Taiwan to pull out troops from islets near China: Report
TAIPEI (AFP) - Taiwan is set to withdraw troops from two islets near the Chinese mainland next year and turn the former battleground into a tourist attraction amid warming ties, reports said on Friday.
Nearly 200 soldiers currently stationed in the Tatan and Ertan islets, which form part of the Taiwan-controlled Kinmen Island group off south-east China's Xiamen city, will be withdrawn from May 2014, said United Evening News, citing the defence authorities.
The Defence Ministry will relinquish control of the islets to the Kinmen county government, while the police and the coast guard are expected to each send 20 officers to the islets from June, the report said.
The two islets, which together have an area of little more than one square kilometre, are about 4km from Xiamen at the nearest point.