China’s claims Taiwan is a province of China

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China’s claims Taiwan is a province of China

The Chinese government claims Taiwan is a province of China and has not ruled out taking it by force.

At the end of the Chinese civil war in 1949, the losing Kuomintang government fled to the island of Taiwan, establishing the Republic of China ROC government in exile. The Chinese Communist Party CCP established the People's Republic of China on the mainland. From the 1970s onwards many nations switched their formal ties from the ROC to Beijing, and today fewer than 15 world governments recognise ROC Taiwan as a country.

The CCP has never ruled over Taiwan and Taiwan has enjoyed de facto independence since the end of the civil war. Taiwan has also grown to become a vibrant democracy with free elections and media since the decades-long period of martial law ended in the 1980s.

The Chinese leader Xi Jinping has a goal of unification. The island's president, Tsai Ing-wen, said that Taiwan is already a sovereign country with no need to declare independence, but Beijing regards Taiwan's democratically elected government as separatists.

Under Xi's rule, aggression towards Taiwan has increased and analysts believe that the threat of invasion is at its highest level in decades. In recent years the People's Liberation Army has sent hundreds of war planes into Taiwan's air defence identification zone as part of increased grey zone activities, which are combat-adjacent but don't meet the threshold of war. Taiwan is working to modernise its military and is buying large quantities of military assets and weapons from the US in hopes that it can deter Xi and the CCP from making a move.