The Divide Between China and Taiwan By leah rakhlin

China and Taiwan have a very rich history full of many disagreements and compromises, now they are the most civil that they have been in a long time. However the legacy conflicts affect relationship between the two countries until this day.

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Because of their geographic proximity and common ethnicity, there are many political and economical issues that involve both countries. Taiwan was first discovered and claimed by Beijing explorers in AD239. After being under Chinese rule for some time, they became a Dutch colony from 1624-1661, but were back under China's Quing dynasty rule from 1683-1895. Many people migrated from China to Taiwan over the years in search of a better life, mostly Hoko and Hakka Chinese, and to this date these groups represent the majority of Taiwan population. In 1895 after Japan's victory in Sino-Japanese war Taiwan was transferred to Japan, but after World War II it was returned to China. From 1946 to 1949 civil war between Nationalist and Communist parties was taking place until the Chinese revolution and declaration of PRC (People's republic of China). After the Communists and Mao Zeodong assumed the leadership in China, Chiang, the leader of the Nationalist Party and his followers fled to Taiwan to get away from the new government. Only in the 1980s the relationships between Taiwan and China began to improve. Taiwanese companies and individuals are now investing in Chinese economy and doing business in Mainland China. However most citizens of Taiwan consider themselves Taiwanese rather than Chinese.

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Taiwan recently elected a new anti-mainland president, Tsai Ing-Wen and she is a strong believer in Nationalism. After the election, China responded by decreasing the amount of tourists coming to Taiwan. According to some sources, Chinese group tours are down 40%. This appears to be a political issue as much as economical. While many international publications reported that the tourism industry in Taiwan is suffering because of the loss of Chinese tourists, the facts are painting a different picture. According to the Tourism Bureau, the number of hotels, hotel rooms and employees actually increased between 2015 and 2016. Even though China and Taiwan aren't fighting anymore, they are not completely fond of each other. According to Taiwanese ThinkTank, many Taiwanese consider the Chinese tourists not as profitable and less desirable compared with the tourists from other countries. Many Chinese tour operators pay late or do not pay debts at all and do not contribute to the economy of Taiwan. Many Taiwanese would prefer to bring more tourists from elsewhere to replace business from China.

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This conflict between tourism economy of Taiwan and mainland China reflects on the legacy of the relationship between Nationalist ideas popular in Taiwan and formerly Communist China.

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This topic connects to Legacy because in basic Confusion beliefs, the concept of Guanshi is very important. Even though Guanshi is usually used to describe a relationship between people, I think that the relationship between the two countries is worth calling the term.

Picture: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34729538

Credits:

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34729538

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