Timeline of China-Taiwan relations since 1979

President-elect Donald Trump's call to Taiwanese President Tsai Ying-wen breaks with tradition going back to 1979

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Deng Xiaoping and Jimmy Carter Shaking Hands by White House Photographer, 1979 (NARA)

Deng Xiaoping and Jimmy Carter Shaking Hands by White House Photographer, 1979 (NARA)

Since the Nationalist forces lead by Chiang Kai-shek fled to Taiwan after being defeated by the Communists under Mao Zedong in 1949, two separate governments have been in control of either side of the Taiwan Strait. China considers Taiwan a renegade province within "one China," and insists that the two eventually unify, by force if necessary. President-elect Donald Trump broke with long-standing U.S.-China diplomatic protocol dating back to 1979, by directly speaking with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, drawing an irritated response from China.

A timeline of China-Taiwan relations:

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January 1979: The U.S. under President Jimmy Carter formally switches diplomatic recognition from the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the People's Republic of China (PRC).

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January 1979: The People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee of the PRC issued the Message to Compatriots in Taiwan which proposed three measures for the realization of peaceful reunification.

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April 1979: Taiwan's Nationalist Party leader Chiang Ching-kuo comes out with a "Three No's" policy on ties China: no compromise, contact or negotiation.

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June 1983: Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping offers the concepts of "one country, two systems" and "peaceful unification" as possible alternatives to a military attack on Taiwan.

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November 1992: Semi-official negotiating bodies from China and Taiwan reach the 1992 Consensus. It obligates both sides to hold any talks as parts of a single China, but allows each to interpret "China" in its own way according to political pressures at home.

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July 1995 - March 1996: China conducts a series of missile exercises offshore aimed at intimidating Taiwanese against voting for Lee Teng-hui, who angered China with moves to assert Taiwan's separate status. He is elected.

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July 1999: Lee Teng-hui suggests that China and Taiwan form "special state-to-state relations," angering Beijing.

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January 2001: Despite enmity, the two sides introduce postal, transportation and trade links between southeastern China and Taiwan's outlying islands.

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April 2005: Nationalist Party Chairman Lien Chan visits China and meets Communist Party General Secretary Hu Jintao in Beijing. The visit marked the first meeting between the heads of the rival parties in 60 years.

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May 2008: Nationalist Party-backed President Ma Ying-jeou takes office and sets aside political disputes with China to discuss deals on tourism and commercial flights.

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June 2010: China and Taiwan sign an economic cooperation framework agreement, stimulating two-way trade.

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March 2014: University students occupy parliament in Taipei to block ratification of a service trade liberalization deal because of wariness over the level of control China will exert on Taiwan.

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November 2015: Presidents of China and Taiwan make history when they meet for the first time in Singapore.

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January 2016: Tsai Ing-wen of pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party is elected the first female president of Taiwan.

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June 2016: Beijing says it has cut off diplomatic contact with Taiwan because of President Tsai Ing-wen's refusal to endorse the concept of a single Chinese nation.

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November 2016: Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Taiwan's opposition leader, Nationalist Party Chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu.

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December 2016: Trump and Taiwan's president talk on the phone. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi calls the contact "just a small trick by Taiwan" and says he doesn't believe it would change U.S. policy toward China.