Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Taiwan: the small archipelago that defended itself from China with music

Imagine that you are forced to listen to music at full volume day and night.

Now imagine what it would be like to endure that kind of torture for decades.

It was one of the tactics used by the Taiwanese government in a propaganda war against Communist China. quemoy island, Also known as Kinmen.

24 hours a day, every day for more than two decades, a giant 10-metre-high loudspeaker built in front of the enemy’s coast blew the residents of Xiamen, mainland China, to music -a Taiwanese light song- Or with speeches inviting Chinese soldiers to switch sides.

about this Beishan Riley WallAn impressive concrete construction that housed 48 powerful speakers whose sounds could reach 25 kilometers away, that is, beyond the afflicted Xiamen, from where China also responded with the same coin.

This peculiar psychological war, which exhausted the inhabitants of both coasts, lasted until 1979, when the United States recognized Communist China and the balance of forces in the region changed.

a major archipelago

The small archipelago, made up of several islands, rises less than 10 kilometers off the Chinese coast and has been under Taiwanese sovereignty ever since Nationalist troops chiang kai shek He was expelled from the mainland by Mao Zedong’s communists in 1949.

same year, a blood feud In which the Kuomintang managed to prevent communist troops from occupying Taiwan. The status quo that was established then continues to this day.

Anti-Tank Defenses On A Beach In Qomoy With The Chinese City Of Xiamen In The Background.
Anti-tank defenses on a beach in Qomoy with the Chinese city of Xiamen in the background.

However, the islands were the scene of new conflicts between the Nationalists and the Communists during the latter The Taiwan Straits Crisis in 1954 and 1958.

After this second confrontation, the Chinese and Taiwan bombed each other on alternate days for two decades. Communists fired on odd days and nationalists on even days.,

But, although there was live fire in the exchanges and during that time, military objectives were struck and soldiers were killed, most of the “bombs” had propaganda leaflets.

with photos of Octavilla A smiling and philanthropist Chiang Kai-shekInviting the Chinese population to blame, photos of soldiers who fled communist China by swimming in quaymoy, and even – surprisingly – stamps of young people Taiwanese celebrating their weddingIt rained on the Xiamen sky.

Promotions, and small gifts such as soap bars also arrived on the continent. balloons released from cumoy When the winds were favorable and they had a timer so that they would lose altitude when they were over Xiamen. or beer bottlesThose who were thrown overboard from the island to reach the shores of the continent.

Continuous propaganda was carried out over radio waves as well.

light song

In 1967, however, a new device came into operation, and with it, the cutest of taiwanese weaponslight song star Teresa Teng.

Teng, known as the “Eternal Queen of Asian Pop”, was very popular on both sides of the strait and apparently, One of the favorite singers of Communist leader Deng Xiaoping.

The Promotion Started With Megaphone.
The promotion started with Megaphone.Getty Images

His music was one of the most thundering hits from Bisha Broadcast Vol.

In the style of other stars such as Marlene Dietrich or Marilyn Monroe, who lent herself to provoking soldiers, Teresa Teng traveled to the island on several occasions to speak in person via giant loudspeakers to the residents of Xiaomi, and told them that she was looking forward to their visit and that freedom was the only hope for their country.

In the decades that followed, until the 1990s, a further four relay stations were built in the Cuomo Islands to continue to transmit messages and music to China.

Several thousand km from there. South Korea As of 2018, he has used similar techniques with his enemies of the North, torturing them with propaganda messages and gang music. k pop,

But, when the vocals of songs such as “Tian Mi Mi” (Too Sweet) were flown across the ocean to reach the mainland, the Communists fought off the mainland using the same strategy.

Remains Of A Tank On A Beach In Quemoy.
Remains of a tank on a beach in Quemoy.Getty Images

Life on the island was very difficult during the Sonic War and it took a toll on the mental health of its residents. Silence became a real luxury.

Ling Ma-Teng, who served in the Taiwanese military during the war and authored five books on the history of the Cuomo, told BBC Culture a few years ago that the sound he received from China matched the sound coming from the island. Was. Heard “loud like thunder.” It was not possible to avoid the noise,” the music continued to play non-stop and became noisy. it made us mentally exhausted,

tourist spot

Broadcasting continued until the 1990s, when a . ceased to be governed by Iron Marshal ReignYears after the rest of Taiwan became a democracy.

Even today they can be heard, at a very low level, for the hundreds of tourists, mostly Chinese, who visit the island.

Since 2001 a sneaky opening along the continent was introduced, known as the policy “Three Mini Links”Which has re-established lesser transport, postal and commercial connections with Xiamen, the archipelago has become a tourist destination for curious Chinese people who want to be photographed with the war relics that still remain on its beaches. and visit the traditional constructions made in the island. ,

An island where Teresa Teng’s melodious voice resonates.

Nation World News Desk
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