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The government of China set up in 1949 after the victory of the communist forces of Mao Zedong. The People's Republic ruled the mainland of China, forcing the government of Nationalist China into exile on the island of Taiwan. For years, many Western nations, especially the United States, refused to recognize the People's Republic as the government of mainland China; instead, they exchanged ambassadors only with Nationalist China. The United States recognized the People's Republic as the government of China in 1979.