On this front line of the standoff between China and Taiwan, Cold War tensions are being trumped by the Chinese crested tern.
Taiwan has cut back its annual military exercises on the islands of Matsu, just off the mainland Chinese coast, to give the birds some peace during their breeding season.
It’s just one of many vivid signs that China and Taiwan have found a peace of sorts after decades of angry confrontation. Another indication is the tourists from Taiwan and China who pour into Matsu and discover that despite 60 years of separation and lots of mutually hostile propaganda, they get along fine.
Matsu, a cluster of 36 tiny islands, was regularly shelled in the 1950s and 1960s from the Chinese mainland just a few miles away. Now, with tensions at their lowest since China went communist in 1949 and Taiwan broke away to join the Western camp, those days are a distant memory.