Kinmen

Kinmen

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Kinmen also known as Quemoy (lang), is a small archipelago
Archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

 of several islands administered by the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

 (Taiwan): Greater Kinmen, Lesser Kinmen, and some islet
Islet
An islet is a very small island.- Types :As suggested by its origin as islette, an Old French diminutive of "isle", use of the term implies small size, but little attention is given to drawing an upper limit on its applicability....

s. Administratively, it is Kinmen County of Fujian Province, ROC. The county is claimed by the People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 (PRC) as part of its own Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

 Province's Quanzhou
Quanzhou
Quanzhou is a prefecture-level city in Fujian province, People's Republic of China. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two and faces the Taiwan Strait...

 Prefecture. Some islands of other counties, such as Wuchiu, were transferred to the jurisdiction of Kinmen County by the ROC government following its civil war
Chinese Civil War
The Chinese Civil War was a civil war fought between the Kuomintang , the governing party of the Republic of China, and the Communist Party of China , for the control of China which eventually led to China's division into two Chinas, Republic of China and People's Republic of...

 defeat and retreat to Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

. Matsu
Matsu Islands
The Matsu Islands are a minor archipelago of 19 islands and islets in the Taiwan Strait administered as Lienchiang County , Fujian Province of the Republic of China . Only a small area of what is historically Lienchiang County is under the control of the ROC...

 is the other set of islands on the Fujian coast controlled by the ROC.

Many of the county's inhabitants speak Hokkien
Hokkien
Hokkien is a Hokkien word corresponding to Standard Chinese "Fujian". It may refer to:* Hokkien dialect, a dialect of Min Nan Chinese spoken in Southern Fujian , Taiwan, South-east Asia, and elsewhere....

. Since Kinmen is historically part of Fujian, most residents will say they speak "Kinmenese", as opposed to "Taiwanese" as it is commonly called in Taiwan, though the two dialects are mutually intelligible. It is geographically very near Xiamen
Xiamen
Xiamen , also known as Amoy , is a major city on the southeast coast of the People's Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with an area of and population of 3.53 million...

, no more than 2 kilometers. The residents of Wuchiu Township speak Puxian Min
Puxian Min
Pu–Xian or Puxian Min , also known as Xinghua, is a branch of Min Chinese.Puxian is a word combination of two place names of Putian City and Xianyou County ....

, as opposed to Hokkien for the rest of Kinmen.

History



The Prince of Lu
Zhu Yihai, Prince of Lu
The Genyin Emperor was Emperor of Southern Ming Dynasty, reigning from 1645 to 1655. His temple name was Ming Yizong .-Biography:...

 was part of the Southern Ming Dynasty
Southern Ming Dynasty
The Southern Ming Dynasty was the Ming loyalist regime that continued in Southern China from 1644 to 1662 following the capture of Beijing by rebel armies and the death of the last Ming emperor in 1644....

, resisting the invading Manchu Qing dynasty
Qing Dynasty
The Qing Dynasty was the last dynasty of China, ruling from 1644 to 1912 with a brief, abortive restoration in 1917. It was preceded by the Ming Dynasty and followed by the Republic of China....

 forces. In 1651 he fled to Kinmen, in 1663 Kinmen was taken by the invaders.

Unlike the island of Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 and the Penghu islands, Kinmen was never ceded to Japan, because Kinmen was, and still is considered to be a part of Fujian province, both to the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China, though Kinmen was occupied by Japan from 1937 to 1945.

The PRC extensively shelled the island during the first
First Taiwan Strait Crisis
The First Taiwan Strait Crisis was a short armed conflict that took place between the governments of the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China . The PRC seized the Yijiangshan Islands, forcing the ROC to abandon the Tachen Islands...

 and Second Taiwan Strait Crisis
Second Taiwan Strait Crisis
The Second Taiwan Strait Crisis, also called the 1958 Taiwan Strait Crisis, was a conflict that took place between the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China governments in which the PRC shelled the islands of Matsu and Quemoy in the Taiwan Strait in an attempt to seize them from...

, which was a major issue in the 1960 United States Presidential Election
United States presidential election, 1960
The United States presidential election of 1960 was the 44th American presidential election, held on November 8, 1960, for the term beginning January 20, 1961, and ending January 20, 1965. The incumbent president, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, was not eligible to run again. The Republican Party...

 between Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

 and Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

. In the 1950s, the United States threatened to use nuclear weapons against the PRC if it attacked the island.

