Thousands of Chinese swim in Taiwan lake amid warming ties

More than 2,000 Chinese visitors swam across a scenic lake in Taiwan on Sunday, officials said, a record number for the yearly event amid fast-warming ties between the mainland and the island.

Taipei: More than 2,000 Chinese visitors
swam across a scenic lake in Taiwan on Sunday, officials said, a
record number for the yearly event amid fast-warming ties
between the mainland and the island.

The swimmers were among a total of 27,000 who crossed
the island`s central Sun Moon Lake, considered a must-see for
visitors to Taiwan.

"That was a steep rise in the number of Chinese
swimmers compared with last year," said Shih Tung-hsien, an
official with Nantou county government, which organised the
event. Fewer than 500 Chinese took part in 2009.

Among the Chinese swimmers was a 99-year-old man, Liu
Junqian, from Guangdong province, who became the oldest person
to have finished the 3.3 kilometre (2.2 mile) route in its
28-year history.

Today`s event coincided with a historic trade pact
between Taiwan and China coming into effect, bringing the two
formerly bitter rivals closer together than at any point since
their split more than six decades ago.

PTI

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