China & Taiwan's 70 year cold war

China & Taiwan's 70 year cold war

Animosity has lasted nearly seven decades

China and Taiwan split in 1949 following the rise of Communist revolutionary leader Mao Zedong. China's nationalist President Chiang Kai-shek fled to Taiwan - which was then a backwater island.

China & Taiwan's 70 year cold war

Move to Taiwan 'only temporary'

In 1949, Chiang Kai-shek established a "provisional" Republic of China capital in Taipei. Post-war economic conditions caused severe inflation which left the island's tiny population impoverished for many years.

China & Taiwan's 70 year cold war

Taiwan prospers without the motherland

Over the past six decades, Taiwan has experienced rapid industrialization and economic growth, becoming known as one of the "Four Asian Tigers."

China & Taiwan's 70 year cold war

Rise of China

In the past 30 years, China has brushed off Communism in all but name, rising to become the world's second largest economy by nominal GDP. China insists Taiwan is part of its territory. But Taiwan maintains it is a sovereign state and a democracy.

China & Taiwan's 70 year cold war

US arms sales

In 2011, Taiwan upgraded its F-16 fighter fleet at a cost of $.5.3 billion (4.9 billion euros). China denounced the sale of arms from the US, warning at the time that it would damage Sino-American military and security ties.

China & Taiwan's 70 year cold war

South China Sea diputes

Taiwan and China are currently locked in territorial disputes over the South China Sea. China's claims over most of area, along with its massive land reclamation projects in the Spratly islands, have annoyed much of the rest of Asia.

China & Taiwan's 70 year cold war

'We are one family'

Chinese President Xi Jinping hailed the relations between Beijing and Taipei, saying that "we are brothers...still connected by our flesh even if our bones are broken." In response, Ma called on China to respect Taiwan's democracy.

China & Taiwan's 70 year cold war

Protesters not convinced by China's overtures

In the Taiwanese capital, Taipei, about 500 people took to the streets to protest against the meeting between the two leaders. Many are skeptical as to whether ties with China will allow the territory's democracy to be maintained.

In the first summit between the two countries in six decades, China and Taiwan's top leaders held talks in Singapore on Saturday. Taiwan broke away from China following the 1945-9 Chinese civil war.

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