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Lawmakers, civic groups call for demilitarization of outlying islet

Lawmakers, civic groups call for demilitarization of outlying islet

Pan-green lawmakers and civic groups Friday asked the Ministry of National Defense to demilitarize the Taiwan-held outlying islet of Wuchiu located near China's Fujian Province.
Ruling Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Huang Wei-che and allied Taiwan Solidarity Union colleagues Ho Min-hao and Lo Chih-ming, along with representatives of civic groups and a Wuchiu resident jointly called on the Defense Ministry "to return Wuchiu to the civilians."
Lo pointedj out that Wuchiu, with an area of 1.2 square kilometers and located between Taiwan's outlying islands of Kinmen and Matzu, is the only Taiwan-held islet still under military control and its 50 residents live under conditions like the martial-law era.
Lo said the Defense Ministry has prevented Taiwan residents from visiting Wuchiu, citing military concern, bad sailing conditions and lack of space for ferry service facilities on the islet.
The TSU lawmaker suggested that Wuchiu -- located about 20 nautical miles away from Fujian Province's Meizhou Island -- be opened to tourists for sightseeing without prior approval from the Defense Ministry.
Wuchiu, under the administrative jurisdiction of Kinmen, is Taiwan's smallest rural township, with a population of around 350, most of whom are military personnel.
There is no regular ferry service between Kinmen and Wuchiu. A former elementary school on the islet has been closed for several years.


Updated : 2021-05-08 06:28 GMT+08:00