A Brief International History of the Republic of China

  • Gary D. Rawnsley
Part of the Studies in Diplomacy book series (STD)


The Republic of China was established by the Nationalist (Kuomintang or KMT) government in Nanking in 1912, but was forced to relocate to the island province of Taiwan in 1949 after the victory of the Communists in the Chinese civil war. The KMT viewed the move as temporary, maintaining that it alone was the legitimate government of all China. It was supported in its claim by a Cold War climate that fostered the creation of two Chinas, one a member of the socialist bloc of states, the other without hesitation firmly encamped in the anti-Communist sphere and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Beijing’s abuse of foreign diplomats (especially from the US) immediately after the Communist seizure of power in 1949, together with an apparent disregard for diplomatic protocol and Mao Zedong’s eagerness to ‘lean to one side’ towards the Soviet Union, provoked a rather hostile response to the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.2


China Issue Offshore Island United Nations Security Council Clinton Administration American Foreign Policy 
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Copyright information

© Gary D. Rawnsley 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary D. Rawnsley
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of NottinghamUK

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