Hualien County

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Hualien County
花蓮縣
County
Top:Liyu Lake, Second left:A cigarette product house in Fenglin, Second right:Taroco Gorge in Cross Island Highway, Third left:Qixingtan Beach in Xincheng, Third right:Hualien Railroad Station, Bottom left:Cingshui Cliffs near Suhua Highway, Bottom right:A paddy field in Shoufeng, backyard in Central Mountain Range
Top:Liyu Lake, Second left:A cigarette product house in Fenglin, Second right:Taroco Gorge in Cross Island Highway, Third left:Qixingtan Beach in Xincheng, Third right:Hualien Railroad Station, Bottom left:Cingshui Cliffs near Suhua Highway, Bottom right:A paddy field in Shoufeng, backyard in Central Mountain Range
Flag of Hualien County
Flag
Coat of arms of Hualien County
Coat of arms
Taiwan ROC political division map Hualien County.svg
Coordinates: 23°58′33.86″N 121°36′17.32″E / 23.9760722°N 121.6048111°E / 23.9760722; 121.6048111Coordinates: 23°58′33.86″N 121°36′17.32″E / 23.9760722°N 121.6048111°E / 23.9760722; 121.6048111
CountryRepublic of China (Taiwan)
RegionEastern Taiwan
SeatHualien City
Largest cityHualien City
Boroughs1 cities, 12 (2 urban, 10 rural) townships
Government
 • County MagistrateTsai Pi-chung (acting)
Area
 • Total4,628.5714 km2 (1,787.1014 sq mi)
Area rank1 of 22
Population (December 2014)
 • Total333,392[1]
 • Rank20 of 22
Time zoneUTC+8 (National Standard Time)
Websitewww.hl.gov.tw
Symbols
BirdMaroon Oriole (Oriolus traillii)
FlowerLotus (Nymphaeaceae)
TreePeepul (Ficus religiosa)
Hualien County
Traditional Chinese花蓮
Simplified Chinese花莲

Hualien County (Mandarin Pinyin: Huālián Xiàn; Taiwanese Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Hoa-lian-koān or Hoa-liân-koān; Hakka Pha̍k-fa-sṳ: Fâ-lièn yen; Amis: Kalingko) is a county on the east coast of Taiwan. It is the largest county by area, yet due to its mountainous terrain, has one of the lowest populations in the country. The county seat and largest city is Hualien City.

Most of the population resides in the Huadong Valley, which runs north to south, sandwiched between the Central and Hai'an mountain ranges. Due to the rural nature of the county, Hualien attracts many visitors for its natural environment, which includes Taroko Gorge, Qingshui Cliff, and Qixingtan Beach.

History[edit]

Modern-day Hualien City was originally called Kiray (Chinese: 奇萊; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Kî-lâi), after the Sakiraya Taiwanese aborigines and their settlement.[2]

Spanish settlers arrived in 1622 to pan for gold. Picking up the sounds of native words, these settlers called the area Turumoan (多羅滿; To-lô-boán). Han Chinese settlers arrived in 1851. Qing Dynasty records give the name of the region as Huilan (洄瀾; Hoê-liân; "eddies") due to the whirling of waters in the delta.

Empire of Japan[edit]

During Taiwan's Japanese colonial period (1895-1945) the island's Japanese governors opted not to transliterate the name "Kiray" because the Japanese pronunciation of the word resembled the Japanese word for "dislike, disgusting" (嫌い, kirai). The official name became Karen Harbour (花蓮港, Karenkō). Karenkō Prefecture consisted of modern-day Hualien County. Toward the end of World War II the Governor-General of Taiwan moved many Japanese residents of Taiwan to the area to develop agriculture.

Republic of China[edit]

After Japan's surrender in 1945, the rule of Taiwan was passed to the Kuomintang government of the Republic of China. Hualien was established as a county named Hualien County of Taiwan Province on 25 December 1945.

