Kinmen

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Kinmen County
金門縣
Abbreviation(s): Kinmen (金門; Pinyin: Jīnmén)
County

Flag

Coat of arms
Coordinates: 24°26′N 118°20′E / 24.44°N 118.33°E / 24.44; 118.33Coordinates: 24°26′N 118°20′E / 24.44°N 118.33°E / 24.44; 118.33
CountryTaiwan
RegionSouthern Fujian
SeatJincheng
Largest cityJincheng
Boroughs0 cities, 6 (3 urban, 3 rural) townships
Government
 • County MagistrateLi Wo-shi
Area
 • Total153.056 km2 (59.095 sq mi)
Area rank20 of 22
Population (December 2008)
 • Total84,570
 • Rank24 of 22
 • Density550/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
Websitewww.kinmen.gov.tw (English)
Symbols
BirdHoopoe
FlowerFour-season orchid
TreeCotton tree
 
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Kinmen County
金門縣
Abbreviation(s): Kinmen (金門; Pinyin: Jīnmén)
County

Flag

Coat of arms
Coordinates: 24°26′N 118°20′E / 24.44°N 118.33°E / 24.44; 118.33Coordinates: 24°26′N 118°20′E / 24.44°N 118.33°E / 24.44; 118.33
CountryTaiwan
RegionSouthern Fujian
SeatJincheng
Largest cityJincheng
Boroughs0 cities, 6 (3 urban, 3 rural) townships
Government
 • County MagistrateLi Wo-shi
Area
 • Total153.056 km2 (59.095 sq mi)
Area rank20 of 22
Population (December 2008)
 • Total84,570
 • Rank24 of 22
 • Density550/km2 (1,400/sq mi)
Websitewww.kinmen.gov.tw (English)
Symbols
BirdHoopoe
FlowerFour-season orchid
TreeCotton tree
Kinmen
Simplified Chinese金门
Traditional Chinese金門
Postal MapQuemoy/Kinmen
Kinmen County
Simplified Chinese金门
Traditional Chinese金門

Kinmen or Quemoy (/kɪˈmɔɪ/; see also "Names" section below) is a small archipelago of several islands administered by Taiwan: Greater Kinmen, Lesser Kinmen, and some islets. Administratively, it is Kinmen County (Chinese: 金門縣; pinyin: Jīnmén Xiàn) 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. It is geographically very near Xiamen, no more than 2 kilometres. Some islands of other counties, such as Wuqiu, 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 Republic of China.

Names[edit]

Jiangong Island, with a Koxinga monument, in Kinmen Harbor

Kinmen was first named Jīnmén (金門; lit, "golden gate") in Chinese 1387 when the Hongwu Emperor of China's Ming Dynasty appointed a military officer to administer the island and protect it from wokou (pirate) attacks.[1] The name is pronounced Jīnmén in the official Mandarin Chinese and Kim-mûi in the native Zhangzhou dialect of Hokkien Minnan. The various names used in English for the islands derive from the Chinese counterparts.

Quemoy is the name for the island in English and in many European languages.[2] It likely began as a Portuguese transcription of the Minnan (Hokkien) Zhangzhou dialect pronunciation of the name, Kim-mûi which also means Golden Gate.[3] This form of the islands' name was used almost exclusively in English until the late 20th century and is still used widely in current English-language contexts that involve historical coverage. For example, current works that deal with the First and Second Taiwan Strait Crises (the Quemoy Incident[4]) when the islands received prominent worldwide news coverage as "Quemoy" still use this form. In addition, the former National Kinmen Institute of Technology was renamed National Quemoy University in 2010. Kinmen scholar Wei Jian-feng advocates the use of "Quemoy" to better connect the island to "international society or achieve more recognition in the world".[3]

Kinmen is a more recent transcription based on the Chinese Postal Map Romanization of the Republic of China (with the initial k via historic pronunciation). With some exceptions, this form is used in most current English-language contexts on Kinmen and in Taiwan as a whole. Entities such as the county government,[5] the islands' airport,[6] and the national park[7] use this spelling.

