Whether it's a bluff or a real threat that invasion, the increase in Chinese military task in Taiwan over the last couple of months has actually caused worldwide concern.

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At the heart of the division is that the Chinese government sees Taiwan together a breakaway district that will, eventually, be part of the nation again.

Many Taiwanese people disagree. They feel they in effect have a separate country - even if it is or not independence is ever officially declared.


Going ago to the beginning - the first known inhabitants in Taiwan to be Austronesian lack people, who room thought to have actually come from modern-day day southerly China.

The island appears to have very first appeared in Chinese documents in AD239, once an emperor sent out an expeditionary force to explore the area - miscellaneous Beijing provides to back its territorial claim.

After a fairly brief spell together a Dutch swarm (1624-1661), Taiwan to be administered through China's Qing dynasty from 1683 to 1895.


From the 17th Century, far-ranging numbers the migrants started getting here from China, frequently fleeing chaos or hardship. Most were Hoklo Chinese from Fujian (Fukien) province or Hakka Chinese, mainly from Guangdong. The progeny of this two movements are now by far the largest demographic groups on the island.

In 1895, Japan winner the an initial Sino-Japanese War, and also the Qing government had to cede Taiwan come Japan. After human being War Two, Japan surrendered and also relinquished regulate of region it had actually taken native China. The Republic that China - among the victors in the war - began ruling Taiwan through the consent that its allies, the US and UK.

But in the next few years a polite war damaged out in China, and also the then-leader Chiang Kai-shek's troops to be beaten ago by Mao Zedong's Communist armies.

image source, central Press

Chiang and the remnants of his Kuomintang (KMT) government fled come Taiwan in 1949. This group, referred to as Mainland Chinese and also then comprising 1.5m people, dominated Taiwan's politics for numerous years - even though they only account because that 14% that the population.

Having inherited an reliable dictatorship, facing resistance from local human being resentful the authoritarian rule and also under pressure from a cultivation democracy movement, Chiang's son, Chiang Ching-kuo, began allowing a process of democratisation.

President Lee Teng-hui, known as Taiwan's "father of democracy", led constitutional changes towards a an ext democratic politics layout, which at some point led to the choice of the island's very first non-KMT president, Chen Shui-bian, in 2000.


Relations in between China and also Taiwan started improving in the 1980s. China put forward a formula, known as "one country, two systems", under i beg your pardon Taiwan would certainly be given significant autonomy if it embraced Chinese reunification.

This mechanism was established in Hong Kong come be provided as other of a showcase to lure Taiwanese people back to the mainland.

Taiwan rubbish the offer, however it walk relax rules on access time to and also investment in China. In 1991, it likewise proclaimed the war through the People's Republic that China ~ above the mainland to it is in over.

There to be also minimal talks in between the 2 sides' unofficialize representatives, though Beijing's insistence that Taiwan's Republic that China (ROC) federal government is illegitimate intended government-to-government meetings couldn't happen.

image source, AFP

And in 2000, as soon as Taiwan chosen Chen Shui-bian together president, Beijing to be alarmed. Mr Chen had openly donate "independence".

A year after mr Chen was re-elected in 2004, China passed a so-called anti-secession law, stating China's right to usage "non-peaceful means" versus Taiwan if that tried to "secede" native China.

Mr Chen was prospered by Ma Ying-jeou, who, after acquisition office in 2008, seek to boost relations through China through economic agreements.

Eight years later, in 2016, Taiwan's current president Tsai Ing-wen was elected. She leader the democratic Progressive Party (DPP), i m sorry leans towards ultimate official freedom from China.

After Donald Trump won the 2016 united state election, multiple sclerosis Tsai speak to him on the phone - a break v US policy collection in 1979, as soon as formal connections were cut.

Despite the absence of officially ties, the US has pledged to it is provided Taiwan with defensive weapons and also has stressed any kind of attack by China would reason "grave concern".

Throughout 2018, China stepped up push on international companies, forcing them to perform Taiwan as a component of China on your websites and threatening to block them for doing business in China if lock failed come comply.

Ms Tsai won a 2nd term in 2020. By that time Hong Kong had seen months of unrest, v protesters demonstrating versus the mainland's increasing influence - a advancement many in Taiwan to be watching closely.

Later that year, China's implementation of a national security legislation in Hong Kong to be widely viewed as yet another sign the Beijing to be becoming an ext assertive in the region.

At the same time, the US has actually been intensifying that is outreach to Taiwan and also reassuring Taipei the its ongoing support. Last September, Washington sent out the highest-level state department official in years to visit the island.

Beijing strongly criticised the meeting, warning the us "not to send any wrong signal to 'Taiwan independence' elements to protect against severe damage to China-US relations". During the controversial visit, China conducted a live-fire armed forces exercise in the waterway the separates the island native the mainland.

This year, chairman Joe Biden's administration has said its commitment come Taiwan is "rock solid".

In the first couple of days of grandfather Biden's presidency, Taiwan reported a "large incursion" by Chinese warplanes over two days. Climate on 12 April, the Taiwanese government said China flew the largest number of military jets right into its wait defence zone because that a year.

In response, us Admiral man Aquilino, head that the Pentagon's Indo-Pacific command, warned that a Chinese intrusion of Taiwan "is lot closer to united state than most think".

China regards Taiwan together a breakaway district which it has vowed come retake, by force if necessary. Yet Taiwan's leaders say it is plainly much more than a province, suggesting that that is a sovereign state.

It has actually its own constitution, democratically-elected leaders, and about 300,000 energetic troops in its armed forces.

Chiang Kai-shek's Republic that China (ROC) government, i m sorry fled the mainland come Taiwan in 1949, at first claimed to stand for the totality of China, which it intended to re-occupy. It held China's seat on the United countries Security Council and also was recognised by plenty of Western countries as the just Chinese government.

But in 1971, the UN switched diplomatic acknowledgment to Beijing and the ROC government was required out. Due to the fact that then the number of countries the recognise the ROC federal government diplomatically has fallen drastically to about 15.

Given the large divide between these two positions, most other nations seem happy to expropriate the present ambiguity, by which Taiwan has virtually every one of the qualities of an live independence state, also if its legal status continues to be unclear.

While politics progress has actually been slow, links between the two peoples and economies have grown sharply. Taiwanese companies have invested about $60bn (£40bn) in China, and also up to one million Taiwanese people now live there, countless running Taiwanese factories.

Some Taiwanese civilization worry their economy is now dependent ~ above China. Others believe that closer service ties make Chinese military activity less likely, because of the expense to China's own economy.

A controversial trade agreement sparked the "Sunflower Movement" in 2014, whereby students and also activists lived in Taiwan's parliament protesting versus what they dubbed China's cultivation influence end Taiwan.

image captionRecent polls show many Taiwanese support the government's technique in "safeguarding nationwide sovereignty"

Officially, the judgment DPP still favours eventual formal freedom for Taiwan, while the KMT favours ultimate re-unification.

A march 2021 opinion poll commissioned by the Taiwanese federal government shows that right now the bulk of Taiwanese assistance the DPP government's technique in "safeguarding nationwide sovereignty". An ext and much more people additionally say they feeling Taiwanese, fairly than Chinese.

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In the 2020 election Ms Tsai winner a record-breaking 8.2 million votes, that was widely seen as a snub come Beijing.