Hainan

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Hainan Province
海南省
Province
Name transcription(s)
 • Chinese 海南省 (Hǎinán Shěng)
 • Abbreviation simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: (pinyin: Qióng, POJ: khêng, Jyutping: king4)
 • Min Nan POJ Hái-lâm-séng
 • Yue Jyutping Hoi² Naam1 Saang²
 • Yue Yale Hóinàahm Sáang
Map showing the location of Hainan Province
Map showing the location of Hainan Province
Coordinates: 19°12′N 109°42′E / 19.2°N 109.7°E / 19.2; 109.7Coordinates: 19°12′N 109°42′E / 19.2°N 109.7°E / 19.2; 109.7
Named for hǎi – sea
nán – south
"South of the Sea [Qiongzhou Strait]"
Capital
(and largest city)
Haikou
Divisions 3 prefectures, 20 counties, 218 townships
Government
 • Secretary Luo Baoming
 • Governor Jiang Dingzhi
Area[1]
 • Total 35,400 km2 (13,700 sq mi)
Area rank 28th
Population (2012)[2]
 • Total 8,900,000
 • Rank 28th
 • Density 250/km2 (650/sq mi)
 • Density rank 17th
Demographics
 • Ethnic composition Han – 82.6%
Li – 15.84%
Miao – 0.82%
Zhuang – 0.67%
 • Languages and dialects Hainanese, Yue, Hlai
ISO 3166 code CN-46
GDP (2013) CNY 314.65 billion
US$ 51.33 billion (28th)
 - per capita CNY 35,354
US$ 5,763 (23rd)
HDI (2008) 0.784 (medium) (17th)
Website www.hi.gov.cn
Hainan
Native name: 海南岛
Hainan tmo 07feb05 250m.jpg
Geography
Location East Asia
Area 33,210 km2 (12,820 sq mi)
Area rank 42nd
Length 156 km (97 mi)
Width 170 km (110 mi)
Highest elevation 1,840 m (6,040 ft)
Highest point Wuzhi Mountain
Country
People's Republic of China
Province Hainan
Largest city Haikou (pop. 2,046,189)
Demographics
Population approx. 8,180,000
Ethnic groups Han, Li, Miao, Zhuang

Hainan (Chinese: 海南; Mandarin Pinyin: About this sound Hǎinán ; Jyutping: Hoi² Naam4; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Hái-lâm; literally "South of the Sea [Qiongzhou Strait]") is the smallest and southernmost province of the People's Republic of China (PRC). The name "Hainan" also refers to Hainan Island (海南岛, Hǎinán Dǎo), the main island of the province. Hainan is located in the South China Sea, separated from Guangdong's Leizhou Peninsula to the north by the shallow and narrow Qiongzhou Strait.

For centuries Hainan was part of Guangdong Province then in 1988 the island became part of the newly created Hainan Province (海南省, Hǎinán Shěng).

The province has an area of 33,920 square kilometers (13,100 sq mi) and is China's southernmost province. Although it comprises some two hundred islands scattered among three archipelagos off the southern coast, 32,900 square kilometres (12,700 sq mi) (97%) of its land mass is Hainan Island, from which the province takes its name. The PRC government claims territories of the province extend to the southern Spratly Islands, Paracel Islands, and other disputed marine territory.

Hainan Province is the largest Special Economic Zone laid out by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in the late 1980s.

There are a total of eight major cities and ten counties in Hainan Province. Haikou on the northern coast of Hainan Island is the capital whilst Sanya is a well-known tourist destination on the south coast. The other major cities are Wenchang, Qionghai, Wanning, Wuzhishan, Dongfang and Danzhou.

Etymology[edit]

The name "Hainan" (海南) describes its location south of the Qiongzhou Strait, while the Leizhou Peninsula is also called Haibei (海北) as it is located north of the strait.

