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  1. Taiwan Main Page
  2. Breaking from Mainland Influence
  3. New President Brings New Beginning
  4. Heightened Tensions
  5. Independence Rejected
  6. Political Leaders Stumble, Fall
  7. Taiwan and China Benefit from Trade Agreement
  8. Fallout over Closer Ties to China and Poor Economy
  9. Taiwan Elects First Female President
Heightened Tensions

Tension between China and Taiwan intensified in March 2005, when China passed an antisecession law that said the country could use force if Taiwan moved toward achieving independence. “The state shall employ non-peaceful means and other necessary measures to protect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the legislation stated. Taiwan president Chen Shui-bian called the bill a “law of aggression.” Hundreds of thousands of Taiwanese took to the streets to protest the bill.

In 2005, China met with several Taiwanese opposition leaders in an effort to undermine Taiwan's defiant president. Lien Chan, who heads the opposition Nationalist Party, traveled to China in April and met with President Hu Jintao. It was the first meeting between Nationalist and Communist Party leaders since 1949, when the defeated Nationalists retreated to Taiwan. Lien called the visit a “journey of peace.” In May, Hu met with another opposition leader, James Soong, chairman of the People First Party. In a joint communiqué intended to restart negotiations between Taiwan and China, they agreed to a principle of “two sides of the strait, one China.”

President Chen tested China in February 2006, when he announced that he was rescinding the National Unification Council, a group that was established in 1990 to deal with reunification issues with China. He stopped short of abolishing the council, saying, “Taiwan has no intention of changing the status quo.”

In June 2006, Taiwan's legislature initiated proceedings to oust President Chen because of allegations of corruption involving his family and senior administration officials, but the motion failed later that month. In November, prosecutors indicted Wu Shu-chen, the wife of President Chen Shui-ban, charging that she spent $450,000 in public funds on personal expenditures. Authorities also said that President Chen submitted fake receipts when drawing from the same fund and lied about how he spent the money.

Prime Minister Su Tseng-chang resigned in May 2007. President Chen Shui-bian appointed Chang Chun-hsiung as his successor.

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