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China and Taiwan

Posted on August 14 2022

China and Taiwan

Dear Educator,

As you are no doubt aware from current news, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi recently visited Taiwan. She is the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the island since 1997. As a result of her meeting with Taiwanese officials, U.S. relations with Chinahave been strained, setting off discussions about the relationship between China and Taiwan. This week, Maps101 takes a look at Chinaand Taiwan to provide students with both an understanding of events today and context to understand the world. Maps set the stage, articles fill in details, and a lesson plan helps students practice creating timelines. With Maps101, we have you covered, no matter where in the world events unfold.

Geography News Network

The Chinese government considers Taiwan as part of the People's Republic of China, while Taiwan is self-ruled with a democratically elected president. Learn more about the relationship between these two places in this week’s GNN article.

READ THE ARTICLE
Map

Use this political map to show where Taiwan is located in relation to mainland China. Also, have students identify China’s capital city andTaiwan’s capital. Approximately how far is China’s capital from Taiwan?

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Map

Then, use this map to find additional cities on the island of Taiwan. Ask students to use the scale bar to determine approximately how large the island of Taiwan is.

VIEW THE MAP
Map

By the 1930s, Japan had expanded its influence in Asia and controlled Manchuria. The Chinese resisted Japan’s advance during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek was more interested in fighting communism within China, led by Mao Zedong. However, Chiang was forced by his own generals to ally with the communists to fight against Japan. Though Japan had a superior military, the Chinese continued to fight. The civil war in China was on hold as the two sides fought against Japan. Have students review this map to see the intricacies of this time in Asia’s history. Students should understand that these events shaped the relationship China has with Taiwan today, as discussed in this week’s GNN article, above.

VIEW THE MAP
Geography News Network

Conflict in this region is not new. Read this GNN article to learn more about challenges in the East China Sea in 2013. Japan and China have a long history of distrust, including that produced by the Second Sino-Japanese War, causing further clashes at times. Then, have students explain why countries fight over territory. Remind students that territorial fights are not unique to Asia. European nations also have a long history of fighting for control of boundaries.

READ THE ARTICLE
Map

History is not just about war and fighting. Constructive achievements are important cultural touchstones, and China has several, famous works that were developed during the Ming Dynasty. This map includes images and the locations of these achievements, with brief descriptions. Have students expand on the given descriptions by conducting research in the library or online to create a catalog of Ming Dynasty public works.

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Geography News Network

A much more recent public work in China is the Three Gorges Dam. After reading the article, use the questions at the end as prompts for classroom discussion.

READ THE ARTICLE
Lesson Plan

Use this lesson plan to explore the history of Asia from 500 BCE through the 1940s. Students will use a variety of maps to gather information for their timelines.

VIEW THE LESSON PLAN
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