The Cross-Strait relations refer to the bitter and unstable relations between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China. The term comes from the relationship that both China and Taiwan has had, physically across the Taiwanese Strait. The relationship between the countries has been filled with war, tension, and little contact. In the earliest of Taiwanese history, both nations fought to seek diplomatic control as the legitimate form of Chinese government (Lee). In recent years, Taiwan has sought out to seek independence and separate from all ties with the Chinese mainland. China has continued its claim on Taiwan and its people, threatening military action against any act of independence. While the tensions are high between the two nations, each country has seen the benefits to maintaining an economic relationships with each other (Mack). From 2008 and on, the "three links" of transportation, commerce, and communication have been at the forefront of the diplomatic relationship. Taiwan has gone through multiple phases of conflict throughout its history.
As early as the Chinese dynasties, Taiwan had no formal ties with mainland China. As the 16th and 17th century progressed, Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch explorers began to settle the land (Zhang). Each foreign power sought fit to claim its resources and strategic position in the China Sea. The Spanish,
invaded Taiwan in 1626 and, with the help of the Ketagalan (one of the plains tribes), discovered sulfur, a main ingredient in gunpowder, in Yangmingshan, a mountain range that overlooks Taipei. After the Spanish and Dutch were forced out of Taiwan, Mainland Chinese returned in 1697 to mine sulfur. (Mack)
Foreign powers would continue to inhabit and exploit various areas of the Taiwanese coast throughout its history. Soon after the Spanish, the Ming-loyalist Zheng Chengdong defeated the incumbent Dutch rulers in 1662, intent on establishing Taiwan's first Han regime (Brown). Taiwan would soon become a base for Zheng to launch attacks against the Manchu Qing Dynasty in an attempt to control mainland China (Brown). These attack would ultimately fail, wiping out his forces and leaving Taiwan open to being absorbed as a Fujian province (Zhang). As Taiwan entered the 19th century, additional powers began looking to Taiwan as a strategic location with many resources (Zhang). In 1885, the Imperial government granted Taiwan provincial status. Taiwan began to modernize quickly, becoming one of the most modern provinces associated with the Imperial government (Zhang).
The Japanese would have "their eye on Taiwan since the late 16th century" (Mack). In 1985, the Sino-Japanese War led the serving incumbent government to succeed to Japan for the foreseeable future. The Qing loyalists that remained in Taiwan would begin to revolt under this Japanese rule calling themselves the "Republic of Taiwan" (Zhang). This restraint would be quickly subdued by the Japanese authorities,...