China only wants Taiwan because Taiwan has become more successful and prosperous than China. China wants this prosperity, and rather than becoming a democratic nation, they turn to the only thing they know... threatening the small island with military force, in the hope that Taiwan will give in. But without a democratic government and basic human rights, Taiwan will not continue to prosper as it has, and China's plan to grasp the island's prosperity will backfire. If China wants to prosper as Taiwan has, they need to follow the example of Taiwan, not smother them with Communism.

China knows that democracy will lead to prosperity, that's why they've allowed Hong Kong to continue to operate with more freedom than the mainland. Just take a look at the Chinese stock market since the aquisition of Hong Kong. The problem is that the leaders are afraid of losing control, and if people could vote, they could vote the current leadership out. But if they move China toward true democracy and prosperity (earned, not obtained), they will be remembered as great men.

In Response to maggie: "The life of America is heavier than that of Taiwanese in the eyes of American government."

It's not life that concerns the US, it's money.  We sent troops to Kuwait quickly because there's oilthere.  But then we took years to decide whether it was justified to send troops to stop the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo.

Right now, China is starting to open their market to the US, so it's no surprise that there was very little US political reaction to China's threats before Taiwan's 2000 elections.  Taiwan has the better economy, but China has a huge potential if they're serious about free trade. That's a tough call for a government that believes only in the almighty dollar.