Cultural festival cements cross-Straits ties

Updated: 2020-12-03

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The annual cross-Straits cultural festival was recently staged on Dachen Island in Taizhou's Jiaojiang district Nov 29, with the attendance of more than 100 Taiwan residents.

Dachen Island, situated to the southeast of Taizhou Bay, was liberated by the People's Liberation Army in 1955. More than 10,000 local residents moved to Taiwan as Kuomintang troops retreated from the island. 

Currently, there are still over 100,000 Taiwan residents who are of Dachen origin, and they still retain the cultural customs and living habits they had on the island and mostly use the Taizhou dialect.

Since its inception in 2015, the cultural festival has been held annually in Taizhou to cement cross-Straits exchanges.

This year, the 100-plus participants from Taiwan primarily travelled from Kunshan, Hangzhou, Wenzhou, Jinhua and Yiwu.

Among them was Shao Jieyu, who graduated from Soochow University, Taiwan. It was the first time for Shao to visit Dachen Island. His parents moved to Taiwan before he was born.

The trip to the island enabled Shao to see what his mother had described to him durring his childhood. 

Recently, Dachen Island has been designated a cross-Straits exchange base.

A 163-nautical-mile passenger sea route linking Taizhou's Damaiyu with Taiwan's Keelung opened on Jan 7, 2009, and is the only direct sea passenger route linking the Yangtze River Delta to Taiwan. 

With the opening of the passenger sea route, a number of Taiwan residents from Dachen have returned to Taizhou to seek out their roots, visit relatives, travel and explore business opportunities.