1949: Gen. Chiang Kai-shek retreats
to Taiwan with his Nationalist government after losing a civil
war to Mao Zedong's Communist forces.
August 1958: China bombards the
outlying Kinmen islands in a failed bid to seize the Taiwanese-controlled
islands just off the mainland's southern coast.
October 1971: China takes Taiwan's
seat at the United Nations.
1975: Chiang Kai-Shek, who has
ruled Taiwan as a dictator, dies. His son, Chang Ching-Kuo,
succeeds him as president and continues his father's authoritarian
1976: Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai
die. A new constitution is instituted making Hua Guofeng prime
minister, but in the ensuing political jockeying, Deng Xiaoping
emerges as the new patriarch.
1978: China signs treaty normalizing
relations with United States. Washington officially recognizes
December 1988: Taiwan ends a ban
on visits to China.
April 1991: Taiwan ends the period
of "suppressing the communist rebellion," paving the way for
unofficial contacts. April 1993: Top envoys from Taiwan and
China hold a watershed meeting in Singapore and agree to hold
regular meetings to discuss practical issues.
June 1995: Taiwanese President
Lee Teng-hui visits his alma mater, Cornell University, in the
United States, and gives a political speech that angers China.
March 1996: China test fires missiles
near Taiwan's two biggest ports and holds war games in the Taiwan
Strait to intimidate Taiwanese ahead of the island's first direct
September 1998: Top envoys from
Taiwan and China meet in Beijing.
July 1999: Taiwan declares that
it should have "special state-to-state relations" with China
-- a claim Beijing interprets as a step toward independence.
China refuses to send its envoy to Taiwan for further talks.
January 2003: Six Taiwanese airlines
fly charter flights, with a stopover in Hong Kong, to Shanghai
to take Taiwanese home for the Chinese New Year.
January 2005: Taiwanese and Chinese
airlines fly the first nonstop charter flights between the two
sides for the Chinese New Year.
the end of World War II, Japan formally renounced all right,
claim, and title to Formosa (Taiwan) in the San Francisco Peace
Treaty and the Treaty of Taipei. Both treaties, however, remained
silent on who the island would be transferred to, in part to
avoid taking sides in the ongoing Chinese Civil War. Advocates
of Taiwan independence have used this omission to justify self-determination.
the 1960s and 1970s, the United Nations regarded the Republic
of China government on Taiwan as the sole legitimate government
of China until the 1970s, when most nations began switching
recognition to the People's Republic of China.
year since 1993, a constellation of UN member-states have requested
inclusion of the question of Taiwan's political status as a
supplementary item in the Agenda of the General Assembly.