Foe in need

Published: Saturday 15 June 2002

Taiwan's biggest security threat has brought it relief from a severe drought. For the first time in 50 years, a ship delivered 2,300 metric tonnes of water from China to a tiny Matsu island in Taiwan. The Chinese and Taiwanese officials attended the vessel's flagging off ceremony. To facilitate the shipment, authorities in China's port of Mawei built a pipe linking the port with a water processing plant. Interestingly, the water was provided free of charge to Matsu. In the beginning Taiwan was unwilling to accept water from China as it would have reflected its dependency on its rival neighbour which has repeatedly threatened to attack the island nation if it refuses to unify or seeks a permanent split. However, Taiwan, which is facing its worst drought in two decades, was forced to turn to China for solution.

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