North Hsinchu 新竹市北區, formally Běi Qū, encompasses the massive Hsinchu Air Base and the fishing port of Nanliao as well as a good chunk of the downtown core. See also: East Hsinchu and Hsinchu City 新竹市 in general.

Hsinchu Xinyi New Village 新竹信義新村

A bronze bust of generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek in front of a faded KMT party emblem in a military dependents’ village in Hsinchu.

Pictured here is a bronze bust of generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek in front of the faded emblem of the Kuomintang (KMT) in Xìnyì New Village 信義新村, a military dependents’ village in North Hsinchu 新竹市北區. Chiang and the KMT retreated to Taiwan 台灣 with more than a million Chinese soldiers and their dependents in 1949, bolstering an existing population of seven million Taiwanese. This instantly created a massive housing crisis—all those people needed places to live! The new regime attempted to address this through the development of hundreds of military dependents’ villages, gated enclaves of KMT soldiers and their families, but those were chaotic, desperate, and uncertain times, and many more ended up in informal and often illegal settlements all around Taiwan 台灣.

A Defender of China

An unusual sign in front of a restaurant in northern Hsinchu City.

On the northern edge of Hsinchu City 新竹市, about halfway between Nánliáo Fishing Port 南寮漁港 and the massive Hsinchu Air Base 新竹空軍基地, you’ll find a small restaurant by the name of Old Lù Beef Noodles 老陸牛肉麵. Such a shop might not catch your eye were it not for a curious turquoise signboard perched on an easel out front. Hsinchu 新竹 is home to one of the highest densities of military dependents’ villages in the nation (including one right next door) so it comes as no surprise that it would be advertising military village cuisine 眷村美食. What is rather unusual is the hand-painted adaptation of the May 16, 1938, edition of Life Magazine, originally subtitled A Defender of China, appearing here with the messages We are your friend 我們的你們的朋友 and We are fights for freedom 我們是為自由而战 (with that last character a simplified form of 戰). The pot of noodles and chopsticks are a creative addition.