What Happened: China has reportedly finalized "initial plans" to build bridges connecting its mainland to the two Taiwanese islands located just off the coast of Xiamen, Taiwan News reported Oct. 14.
Why It Matters: China has long been attempting to link its mainland with Taiwan's nearby islands of Matsu and Kinmen. However, Taipei fears that Beijing will exploit economic links with these Taiwanese-controlled territories to increase its influence and ward off a renewed independence push.
Background: Plans to connect Xiamen with Taiwan's outer islands have been under discussion for decades, though political considerations have stalled previous attempts to launch the project.
- China, Taiwan: Beijing Turns the Screws on Taipei With Tourism Limits (July 31, 2019)
- Taiwan Enters a High-Stakes Campaign Season (June 14, 2019)
- China's Hopes for Bridging the Taiwan Strait (Aug. 7, 2013)