There Are Two Chinas!


Well, sort of.

In case you’re not overly familiar with East Asian geography, first I should tell you that there’s a little island off the southeast coast of China called Taiwan. It’s a little bigger than the State of Maryland in terms of land area, and it’s home to about 23 million people. However, the island is officially know as the Republic of China.

After World War Two, Japan gave up control of the island of Taiwan to the Republic of China. At that time, nobody could know how important that move would be.

A civil war was going on in China, with people loyal to the Republic of China on one side and Communists on the other. In the end, a fellow by the name of Mao Zedong (Chairman Mao) and his Communist party took over control of the Chinese mainland and forced the other guys out.

In 1949, the old government evacuated to Taiwan along with millions of soldiers, business people and intellectuals. They made off with a bunch China’s gold reserves and money, too. Since then, both side have claimed that they are the rightful rulers of all of China.

Over the years, Taiwan became something of an economic power in Asia, the country slowly embraced democracy, and eventually Taiwan considered itself a country separate from China. And that, more or less, is where we are today.

But while Taiwan is now a country all its own, it has not abolished its official title: the Republic of China.


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