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Quemoy or Kinmen (金門, pinyin Jīnmén, local: Kim1 Mng5) (pop. 43,000) is a small archipelago of several islands administrated by the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan: Greater Quemoy (大金門), Lesser Quemoy (小金門), and some islets. Administratively, it is in the Kinmen County of Fujian Province. The county is claimed as part of Fujian's Quanzhou Prefecture by the People's Republic of China. Matsu is the other set of islands on the Fujian coast controlled by the ROC.

Many of the inhabitants speak the Southern Min language. Quemoy is geographically very near Xiamen.

Table of contents
1 Name
2 History
3 Politics
4 Townships
5 External links


"Quemoy"/"Kim1 Mng5", meaning "Golden Door" or "Golden Gate", is in the Min language, "Kinmen" an obscure Mandarin Romanization. (The formerly popular Wade-Giles reads "Chin-men".)


The island was the site of extensive shelling between PRC and ROC forces in the 1950s and 1960s and 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.

The island was a military preserve until the mid-1990s when it was returned to civilian government and travel to and from Taiwan was allowed. Because of its military situation, development on Quemoy was extremely limited and it is now a popular weekend tourist destination for Taiwanese and is known for its quiet villages and beaches. Direct travel between the Mainland China and Quemoy was opened in 2002, and there has been extensive tourism development on the island in anticipation of Mainland tourists. However, direct travel was suspended in 2003 as a result of the SARS outbreak.


The island consistently votes for the pan-blue coalition. Until the early 1990s, proponents of Taiwan independence argued that they would consider handing Quemoy to the PRC in any negotiated settlement. This did not sit well with residents, and the Democratic Progressive Party has sharply backed away from that position to the extent that it added Quemoy and the other small islands to its party flag which contains a map of Taiwan.


Kinmen County is subdivided into six townships: All those townships on Greater Quemoy Island start their names with Chin ("gold"). Lieyü Township encompasses the entire Lesser Quemoy Island, and is closest to Xiamen. Wuch'iu Township is comprised of Greater Ch'iu Islet (大坵) and Lesser Ch'iu Islet (小坵).

Chinch'eng and Chinsha are the largest of the six counties. Altogether, there are 93 Quemoy villages, four of which -- all in Chinsha -- are li-village (里), the rest are tsun-villages (村).

See also: Political divisions of the Republic of China

External links