|Up until 1949, the Chinese mainland was controlled by the KMT (Kuomintang). However, in 1949 the communists took control and the KMT, along with approximately 600,000 soldiers and 1.5 million Chinese, fled to Taiwan.
The KMT maintained that their move to Taiwan was temporary until they were in a position to take back control of the mainland. This never happened. The KMT named Taiwan the ROC (Republic of China), while the mainland named itself the PRC (People's Republic of China).
China regards Taiwan as a renegade state that should be reunited with the mainland; it has missiles aimed at the island. Taiwan, which has one of the healthiest economies in Asia, declares itself an independent country.|