Kinmen was originally a military reserve. The island was returned to the civilian government in the mid-1990s, after which travel to and from it was allowed. Direct travel between mainland China
Mainland China
Mainland China, the Chinese mainland or simply the mainland, is a geopolitical term that refers to the area under the jurisdiction of the People's Republic of China . According to the Taipei-based Mainland Affairs Council, the term excludes the PRC Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and...

 and Kinmen was opened in 2001, and there has been extensive tourism development on the island in anticipation of mainland tourists. Direct travel was suspended in 2003 as a result of the SARS outbreak, but has since resumed.

Many Taiwanese businesspeople use the link through Kinmen to enter the Chinese Mainland as it is seen as cheaper and easier than entering through Hong Kong. However, this changed following the 2005 Pan-Blue visits to mainland China
2005 Pan-Blue visits to mainland China
The 2005 Pan-Blue visits to mainland China were a series of groundbreaking visits by delegations of the Kuomintang to mainland China. They were hailed as the highest level of exchange between the Communist Party of China and the Kuomintang since Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Zedong met in Chongqing,...

 and the presidential and legislative
Republic of China legislative election, 2008
The 7th Legislative elections were held on January 12, 2008 in the Republic of China . The results gave the Kuomintang and the Pan-Blue Coalition a supermajority in the legislature, handing a heavy defeat to then-President Chen Shui-bian's Democratic Progressive Party, which won the remaining 27...

 victories of the KMT, that allowed easier Cross-Strait relations
Cross-Strait relations
Cross-Strait relations refers to the relations between People's Republic of China and the Republic of China , which lie to the west and east, repectively, of the Taiwan Strait in the west Pacific Ocean....

. Kinmen has experienced a considerable economic boom as businesspeople relocate to the island for easier access to the vast markets of the People's Republic of China.

Economy


Kinmen's economy is mainly based on tourism and services due to its proximity to mainland China. A 5.4 km (3.4 mi) bridge connecting Kinmen Island (Greater Kinmen) and Lieyu is planned to be completed by June 2016, estimated to cost NT$7.5 billion (US$250 million). It is expected to integrated local tourism resources and the bridge's 1.4 km (0.869921831309729 mi) main body will have the largest span in the world when completed.

Tourism



Kinmen is recognized as a national park
National park
A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or owns. Although individual nations designate their own national parks differently A national park is a reserve of natural, semi-natural, or developed land that a sovereign state declares or...

. Because of its military importance, development on the island was extremely limited. As a result, it is now a popular weekend tourist destination for Taiwanese and is known for its quiet villages, old-style architecture, and beaches. Due to the extensive shelling by the PRC, Kinmen is famous for its Artillery Shell Knives
Kinmen Knife
The Kinmen Knife is a knife exclusively made in Kinmen County in Fujian Province, Republic of China. The knives were once made from the remains of artillery shells fired by the U.S...

. Local artisans would collect the vast amounts of exploded ordnance and make high-quality knives which are still sought after by chefs and connoisseurs. Kinmen is also home of the locally famous Kinmen Kaoliang
Kaoliang
Kaoliang jiu is a strong distilled liquor, made from fermented sorghum . It is made and sold in both mainland China and Taiwan, and also popular in Korea, where it is called goryangju...

 liquor, a spirit ranging between 38 and 63 percent alcohol, which is highly appreciated by the Taiwanese. The Kinmen Airport
Kinmen Airport
Kinmen Airport or Shang Yi Airport is a civilian airport serving Kinmen, Fujian Province, Republic of China . It was built in 1994 as a civilian airport located at Shang-I, to the northeastern side of the original military airport...

 is located on the bigger island.

Politics


The island consistently votes for the Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 (KMT). Until the early 1990s, proponents of Taiwan independence
Taiwan independence
Taiwan independence is a political movement whose goals are primarily to formally establish the Republic of Taiwan by renaming or replacing the Republic of China , form a Taiwanese national identity, reject unification and One country, two systems with the People's Republic of China and a Chinese...

 argued that they would consider handing Kinmen over to the PRC in any negotiated settlement. Residents of the island have broadly opposed such measures, fearing the consequences of the PRC government's policies on their standard of living and political freedom.

Townships



Kinmen County is subdivided into six townships
Township (Taiwan)
The townships are the administrative subdivisions of Republic of China counties, along with County-controlled city. Most of the present townships originates from Towns and Villages in the Japanese era. After the World War II, the ROC government reformed them as urban townships and rural townships...

