Qingjing, Taiwan (Indonesia Window) – Taiwan’s struggle to become an independent territory from Japan and China in 1947 – 1952 had left a number of veterans.
Although the veterans have no longer military careers, it does not mean that the government forgets those who have contributed to maintaining Formosa Island as a territory of Taiwan or also called the Republic of China (ROC).
According to a guide from the Taiwan Tourism Bureau, Luke Lu, the lives of retired military members in Taiwan were guaranteed by the government by establishing an agricultural area in Qingjing known as the Qingjing Farm.
“The Taiwanese government is building agricultural land in Qingjing to finance the lives of veterans,” Luke explained when guiding several Indonesian journalists who were invited by the Taiwanese Government on February 7-12, 2020, to enjoy tourist services that pay much attention to the needs of Muslims.
Since the initial purpose of building Qingjing Farm in 1961 was to empower and guarantee the lives of veterans, the 760-hectare agricultural land at the height of 1,748 meters in Nantou County was under the Veterans Bureau of the Ministry of Defense.
“There are 350 hybrid sheep in Qingjing Farm whose fur and meat can be utilized. Usually, the meat of the sheep whose fur is utilized is not eaten because the meat is not tasty. Meanwhile, the sheep whose meat is eaten do not have good fur,” explained Luke, who has been working as a tour guide for 35 years.
Not only does the Qingjing farm, dubbed “Foggy Eden”, serve as a farm where sheep and cattle are grazed, but also functions as a recreational area that provides a variety of attractions for all people.
A sheep shearing show like the one in New Zealand, and a horse riding performance from Kazakhstan are two of many interesting attractions at the Qingjing Farm.
Visitors can also enjoy the beautiful view of Qingjing Farm which is on a steep slope mountains covered by mist, and also the stunning cherry blossoms in white, pink and red.
Muslim travelers need not worry about spending the night in Qingjing because MFT (Muslim-Friendly Tourism) and MFR (Muslim-Friendly Restaurant) are available. One of them is Qingjing Farm Guest House under the Veterans Bureau which provides prayer mats and Qibla direction in the bedrooms.
The Qingjing Farm, about 262 kilometers from the capital of Taipei, was first inhabited by 12 veterans in April 1961.
Then, in July of the same year the Military Veterans Position Committee at the Yuan Executive Board initiated the Guo Lei project by drawing 211 guerrillas, including the dependents called Yimin from the Burma border region to the Qingjing Farm.
Other 50 veterans lived in Qingjing in July 1962, and thus the settlement area was extended.
In 1965, 20 other veterans arrived in Qingjing, bringing the total number of Yimin to Qingjing Farm to 301 people and 70 veterans.
The expansion of the Qingjing Agricultural area stopped in 1980 after the veterans and their families were settled.
Reporting by Indonesia Window