A few years later, the Kuomintang soon became refugees in Taiwan following the rise of Communism in China (1949) but continued to govern the island according to the Republic of China constitution. In 1951 Hualien was the first county in Taiwan to be governed according to the ROC local autonomy law.

In the 1980s and 1990s Taiwan transformed itself into a self-governing multiparty democracy. Today the Hualien area serves as the key population centre on the east coast as well as the one of five main life circle regions in Taiwan,together with Taipei, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung.

Geography[edit]

Hualien County is situated in eastern Taiwan Island. It faces the Pacific Ocean to the east, Central Mountain Range to the west bordering Taichung City, Nantou County and Kaohsiung City, Yilan County to the north and Taitung County to the south. It stretches around 137.5 km (85.4 mi) from north to south with its width ranging from 27 to 43 km (17 to 27 mi) long from east to west. Its area is about 4,628.57 km2 (1,787.10 sq mi) and occupies one eighth of Taiwan's total area.

Despite its vast area, only 7% of the county area is populated. The remaining area is occupied by rivers (7%) and mountains (87%). Mountains are composed of Central Mountain Range in the west and Haian Range in the east. The main rivers in the county are the Hualian River, Xiuguluan River and their branches. The plains stretch along the valleys between both mountain ranges with a width around 3–6 km (1.9–3.7 mi). Due to the restriction of its landscape, Hualien people reside mostly on the alluvial fans of the Huatung Valley plains.[3]

Government[edit]

Hualien City, the county seat of Hualien County.

Administrative divisions[edit]

Hualien County is divided into 1 city, 2 urban townships, 7 rural townships and 3 mountain indigenous townships. Some towns have Japanese names because these towns were named by Japanese during the Japanese ruling period from 1895 to 1945. Hualien City is the county seat and houses the Hualien County Government and Hualien County Council.[4]

Type Name Chinese Taiwanese Hakka Formosan Japanese Origin
City Hualien City 花蓮市 Hoa-lian or
Hoa-liân
Fâ-lièn KalinkoAmis, NabakuwanSakizaya Karenkō (花蓮港)
Urban
townships
Fenglin 鳳林鎮 Hōng-lîm Fung-lìm MarlimuAmis
Yuli 玉里鎮 Gio̍k-lí Ngiu̍k-lî PoskoAmis Tamasato (玉里)
Rural
townships
Fengbin 豐濱鄉 Hong-pin Fûng-pîn FakonAmis, BakungKavalan Toyohama (豊浜)
Fuli 富里鄉 Hù-lí Fu-lî KongpoAmis Tomisato (富里)
Guangfu 光復鄉 Kong-ho̍k Kông-fu̍k Fata'anAmis
Ji'an 吉安鄉 Kiat-an Kit-ôn CikasuanAmis Yoshino (吉野)
Ruisui 瑞穗鄉 Sūi-sūi Lui-sui KohkohAmis Mizuho (瑞穂)
Shoufeng 壽豐鄉 Siū-hong Su-fûng CiamenganAmis Kotobuki (寿)
Xincheng 新城鄉 Sin-siâⁿ Sîn-sàng SinjiyuTruku, TakidisAmis
Mountain
indigenous
townships
Wanrong 萬榮鄉 Bān-êng Van-yùng MalibasiTruku
Xiulin 秀林鄉 Siù-lîm Siu-lìm BsuringTruku
Zhuoxi 卓溪鄉 Toh-khe Cho̍k-hâi TakkeiBunun

Colors indicate the common language status of Hakka and Formosan languages within each division.

Politics[edit]

Hualien County voted one Democratic Progressive Party legislator to be in the Legislative Yuan during the 2016 Republic of China legislative election.[5] The incumbent acting Magistrate of the county is the independent Tsai Pi-chung since 17 September 2018.

