With suitcases and packages stuffed with food, alcohol and construction materials, Taiwanese shoppers make their way toward a ferry in the Chinese city of Xiamen bound for the Taipei-administered island of Kinmen.

Passing through immigration, the travelers cannot miss a sign declaring: "One family on two sides of the strait, working together to fulfill our dreams."

China claims Taiwan as part of its territory and has vowed to seize the self-ruled island, by force if necessary.