Sixty years ago, forces of the Chinese Communist Army formalized their control over the nation as thousands of Nationalist troops under the command of Chiang kai-shek fled the mainland in order to take refuges on the island of Taiwan(then called Formosa). The Chinese Communist government never recognized Taiwan as anything other than a province of their nation which was temporarily not under the control of its central government. Both sides, essentially, have agreed to keep things neutral with hope that someday the issue can be resolved without violence. For about forty years the United States backed the Taiwan government, but during the past few decades it has recognized the Chinese Communists as the legal government of China.
Taiwan officials have indicated they may consider a referendum which would legally result in secession from China, an action that will infuriate the Chinese Communist government. The United States is caught in the middle and simply prefers maintaining the status quo since an act of secession might result in military action on the part of the Chinese government. Hopefully, calm heads in Taiwan will move away from secession and maintain conditions as is. In the coming decade, Communist China will move further along the path toward democracy and Taiwan eventually can become integrated within a democratic China.