Recent changes in the relationships of Hong Kong and Taiwan to mainland China have presented education policy-makers in both territories with problems of reforming school curricula in areas of teaching that are important for the formation of national identity. While both territories are subject to claims that they are part of China, both have also been separated from the Chinese mainland for long periods, and in recent years their relationships with it have been undergoing fundamental changes. Hong Kong's relationship with China has become closer due to economic integration with the hinterland and the 1997 transfer of sovereignty. Taiwan's identification as a part of China, on the other hand, has become increasingly uncertain as the process of liberalization and democratization that began in 1986 has allowed sovereignty to be practised by the residents of the island and a sense of “Taiwan consciousness” (Taiwan yishi) to develop
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