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Monday, October 24, 2005

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | China to mark Taiwan anniversary

BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | China to mark Taiwan anniversary China to mark Taiwan anniversary
In a break from tradition, China is preparing to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of Japanese rule in Taiwan.

Senior officials are due to hold a ceremony in Beijing on Tuesday, and a special photography exhibition is also being staged to mark the occasion.

In the past China has shied away from celebrating the 25 October anniversary.

Analysts say this is because Beijing did not want to complicate its claim that the Communist Red Army - rather than the Nationalists - won the war.

But analysts say that Beijing hopes this year's festivities will be an opportunity to highlight Taiwan's ties with the Chinese mainland.

Many Taiwanese see their island as a separate country, although Beijing sees it as part of Chinese territory.

Strained ties

Japan captured Taiwan from the Chinese in 1895.

But in 1945, following the end of World War II, it was forced to give the island up to the Nationalist government which was then in power in Beijing.

Just four years later, the Communists took control of the mainland and the former Nationalist rulers fled to Taiwan.

Since then there has been a tense relationship between Beijing and Taipei.

The Communist authorities have even threatened to invade the island if it attempts to seek formal independence.

In the past, China has avoided high-profile official commemorations of Taiwan's return from Japanese rule.

But this year, Beijing has taken a new approach, deciding to mark what the state news agency Xinhua has described as "the recovery of Taiwan from Japanese occupation".

Government officials are due to gather in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing to mark the anniversary, according to state media.

An exhibition to mark the anniversary has also been put together, including 160 photographs, articles and even a sword and a party flag used in the war against Japan.
Story from BBC NEWS:

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