Matsu is an archipelago lying between China and Taiwan, where pristine fishing villages used to settle. The shortest distance between Matsu and Mainland China is merely 10 km, with only a strip of water separating them. However, since the Nationalist Government moved to Taiwan in 1949, the Islands’ fate had been turned upside down. After the takeover of the National Revolutionary Army, the villages had been transformed into an outpost for alleging resistance against the Mainland. Since then, the archipelago that abuts the Mainland had been completely isolated while guarding the faraway Taiwan that seemed foreign to it. During the heyday, there were 50 000 soldiers stationed on the Islands which were several times more than that of the locals. Such lifestyle with more soldiers than residents as well as the everyday life of the islanders under the threat of war and death had all been kept a secret for strategic reasons.
As times have changed, the cross-strait relationship is no longer on a tightrope these days, the mission of Matsu has therefore changed. Most of the soldiers have withdrawn from Matsu, and those military strongholds, bunkers and underground tunnels that were built incessantly for this unwaged war in the course of the 36-year stationary, have all become ruins. Meanwhile, since the soldiers who had been supporting the Islands’ economy have left, the islanders’ livelihood could not be sustained, hence departure form Matsu, making it a more desolate place after it regained freedom.
However, more have chosen to stay, including a young lady who returned from studying in Taiwan and has visited all ruins on the Islands in 3 years; and an experienced former Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs who have altered the military strongholds into cafés and family-run lodgings. They view the ruins as the unique legacies of Matsu and make those behind the times fashionable. Among the ruins, they seek for the future of Matsu.