It’s Kinmen’s Turn, and a Last Chance for Taiwan?

On October 28, 2017, Kinmen Island will hold a referendum in which the residents will be asked if they would support the establishment of casino-based tourism resorts on the island. Kinmen (also known as Quemoy) is a Taiwan-controlled island located off the coast of China, just outside Xiamen harbor.   In 1949, Kinmen was the site of a major battle between the forces of the Communist armies of the People’s Republic of China and the Nationalist army of the Republic of China (Taiwan). In the 1950’s and 1960’s Kinmen was shelled repeatedly by China, but since the establishment of the Mini Three Links in 2001, tourists from the mainland have been visiting Kinmen on a regular basis, primarily arriving on the ferry service from Xiamen. Kinmen will be the third of Taiwan’s offshore islands to hold such a referendum. The ability of offshore islands like Kinmen to hold county-wide referendums on...

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