Hainan Island was once called the Pearl Cliffs (珠崖 Zhūyá), Fine Jade Cliffs (琼崖/瓊崖 Qióngyá), and the Fine Jade Land (瓊州 Qióngzhōu). The latter two names gave rise to the province's abbreviation, Qióng (琼/瓊), referring to the pearls that were once abundant on the north coast of the island.

History[edit]

Hainan Island first entered written Chinese history in 110 BC, when the Han Dynasty established a military garrison there following the arrival of General Lu Bode (路博德). In 46 BC the Han court decided that the conquest was too expensive and abandoned the island. Around that time, Han people together with military personnel and officials began to migrate to Hainan Island from mainland China. Among them were the offspring of those who were banished to Hainan for political reasons. Most of them arrived in Hainan Island from the southern provinces of Guangdong, Fujian and Guangxi.

Li people are the original inhabitants of Hainan. They are believed to be the descendants of the ancient Yue tribes of China, who settled on the island between 7 and 27 thousand years ago.[3]

The Li people mainly reside in the nine cities and counties in the middle and southern part of Hainan – the cities of Sanya, Wuzhishan and Dongfang, the Li autonomous counties of Baisha, Lingshui, Ledong, Changjiang, and the 'Li and Miao Autonomous Counties of Qiongzhong and Baoting'. Some others live elsewhere on Hainan with other ethnic groups in Danzhou, Wanning, Qionghai, Lingshui and Tunchang.

The area inhabited by the Li ethnic group totals 18,700 square kilometers (7,200 sq mi), about 55 percent of the province's total.[4]

Haikou, the capital of the province as seen looking south from Evergreen Park, a large park located on the north shore of the city

During the Three Kingdoms Period (184−280), Hainan was the Zhuya Commandery (珠崖郡) under the control of Eastern Wu.

At the time of the Song Dynasty (980−1279), Hainan became part of Guangxi, and for the first time large numbers of Han Chinese arrived, settling mostly in the north. Under the Yuan Dynasty (1206–1368) the island became an independent province then in 1370 was placed under the administration of Guangdong by the ruling Ming Dynasty. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, large numbers of Han Chinese from Fujian and Guangdong began migrating to Hainan, pushing the Li into the highlands in the southern half of the island. In the eighteenth century, the Li rebelled against the Qing government, which responded by bringing in mercenaries from the Miao people regions of Guizhou. Many of the Miao settled on the island and their descendants live in the western highlands to this day.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, explorers referred to the island as "Aynam"[5] ,[6] which remains the pronunciation of its name in the local Hainanese dialect.

In 1906, the Chinese Republican leader Sun Yat-sen proposed that Hainan should become a separate province although this did not happen until 1988.

Hainan was historically part of Guangdong and Guangxi Provinces and as such was the Ch'iung-yai or Qiongya Circuit (瓊崖道) under the 1912 establishment of the Republic of China. In 1921, it was planned to become a Special Administrative Region (瓊崖特別行政區); in 1944, it became Hainan Special Administrative Region with 16 counties containing the South China Sea Islands.

Hainanese residents in the countryside

During the 1920s and 30s, Hainan was a hotbed of Communist activity, especially after a bloody crackdown in Shanghai, the Republic of China in 1927 drove many Communists into hiding. The Communists and the Li natives fought a vigorous guerrilla campaign against the Japanese occupation of Hainan (1939–45), but in retaliation over one third of the male population were killed by the Japanese. Feng Baiju led the Hainan Independent Column of fighters throughout the 1930s and 1940s. After the Japanese surrender in 1945 the Nationalist Party (KMT) re-established control. Hainan was one of the last areas of China controlled by the Republic of China. From March to May 1950, the Landing Operation on Hainan Island captured the island for the Chinese communists. Feng Baiju and his column of guerrilla fighters played an essential role in scouting for the landing operation and coordinated their own offensive from their jungle bases on the island. This allowed the Hainan takeover to be successful where the Jinmen and Dengbu assaults had failed in the previous fall. The takeover was made possible by the presence of a local guerrilla force that was lacking on the islands of Jinmen, Dengbu, and Taiwan. Hence, while many observers of the Chinese civil war thought that the fall of Hainan Island to the Communists would be followed shortly by the fall of Taiwan Island, the lack of any communist guerrilla force on Taiwan Island and its sheer distance from the mainland made this impossible, as did the arrival of the US 7th fleet in the Taiwan Strait after the outbreak of the Korean War in June.