:
Name Hanzi  Hanyu Pinyin  Wade-Giles
Wade-Giles
Wade–Giles , sometimes abbreviated Wade, is a romanization system for the Mandarin Chinese language. It developed from a system produced by Thomas Wade during the mid-19th century , and was given completed form with Herbert Giles' Chinese–English dictionary of 1892.Wade–Giles was the most...

 
Tongyong Pinyin
Tongyong Pinyin
Tongyong Pinyin was the official Romanization of Mandarin Chinese in the Republic of China between 2002 and 2008. The system was unofficially used between 2000 and 2002, when a new romanization system for the Republic of China was being evaluated for adoption. The ROC's Ministry of Education...

 
Hokkien
Hokkien
Hokkien is a Hokkien word corresponding to Standard Chinese "Fujian". It may refer to:* Hokkien dialect, a dialect of Min Nan Chinese spoken in Southern Fujian , Taiwan, South-east Asia, and elsewhere....

 Pe̍h-ōe-jī 
English meaning
Jincheng Township  金城鎮 Jīnchéng Chin-ch'eng Jīnchéng Kim-siâⁿ-tìn Golden City
Jinsha Township
Jinsha, Kinmen
Jinsha is an urban township of the Kinmen group. It is in the Taiwan Strait, on the coast of Fujian. It has a population of 14,430 and an area of 41.1900 square kilometres. Geographically it is very near to Xiamen...

 
金沙鎮 Jīnshā Chin-sha Jinsha Kim-soaⁿ-tìn Golden Sand
Jinhu Township
Jinhu, Kinmen
Jinhu is an urban township of the Kinmen group. It is in the Taiwan Strait, on the coast of Fujian. It has a population of 19,828 and an area of 41.6960 square kilometres. Geographically it is very near to Xiamen...

 
金湖鎮 Jīnhú Chin-hu Jinhú Kim-ô·-tìn Golden Lake
Jinning Township
Jinning, Kinmen
Jinning is one of the islands of the Kinmen group. It is in the Taiwan Strait, on the coast of Fujian. It has a population of 16,849 and an area of 29.8540 square kilometres. Geographically it is very near to Xiamen . Administratively the island forms the Jinning Township of the Kinmen County,...

 
金寧鄉 Jīnníng Chin-ning Jinníng Kim-lêng-hiong Golden Tranquility
Lieyu Township
Lesser Quemoy
Lieyu Township , commonly known as Lesser Kinmen is located to the Southwest of main Kinmen Island in between main Kinmen and Xiamen. It is situated outside the mouth of mainland China's Jiulong river and inside Xiamen's harbor...

 
烈嶼鄉 Lièyǔ Lie-yü Lièyǔ Lia̍t-sū-hiong Heroic Islets
Wuqiu Township  烏坵鄉 Wūqiū Wu-ch'iu Wuciou O·-kiu-hiong Black Mound


All those townships on Greater Kinmen Island start their names with Jin ("gold"). Lieyu Township encompasses the entire Lesser Kinmen Island, and is the closest to Xiamen
Xiamen
Xiamen , also known as Amoy , is a major city on the southeast coast of the People's Republic of China. It is administered as a sub-provincial city of Fujian province with an area of and population of 3.53 million...

. Wuqiu Township comprises Greater Qiu Islet (大坵) and Lesser Qiu Islet (小坵).

Jincheng and Jinsha are the largest of the six townships. Altogether, there are 37 Kinmen villages, three of which – all in Zhen (鎮) – are Li-villages (里); the rest are Cun-villages (村).

Education


In August 2010, National Quemoy University (國立金門大學) was established from the Kinmen Technology Institute. It is located in Jinning Township, Kinmen.

See also



  • Administrative divisions of the Republic of China
  • Township (Taiwan)
    Township (Taiwan)
    The townships are the administrative subdivisions of Republic of China counties, along with County-controlled city. Most of the present townships originates from Towns and Villages in the Japanese era. After the World War II, the ROC government reformed them as urban townships and rural townships...

  • List of cities in the Republic of China (Taiwan)
  • Cross-Strait relations
    Cross-Strait relations
    Cross-Strait relations refers to the relations between People's Republic of China and the Republic of China , which lie to the west and east, repectively, of the Taiwan Strait in the west Pacific Ocean....

  • Boyu Road
    Boyu Road
    Boyu Road is a major road and one of the county highways in Kinmen , Fuchien Province, Republic of China . It was named after the courtesy name of General Hu Lien. In the 1950s and 60s, it was the road with the highest standard within the Free Area of the ROC....


External links and further reading