes, as well as from Fujian and Guangdong and minor traces of ancestry from the Philippines, Indonesia and other Southeast Asian islands, the study found.

Only 1.5 percent of Taiwan’s population have full Aboriginal ancestry, the study found.

As an example of the nation’s ethnic diversity, Lin cited the example of Taiwan independence activist Peng Ming-min (彭明敏), whose patrilineal DNA is part Aboriginal, while his matrilineal DNA has Hakka and North Asian traces.

Lin said Hoklo and Hakka DNA was diverse. She said the tests showed that more than 90 percent of Hoklo and Hakka have at least some Vietnamese ancestry, specifically from China’s southeast coast.

Lin said genealogical analyses had shown Vietnamese are genetically more similar to Southeast Asians than northern Han.

Lin said Fujian’s mountains made it easier historically for residents to have contact with Taiwan and Southeast Asia than with the rest of China to the north, which was reflected in the genetic make-up of the population.

Official statistics show Taiwan’s population consists of approximately 73.5 percent Hoklo, 17.5 percent Hakka, 7.5 percent Mainlanders (who arrived after 1945) and 1.5 percent Aborigines. Lin’s study excluded Mainlanders.

Lin said that researchers began by recruiting volunteer blood donors. The first stage of the project consisted of analyzing the DNA of 100 Hoklo and Hakka — 58 men and 42 women.

Of these, 67 percent were found to have Aboriginal ancestry through DNA comparison techniques. An additional 18 percent were found to have Aboriginal ancestry through HLA chromosome typing, bringing the total to 85 percent.