Mainland China, Taiwan send first data over direct fiber optic link, take steps towards peace and harmony

Relations between mainland China and Taiwan haven't always been what you'd call warm, even with many companies having a footprint in both regions. Consider the first bursts of network traffic from a newly active connection as olive branches: a pair of undersea fiber optic cables running between southern China's Xiamen and the Taiwan-claimed Kinmen island chain represent the first truly direct data link between the two sides. Built by China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom and Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom, the link both has its share of diplomatic symbolism as well as the very practical advantage of a faster, more reliable route -- there's no globetrotting required to get data and voice to their destinations, and there's fewer chances of blackouts if a boat inadvertently slices a cable. We wouldn't go so far as to call it a Happily Ever After for either faction after decades of tension, but it does at least provide a greater semblance of normalcy to their communication.

[Image credit: Aine Hickey, Wikitravel]