Xiamen is a new city by Chinese standards, as it dates back only to the late 12th century. Xiamen was a stronghold for Ming loyalist Zheng Chenggong (better known as Koxinga), who later fled to Taiwan after China was overrun by the Qing. Xiamen's place as a dynasty-straddling city continues to this day due to its proximity to Taiwan. Some see Xiamen as a natural meeting point between the two sides in the decades-long separation. Only a few miles out to sea are islands that still technically belong to the Republic of China, as Taiwan is officially known in Mainland China.

Xiamen is today one of the most prosperous cities in China, with beautiful parks, impressive temples, and waterfront promenades that neatly complement the port city's historic architecture.

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