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The question of sovereignty over Taiwan (Formosa) and Penghu (the Pescadores), avoided for nearly thirty years, can no longer be deferred, for the radical shifts and sudden realignments in Far Eastern politics have thrust the controverted status of the island-state into the political foreground. The international legal issue has been joined over the sufficiency of China's claim to the islands. Despite an intervening civil and domestic ideological war, that claim has been remarkably consistent, whether pressed by adherents of the Nationalist or Communist cause. Indeed, Nationalist and Communist Chinese share an identity of interest here: Nationalist China has supported Communist China's pretensions to territory, while Peking has confirmed Nationalist aspirations, if only to claim benefit as the successor state.

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