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Taiwan has been a de facto independent nation state since Japan relinquished its colonial hold on the island in 1945. The majority of Taiwan’s population is of Chinese descent, but many families have lived on the island for over three-hundred years, and when polled, most identify themselves as “Taiwanese” or “Taiwanese only,” as opposed to “Chinese.”

Despite these facts, The People’s Republic of China maintains that Taiwan is an “inalienable part of China” based on its governing of parts of the island from 1683 to 1885, and of the whole island from 1885 to 1895. China seeks a peaceful reunification with Taiwan, and threatens military invasion should Taiwan seek formally recognized independence.

Taiwan’s two main political parties have different approaches in dealing with China, with the Pan Blue Coalition in favor of maintaining close cross-strait relations and nursing the possibility of reunification, while the Pan Green Coalition favors less cooperation, and an eventual declaration of independence.

Power changes hands democratically between the two parties, but whichever party happens to be in power—The Pan Blue, coaxing Taiwan towards China, or the Pan-Green, pushing it away—the major concern of most Taiwanese, who desire neither reunification nor war with China, is simply that Taiwan neither get too close to China, nor antagonize the country by pushing itself too far away… in short, that the status quo of Taiwan’s de facto independence be maintained in the delicate balancing act that has been going on for decades.

For more information about Taiwan see these Wikipedia articles:

For book and film recommendations see my reading list.

You can also go back to my Taiwan microgame.