The original name of Liuqiu is Samaji. During the Dutch occupation of Taiwan, they also ruled Liuqiu. The Dutch renamed Liuqiu Golden Lion Island probably because they likened Vase Rock on the northeastern coast to a golden lion or make it a memorial to the crews of their ship named Golden Lion who were killed by local aboriginals.
In the records of Yuan Shi (Book on History of the Yuan Dynasty) and Zhu Fan Zhi (a book of history composed in Song Dynasty), ‘Liuqiu’ literally means today’s Taiwan. Since Ming Dynasty (following Yuan Dynasty), ‘Liuqiu’ referred to the island as today’s Liuqiu. As an island of only 6.8018 square kilometers, it is nicknamed ‘Hsiao (small) Liuqiu’.
On 1st September 1910 during the Japanese colonial period, they renamed the island Liuqiu. After Taiwan’s Restoration, the island, again, was renamed Liuqiu Township.