China prepared Monday to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Taiwan's liberation at the end of World War II, seeking to highlight the self-ruled island's historical connection to the Chinese mainland.
Taiwan, once a Chinese territory, was ceded to Japan in 1895 and recovered on Oct. 25, 1945. But unification was short-lived.
Just four years later, in 1949, China and Taiwan split amid civil war as the communists took control of the mainland and the former ruling Nationalists fled to the island.
Taiwan eventually became a democracy, but Beijing has never given up its dream of unification. It has alternately used threats of force and public relations campaigns to boost sentiment on the island for joining China.
This week, Beijing has organized special museum exhibits commemorating what it calls "the recovery of Taiwan from Japanese occupation."
The celebrations will culminate Tuesday when government officials gather in the Great Hall of the People, seat of China's legislature, to mark the anniversary, state media said, AP reports.