Demographics and culture[edit]

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1985 361,549—    
1990 352,233−2.6%
1995 358,981+1.9%
2000 353,630−1.5%
2005 345,303−2.4%
2010 338,805−1.9%
2015 331,945−2.0%
Source:"Populations by city and country in Taiwan". Ministry of the Interior Population Census.
Population density around the county (December 2009).

Population[edit]

Hualien County has 333,392 inhabitants as of December 2014 and is divided into 1 city and 12 townships. Its late development means that many aboriginal cultures such as Amis, Atayal, Bunun, Truku, Sakizaya and Kavalan are well-preserved. As of 2014, aborigines make up 27.5% of the population of Hualien County (about 91,675).[6] The Hakka people comprise about 30% of inhabitants.[1]

The county has seen a negative population growth over the past few years due to emigration to other places outside Hualien County with an average reduction of 1,393 people per year over the past 18 years.

According to a 2015 survey on national happiness index, Hualien County was rated as the happiest place to live in Taiwan among other 20 counties and cities due to the residents happiness driven by strong levels of satisfaction with work-life balance, living condition, education, environmental quality and the performance of the local government.[7]

Belief[edit]

The internationally famous Buddhist Tzu Chi foundation is headquartered in Hualien City. There are also many temples around the county. Buddhism and Folk religions are popular in Hualien County.[8] Hualien County also has the highest concentration of Roman Catholics in Taiwan at 9.46% of the population.[9]

Sports[edit]

Hualien County is home to the Hualien Stadium and Hualien Baseball Stadium.

Because of its awesome scenic view, fresh air, fine weather, and plenty of well-maintained bike trails, Hualien County is a popular destination for cyclist enthusiasts and marathon runners. Many cycling tournaments and marathon events are held each year in Hualien County. For example, Taiwan KOM Challenge[10] and Taroko Gorge Marathon.[11]

Economy[edit]

Cement plant in Xincheng Township.

There is cement mining activity in the county. The Asia Cement Corporation plant in Xincheng Township contributes nearly 29% of Taiwan's annual cement production.[12]

Education[edit]

The Hualien County Department of Education lists in all 6 institutions of higher learning within the county's borders as well as 15 high schools, 35 junior high schools and 151 elementary schools, though some of the listed elementary campuses have been closed for years due to their remote location or to low enrollments. Hualien County is home to National Dong Hwa University, Tzu Chi University, Taiwan Hospitality and Tourism University, Tzu Chi University of Science and Technology and Dahan Institute of Technology.

Energy[edit]

Hualien County houses the hydroelectric Bihai Power Plant with an installed capacity of 61.2 MW and coal-fired Hoping Power Plant with a capacity of 1,320 MW, the fourth largest coal-fired power plant in Taiwan. Both power plants are located in Xiulin Township.

Due to the power plant, Hoping is also the location of a deep water bulk cargo port. Hoping port is located in Hoping Village, Xiulin Township.[13]

Tourist attractions[edit]

Nature[edit]

National parks in the county are Matai'an Wetland Ecological Park, Taroko National Park and Yushan National Park. The county is also home to several mountains and cliffs, such as Hehuan Mountain, Pingfeng Mountain, Qilai Mountain and Qingshui Cliff. Other natural areas include the Liyu Lake, Shihtiping, Mugua River Gorge, Walami Trail, Niushan Huting, East Rift Valley, Rareseed Ranch and Chihsingtan Beach.

Museums[edit]

Museums and historical buildings in Hualien County include Pine Garden, Saoba Stone Pillars, Hualien Cultural and Creative Industries Park, Chihsing Tan Katsuo Museum and Hualien County Stone Sculptural Museum.

Theme parks[edit]

Farglory Ocean Park is in Hualien County.

Temples and shrines[edit]

Hualien Martyrs' Shrine, Eternal Spring Shrine and Xiangde Temple are located in the county.

Markets[edit]

Night markets in the county are Dongdamen Night Market.

Transportation[edit]

Relative location[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]