Cross-Strait Relations

Cross-Strait relations (simplified Chinese: 海峡两岸关系; traditional Chinese: 海峽兩岸關係; pinyin: Hǎixiá Liǎng'àn guānxì) refers to the relations between mainland China and Taiwan, which are separated by the Taiwan Strait in the west Pacific Ocean, and especially the relations between their respective governments, the People's Republic of China ("PRC") and the Republic of China ("ROC").

In 1949, with the Chinese Civil War turning decisively in the Communists' (CPC) favour, the ROC government led by the Kuomintang (KMT) retreated to Taipei, in Taiwan, while the CPC proclaimed the PRC government in Beijing.

Since then, the relations between mainland China and Taiwan have been characterised by limited contact, tensions, and instability. In the early years, military conflicts continued, while diplomatically both governments competed to be the "legitimate government of China". More recently, questions around the legal and political status of Taiwan have focused on the alternative prospects of formal reunification with the mainland or full Taiwanese independence. The People's Republic remains hostile to any formal declaration of independence and maintains its claim over Taiwan. At the same time, there has been increasing non-governmental and semi-governmental exchanges between the two sides. From 2008, negotiations began to restore the "three links" (transportation, commerce, and communications) between the two sides, cut off since 1949. Party-to-party talks between the CPC and the KMT have resumed and semi-official negotiations through organizations representing the interests of their respective governments are being scheduled.

The English expression "cross-Strait relations" has been used by the two sides concerned and by many observers so that the relationship between mainland China and Taiwan would not be referred to as "China–Taiwan relations" or "PRC–ROC relations". There is also no commonly used Chinese language phrase equivalent to the latter two phrases.

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