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The Abandoned Island of Xiji

The island of Xiji sits today as a wraith among the islands of Penghu County in the Taiwan Strait. Abandoned in 1978 as a result of Taiwan's economic miracle, it is a testament to the less acknowledged effects of industrialization. For centuries, Xiji was a typical traditional Chinese community whose residents subsisted on agriculture and the bounty of the ocean. During the 1970s, as was typical with many small communities at the time, many of its youth migrated to Taiwan's industrializing cities in search of higher wages.