An island then of 6 million people, Taiwan was the last refuge to which the Nationalist Kuomintang (KMT) army and government fled after their defeat in the civil war by the Chinese Communist Party in 1949. Today, it is an island state of 24 million that is economically, socially and technically on a par with the world's most advanced economies, and with a GDP per head of 41,500 dollars. It is the world's 20th largest economy.
A mass campaign has delayed moves to liberalise the island's economy in favour of Chinese capitalism. Socialist Review reports on the roots of the campaign and the challenges it faces.
On 18 March, in a direct challenge to the government of Taiwan, hundreds of activists stormed the main legislative chamber in the capital Taipai, the Legislative Yuan (the Taiwanese parliament). They were protesting at a trade agreement with the People's Republic of China (known as the Cross-strait Service Trade Agreement, or CSSTA).