The capital city of Haikou, although highly populated relative to many other international cities, is geographically quite small, with almost no urban sprawl. Much of the city limits end abruptly with forest or farm land.

On 1 May 1950, under the PRC, the Special Administrative Region became an Administrative Region Office (海南行政区公署), a branch of the Guangdong provincial government. On October 1, 1984, it became the Hainan Administrative Region (海南行政区), with a People's Government, and finally as province separate from Guangdong four years later.

In 1988, when the island was made a separate province, it was designated a Special Economic Zone in an effort to increase investment.

The Communists resumed development of the island along the lines established by the Japanese, but the results were limited by the island's isolation, its humid and typhoon-prone climate, and its continuing reputation as a place of danger and exile by mainland Chinese. With China's shift in economic policy at the end of the 1970s, Hainan became a focus of attention.

During the mid-1980s, when Hainan Island was still part of the Guangdong Province, a fourteen-month episode of marketing zeal by Hainan Special District Administrator Lei Yu[7] put Hainan's pursuit of provincial status under a cloud. It involved the duty-free imports from Hong Kong of 90,000 Japanese-made cars and trucks at a cost of C¥ 4.5 billion (US$ 1.5 billion), and exporting them – with the help of local naval units – to the mainland, making 150% profits. By comparison, only 10,000 vehicles were imported into Hainan since 1950. In addition, it involved further consignments of 2.9 million TV sets, 252,000 videocassette recorders & 122,000 motorcycles. The money was taken from the 1983 central government funds destined for the construction of the island's transportation infrastructure (roads, railways, airports, harbours) over the next ten years.[citation needed]

The central government funds were deemed insufficient by the Hainan authorities for the construction of the island's other infrastructures (water works, power stations, telecommunications, etc.) and had taken a very liberal interpretation of the economic and trade regulations for Hainan and thirteen coastal cities; the regulations did not mention on prohibiting the re-selling of second-hand goods. Some of the proceeds, from unsold units, were later retrieved by the central government to re-finance the special district.

Geography[edit]

Ancient map of Hainan Island
This view of Baoting Li and Miao Autonomous County, near the south coast of Hainan is typical of the inland countryside.

Hainan, separated by the Qiongzhou Strait from the Leizhou Peninsula of Guangdong, is the largest island administered by the People's Republic of China. The area of Hainan Island (32,900 km2 (12,700 sq mi), 97% of the province) is similar to that of Belgium. To the west of Hainan Island is the Gulf of Tonkin. Wuzhi Mountain (1,840 m) is the highest mountain on the island.

Hainan Island measures 155 km (96 mi) long and 169 km (105 mi) wide.

Rivers and lakes[edit]

Most of the rivers in Hainan originate in the central area of the island and flow radially in different directions. The Wanning River in the southern part of the island is the largest river surrounding Hainan. It is 350 km (220 mi) long. The Nandu River in the northern part of the island is 314 km (195 mi) long, and its tributary, the Xinwu River, is 109 km (68 mi) long. The Changhua River in the west is 230 km (140 mi) long, and the Wanquan River in the east is 162 km (101 mi) long. Evaporation during the dry season around the coastal areas greatly reduces the flow of the rivers.

There are very few natural lakes in Hainan. There is a well-known artificial reservoir, the Songtao Reservoir, in the central-north area.

