Only 18 countries have formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan, which China insists is part of its nation. But the country — one of the original four Asian Tigers — is an economic powerhouse that, in many ways, the mainland’s economy has tried to learn from. And most major countries have trade offices (effectively mini-embassies) in Taiwan. Bringing Taiwan back within its fold remains one of Beijing’s central national goals. For many Taiwanese, maintaining autonomy from the mainland is just as important.

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