Page last updated at 14:44 GMT, Friday, 9 May 2008 15:44 UK

China torch relay: Xiamen

The harbour at Xiamen, Fujian province, file image

As part of a series following the Olympic torch around China, the focus turns to Xiamen, a city on the front line of disputes between Beijing and Taipei.

A stretch of beach on China's south-eastern coast overlooks tense waters.

The island-city of Xiamen, in China's Fujian province, is just 1,500m away from Jinmen - part of an island chain controlled by Taiwan.

There has been exchange of artillery fire in the past across the narrow straits. If tensions were to escalate, the beachhead of Xiamen could become a battlefront.

But currently relations are relatively cordial, and Xiamen attracts substantial investment from Taiwan. It also hosts an annual Taiwan-focused trade fair.

China torch map
Use the map to see the full Olympic torch relay route or read about some of the key cities:

Xiamen was one of the first wave of cities in China to be designated a Special Economic Zone in the 1980s, and since then it has developed into an affluent, vibrant place.

Centuries earlier foreign traders discovered a haven in Xiamen, which was then called Amoy, and the city developed into a flourishing port.

As investment continues to pour into the city, Xiamen made headlines recently because of a large protests against plans for a chemical plant.

The torch arrives in Xiamen on 12 May.

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