After being defeated by the Communist Party in 1949, China’s Kuomintang (KMT) nationalist government fled to the island province of Taiwan 180 kilometres (110 miles) off the mainland.
President Chiang Kai-shek, joined by two million supporters, set up his authoritarian Republic of China (ROC) government in Taipei. This remains Taiwan’s official name.
The Communists established the People’s Republic of China in Beijing, and have since insisted the island must be reintegrated, threatening force should it declare independence.
In 1991 Taiwan lifted emergency rule, unilaterally ending the state of war with China, and has emerged a vibrant liberal democracy. The first direct talks between Beijing and Taipei were held two years later.
Relations plummeted with the 2016 election of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) rejects Beijing’s “one China” principle.
In a historical irony, the modern-day version of the Kuomintang is the party that now pushes much warmer ties with communist China.