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Pictures Report

RTS2XT3W
From tools of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
Dotted around Taiwan lie the remains of abandoned bunkers originally built to repel an invasion from China, during a period in the island's history when it was under martial law and fear of a Chinese attack was a part of daily life.

The threat from China, which claims democratic Taiwan as its own to be brought under Beijing's rule by force if needed, has not gone away but the ageing bunkers are no longer needed for defence purposes.

Today, farmers use the retired bunkers as storage rooms for tools, while some have become part of the parks and others along the coast are sought-after spots for photo opportunities by Instagramers seeking "likes" for their sunset views.
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSZ6
January 09, 2020
A former air-raid shelter and storage space for the Taiwanese military stands behind a family grave in...
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
A former air-raid shelter and storage space for the Taiwanese military stands behind a family grave in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, January 2, 2020. Dotted around Taiwan lie the remains of abandoned bunkers originally built to repel an invasion from China, during a period in the island's history when it was under martial law and fear of a Chinese attack was a part of daily life.

REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSZ3
January 09, 2020
A person waits to watch the sunset at a former military observation post in Leidishan Natural Park, Kaohsiung,...
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
A person waits to watch the sunset at a former military observation post in Leidishan Natural Park, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. The threat from China, which claims democratic Taiwan as its own to be brought under Beijing's rule by force if needed, has not gone away but the ageing bunkers are no longer needed for defence purposes.

REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSZF
January 09, 2020
Today, farmers use the retired bunkers as storage rooms for tools, while some have become part of the...
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
Today, farmers use the retired bunkers as storage rooms for tools, while some have become part of the parks and others along the coast are sought-after spots for photo opportunities by Instagrammers seeking "likes" for their sunset views.

REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSZC
January 09, 2020
"I find it very bizarre - across Taiwan there are numerous bunkers, a mark of war, but if you ask residents...
Nantou, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
"I find it very bizarre - across Taiwan there are numerous bunkers, a mark of war, but if you ask residents what is it, when was it built and for what purpose, no one knows now," said Chen Kuo-ming, 49, a military site enthusiast who has been searching and mapping the old bunkers since 2002 (pictured inside a bunker in Nantou).

REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSZ0
January 09, 2020
Some of the bunkers, like this one near Tainan airport, actually date back to when Taiwan was a Japanese...
Tainan, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
Some of the bunkers, like this one near Tainan airport, actually date back to when Taiwan was a Japanese colony, before and during World War Two, and were upgraded when the Kuomintang government fled to Taiwan in 1949 after losing a civil war with the Communists, Chen said.

REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSZG
January 09, 2020
Clam farmer Ding Long-kai, who would not reveal his age other than to say he was in his mid-60s, remembers...
Yunlin, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
Clam farmer Ding Long-kai, who would not reveal his age other than to say he was in his mid-60s, remembers as a child the pillboxes along the beaches of Yunlin on Taiwan's western coast, which lies on the Taiwan Strait facing China. "It was restricted to go to the beach and get close to the pillboxes," Ding said.

REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSZM
January 09, 2020
But as the coastline has changed and maintenance lapsed, many of the old pillboxes, like this one in...
Taoyuan, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
But as the coastline has changed and maintenance lapsed, many of the old pillboxes, like this one in Taoyuan, are merging back into the sand or being encircled by clam farms. "I remember seeing slogans such as 'kill the communists' and 'reclaim the mainland' on the pillboxes. But this is the only one left; the rest have been removed by other farmers," Ding added, pointing to the one remaining in his clam farm.

REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSZ8
January 09, 2020
Up the coast from Yunlin in Hsinchu, local official Lin Zi-xing (whose shadow is seen cast onto the wall...
Hsinchu, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
Up the coast from Yunlin in Hsinchu, local official Lin Zi-xing (whose shadow is seen cast onto the wall of this bunker in Hsinchu), is trying to protect the bunkers that remain near his home. Recalling how he used to try and sneak into the bunkers as a child to play, the 72-year-old Lin said it would be a shame to lose this part of Taiwan's history.

REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSYZ
January 09, 2020
He has turned one of the bunkers into a climbing frame for children (a bunker that was renovated into...
Hsinchu, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
He has turned one of the bunkers into a climbing frame for children (a bunker that was renovated into a playground is seen here in Hsinchu), and another into an exhibition hall for tourists to learn about the history of the area. "I got into a lot of trouble with the residents because of this, partly because of land issues but also because it reminds the older generation of war which no one wants to talk about," Lin said.

REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSZS
January 09, 2020
A wall inside a former artillery bunker, painted with soldiers and writing on the right hand side that...
Taoyuan, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
A wall inside a former artillery bunker, painted with soldiers and writing on the right hand side that reads 'Guns is the second life of a soldier' stands in Shuang Lian Po Park, a former military zone in Taoyuan. Military enthusiast Chen said the bunkers also serve as a reminder that tensions between China and Taiwan still exist. "Let's not forget, Taiwan and China are still in a hostile state," he said.

REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSZO
January 09, 2020
The remains of an abandoned bunker stands amongst overgrown greenery in Pingtung. REUTERS/Ann Wang
Pingtung, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
The remains of an abandoned bunker stands amongst overgrown greenery in Pingtung. REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSYY
January 09, 2020
The entrance of an aerodrome gun tower is surrounded by wild flowers and grass in Kaohsiung. REUTERS/Ann...
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
The entrance of an aerodrome gun tower is surrounded by wild flowers and grass in Kaohsiung. REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSZ5
January 09, 2020
The remains of an abandoned bunker formerly used by the Taiwanese military, is used by a farmer to grow...
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
The remains of an abandoned bunker formerly used by the Taiwanese military, is used by a farmer to grow dragonfruit in Kaohsiung. REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSYR
January 09, 2020
A local farmer who uses a former air-raid shelter for storage space, moves some of her tools in Kaohsiung....
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
A local farmer who uses a former air-raid shelter for storage space, moves some of her tools in Kaohsiung. REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSZ7
January 09, 2020
Chen Kuo-ming, 49, a senior editor for a military magazine and a military site enthusiast who has been...
Nantou, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
Chen Kuo-ming, 49, a senior editor for a military magazine and a military site enthusiast who has been searching and mapping out old bunkers since 2002, explains the inside structure of an old pillbox in Nantou. REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSZQ
January 09, 2020
A tea plantation owner works in her field in front of a former artillery bunker in Nantuo. REUTERS/Ann...
Nantou, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
A tea plantation owner works in her field in front of a former artillery bunker in Nantuo. REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSZB
January 09, 2020
An old pillbox stands behind a tea plantation field in Nantou. REUTERS/Ann Wang
Nantou, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
An old pillbox stands behind a tea plantation field in Nantou. REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSZK
January 09, 2020
A Buddhist shrine stands inside a former bunker that was built by the Japanese during World War Two and...
Pingtung, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
A Buddhist shrine stands inside a former bunker that was built by the Japanese during World War Two and later used by the Taiwanese military in Pingtung. REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSZP
January 09, 2020
Lee Kuo-Jia, 90, a Chinese veteran who arrived in Taiwan with the Kuomintang army in 1947, poses for...
Taoyuan, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
Lee Kuo-Jia, 90, a Chinese veteran who arrived in Taiwan with the Kuomintang army in 1947, poses for a photo inside a former artillery bunker in Shuang Lian Po Park, a former military zone in Taoyuan. REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSZI
January 09, 2020
A boy runs in front of a former bunker built by the Japanese army during World War II, in the parking...
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
A boy runs in front of a former bunker built by the Japanese army during World War II, in the parking lot of a temple in Kaohsiung. REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSZA
January 09, 2020
The remains of an abandoned pillbox built by the Taiwanese military, stands within the Taiwan Forestry...
Yunlin, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
The remains of an abandoned pillbox built by the Taiwanese military, stands within the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute in Yunlin. REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSZD
January 09, 2020
A child looks up at an information sign, inside a former artillery bunker in Leidishan Natural Park,...
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
A child looks up at an information sign, inside a former artillery bunker in Leidishan Natural Park, Kaohsiung. REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSZ4
January 09, 2020
People wait to watch the sunset at a former military observation post in Leidishan Natural Park, Kaohsiung....
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
People wait to watch the sunset at a former military observation post in Leidishan Natural Park, Kaohsiung. REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSZE
January 09, 2020
Overgrown plants stand around a former artillery bunker in Leidishan Natural Park, Kaohsiung. REUTERS/Ann...
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
Overgrown plants stand around a former artillery bunker in Leidishan Natural Park, Kaohsiung. REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSZ2
January 09, 2020
An information sign is displayed inside a former artillery bunker in Leidishan Natural Park, Kaohsiung....
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
An information sign is displayed inside a former artillery bunker in Leidishan Natural Park, Kaohsiung. REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSZ9
January 09, 2020
A former artillery bunker stands behind a tea plantation field in Nantou. REUTERS/Ann Wang
Nantou, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
A former artillery bunker stands behind a tea plantation field in Nantou. REUTERS/Ann Wang
TAIWAN-CHINA/HISTORY
RTS2XSZR
January 09, 2020
An old pillbox stands half-submerged in sand in front of oyster farms in Yunlin. REUTERS/Ann Wang
Yunlin, Taiwan
The Wider Image: From tool of war to photo op, Taiwanese repurpose old bunkers
An old pillbox stands half-submerged in sand in front of oyster farms in Yunlin. REUTERS/Ann Wang
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