FILE - A family strolls the beaches with shores are lined with iron staves and the land's edge lined with mines, on Taiwan's Kinmen Island, 1.2 miles off China's south east coast, Dec. 13, 2001.
FILE - A family strolls the beaches with shores are lined with iron staves and the land's edge lined with mines, on Taiwan's Kinmen Island, 1.2 miles off China's south east coast, Dec. 13, 2001.

BEIJING - The Taiwanese-controlled island of Kinmen located just off the Chinese coast has begun importing water from its neighbor via a pipeline despite heightened tensions between the two sides.

Water from Jinjiang in China's Fujian province began flowing through the 16-kilometer (10-mile) -long pipeline Sunday under a 30-year contract.
 
The island about three-times the size of Manhattan has long been short of water and hordes of tourists have put an extra strain on supplies.
 
The move shows how trade and other non-political ties have been relatively unaffected by the diplomatic freeze instituted two years ago by China, which claims Taiwan as a part of its territory to be annexed by force if necessary.
 
Kinmen was retained by Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalists as they fled the Communist takeover of the mainland in 1949.