- China's renewed military threats against Taiwan have
strained tensions across the Taiwan Strait and provoked strong reactions
- China issued a White Paper on Taiwan earlier this week
warning the island must open talks on reunification or risk an invasion.
- Here is a chronology of the main events in cross-strait
relations since 1945.
- 1945: Taiwan, which has been under Japanese colonial
rule for 50 years, returns to the fold of the Republic of China (ROC),
after Japan is defeated in World War II, according to an agreement arrived
at by the Allied Powers in their 1943 Cairo Conference.
- 1949: Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist government is defeated
by Mao Zedong's Communist forces and retreats to Taiwan, but vows to reclaim
the mainland at a later date.
- 1950: People's Republic of China (PRC) goes to North
Korea's aid in the 1950-53 Korean War, sparking hostilities with the US-led
UN forces in the South and a strict trade embargo which lasts for two decades.
Taiwan, meanwhile, becomes a full-fledged US ally.
- 1971: Beijing supplants Taipei over UN China seat with
76 votes in favour, 35 against and 17 abstentions.
- 1979: Washington switches diplomatic recognition from
Taipei to Beijing, although it pledges to keep Taiwan supplied with sufficient
- 1987: Taiwan ends decades of martial law as Beijing and
Taiwan cautiously start towards rapprochement, with the island allowing
family reunions as well as indirect trade and investment.
- 1991: Taiwan renounces its long-standing stance of using
force to recover the mainland, officially ending a state of war with China.
- 1992: Taiwan's quasi-official Straits Exchange Foundation
(SEF) and China's Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS)
are respectively set up to handle civilian exchanges.
- 1993: SEF chairman Koo Chen-fu and ARATS president Wang
Daohan hold historic China-Taiwan dialogue in Singapore, followed by four
rounds of lower-level meetings which run through to May 1995.
- Jan 1995: Chinese President Jiang Zemin offers an "eight-point
proposal" for peaceful reunification with Taiwan, which later issues
a counter proposal.
- Jun 1995: China is enraged by Taiwanese President Lee
Teng-hui's visit to his alma mater, Cornell University in the US. Although
the trip is private in nature, Beijing sees it as a plot to promote Taiwan's
independence and suspends SEF-ARATS contacts.
- Jul 1995: China starts a series of military wargames
near Taiwan. The drills shake the stock market and help the island's minor
New Party - viewed as most concilliatory towards China -- triple its parliamentary
seats in year-end elections.
- Mar 1996: China continues its intimidatory tactics towards
Taiwan with three missile tests and military manoeuvres ahead of the island's
first direct presidential elections. Lee is nevertheless elected garnering
54 percent of ballots.
- Jun 1997: Beijing holds up the smooth return of Hong
Kong to its sovereignty as an example for reunification with Taiwan.
- Apr 1998: SEF sends its deputy secretary-general to Beijing
and confirms Koo's mainland visit in the autumn.
- Oct 1998: Taiwan cancels live-fire wargames ahead of
- Jul 1999: Lee claims Taipei and Beijing are having "special
state-to-state relations," infuriating and heightening cross-strait
tensions. China protests with military exercises along its southeast coast.
- Oct 1999: Jiang says in The Times interview in London
that Taiwan will return to the Chinese fold in the first half of the next
- Nov 1999: Taiwanese defense minister Tang Fei confirms
China has deployed nearly 100 of its newest short-range missiles at a base
in the opposite of Taiwan.
- Dec 1999: Jiang says after Macau, Taiwan would soon also
be returned to Beijing's sovereignty.
- Feb 2000: China issues White Paper hardening its stance,
warning Taiwan to start reunification talks or risk war.
- (c) 2000 Agence France Presse
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