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Taiwan, China islands hold exchange forum

2012/05/03 22:16:11

Taipei, May 3 (CNA) Taiwan's offshore island of Kinmen hosted a tourism forum and a painting and photography exhibition Thursday in collaboration with Taiwan's Penghu and China's Dongshan islands, paving the way for future exchanges among the three islands.

Kinmen County Magistrate Li Wo-shi said the three islands have already engaged in exchanges in the areas of sports, culture, trade and tourism.

Each of the islands has unique characteristics and the three should combine them to promote tourism and more exchanges, he said.

Penghu County Magistrate Wang Chien-fa said he plans to host the exchange forum next year during the Lantern Festival to publicize the practice of "chikuei," the offering of turtle figurines, as part of the festival's celebrations on the island.

Chikuei refers to the practice in which temples prepare small figurines of turtles made of glutinous rice or noodles for people who throw three divination blocks to take home for luck. Those who take home the turtle figurines must bring back a bigger turtle figurine the following year to show their gratitude.

Turtles are considered to be able to bring good luck because of their longevity.

In addition, Wang said the county government will take advantage of the abundant ocean resources and wind power to create sustainable energy.

Dongshan County head Huang Shuimu, who was visiting Kinmen for the third time, said he hoped the three islands will become a successful model for cross-Taiwan Strait exchanges through more cooperation.

The exchange forum was inaugurated in Dongshan last year and has become an annual event among the three participants.

(By Chen Shou-gow and Jamie Wang)