Mounds of sand sit beneath a row of pile drivers on Dadeng Island, where the Chinese city of Xiamen is building a new airport on reclaimed land.

Syril Hung sighs, awe-struck by this scene. The retired editor is looking through a pair of binoculars from the Mashan Observation Station on Kinmen, a nearby island that belongs to Taiwan. On a clear day like this, we can see sand-dredging barges working non-stop in the two-kilometer stretch of open water that separates the two former Cold War rivals.

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