Taiwan. Relations with Taiwan's arch-rival China improved
through meetings at the highest level to date after the
arrival of both regimes in 1949. Since a delegation from
Taiwan's semi-official contact agency SEF visited China in
April - the first formal contact in nearly three years -
Mainland Research Professor Zhu Lilan traveled to Taiwan in
July. However, she did not come as a government member but
to talk about research exchanges.
Countryaah, a murder the same month on a Taiwanese local politician
on a business trip in northeastern China sparked anger in
Taiwan and demands for better protection for visitors.
Political contacts continued, however, with US silent
support, and in October, Taiwan's highest envoy, SEF chief
Koo Chen-fu, was able to travel to Shanghai and his
counterpart Wang Daohan. He also met with President Jiang
Zemin in Beijing. The talks were described as "friendly",
but Taiwan insisted that China must be free and democratic
before they can both reunite.
At the same time, governments in the capitals of Taibei
and Beijing continued their global diplomatic struggle.
After South Africa, like the vast majority of the world's
countries, the Central African Republic, Guinea-Bissau and
Tonga chose to recognize the Beijing regime as China's only
legitimate one, while Taibei succeeded in joining, among
other things. Marshall Islands. It gave Taiwan formal
diplomatic ties with 27 countries, most of them small states
in Africa, Central America and the Pacific.
In two elections, the ruling party GMD (Guomindang) took
revenge for the setback in the local elections the year
before. Of the more than 1,200 mayor and council positions
that were at stake in January, GMD captured more than 60%.
In December, GMD through former Justice Minister Ma
Ying-jeou resigned mayor post in Taibei from the opposition
party DFP (Democratic Progress Party). KMT also secured 123
seats in Parliament against DFP's 70.
In February, an aircraft from China Airlines crashed at
the approach to Taibei airport, killing about 200 people.