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May 27, 2017

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Police hunt thieves of decoration honoring late Kinmen general

Police on the offshore island of Kinmen are looking for three people in connection with the theft of both the badge and the tricolor cordon of the Order of Blue Sky and White Sun with Grand Cordon (青天白日勳章) conferred on former Commander-in-chief of the Kinmen Defense Command General Hu Lien (胡璉).

Security camera footage shows three people unscrewed the two sides of the acrylic showcase containing the decoration at 3:15 p.m. on Friday, May 4, on the third-floor exhibition hall in the Chukuang House (莒光樓), a structure built to commemorate the battles fought on the island.

The market price of one such Order of Blue Sky and White Sun with Grand Cordon is estimated at NT$8 million.

The missing item was conferred on Hu, one of the 209 recipients of the country's second highest military award since its creation in 1929, in recognition of his courage and valor in the defense of western Hupeh (now Hubei) against advancing Japanese troops in mid-1943. Hu was then a deputy commander of an army corps.

Troops under Hu's command drove back invading Chinese Communists forces in the October, 1949, Battle of Kuningtou (古寧頭之役) in Kinmen and then succeeded in defending the offshore island against massive Chinese Communist artillery bombardment in what is now called the "August 23 Kinmen Duel of Guns" in 1958, a year after Hu was made the commander-in-chief of the Kinmen Defense Command.

Hu died in 1977.

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