Advantages of Development in Kinmen
(1) Policy support from the central government
It has been 20 years between the signing of the Kinmen Agreement to the current ECFA (Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement), both have helped to maintain cross-strait relations. 20 years ago on September 12th, the “Kinmen Agreement” was officially signed on the main island of Kinmen. This groundbreaking moment was the first time that Mainland China and Taiwan broke the silence barrier and put aside their ever-present conflicts. From this moment on, Kinmen feels as though it has reached a new high point in its history of cross-strait relations.
The ECFA became official on September 12th of 2010, which will further advance cross-strait economic and trade exchanges as well as cooperation to promote cross-strait economic development. In the mean while, it will only help strengthen the current situation of peace and prosperity between Taiwan and Mainland China as well.
With the arrival of the ECFA, Kinmen strove to be the test subject for unapproved items on the early harvest list of ECFA in Mainland China or Taiwan thinking that Kinmen and Xiamen were best suited for the cross-strait tests. The valuable opportunity to have great cross-strait relations has offered bigger and unobstructed space for creating the “Golden Decade”, the economic development for the future of Kinmen.
Since “Duty Free Policy” has already been put into effect and “Free Trade Zone” is being constructed, the possibilities of a “Free Trade Zone in Kinmen and Xiamen” and a “Haixi Free Trade Zone” will be further explored. From an important military area in the past to now being promoted as a strategic location of cross-strait relations, the future of Kinmen is forever changed.
(2) Location Advantages
1. From Kinmen as the center, the population of the cities (Qingdao, Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing and Lanzhou, etc.) that take 3 hour flight to arrive reaches one billion people.
2. The prefecture-level cities in the area of at a distance of 400 km from Kinmen (inside Haixi area) are Shangrao, Yingtan, Fuzhou, Wenzhou, Lishui and Quzhou which are 2 hour flight from Kinmen and the population reaches two hundred million people.
3. Kinmen and Xiamen- for “One-City Effect”, the distance between Taiwan and Mainland China will be closer by building the Kinmen Bridge and Kinmen will open the “Golden Gate” to welcome tourists from all over the world!
(3) History and Culture
1. Traditional southern Fujian style and Southeast Asian style architectures
Kinmen was developed early on so the long lasting history, culture as well as the prosperous style of writing brought out abundant cultural features. Traditional villages and architecture are the richest cultural assets and most of them still maintain the traditional southern Fujian style architecture with Zhangzhou and Quanzhou styles. In addition, the integration between the mansion (commonly known as “barbarian tower”) brought in by expatriates in business overseas at the end of the Qing dynasty and local architecture culture affects various features of people and their houses.
2. Battle history and cultural environment
Since the opening of Kinmen, the history has been traced back over 1600 years, back to Emperor Yuan of Jin of Jianwu era (317 A.D.). It all started with the Tang dynasty, Kinmen set up horse herd locations where Chen Yuan was the superintendent. Kinmen was then fit into the economic production system of Chinese Society.
On the 20th year of Hongwu era, during the beginning of Ming dynasty (1387 A.D.), the Marquis of Jiangxia Zhou Dexing erected walls in now the Old Kinmen City where a one-hundred-household garrison post was set up. The meaning of “impregnable fort guarding the gate to the sea” was changed from the original name “Wuzhou” into “Kinmen” Afterwards they entered and garrisoned two of the islands, Kinmen and Xiamen, as the base for rebuilding the Ming dynasty and overthrowing the Qing dynasty. Thus, it completely changed Kinmen from the role as the border for refuge since the end of Western Jin, all through the South and North dynasty and up until the Sui dynasty into the most competitive place between Taiwan and Mainland China.
Since 1949, the R.O.C. army retreated to Taiwan, Penghu, Kinman and Matsu from Mainland China and it established the condition of division between Taiwan and Mainland China because of the Guningtou Battle.
After 1949, Kinmen went through many battles to protect Taiwan Strait safety, such as the Guningtou Battle, the 93 Battle, the 823 Artillery Battle. The historical traces and battlefield monuments left after many wars such as gun positions, camps, broadcast stations, tunnels, anti-parachute stakes, rail stick bars and war history museum still remain.
The special geography and history relationship of Kinmen and Xiamen plays an important role on cross-strait peace development and also is the first region to implement policy of cross-strait development; on January 1st of 2001, Taiwan implemented the experiment “mini three links” policy with Xiamen of China and opened the 50 year drought between Taiwan and Mainland China to establish the foundation of cross-strait peace development.
(4) Natural Environment
Kinmen was a military battlefield for a long time in the past so construction and industrial development were strictly controlled. However, it also protected Kinmen from being over developed. Therefore, the natural environment in Kinmen is preserved completely and fully. The uncontaminated white sand attracts thousands and thousands of spectacular migratory birds. There are approximately 315 species that periodically reside in Kinmen.