70 years on: Dachen Island
Dachen Island, 52 kilometers from Taizhou's urban area, emerges as a hit tourism destination. [Photo/taizhou.com.cn]
Formerly a desolate island devastated by wars, Dachen Island, after 70 years' development, is now "a pearl of the East China Sea", and lauded as such by China Central Television in an installment of a series of reports marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of New China.
Dachen Island, 52 kilometers from the urban area of Taizhou, East China's Zhejiang province, is comprised of 29 small islets and occupies 14.6 square kilometers.
The island was liberated by the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) in 1955, when it was nothing but a barren land torn apart by years of war.
In a bid to restore and develop the island, numerous volunteers were sent there to reclaim the wasteland. Official data shows that from 1956 to 1960, five batches of 467 volunteers, primarily from Taizhou and its neighboring city Wenzhou, set foot on the island.
Over the years, the farmland, with their efforts, rose to more than 1,000 mus (66.6 hectares) with an annual output of 1.39 million kilograms of potatoes and other crops, which laid a solid foundation for the island's subsequent economic growth.
After the nation's reform and opening up in 1978, a flurry of reservoirs and wind power plants were established on the island. Relying on rich fishery resources, Dachen became a national first-class fishing port, where tens of thousands of fishermen worked every year.
However, with the rapid exhaustion of fishery resources, the development of the island came to a sudden halt.