Environment[edit]

Compared to most of mainland China, the air quality of Hainan is far higher. Throughout 2012, Hainan had the highest air quality in the country for 351 days.[8]

The provincial government's environmental protection campaign has taken action against a number of plants. During 2012, outdated production facilities resulted in their business licenses being revoked, and 175 cases related to illegal sewage discharge were handled.[8]

Total sulfur dioxide emissions for the province were 34,000 tons in 2012, a 3 percent year-on-year reduction. In 2011, smog emissions were reduced 6.3 percent to 15,000 tons.[8]

Climate[edit]

Hainan has a tropical moist monsoonal climate. Its annual temperature change is within a range of less than 15 °C (27 °F). The coldest months are January and February when the temperatures drop to 16 to 21 °C (61 to 70 °F); the hottest months are July and August, and the temperatures are 25 to 29 °C (77 to 84 °F). Except for the mountainous regions in the central part of the island, the daily average temperature in Hainan is above 10 °C (50 °F), and the integrated temperature during the growing season of the crops reaches eight thousand to nine thousand degree Celsius-days. The summer in the north is hot and, for more than 20 days in a year, the temperature can be higher than 35 °C (95 °F). The average annual precipitation is 1,500 to 2,000 millimetres (59 to 79 in) and can be as high as 2,400 millimetres (94 in) in central and eastern areas, and as low as 900 millimetres (35 in) in the coastal areas of the southwest. The eastern part of Hainan lies in the path of typhoons, and 70% of the annual precipitation is derived from typhoons and the summer rainy season. Major flooding occurs due to the typhoons and they can cause many problems for the local residents.

Annual fog[edit]

From January to February, the island of Hainan is affected by thick fog, particularly in coastal areas and the northern part of the island. This is caused by cold winter air from the north coming into contact with the warmer sea, causing the moisture that evaporates from the sea to be condensed into fog. The fog remains from day to night, and is evenly distributed. Visibility may be reduced to 50 metres for days at a time. During this period, residents normally keep windows shut. The moisture in the air is so extreme that the walls in homes weep, and floors often accumulate a layer of water several millimetres deep.[citation needed]

Nearby islands[edit]

Several small islands exist around the coast of Hainan Island:

Due to their close proximity to the main island, the flora, fauna, and climate conditions are very similar.

Disputed islands[edit]

Maritime claims of South China Sea

A number of small islands are claimed and administrated by Sansha in Hainan.[9] These are located hundreds of kilometres to the south of Hainan Island, and as such, have different flora, fauna, and climate conditions. Sovereignty of the islands is however disputed. These islands include:

Flora and fauna[edit]

Hainan has over 1,500 km2 (580 sq mi) of tropical forest, in which live 4,600 kinds of plants and more than 570 species of animals.[citation needed] However, due to an invasion of exotic species, human impact from tourist, deforestation, and the release of pollutants, many species are under threat. A report from the Department of Land, Environment and Resources of Hainan Province states that 200 species are near extinction, with 6 species, such as Maytenus hainanensis and Sciaphila tenella already extinct.[10]

Flora[edit]

The majority of Hainan's land mass is forest with 61.5 percent coverage (210,000 hectares) reported at the end of 2012. This is an increase of 34,133 hectares since 2011. A further 1,187 hectares grass and trees were planted along the province's highways.[8]

There are 53 genera in 29 families of wild and cultivated fruit growing on Hainan Island.[11] There are few large trees on the island; coconut palms are very common along with other smaller trees. Most of Hainan Island is however covered by forest.

Fauna[edit]

Animals that are ubiquitous throughout the island include frogs, toads, geckos, skinks, and butterflies. Present, but less commonly observed, are snakes, Siberian chipmunks, and squirrels. Almost no large animals remain in the wild. The lakes are largely populated with carp and catfish.

There are 362 known bird species.[10] Seabirds such as gulls are not generally seen. Egrets are common in agricultural areas. Similar to many subtropical areas, insect species are diverse, and mosquitoes are very common.

There are numerous protected areas and wildlife preserves on the island.

Demographics[edit]

Ethnolinguistic groups on Hainan, 1967 map
(Link to entire map including key).

The population density of Hainan is low compared to most Chinese coastal provinces.

