Taiping (steamer)

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Memorial to the sinking in Keelung.

The Taiping was a Chinese steamer that sank after a collision with another vessel en route to Taiwan on January 27, 1949, leading to the deaths of over 1500 passengers and crew combined. The ship was packed to nearly twice capacity with over 1,000 refugees fleeing Communism after the Chinese Civil War, traveling from Shanghai to Keelung.[1] Some estimates put the number of passengers at over 1,500,[2] although the ship was only rated to carry 580 passengers.[1] The ship, which left port on January 26, was sailing at night with lights out due to a curfew when it collided with the smaller Chienyuan cargo boat near the Zhoushan Archipelago.[2] A memorial to the ship and its victims was established at Keelung Harbor naval base.[3] The Taiping, which made multiple journeys before its tragic end, has been compared to the Mayflower for its role in bringing Chinese immigrants to Taiwan.[3] It has also been compared to the Titanic due to its tragic loss of life.[4]

In popular culture[edit]

The Crossing, a 2014 film directed by John Woo, is about the sinking of the steamer.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Letu, Xinji. 8 July 2011. "The Sinking of the Chinese Titanic" Beijing Today. p. 14.
  2. ^ a b Iok-sin, Loa (28 January 2008). "Taiping sinking recalled". Taipei Times. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Hsu, Jenny W. (18 January 2009). "Descendants of victims mark Taiping tragedy". Taipei Times. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Lee, Maggie (4 December 2014). "Film Review: The Crossing: Part 1". Variety. Retrieved 26 January 2015.