Overview of the history, causes, and impact of the tensions between China and Taiwan. And what you can do about it.
The China-Taiwan conflict has its roots in the Chinese Civil War, which took place from 1927 to 1950 between the Nationalist Party of China (Kuomintang) and the Communist Party of China (CPC). The Nationalists, led by Chiang Kai-shek, were initially successful in defeating the Communists and establishing a government in China, but they eventually lost the war and fled to the island of Taiwan. The CPC, under the leadership of Mao Zedong, established the People's Republic of China (PRC) on the mainland in 1949.
The Republic of China (ROC), as the Nationalist government on Taiwan was known, continued to recognize itself as the legitimate government of all of China and maintained its seat in the United Nations until 1971, when the United Nations recognized the PRC as the legitimate government of China. Since then, Taiwan has been recognized as a sovereign state by a minority of countries, while the vast majority of countries, including the United States, have diplomatic relations with the PRC and do not recognize Taiwan as a separate state.
The relationship between China and Taiwan has been marked by periods of tension and conflict, including the Taiwan Strait Crisis of the 1950s, when the PRC threatened to invade Taiwan, and the more recent escalation of tensions under the administration of Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen, who has resisted calls for reunification with China. The PRC has also used economic and diplomatic measures to pressure Taiwan and isolate it internationally, while the United States has continued to provide Taiwan with military and other forms of support.
In recent years, the relationship between China and Taiwan has become increasingly complex, with significant economic and cultural ties, as well as political differences and tensions. The Chinese government has expressed its desire for reunification with Taiwan, while the Taiwanese government and many Taiwanese people have rejected this idea and favored maintaining Taiwan's autonomy and independence. The COVID-19 pandemic has also had an impact on relations between China and Taiwan, with the Taiwanese government accusing China of spreading misinformation about the virus and using it as an opportunity to pressure Taiwan internationally.