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International relations

The Kuomintang, Taiwan's opposition, returns to a wary Washington

Nationalist party seeks to show it is not accommodating Beijing

Taiwan's opposition Kuomintang is reopening an office in Washington after 13 years with a presence in the U.S. capital. (Source photo by Reuters and Akira Kodaka)

TAIPEI -- When Soong Mei-ling, the wife of Chinese Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-shek, toured the U.S. in 1943 to shore up American wartime support, her address to Congress and other speeches around the country succeeded in raising the profile of China's struggle against Japanese invasion.

Nearly 80 years later, the party that once ruled China and sent Soong to the U.S. finds itself the largest opposition party in Taiwan, where it fled to escape Mao Zedong's communist revolution. Known in Mandarin as the Kuomintang, the party again seeks to win American hearts and minds at a time when many in the Beltway see it as too close to its former nemesis and Washington's top rival: the Chinese Communist Party.

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