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The chronology will be expanded to track major cross-straits issues and events so check back often.


1997 Jan. 1, China (People's Republic): In a speech broadcast on New Year's Day, Chinese President Jiang Zemin calls on "...Taiwanese from all walks of life to offer views and suggestions on ways to unify the mainland and the island."

1997 Feb. 17, China (People's Republic): The death of Deng Xiaoping, who served as the de facto ruler of China from 1976 and who authorized the T'ienanmen Square massacre.

1997 June 16, United States of America: A Wall Street Journal poll indicates that nearly two-thirds of Americans support Taiwan as an independent country.

1997 June 17, Europe: The European Parliament, meeting in Strassbourg, France, adopt a resolution calling on China to renounce the use of force in its disputes with Taiwan. It also called for better international representation for Taiwan within international organizations.

1997 June 19, Taiwan (National Republic): The Taiwanese National Assembly votes 261-8 in favor of eliminating the provincial government and putting a hold on future elections for the position of Governor and Provincial Assembly, remnants of the 1940s and when Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalists still ruled China.

1997 June 30, China (People's Republic): Hong Kong is officially returned to China as the last British Governor, Christopher Patten, steps down and Tung Chee-hwa is sworn-in as Hong Kong's first Chief Executive at the head of a provisional appointed legislature.

1997 July 3, Taiwan (National Republic): President Lee Teng-hui states at a tea reception for domestic and foreign journalists, that Taiwan is not Hong Kong and "one country, two systems" can by no means apply to Taiwan. The ROC government will never give up its free system or hopes for peace." and urges mainland China to maintain Hong Kong's prosperity and rule of law.

1997 Aug. 1, China (People's Republic): PRC Defense Minister Chi Haotian, at the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, says, "The PRC would never renounce the use of force, specifically against the Taiwan independence movement, movement to split the mother land, and intervention by foreign forces."

1997 Nov. 8 & 10, Taiwan (National Republic): Taiwan president Lee Teng-hui declared that Taiwan is "an independent, sovereign nation" in articles in the Washington Post (Nov.8) and the London Times (Nov. 10).

1997 Dec., China (People's Republic): Hong Kong press reports assert that the Chinese Central Military Commission held a meeting in the beginning of December where weapon development for the 21st century with the objective of intimidating Taiwan was discussed.

1998 Jan. 1: South Africa: The South African government under President Nelson Mandela drops diplomatic relations with Taiwan in favor of the People's Republic of China.

1998 Sept. 24, United States of America: The U.S. House of Representatives adopts the Defense Authorization Act, empowering the Department of Defense to study the establishment of a Theater Missile Defense (TMD) that covers the Asia-Pacific region to protect Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and other allies.

1998 Nov. 17, China (People's Republic): PRC Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Zhu Bangzao at a press conference after the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Malaysia states that Taiwan may not accede to the World Trade Organization (WTO) ahead of the PRC. He claims that Taiwan, as a regional economy, "has no right to participate in any negotiations between sovereign states."

1998 Nov. 28, China (People's Republic): Chinese President Jiang Zemin, in a Tokyo press conference, threatens that China would use force against Taiwan.

1998 Dec. 2, Taiwan (National Republic): In a referendum in the southern city of Tainan 77.9-percent of the respondents stated they don't want Chinese rule.

1999 Jan. 26, United States of America: The Washington Times reports that the People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducted military exercises with simulated missile firings against Taiwan and mock attacks on U.S. troops in the region in November and December 1998. PLA units equipped with intermediate-range CSS-5 and silo-housed CSS-2 missiles engaged in missile firing tests at Taiwan. CSS-2 missiles have a range of approximately 1,550 to 2,175 miles. CSS-5s have a maximum range of approximately 1,330 miles.

1999 Feb. 10, Great Britain: The London Financial Times reports China has increased the number of aimed at Taiwan, citing military analysts in Washington with access to a classified Pentagon report revealing that the PLA has deployed 150 to 200 M-9 and M-11 missiles in its southern regions.

1999 Aug. 1, China (Peple's Republic): The Liberation Army Daily says in its editorial that war is not far away.

1999 Sept. 29, China (People's Republic): Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait (ARATS) Standing Vice Chairman Tang Shubei, in an interview with the Voice of America, says that cross-strait relations cannot return to normal until Taiwan retracts the "two states" theory.

1999 Dec. 6, United States of America: The Washington Times reports that the Chinese Navy will start construction within the next several weeks on its first Type 094 missile submarine which will carry 12 or 16 JL-2 submarine-launched missiles, a smaller, underwater variant of the DF-31 ICBM.

Latest Update: September 9, 2003