Taiwan Tries to Find Site of First Cross-Straits Submarine Cable

A submarine cable was laid hundred years ago between Taiwan and Fujian, which had a specific significance in China's telecom history and showed as well the close ties on the two sides of the Straits.

Sources from Taiwan show that the landing spot of the cable in the mainland locates in Chuanshi Island, Fujian Province and the other end in Taiwan is somewhere at Tamsui, Taipei County. However, the particular spot is yet to be found. A group of historians of Tamsui region, taking a boat, started searching for it on Sunday, April 22, expecting to restore the"Silk Road for Cross-Straits Telecommunication" , thereby setting up a monument in commemoration of the much-told story in history.

As recorded in historical materials, in view of the inconvenience of communication between Taiwan and the mainland, Liu Mingchuan, first imperial inspector to Taiwan of the Qing Dynasty gave orders to lay the waterway cable across the Straits in 1886, the main function of the cable being to send telegraphs. By 1888, they had completed two submarine cable-lines: one being the 177- nautical mile line between Chuanshi Island and Huwei (Tamsui). It was mainly used for reporting the situations of natural disasters, public security and finance of Taiwan to the Qing royal court and for commercial communications as well. The other is a 53-nautical mile line connecting Anping and Penghu.

The Chuanshi waterway cable in Huwei has a history of 113 years which is the first submarine cable in China's telecom history. Historians of Tamsui region, Curtis Smith, an American scholar on Taiwan history, and the staff of the Telecom Company went to sea looking for the possible landing spot of the Chuanshi waterway cable in Taiwan on April 22.

According to the sources of geographical books, it is estimated that the emerging point of the cable probably lies at the current site of the second Patrol Team of the Maritime Patrol Bureau and the other is likely located somewhere near the current Tamsui Post Office and the Telecom Bureau.

By PD Online Staff Du Minghua

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