Taiwanese sailors stand in front of the sail of a U.S.-made Guppy-class submarine in southern Taiwan, on Jan. 18, 2017. Taiwan conducted two days of military drills simulating an attack by China as the government sought to reassure the public in the face of deteriorating relations with Beijing.
(SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images)
One of the biggest obstacles to China's campaign for "national rejuvenation," President Xi Jinping's plan to guide the country to world prominence, lies across 180 kilometers (112 miles) of water on the island of Taiwan. The mainland's drive to return China to a position of global strength -- which it hopes to complete by 2049 -- includes reunification with Taiwan. The remnants of the Nationalist Party that fled to the island during the civil war that raged in China after the end of World War II remain there, creating a situation that the Communist victors of that war cannot accept. Successive governments in Beijing have tried to reclaim or to reintegrate the island; at a minimum, they have sought to prevent it from pulling away. However, their efforts have had mixed results, and over the past few decades, Taiwanese nationalism has continued to rise. Today, the island's younger generations are...
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