It was announced on November 3, 2015, that Republic of China (ROC) President, Ma Ying-Jeou, will meet with People’s Republic of China (PRC) President, Xi Jin-Ping, in Singapore on November 7, 2015. Netizens roared because this event is a shocking surprise Ma claimed would never happen.
From a historical standpoint, this is huge since the last time ROC and PRC leadership spoke was during the Chinese Civil War in 1946.
Here is a list of 7 facts since their last meeting:
1. PRC hasn’t enacted the One Child Policy yet
The last time leaders from both sides met, this policy didn’t even exist. The One-Child Policy was enacted in 1979, in hopes of curbing China’s growing population. A few decades later, on October 29, 2015, Xinhua, China’s state news agency, reported a change from the One-Child Policy to the Two-Child Policy
Photo Credit: http://chineseposters.net/
2. ROC had more diplomatic relations than PRC
Since ROC’s retreat to Taiwan, nations have been breaking off official diplomatic relations with this former super power. To date, ROC is only recognized by 21 nations and the Holy See while PRC has relationships with 172 sovereign states and Palestine.
Photo Credit: https://www.stratfor.com/
3. ROC was in the United Nations (UN)
In the aftermath of World War II, as one of the victorious Allied powers, ROC was granted one of the five permanent seats in the UN. It wasn’t until 1979, after the passing of Resolution 2758, that ROC had its permanent seat given to PRC because PRC was considered the sole and legitimate representative of China. ROC was offered a general seat at the UN, but President Chiang Kai-shek turned it down.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia
4. The US did not recognize PRC
Even after PRC’s acceptance into the UN, the United States government did not establish formal diplomatic relations with the PRC until Jan 1, 1979. With this recognition, the US government had to put a stop to formal diplomatic relations with ROC.
Photo credit: Wallstreet Journal
5. ROC was controlled by one political party
ROC was founded and run by the Chinese Nationalist Party, also known as the Kuomintang (KMT). It wasn’t until the mid-1970s and 1980s that the Tangwai movement started pushing for a multi-party system. In 1986, ROC’s first opposition party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was founded. In 2000, a peaceful transition of office placed ROC’s first non-KMT president into the nation’s capital.
Photo credit: Wikimedia
6. Hong Kong was under British rule
Retroceded in 1997, Hong Kong was a British colony for 99 years. In 2014, the biggest protest in Hong Kong history, took the world by surprise as millions took to the streets to protest against the PRC taking charge of Hong Kong elections.
Photo credit: Wikimedia
7. It was hard to find “Made in China” labels
It wasn’t until the 1980s that PRC had an industry reform to start pumping out the now commonly seen label, “Made in China.” However, in the 1960s, “Made in Taiwan” was on the rise, making it a household comment by the 1990s.
Photo Credits: Screenshot from Toy Story (Pixar)
Footage from: Armageddon (1998)