| Taiwan, located off the coast of China, came to prominence in 1949 when the Nationalist forces (about two million strong) retreated from the Mainland as Communism took over the country. For decades, the world recognized Taiwan as the legitimate government of China but in 1971, Communist China assumed the United Nations seat that had been occupied by Taiwan. Eight years later, Taiwan's firmest ally, the United States, recognized the People's Republic of China. Worries that Taiwan would be harmed economically were misplaced and in the decades since, it has become one of the strongest in the world. Taiwan's government has maintained coolness towards any suggestion that Taiwan 'reunify' with the Communist Mainland.