China: April 28, 2005

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The Chinese Civil War between the Communist and Nationalist parties, which began in the 1920s, is over. The head of the Nationalist party has, for the first time, traveled from Taiwan to China.  The Nationalists were driven from China, to Taiwan, in 1949, and have, until recently, insisted they were still the true government of China. The Nationalists arrived on Taiwan as an ethnic minority, outnumbered by the native Taiwanese. The Nationalists ruled by force for many years, but democracy overtook them in the 1990s, and, since 2000, a Taiwanese party has ruled the country. The Taiwanese favor independence, while many in the Nationalist party still favor unification with China. By making official peace with the Nationalist party, China gains an ally in Taiwan. This, however, also splits the Nationalist party, because many party members don't want anything to do with the Communists.

For the third year in a row, American and Chinese military officials met to discuss matters of mutual interest. This years talks were held in the U.S. The talks are meant to establish communications that will prevent misunderstandings that could lead to a crises, or inflame a dispute. 

 

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