Kinmen: "One Country, Two Systems" test site

In all the hoopla last week, I guess I missed this piece of news:

The county head (head? leader?) for Kinmen proposed re-defining Kinmen as a “one country two systems experimental district”. He makes it clear that he’s not proposing a model that’s identical to the Hong Kong or Macau model. His primary goal are economic and development advantages: free transport of people and goods; closer economic cooperation and lower tariffs, etc.

He believes thinking of Kinmen is as a “mainland coastal island with a long history of Taiwanese legal administration” is the right way out. He believes it’s an ideal test-bed for measuring the effectiveness of “one country, two systems” when applied to Taiwan.

First reactions:

  1. I guess they’ll be needing a flag, then!

  2. Why don’t we go farther, and declare Jinmen to be an experiemental site for world peace? Every country in the world should agree not to attack Jinmen (or vice versa), and if that works out okay, then expand the area gradually, until world peace is achieved.

  3. So, would this proposal involve any actual changes to Jinmen’s legal system? I don’t suppose they are planning to secede from the ROC… Oh wait, this guy just wants a common market. Is that all that China wants?!

  4. I thought that China had tacitly agreed to move beyond “One Country Two Systems” (apparently the focus groups didn’t like it), and was going to try proposing some third system.

What would be really funny is to watch Jinmen’s economy exceed Taiwan’s economy. Then it would confirm that the DPP economic strategy towards the mainland was appropriate.

ac_dropout, and how would Jinmen economy exceed Taiwan? Only if they would have some extra things (bank secrecy, casinos, etc…) they would do it. Either than that, it is just rubbish…

And don’t you think that test beds like these indicated that there is only one future, and that is reunification?

Or maybe Formosa will get a different one - Let us see, one that everyone in the world recognizes (even the PRC), has full voice in the UN, the WHO and can go to whatever they want under the ROC/ROT/ROP flag. What about that?

Er…tourism? It seems quite attainable to me, given Jinmen’s proximity to Xiamen and the rapid economic progress of the latter. Free transport and economic integration of Jinmen and Xiamen would certainly generate economic develpment on both sides.

Per capita GDP:
Taiwan (including Taiwan-administered islands of Fujian Province) (2004): USD13,529
Xiamen (2003): About USD6,500
PRC as a whole (2004): USD1,273

I haven’t found a separate figure for Jinmen (Kinmen)'s per capita GDP.


Jinmen is not Taiwan. It is an offshore island of Fujian Province, currently administered by the Republic of China government in Taiwan. No need to contradict me - just ask any Jinmenese you meet this simple question - “Are you Taiwanese?”

Banking hub.
Legalize gambling and prostitution.
“Free-zone” for import-export.
Holiday Resort island.
Gao Liang research facility (G-d I hate that stuff).
"Duty Free"shopping.
Gambling cruise junkets.

Just preparing for the PRC take-over…?

Kinmen could very possibly thrive as exactly what TainanCowboy suggests.

Look at Macau. With a population of 500k, it’s per capita GDP is now $25k (even before PPP calculations). This places it higher than former colonial power Portugal, for example.

Or, for that matter, look at the S.E.Z. (special economic zones) the PRC setup 2 decades ago. Shenzhen was many tmes wealthier than the immediately surrounding area because of its special role in import + export processing.

And disrespect for the Taiwanese government…? I thought TI-supporters respected the right of self-determination. They should be supportive of human beings exercising their right to live in a nation of their choice.

cctang, Jinmen is part of the ROC, and because of that, they will also have to be under the self-determination right of the whole ROC, not only for their own small island.

As for the rest, Banking Hub would be ok, specially if they would get a Clearstream type of operation in there. In fact, making Taiwan/PRC banking better is something this government should look at, although it is not easy.

Free Zone for import and export would collide would HK, and therefore would be infrastructural dependent (which means, a huge investment would be needed).

Holiday Resort Island… is the Taiwan Straight Water that clean?

Duty free shopping… again, goes against HK… meaning huge investment in infrastructures.

Note this:


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.[/quote]

Seems the residents of Kinmen would like to be part of Taiwan rather than the PRC …

Do people from Jinmen still need to pass through Hong Kong to reach the mainland despite the island’s proximity to Fujian?

Perhaps establishing direct travel links between Jinmen and the mainland could be a good trial experiment, if they do not already exist.

direct swim link?

There are already the so-called “mini three links”, which allows direct transit via ferry. The rules in terms of what/who are allowed to participate in this process are limited, something that presumably would be changed later.

And as far as the position of the early '90s, maybe the residents of Kinmen didn’t appreciate the idea of being tied to a billion poor mainland Chinese cousins… or maybe they, like most Chinese (mainland/HK/overseas), refuse to accept the idea of a political separation between Taiwan and the rest of China.

Explain that again? By your definition, self-determination rights are only available for a “nation”… rather than their own small island?

I’m not sure I disagree with you… but do your own positions make sense in your own head?

sorry cctang, but is there a time on history where you can identify Jinmen as part of something different?

Self determination implies that there has to be a boundary definition.
Take it as you want, but my notion for self-determination needs a little bit more than yours, I guess. Maybe some centuries of history and a different culture. Otherwise, there would be nations popping everywhere, and we don’t see that, do we?


  • The Dutch occupied Taiwan island proper, while Zheng Chenggon/Koxinga launched his invasion of Taiwan from Jinmen itself.

  • Jinmen is/was always administratively part of Fujian province. Even today, in the ROC, it’s outside of “Taiwan province”.

  • Jinmen was not part of the territory handed over to Japan in 1895, and was never part of the Japanese empire.

Glad to have educated you.

Ok, then let them decide whatever they want to do with their island. In fact, kick out the KMT and let the people from the Taiwan Province decide what to do with their island.

You’re confused, mr_boogie.

I’m not the one that suggested “small islands” should have the unilateral right of self-determination based on rules about “history” pulled out of mid-air; it’s you and the TI folks who’ve made that argument. I don’t support unilateral Taiwanese independence, nor do I support unilateral Kinmen independence.

However, although you were quick to support Taiwanese independence, you’re less quick to support Taipei or Jinmen reunification. Why? Because you don’t really have a principle that defines what you’re agitating for. You’re agitating for a result, not a cause.

And if we “kick out the KMT”, should we also kick out the > 50% of the Taiwanese electorate that voted for them? (Always interesting when someone visiting as a temporary guest decides they have the right to move around the furniture.)

mr boogie,

Might I suggest you read up on pan-Green literature on the subject and toe the TSU party line on the matter concerning Jinman. As the revered spiritual leader, LTH, suggested in his holy publication, Jinman should be returned to the PRC. This will resolve the contradiction in TI logic.

Father of Democracy on Taiwan bless us all.