In 2008, Dione Chen. daughter of the late Reno Chen of the Free China crew, founded Chinese Junk Preservation, a small group of volunteers, who together launched efforts to generate awareness of the Free China and its plight, and to find a permanent home and owner. The core group included historians, maritime experts, non-profit cultural and historical organizations, and family and friends of the Free China junk and its crew. Efforts continued for four years.

The story of the Free China has a happy ending. In the spring of 2012, the family of the late Joe Spotts, then owner of the Free China, donated the junk to the government of Taiwan, which pledged to become the junk's new, permanent owner and safeguard its future at last. The Free China is slated to return to Taiwan, by May 2012, where she will become a land-based exhibit at a museum in the city of Keelung, near Taiwan. To learn more about the complex logistics of moving the junk to Taiwan, by land, barge and freighter, and the Taiwan government’s plans to preserve the vessel, please check this website for updates. This is a work in progress!

Keep in touch. We value your interest and support in this inspiring preservation project. Please join our mailing list to receive occasional email updates about our progress. To join, please send an email to, including your contact information and a brief note letting us know of your interest. Please be assured, we will not share your email address and you may unsubscribe at any time.