The China-Taiwan Conflict

The China-Taiwan Conflict

The conflict opposing Taiwan to the People's Republic of China makes the strait that separate both entities one of the most militarized regions of the world, with a risk of an all-out war ever present.

The original populations of Taiwan were Austronesians who over centuries conquered much of the Pacific. However, as Taiwan became part of China in the seventeenth century, populations of Han Chinese settled the island and their descendants currently form the majority of the population of the island.

A war between China and Japan led to the latter controlling the island from 1895 to 1945. Briefly reunited with the Republic of China, Taiwan then became the refuge of nationalists in their civil conflict with the Chinese Communist Party, who took complete control of the mainland and established the People's Republic in 1949.

The Republic of China was left with control of Taiwan and three small groups of islands off the shore of China. Since then, its status has been frozen in time as a rebellious province of China, while in reality, its population and government have come to consider themselves as a de facto independent country whose reunification with the mainland should be postponed indefinitely.

The government of the People's Republic of China still fundamentally consider the eventual unification of both entities as the only viable option, creating a major risk of conflict.

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