Chin-men is the Wade–Giles romanization form of the island's name and appears on some maps using that as their standard.[8]

Jinmen is the Hanyu Pinyin form of the island's name used especially in sources from the People's Republic of China.[9] The Kinmen County Government and ROC central government have adopted Hanyu Pinyin as their standard romanization, such as for names of townships within Kinmen County, but this does not apply to the name of Kinmen itself.[10]

History[edit]

Qing Military Governor Office in Kinmen

The Prince of Lu, a member of the Southern Ming Dynasty, resisted the invading Manchu Qing Dynasty forces. In 1651, he fled to Kinmen, which the Qing dynasty took in 1663.[11]

The Chinese government never ceded Kinmen to Japan: unlike the island of Taiwan and the Penghu islands, Kinmen formed part of Fujian Province, both to the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC). Japan did however occupy Kinmen during the Second Sino-Japanese War from 1937 to 1945.

The PRC extensively shelled the island during the First and Second Taiwan Strait Crises, which was a major issue in the 1960 United States Presidential Election between Kennedy and Nixon.[citation needed] 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 re-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, seeing it 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 PRC.

A shisa (wind-lion god) carving in Kinmen

Culture[edit]

The people of Kinmen see themselves as Jīnmén rén (Kinmenese), Mínnán rén (Southern Min, or Southern Fukienese), or Chinese, but not so much as Taiwanese.[4][12] The strong Chinese identity was forged during the period of the ROC's military confrontation with the People's Republic of China (1949–1992) when Kinmen was under military administration.[4] In the 1980s, as the militarization decreased and martial law was ended on Taiwan, the Taiwan independence movement and efforts in de-Sinicization grew in strength on Taiwan.[4] To Kinmenese, however, these developments were viewed with concern and there was a feeling that "Taiwan didn't identify with Kinmen".[4] Many worried that Taiwanese de jure independence from China would lead to the severing of ties with Kinmen.[4] These concerns play a strong role in Kinmenese politics as well.[4]

Many of the county's inhabitants speak Hokkien. 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. The residents of Wuchiu Township speak Pu-Xian Min, as opposed to Hokkien for the rest of Kinmen.

Kinmen is notable for a number of cultural products. Due to the extensive shelling by the People's Republic of China, 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 regionally famous Kinmen Kaoliang liquor, a spirit ranging between 38 and 63 percent alcohol, which is highly appreciated by the Taiwanese. Other local culinary specialties include Kinmen noodles (金門麵線), gongtang (貢糖) and beef jerky (牛肉乾).

Like the Ryukyus, Kinmen is known for shisa (wind-lion god) figures (風獅爺).[13]

Economy[edit]

Kinmen's economy is mainly based on tourism and services due to its proximity to mainland China.[14][15] 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).[16] 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.[17]

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

Tourism[edit]

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. Large parts of Kinmen form the Kinmen National Park which highlights military fortifications and structures, historical dwellings, and natural scenery. The Kinmen Airport is located on the Greater Kinmen.

By 2016, two infrastructure projects are expected to boost tourism and meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions visitors to the islands. One includes a yet-to-be-named five-star resort spearheaded by Xiamen property developer, Wu Youhua, president of Xiamen Huatian Group, the first time a Chinese interest has been allowed to invest in the Taiwan hotel sector.[18]

Politics[edit]

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.

Subdivision of Kinmen County into townships

Townships[edit]

Kinmen County is divided into 3 urban townships and 3 rural townships. Kinmen County has the least number of rural townships among other counties in Taiwan.

NameChineseHanyu PinyinWade–GilesHokkien Pe̍h-ōe-jīEnglish meaning
Urban townships
Jincheng Township金城鎮Jīnchéng ZhènChin¹-ch'eng² Chen⁴Kim-siâⁿ TìnGolden City
Jinhu Township金湖鎮Jīnhú ZhènChin¹-hu² Chen⁴Kim-ô· TìnGolden Lake
Jinsha Township金沙鎮Jīnshā ZhènChin¹-sha¹ Chen⁴Kim-soaⁿ TìnGolden Sand
Rural townships
Jinning Township金寧鄉Jīnníng XiāngChin¹-ning² Hsiang¹Kim-lêng HiongGolden Tranquility
Lieyu Township烈嶼鄉Lièyǔ XiāngLie⁴-yü³ Hsiang¹Lia̍t-sū HiongHeroic Islets
Wuqiu Township烏坵鄉Wūqiū XiāngWu¹-ch'iu¹ Hsiang¹O·-kiu HiongBlack Mound

All those townships on Greater Kinmen Island start their names with Jin (i.e., Kin, lit. "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 Zhèn (鎮) – are -villages (里); the rest are Cūn-villages (村).

