Today's hearing will address recent developments and future trends in the cross-Strait relationship, and what these developments may mean for the United States. Since the Chinese Communist Party came to power in October 1949, Taiwan has been a key factor in U.S.-China relations. Our Government recognized the government of Taiwan as the legitimate government of all of China for over a quarter century. In 1979 when Washington formally established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, Congress passed the Taiwan Relations Act, to govern our relations with Taiwan. The May 2008 inauguration of Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou heralded significant developments in the cross-Strait relationship. Direct air, sea, and mail links between the two have been officially established since his Presidency began. Cross-Strait trade continues to expand, and China is now Taiwan's largest trading partner. Trade between China and the Taiwan will probably further expand if they sign the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) now being negotiated. Taiwan is now the largest foreign investor in China. These and other cross-Strait developments will affect the United States and its relationships with both China and Taiwan.
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