Straits Cup breaks the ice between old enemies

Few neighbours can have known such enmity as that which exists between China and Taiwan. But there are signs that this most rancorous of relationships is beginning to sweeten – and it’s thanks to yachtsmen.

The Straits Cup was conceived initially by sailors in Xiamen and Taiwan as a simple, low-key race across the Strait. The event’s potential was soon realised and the Chinese Yachting Association and Chinese Taipei Sailing Association stepped in to make sure everything went ‘smoothly’.

Yesterday 15 yachts carrying 145 sailors, including the Vice Mayor of Xiamen, set off from Wuyuan Bay, Xiamen City, across the Taiwan Straits via Dadan Island, Jinmen, and south of Penghu Islands, to arrive at Anping Harbor, Tainan City on 4 August.

The event may bear the lacquer of official sanction but it’s pleasing to see sailing cross a diplomatic divide.