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Hsinchu Coastal Region's Environmental Shifts and Developments from a Geographical Viewpoint�
The area of Hsinchu Coastal Region is not too large, but it can be further divided into two or four sub-regions. The Xinfeng Region locates in the western tip of Hukou Tableland. The residents' livelihoods reflect the interactive effects of the three environmental features: tableland landforms, closeness to the sea and remoteness of the area. The land capacity was confined in the past, and the location is relatively isolated. The Coastal Region of Hsinchu Plain can be divided into three sub-regions: Fengkang Region, Nanliao Region and Xiangsan Region. In this study, we employ the concept of "liman type" coast to frame the basic natural environment structure of the study area. Nanliao Region exhibits the most typical "liman type" coast. The similarity among sub-regions is the closeness to the sea. Due to differences in environmental features and dialectical relationship between man and land, this resulted in unique differences and similarities in this region's development. The similar environmental characteristics include: location on the periphery of agricultural land, multi--sustaining styles in regional economy, and significant kinship relationship within traditional settlements. In this area during the Qing Dynasty governance, there were few fights among settlers and relatively stable social relationships due to powerful control of the landlords, Quanjhou immigrants' predominance, high homogeneity of mother tongue, and similar cultures among peasants. The negative aspect of Xinfeng Region's environmental characteristics include: habitants' confined living space, infertile land, shortage of irrigation water, remote location and so on. The eastern side of the Xinfeng Region was settled by "Half-Hohlo-Hakka" people whose ancestors emigrated from Guangdong. It makes remarkable regional character for Xinfeng Region. Hsinchu Plain Region’s environmental characteristics include: adjoining lagoons westward, bordering plains eastward, expanding polders and inhabitants' living space. For all these reasons, compared with other regions in Taiwan, Nanliao Region was a relatively tranquil and developing region. The unique geographical features give the Hsinchu Coastal Region a stable basis for regional development. Deep man-land interactions mold the vivid regional character.
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