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Tachen Islands

 

Tachen Islands

Coordinates: 28°28′N 121°54′E / 28.46°N 121.90°E / 28.46; 121.90

The Dachen Islands or Tachen Islands (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: Dàchén Qúndǎo) is a group of islands off the coast of Zhejiang, the People's Republic of China. Currently it is part of Jiaojiang District of Taizhou, Zhejiang.

History

ROC evacuation

Until 1955, the Dachen (Tachen) Islands were part of the Republic of China (ROC), the government of which has been based in Taiwan since the conclusion of the Chinese Civil War. As the People's Liberation Army advanced through Fujian Province in the late 1940s, the U.S.-supported Nationalist forces under Chiang Kai-Shek's Kuomintang, retreated to China's offshore Islands. On January 20, 1955, the PLA conquest of Yijiangshan led to the First Taiwan Strait Crisis. The Formosa Resolution of 1955 passed in Congress nine days later in the United States, leading to the orderly evacuation of the Dachen Islands by the United States Navy in February. At the time, they served as the capital of the Chekiang Province. The U.S. Seventh Fleet used 132 boats and 400 aircraft to move 14,500 civilians, 10,000 Republic of China servicemen and 4,000 guerrilla fighters, along with 40,000 tons of military equipment and supplies from the island. Three days after the evacuation, the islands were taken by the People's Liberation Army. Chiang Kai-shek grudgingly allowed the island to fall to the Communists so that the other offshore island groups, Kinmen and Matsu, could be successfully defended.

The civilian population of the islands was resettled in Yilan County, Taiwan.

Geography

It is strategically located in the Gulf of Taizhou, off the coast of Zhejiang, the People's Republic of China. The archipelago is sandwiched between Zhoushan in the north and the Nanjishan Liedao (南麂山列岛, literally Southern Muntjac Archipelago) in the south, and it is located 52 km from Jiaojiang District, which it administratively belongs to. Dachen Archipelago consists of a total of 29 islands, islets, and rocks, totaling 14.6 square km.

Fishing industry had long been the backbone of the local economy and the region was one of the largest of the Chinese class II fisheries. However, after decades of over fishing, the natural resources were depleted and as a result, most of the local population was forced to migrate to the mainland in the late-1980s and the local populace experienced a drastic decrease to a fraction of what it once was. To compensate for the depletion of natural resources, aquaculture has become prosperous and the archipelago is currently one of the largest aquaculture bases in the region. However, due to the adaptation of advanced technology which significantly reduced the need of manual labor, the local population has not recovered to its peak level despite the income generated has already been higher than that of the traditional fishery peak in the past, and in fact, the current local population was not much higher than the lowest point in the late-1980s.

To diversify the local economy, tourism had become another major source of income. The annual average temperature is 16.7°C, and the climate was the typical subtropical climate. The forest coverage rate is greater than 56% and it is the provincial level forest park. Due to the forces of nature such as that of tides and winds, there are many spectacular sceneries and the archipelago is called the Chinese Number One Oceanic Penjing (Zhong-Guo Di-Yi Hai-Shang Penjing, 中国第一海上盆景). Another tourist attraction was the military fortifications left behind by the nationalists during the Chinese Civil War in the post-World War II era, because the archipelago was the site of the Battle of Dachen Archipelago in the First Taiwan Strait Crisis.

See also

External links

  • BBC - 1955: US evacuates Pacific islands
  • Tachen Islands Evacuation History
  • Pictures of the evacuation
  • Bank notes and brief history of Tachen between 1949 and 1955 (Chinese (Taiwan))
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