Taiwan's tiny islanders test themselves against China

Taiwan's tiny islanders test themselves against China

KINMEN: Visiting Taiwan's tiny Kinmen Islands last week, Joseph Lin practised standing up on his paddleboard, drifting across the Chinese city of Xiamen, where days earlier fighter jets had screamed overhead.

The Taiwanese islets, just two miles from China's coast, have become a popular tourist destination, and Beijing's massive military drills this month haven't stopped domestic visitors from coming closer to their sabre-rattling neighbour.

Lin, a former soldier from southern Taiwan's Pingtung county, refused to cancel his three-day trip, saying he believed that China was only trying to appease nationalist sentiment at home with its show of force.

The 35-year-old told AFP after his paddle under the beating summer sun that Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine has sent a warning to Chinese President Xi Jinping that it wouldn't be so easy to seize Taiwan.

The price would be too high.