|Tachen Islands is a part of Jiaojian District, Wenling County, Zhejian Province. They include Upper Tachen (Shan Tachen), Lower Tachen (Xia Tachen), and Yi Jianshan, etc. Tachen Islands are 250 knots away from Taiwan, and have been renamed as Taizhou Islands.|
Before the disconnection with the mainland in Republic Year 39 (1950), Tachen residents still used money issued by mainland provinces, such as foreign silver coins, domestic silver, bronze, and nickel coins, and paper money. After the communist liberated the whole mainland, banknotes were naturally withdrawn from circulation in the market.
In December 1952, the Nationalist government promulgated "Provisional Administrative Regulation of Circulation and Exchange of New Taiwan notes in Tachen". In 1/1 1953, Bank of Taiwan established a currency office, and began distributing New Taiwan Dollar notes. The official exchange rate is 1 silver dollar = 12 NTD, limited to silver coins that carries the portrait of Sun Yet-sun or Yuan Shi-Kai. The NTD notes issues in Tachen islands can be used in Tachen only, and the face values are 10 Cents, 50 Cents, 1 Yuan, and 10 Yuan.
After the People's Liberation Army (PLA) attacked Kinmen on 9/3/1954, and destroyed Nationalist's Pacific Fleet on 11/14, they moved their target to the Yi Jianshan, Upper Tachen, and Lower Tachen that remained controlled by the Nationalists.
The most shocking event occurred on 1/18/1955. 10,000 PLA troops invaded Yi Jianshan and the defending Nationalist army with 720 soldiers all died during the 2-day battle. On 1/30, Chiang Chin-Kuo flied from Taipei to Tachen, with the risk of being shot down. The action consequently gave confidence to all civilians and military personnel on Tachen. At the same time, the US position became stronger, and President Eisenhower ordered the Seventh Fleet to Taiwan Straight and near Tachen. These intense actions stopped Mao, who did not wish to conflict with the US, from ordering the invasion of Tachen.
Despite the relief in Tachen, the US strongly suggested the Nationalist to abandon Tachen because the distance to Taiwan is too far, and it has no strategic value. In addition to the reasons, the US also guaranteed the safety during the evacuation process. The evacuation finally took place from 2/4 to 2/10, with the cover from large scale military "exercise" by the Seventh Fleet. All 25,000 soldiers and 18,000 residents came to Taiwan safely on 2/11. Due to the "left-nothing-behind" (to the communist) policy, all establishments on Tachen were destroyed and Tachen became a wasteland.
When the so-called "the honorable fellowship of Tachen" arrived Port Keelung, Bank of Taiwan already sent employees to the port to exchange those Tachen only notes. The exchange rate to the regular NTD note is 1:1, and the exchange stopped on 4/15. All Tachen notes collected by the Bank were destroyed, while the others ceased to be legal tender since 3/14. The Tachen notes had been circulated for 2 years 2 months and 14 days.
Every reader now would understand the severity of the event. Most Tachen notes were taken at the port and destroyed, only few could escape, and became very rare. There are only 70 Tachen 10 Yuan notes existing in the world as of now.