David Thomas is an expert on doing business in China. With a successful history of forging global business relationships, David helps leaders, entrepreneurs and investors solve the China puzzle. As part of that, he’s launched a daily email newsletter ‘China Bites’ which you can read here on Targeting China.

70th Birthdays are important and, and as mentioned in yesterday’s China Bites, all of China will today be celebrating the 70th anniversary of the creation of the People’s Republic of China on 1st October 1949. On that day, Mao Zedong, the leader of the peasant-backed Communist Party, stood on the top of the Heavenly Gate at Tiananmen Square and declared the creation of the People’s Republic of China after four years of civil war with the Nationalist Party following the end of Japanese occupation during World War II. The Nationalists, led by Chiang Kai-shek and with 1.5 million refugees fled to the island of Taiwan, where they set up a rival government.

The two sides had been fighting on and off for decades to fill a power vacuum left by the Chinese Revolution of 1911, which brought an end to the Qing dynasty. The USA, which backed the Nationalists against the invading Japanese forces during World War II, lent support to Chiang’s exiled Republic of China government in Taipei.

The “fall” of mainland China to communism in 1949 led the U.S. to suspend diplomatic ties with Beijing for decades, until Richard Nixon’s visit in February 1972 gave Americans their first view of China for over 25 years and led to the resumption of diplomatic relations in 1979. It’s interesting to note that Australia established diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China in December 1972.

As we all know, the relationship between China and the U.S. is now one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world, and every successive U.S. President, with the exception of Jimmy Carter, has visited China during their Presidential terms, including the current President Donald Trump, in November 2017.

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