In 2000, the ethnic groups of Hainan included the Han Chinese, known as the Hainanese, who are the majority (84% of the population); the Li (Hlai) (14.7% of the population); the Miao (0.7%) and the Zhuang (0.6%).[citation needed] The Li are the largest indigenous group on the island in terms of population. Also found on the island are the Utsuls, descendants of Cham refugees, who are classified as Hui by the Chinese government. There is a Tanka community that live at Sanya Bay.[12]

Although they are indigenous to the island and do not speak a Chinese language, the Limgao (Ong-Be) people near the capital (8% of the population) are counted as Han Chinese.

Religion[edit]

Out of the total population, 90,000 are Buddhist Hainanese. 3000 or more are Muslims. Most, if not all, of the Muslims are Utsuls living near Sanya. Because Hainan was a point in the travel route of missionaries, there are many Christians. There is less oppression of Christians in Hainan than in other parts of the country.[13]

Nanshan Park is the centre of Buddhism on Hainan Island. Encompassing more than 50 km2 (19 sq mi) of rainforest, the site includes countless grand temples, statues and spiritual gardens the likes of Saviour Garden and Longevity Valley, with intricately trimmed hedges and abundant in Lotus flowers, a venerated symbol in Buddhism meaning virtue or purity.

At the heart of the valley is the grand Nanshan Temple, its gates flanked by stone figures of Buddha in front of the Tang Dynasty-style entrance. The interior displays images of the Four Heavenly Kings amid statues of other deities enshrined in renderings of stone, gold and jade.

Perhaps the most popular site within the Nanshan Buddhist Cultural Zone is the awe-inspiring stone rendering of the bodhisattva Guan Ying, emerging out of the South China Sea to stand at 108 metres, taller than the statue of liberty.

The Nanshan Buddhist Cultural Zone is visited by thousands of tourists and pilgrims each year who come pay homage to the site that plays a significant role in the religion in China and to sample some of the finest Buddhist vegan cuisine on the island.[14]

Languages[edit]

The Han Chinese of Hainan speak a variant of the Min Nan Chinese language, known as Hainanese. In addition, the national standard Putonghua is understood and spoken by most people, and Cantonese is understood by some local Hainanese. The Li, the Zhuang and the Limgao (Ong-Be) speak Tai–Kadai languages. The Miao speak Hmong–Mien languages. These groups would usually speak Putonghua as a second language.

4,500 people in the villages of Yanglan (羊栏) and Huixin (回新), two villages on the outskirts of Sanya, speak the Tsat language, a member of the Chamic languages.

Adults who are members of a minority also have quite high literacy skills in Chinese. Most adults speak several Chinese dialects, and some also speak Li. In old Yacheng City and its vicinity as well as for several dozen miles west of Huihui and Huixin, the so-called military speech (the official language of the southwest among the northern Chinese dialects) is spoken. In Yanglan Village to the northeast, two Min dialects, both closely related to Cantonese, are spoken: the Mai dialect and the Danzhou dialect, spoken in Haipo Village in the south, which is the same dialect as the dialect spoken in Danzhou in Dan Country in the northern part of the island. From the east to the west along the seashore, the Hainanese dialect is used. In Sanya City itself one sometimes finds speakers of Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese.

The general public can also use Standard Chinese to communicate with mainlanders. When Chams interact with the Hainanese dialect speakers from within Hainan Province, they use the Hainanese dialect, though youngsters generally use Mandarin. Not many can communicate in Li when interacting with the Li, so the Hainanese dialect or Mandarin is often used. In the market place and within the Sanya Municipality, the Cham speakers use Cham among themselves, and when they interact with speakers of other languages, they mostly use the Hainanese dialect. However, in the market places near the government seat of Yanglan Township, the Chams either use the Hainanese dialect or the Mai dialect.[15]

Government[edit]

Even while Hainan Island was a part of Guangdong it had a considerable amount of local autonomy; the southern half of the island was an autonomous prefecture. Hainan's elevation to provincial level in 1988 increased its accountability to the Central People's Government, but by designating the new province a special economic zone the central government expressed its intent to allow Hainan maximum flexibility in devising programs to facilitate foreign investment and economic growth. Administratively, the province has been divided into five economic major districts.[citation needed]

Politics[edit]

The politics of Hainan is structured in a dual party-government system like all other governing institutions in mainland China.

