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New exhibition showcases old memories

TAIPEI--2015 will mark 60 years since the retreat from the Dachen Archipelago, the result of which saw 28,000 Nationalist troops and civilians withdraw from the islands to Taiwan, an event that will be marked by an exhibition jointly organized by the Ministry of Culture and CNA.

The precious images on show June 17-July 16 at Taipei's Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall will allow the public a rare glimpse into the years following the Chinese Civil War.

On Jan. 18, 1955, Communist forces launched an all-out attack by land, sea and air on the islands of Yijiangshan, north of the Dachen Islands, off the coast of China's Zhejiang Province.

Under the leadership of Gen. Wang Sheng-ming, the Nationalist forces lost control of the islands, the loss of which left the Dachen Islands vulnerable to attack.

In February of that same year, Nationalist forces decided to withdraw from the Dachen Islands and relocate to Taiwan. This move was successfully executed thanks in no small part to assistance from the U.S. Seventh Fleet, which oversaw the withdrawal of troops and civilian refugees from Dachen to Keelung in Taiwan.

These refugees later resumed their trades as fishermen, farmers, artisans and merchants and relocated to other parts of Taiwan such as Yilan, Kaohsiung, Pingtung, Hualien and Taitung counties.

The people of Dachen carried with them memories of their old lives, but after a period of adjustment and integration, they finally settled down, weaving the fabric of their own backgrounds into Taiwanese society and adding to the country's cultural diversity.

The exhibition will focus on three main aspects: the defense of Dachen, the retreat from Dachen and the resettlement in Taiwan.

There will also be a series of displays covering six aspects of the lives of the Dachen community, both before and after their move to Taiwan.

All the exhibition's photos will be provided by CNA, whose reporters put their lives on the line to record the historic withdrawal from the Dachen Islands to Taiwan.

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