The Matsu Islands (Chinese马祖 列岛/马祖 列岛, Pinyin Mǎzǔ lièdǎo ) are a small archipelago of 19 islands in the Taiwan Strait off the coast of Fujian Province, to which they also belong historically. They are administered by the Republic of China on Taiwan, where they form the county Lianjiang based in Nangan. The islands have a total area of 29.6 km ², the population was 11,310 people in late 2012.
A special feature is that Matsu as well as the District of Kinmen is under the national Chinese province of Fujian Administration. These two island groups as well as the Dongsha Islands, and several of the Nansha Islands (including va Taiping Dao ), are the last part of the area controlled by the Republic of China, which does not belong to the province of Taiwan.
From the viewpoint of the People's Republic of China, the archipelago is administratively at the same time the "church Mazu " (马祖 乡/马祖 乡) in Lianjiang county (连江县/连江县), which belongs to the prefecture-level city of Fuzhou. Mazu even has its own VR postal code ( 350 122 206 ).
The islands are named after the Chinese mother goddess Matsu (Chinese妈祖, Pinyin Māzǔ ), a deity that is very popular among sailors and fishermen.
The managed by the Republic of China part of the district is in Lianjiang four rural communities (乡, Xiang ) divided:
- Nangan (南竿 乡, Nán'gān Xiang ), 10.6 km ², 5893 inhabitants (July 2010),
- Beigan (北竿 乡, Beigan Xiang ), 9,9 km ² in 1790 inhabitants (July 2010),
- Juguang (莒光 乡, Jǔguāng Xiang ), 4.7 km ², 1172 inhabitants (July 2010),
- Dongyin (东 引 乡, Dōngyǐn Xiang ), 3.8 km ², 1071 inhabitants (July 2010)