Taiwan's Kinmen Islands, Only a Few Miles From Mainland China

The island of Taiwan, governed by the Republic of China (ROC), lies about 100 miles (161 kilometers) east of mainland China, across the Taiwan Strait. Taiwan also administers a number of smaller islands known as the Kinmen archipelago, or Kinmen County. Great Kinmen Island and its neighbor islets are on the other side of the strait, in a harbor just east of the port city of Xiamen, practically surrounded by the People’s Republic of China (PRC)—in some places barely more than a mile apart. Back in the 1950s, the islands were heavily shelled during the two Taiwan Strait Crises—military clashes between the PRC and ROC. The small islands were heavily fortified against bombardment and invasion, with barricades placed on beaches, artillery emplaced on hillsides, massive tunnels dug to shelter troops, and concrete walls of loudspeakers built to blast propaganda across the water. Reuters reports that today, the island of fewer than 129,000 residents is “eyeing closer commercial ties with China,” wanting to pipe water from Xiamen, and “has plans to build a bridge and set up a glittering free trade zone with the city,” as China continues to seek unification with Taiwan under the “one country, two systems” model practiced in Hong Kong and Macau.
Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Chip Somodevilla / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Ice Castles, Northern Lights, Inauguration Fireworks

    Fashion Week in Berlin, the departure of former President Donald Trump, bull-taming in India, a snow-covered Great Wall in China, diploma artwork in New York City, and much more

  • Andrew Harnik / AFP / Getty

    Photos: The Inauguration of President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

    Scenes from a unique moment in American history

  • Samuel Corum / Getty

    An Inauguration Like No Other

    Rehearsals and preparations are underway for the upcoming inaugural ceremony of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President–elect Kamala Harris.

  • David Delgado / Reuters

    Photos: A Little Midwinter Fun and Beauty

    Recent images of people across the Northern Hemisphere enjoying themselves in the middle of this winter