Taiwan: Recent Developments and U.S. Policy Choices Page: 4 of 18
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MOST RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
March 17, 2005 - Taiwan's cabinet approved a $15.5 billion reduced special defense
budget to purchase weapons from the United States. The original budget of $18.2 billion had
been criticized as too high by opposition legislators.
March 16, 2005 - The House of Representatives passed H.Con.Res. 98, a measure
expressing Congress' "grave concern" about China's passage of the anti-secession law. The
measure passed by a vote of 424-4.
March 14, 2005 - China's NPC enacted an anti-secession law aimed at reining in
Taiwan's independence advocates. U.S. officials called the law "unhelpful."
December 27, 2004 - The PRC published a white paper, "China's National Defense
in 2004," calling Taiwan's independence advocates the "biggest immediate threat to China's
sovereignty and territorial integrity."
December 11, 2004 - The opposition KMT party made gains in Taiwan's legislative
elections, slightly increasing its majority over the DPP. The KMT coalition will now hold
at least 114 seats in the new 225-member legislature, with the DPP holding 101. The KMT
victory was considered a sharp voter rebuke to DPP President Chen Shui-bian's less
October 25, 2004 - In Beijing, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said Taiwan was
not a sovereign state and that the United States supported Taiwan's peaceful reunification
with China. Critics charged the Secretary's statement violated long-standing U.S. policy,
which has avoided taking a U.S. position on the desirability of reunification.
BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS
U.S. Interests in Taiwan
U.S. involvement with the government of Taiwan (known as the Republic of China or
ROC) has its roots in the World War II U.S. alliance with the Nationalist Chinese
government of Chiang Kai-shek on mainland China. But while the allied victory over Japan
and Germany meant the end of conflict for much of the world, it did not mean the end of
conflict in China. For the Chinese government, it meant the resumption of a civil war against
rebelling Chinese communist forces led by Mao Zedong. By October 1949, Mao's forces
had pushed the Nationalist Army off the mainland, and the remnants of Chiang's government
fled to Taiwan, an island off the south China coast. While on the mainland, the Chinese
Communist Party declared victory and established the People's Republic of China (PRC);
Chiang's ROC government on Taiwan insisted that the communist government in Beijing
was not credible, that the ROC government was the only legitimate government of all China,
and that ROC forces would regroup on Taiwan and one day retake the mainland. For the
next 30 years, the United States supported this claim with U.S. military protection and over
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Taiwan: Recent Developments and U.S. Policy Choices, report, March 17, 2005; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc808013/m1/4/: accessed December 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.