Taiwan compatriot traces his roots to Fujian

2023-12-21 16:30:15China Daily Editor : Mo Honge ECNS App Download

Tsao Wei-han and his daughter attend the Wuyi trail race at the Wuyishan National Park in Fujian province in November. (Photo provided to

Tsao Wei-han, who was born and grew up in Matsu, Taiwan, enjoys living and running his own business in Fuzhou, Fujian province.

"When I was young, my father always told me that our roots reached the other shore, and that's where my hometown is," Tsao said.

In 1987, when cross-Strait exchanges resumed, Tsao's father, Tsao Chang-bin, seized the opportunity to reunite with his ancestral village in Fuzhou's Changle district, where many Matsu people originated.

After updating the family genealogy, Tsao Chang-bin fulfilled his dream of tracing his roots. Driven by nostalgia, he returned to Fuzhou. He invested in the seafood industry.

At the age of 17, Tsao Wei-han set foot in Fuzhou for the first time. The homeland he had measured with a ruler on the map became vivid and tangible before his eyes. He vividly remembered paying respect to his ancestors.

"It was the first time I realized the immense power of roots, which transcend the barriers of time and space," he said.

Tsao Wei-han and dozens of Taiwan compatriots attended the Wuyi trail race at te Wuyishan National Park in Fujian province in November. [Photo provided to]

However, the journey between Fuzhou and Matsu was long and arduous. Tsao recalled waking up at 4 am, rushing to Changle airport, taking a flight to Hong Kong, transferring to Taiwan's Taoyuan airport, driving to Songshan airport and finally boarding a flight to Matsu.

Tsao often fantasized about a day when a bridge would connect the two shores, making travel between Fuzhou and Matsu more convenient.

In 2001, shortly after graduating from university, Tsao returned to Fuzhou to assist his father with business. The newly opened Mawei-Matsu route made his journey home much easier.

"Fuzhou is my root, and I have a new affection for this city," Tsao said.

Inspired by Fuzhou's vast development prospects, he decided to start his own catering company, focusing on the Taiwan beverage market. He secured the franchise rights for a popular bubble tea brand and quickly expanded from one store to nearly 20, igniting a bubble tea craze in Fujian.

As the market became saturated, Tsao shifted his focus to the English language training market. Alongside his wife, Tsai Ko-ning, he founded an institute that cultivates children's English proficiency while instilling good character and effective learning habits.

Tsao Wei-han and dozens of Taiwan compatriots attended the Wuyi trail race at te Wuyishan National Park in Fujian province in November. [Photo provided to]

Tsao's entrepreneurial journey took another turn when he became deputy president of the Taiwan association in Sanming City in 2022.

He started to promote cultural revitalization in rural areas, injecting vitality into local economies through immersive study programs and cultural experiences.

He also helps more youths from Taiwan realize their entrepreneurial dreams and integrate into the mainland market. With his experience and expertise, he guides them through the intricacies of the industry, including marketing strategies and operational management.

When Tsao met Zhang Xinyi, an architect, they decided to bring culture to the countryside, so they developed immersive study activities.

"Moving the classroom to the countryside and guiding children to explore nature is not only a fun way to learn English but also brings economic benefits and cultural vitality to rural areas," Tsao said.


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