Education[edit]

In August 2010, National Quemoy University was established from the Kinmen Technology Institute.[19] It is located in Jinning Township, Kinmen. The islands also have a satellite campuses of Ming Chuan University and National University of Kaohsiung. Secondary educational institutions include National Kinmen Senior High School and National Kinmen Agricultural & Industrial Vocational Senior High School.

Infrastructure[edit]

Water supply[edit]

In early September 2013, the Chinese Mainland government agreed to supply Kinmen with water from Jinjiang City in Fujian due to the ongoing water shortage problem in Kinmen. Kinmen draws more than 8,000 tonnes of groundwater everyday and water from its reservoir is barely enough to support the residence during dry season. The shortage problem will heavily hit the local economy by 2016 if no mitigation plan is enacted.

An undersea 16.7 km water pipeline will be built to carry water from the Shanmei Reservoir in Jinjiang city to coastal area of Kinmen. The pipeline is expected to deliver a maximum amount of 30,000 tonnes of water each day to Kinmen. A further 300 meter of water pipe will be constructed to a water treatment plant.[20]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jian-Feng Wei. "An Examination of Cultural Identity of Residents of Quemoy (Kinmen)". Intercultural Communication Studies. XV:1. 2006. p. 134. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
  2. ^ "Quemoy", Merriam Webster
    "Quemoy", Larousse. (French)
  3. ^ a b Jian-Feng Wei. "'Quemoy' or 'Kinmen'?: A Translation Strategy for Communication". Intercultural Communication Studies. XVIII: 2. 2009. p. 176. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Trista di Genova. "Study explores the 'Kinmen Identity'". China Post. 11 July 2007. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
  5. ^ Kinmen County Government official website. Retrieved 20 January 2012. (English)
  6. ^ Kinmen Airport official website. Retrieved 20 January 2012. (English)
  7. ^ Kinmen National Park official website. Retrieved 20 January 2012. (English)
  8. ^ For example, National Geographic Maps.
  9. ^ For example, "Xiamen-Jinmen trial voyage successful" at the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China official website. Retrieved 20 January 2012. (English)
  10. ^ "Hanyu Pinyin to be standard system in 2009", Taipei Times, Sep 18, 2008.
  11. ^ FREDERIC WAKEMAN JR. (1986). GREAT ENTERPRISE: THE MANCHU RECONSTRUCTION OF THE IMPERIAL ORDER IN. University of California Press. p. 114. ISBN 0-520-04804-0. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  12. ^ Jian-Feng Wei. "An Examination of Cultural Identity of Residents of Quemoy (Kinmen)". Intercultural Communication Studies. XV:1. 2006. p. 136–137. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
  13. ^ "Wind Lion God" at the Kinmen National Park website. 6 June 2009. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
  14. ^ http://www.gwytb.gov.cn:8088/detail.asp?table=Interactions&title=Cross-strait+Interactions+and+Exchanges&m_id=29
  15. ^ "news". Chinataiwan.org. Retrieved 2012-01-01. 
  16. ^ "Construction of Kinmen Bridge begins". Focus Taiwan News Channel. 2011-01-09. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  17. ^ http://www.kinmen.gov.tw/Layout/sub_F/News_NewsContent.aspx?NewsID=103862&frame=86&LanguageType=2
  18. ^ "MICE development hits Kinmen". TTGmice. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  19. ^ "Kinmen technology institute upgrades to National Quemoy University – What's On Xiamen". Whatsonxiamen.com. 2010-08-08. Retrieved 2012-01-01. 
  20. ^ http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2013/09/04/2003571331

External links and further reading[edit]