This week, a plane flew from Shenzhen, China to Taipei, Taiwan, marking the first direct, daily cross strait air traffic between the two sides since 1949. For those of you unfamiliar with Chinese history, China and Taiwan split after the Chinese Civil War and for a long time there was no contact at all between the two sides, not unlike North and South Korea.
Like millions of Mainland Chinese, my grandfather was stranded in Taiwan after the Civil War. He never saw his parents again. He was separated from his wife and children for forty years. The hardship my grandmother endured is unimaginable to most people. And now, it takes a mere hour or two to fly from Taiwan to the Mainland, a journey that took my grandfather four decades. It's about time.
The first direct flight from China to Taiwan since 1949 arriving in Taipei. Photo courtesy of Chiang Ying-Ying/The Associated Press.