Shatu, once an impoverished village in the island's northwestern area, has now become a village of sweet potatoes with some global stature.
"Awareness of cultural heritage protection needs to be raised among local officials and the public, and manpower of law enforcement in this aspect should be expanded," Chen said. "It is still quite common that the administration is kept in the dark since the parties in charge of preserving heritage sites do not report security accidents."
Despite the anti-Western sentiment in China at that time, Mackerras found the people there, including his students and colleagues, to be very kind and friendly toward him and his wife.
"I can't see us throwing away all we have gained. I think the problem is that pressure is being exerted from other quarters," he added.
At the morning fair where stands of fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, and sea food were set up, vendors and customers indulged in intense exchanges, creating a vibrant new year atmosphere. Meanwhile, chefs cooked Chinese delicacies like dumplings, stuffed buns and Nanjing salted duck at the morning fair.