Kinmen


Kinmen
Kinmen County emblem.gif
Kinmen County
金門縣
Abbreviation(s): Kinmen (金門; Pinyin: Jīnmén)
Taiwan ROC political division map Kinmen County.svg
County seat Jincheng
Region Southern Fujian
County Magistrate Li, Wo-Shi (李沃士)
Cities 0
Townships 6
Area
- Total 153.056 km²
(20 of 25)
- % water 0 %
Population
- Total 84,570 (December 2008)
(24 of 25)
- Density 552.54/km²
Symbols
- County flower Four-season orchid
- County tree Cotton tree
- County bird Hoopoe
Official websites www.kinmen.gov.tw
Kinmen
Traditional Chinese 金門
Simplified Chinese 金门
Literal meaning "Golden Door" or "Golden Gate"
Kinmen County
Traditional Chinese 金門縣
Simplified Chinese 金门县

Kinmen (Chinese: 金門; pinyin: Jīnmén dǎo), also known as Quemoy, is a small archipelago of several islands administered by the Republic of China (Taiwan): Greater Kinmen, Lesser Kinmen, and some islets. Administratively, it is Kinmen County of Fujian Province, ROC. The county is claimed by the People's Republic of China (PRC) as part of its own Fujian Province's Quanzhou 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 defeat and retreat to Taiwan. Matsu is the other set of islands on the Fujian coast controlled by the ROC.

Many of the county's inhabitants speak Hokkien. Due to their previous political isolation, 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, no more than 2 kilometers. The residents of Wuchiu Township speak Puxian Min, as opposed to Hokkien for the rest of Kinmen.

Contents

History

The Prince of Lu was part of the Southern Ming Dynasty, resisting the invading Manchu Qing dynasty forces. In 1651 he fled to Kinmen, in 1663 Kinmen was taken by the invaders.[1]

Unlike the island of Taiwan 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 and Second Taiwan Strait Crisis, which was a major issue in the 1960 United States Presidential Election between Kennedy and Nixon. 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 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 and the presidential and legislative victories of the KMT, that allowed easier Cross-Strait relations. 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.[2][3] 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).[4] It is expected to integrated local tourism resources and the bridge's 1.4 km (0.87 mi) main body will have the largest span in the world when completed.

Tourism

The slogan "Three Principles of the People unite China", written in traditional Chinese, the official language of the ROC, located in Kinmen, directly facing Mainland China

Kinmen is recognized as a national park. 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. 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 liquor, a spirit ranging between 38 and 63 percent alcohol, which is highly appreciated by the Taiwanese. The Kinmen Airport is located on the bigger island.

Politics

The island consistently votes for the Kuomintang (KMT). Until the early 1990s, proponents of Taiwan independence 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

Subdivision of Kinmen County into townships

Kinmen County is subdivided into six townships:

Name Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin Wade-Giles Tongyong Pinyin Hokkien Pe̍h-ōe-jī English meaning
Jincheng Township 金城鎮 Jīnchéng Chin-ch'eng Jīnchéng Kim-siâⁿ-tìn Golden City
Jinsha Township 金沙鎮 Jīnshā Chin-sha Jinsha Kim-soaⁿ-tìn Golden Sand
Jinhu Township 金湖鎮 Jīnhú Chin-hu Jinhú Kim-ô·-tìn Golden Lake
Jinning Township 金寧鄉 Jīnníng Chin-ning Jinníng Kim-lêng-hiong Golden Tranquility
Lieyu Township 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. 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.[5] It is located in Jinning Township, Kinmen.

Gallery

See also

References

External links and further reading

Coordinates: 24°26′N 118°20′E / 24.44°N 118.33°E / 24.44; 118.33


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