This article examines the reflection of national goals and ideologies in the civic education curricula of Mainland China and Taiwan. Acomparison of junior secondary school textbooks from the 1950s and the 1990s shows how the curriculum embodies the states' changing national priorities and justificatory ideologies. Specifically, in the early period, the focus of the curriculum was on goals and values which distinguished each state from the other. By the 1990s, despite continuing ideological differences, there was a common focus on the importance of economic and social development. Copyright © 2004 Nanyang Technological University & National Institute of Education.