Taiwan defined by conflicted identity, diplomatic isolation

It has no membership in the United Nations. In the Olympics, it competes as “Chinese Taipei.” Most nations don’t recognize it as a country.


The economically dynamic, self-governing island of Taiwan has struggled with diplomatic isolation and a conflicted identity that makes it not quite a sovereign nation — although many Taiwanese insist it is.


It has de facto independence from mainland China, but has never formalized that, so it technically still vies with the mainland to be the “real China.”


Taiwan retains its official name “Republic of China,” along with a constitution that defines its territory as encompassing all of mainland China. But as far as Communist China is concerned, Taiwan is part of its territory, and it insists that the two sides eventually reunite.


Among Taiwan’s 23.5 million people, sentiment for unification with China is declining. Surveys show significant majorities favor simply maintaining the status quo of de facto independence.


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