The history of the Taiwan (Formosa) / China mainland story goes back to the early 1900’s. It’s complicated and messy and I’m sure that even the most detailed written history leaves a lot out. The real seperation began after WWII with Mao successfully pushing Chiang aside. They are now very much like two brothers of the same family who are in a long standing fued. Both maintain that they are the base of the one true china. Both have always held the idea that one day they would ‘rescue’ the other.
Taiwan, since WWII, has always functioned independent of the China mainland. Taiwan began it’s economic and democratic rise in the 70’s, far sooner than China began it’s own economic rise (early 90’s really). Fun fact: one of the largest investment sources contributing to China’s economic rise was and still remains Taiwan based capital. The two going to war would be like cutting off their own arms.
China mainland itself is a kind of enigma to outsiders, as there are many different sides to ‘China’; there is the Chinese Gov., there are the Chinese People, there is the Chinese Military, and there is the China underground. Each has it’s own elaborate history and culture, and vary depending on region, city, and province within mainland China. Saying ‘it’s complicated’ would be quite an understatement.
When ‘The Deal’ with Mao was made in 72 between the US and China, recognizing China and not Taiwan as the real “Chinese” government, there was and is to this day much that was not publisized about the demands of each country required for it to go forward. This could be a book in and of itself.
All very interesting.