Gov't mulls outlying front-line islets tourism
By Joseph Yeh,The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Cabinet units are still considering whether to open two outlying front-line islets up to tourists, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said yesterday.
February 21, 2013, 12:04 am TWN
The proposal to allow travel to Dadan (大膽) and Erdan (二膽) islets as a means of promoting tourism in the offshore island county of Kinmen (金門) is still being reviewed, a MND statement said yesterday.
Until a decision is made, the two islets, which currently serve as military outposts, will remain off-limits to the public for national security reasons, it said.
But if the central government approves the proposal, the MND hopes the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) and other law enforcement authorities can take over responsibility for the security of the islets, it added.
The MND's comments came after local media reports yesterday claimed the Kinmen government has reached an agreement with the military to demilitarize and open the islets up to visitors, including those from mainland China, within three years.
Kinmen Magistrate Li Wo-shi (李沃士) was quoted in the reports as saying that his government will renovate the transportation and utility infrastructures of Dadan and Erdan in the next two years so that they can be ready for tourists.
The two islets administered as part of offshore Kinmen County lie only 7 nautical miles off Xiamen in China's Fujian province, and are now occupied by military personnel with no civilians.
Dadan covers an area of 0.79 square kilometers, while Erdan has a size of 0.28 square kilometers.