The Governor of Hainan is the highest-ranking official in the People's Government of Hainan. However, in the province's dual party-government governing system, the Governor has less power than the Hainan Communist Party of China Provincial Committee Secretary or CPC Party Chief.

Intelligence[edit]

Per the reseach conducted by Information Warfare Monitor, Hainan is the physical location of GhostNet. The Chinese government has officially denied the existence of a cyber war and intelligence apparatus.

Administrative[edit]

In the official PRC territorial claim, Hainan Province includes not just one island, but also some two hundred South China Sea Islands. Whilst the containment of the South China Sea Islands means that Hainan Province has a very large water body, it has a disproportionally small land area. James Shoal (曾母暗沙 Zengmu Ansha), which is presently marked by the PRC, signifies the country's southernmost border. But Malaysia also claims that it is on their continental shelf.

Subdivisions[edit]

Hainan Province uses a slightly different administrative system than the other provinces of China. Most other provinces are divided entirely into prefecture-level divisions, each of which is then divided entirely into county-level divisions. County-level divisions generally do not come directly under the province. In Hainan, nearly all county-level divisions (the eight districts excepted) come directly under the province. This method of division is due to Hainan's relatively sparse population of around 8 million people.

Map
Map of Hainan[citation needed]
# English name Administrative Seat Hanzi
Hanyu Pinyin
Population
(2010)
Prefecture-level city
1 Haikou Longhua District 海口市
Hǎikǒu Shì
2,046,189
2 Sanya Jiyang District 三亚市
Sānyà Shì
685,408
*19 Sansha Yongxing Island
Neighborhood Committee
三沙市
Sānshā Shì
444
Sub-prefecture-level city
3 Wenchang Wencheng 文昌市
Wénchāng Shì
537,428
4 Qionghai Jiaji 琼海市
Qiónghǎi Shì
483,217
5 Wanning Wancheng 万宁市
Wànníng Shì
545,597
6 Wuzhishan Chongshan 五指山市
Wǔzhǐshān Shì
104,122
7 Dongfang Basuo 东方市
Dōngfāng Shì
408,309
8 Danzhou Nada 儋州市
Dānzhōu Shì
932,362
County
9 Lingao Lincheng 临高县
Língāo Xiàn
427,873
10 Chengmai Jinjiang 澄迈县
Chéngmài Xiàn
467,161
11 Ding'an Dingcheng 定安县
Dìng'ān Xiàn
284,616
12 Tunchang Tuncheng 屯昌县
Túnchāng Xiàn
256,931
Autonomous county
13 Changjiang
(for Li)
Shilü 昌江黎族自治县
Chāngjiāng Lízú Zìzhìxiàn
223,839
14 Baisha
(for Li)
Yacha 白沙黎族自治县
Báishā Lízú Zìzhìxiàn
167,918
15 Qiongzhong
(for Li & Miao)
Yinggen 琼中黎族苗族自治县
Qióngzhōng Lízú Miáozú Zìzhìxiàn
174,076
16 Lingshui
(for Li)
Yelin 陵水黎族自治县
Língshuǐ Lízú Zìzhìxiàn
320,468
17 Baoting
(for Li & Miao)
Baocheng 保亭黎族苗族自治县
Bǎotíng Lízú Miáozú Zìzhìxiàn
146,684
18 Ledong
(for Li)
Baoyou 乐东黎族自治县
Lèdōng Lízú Zìzhìxiàn
458,876
— Economic development zone —
20 Yangpu Xinganchong District 洋浦经济开发区
Yángpǔ Jīngjì Kāifā Qū
37,000
*Note: Sovereignty over Sansha (including the Paracel, Spratly and Zhongsha Islands) is disputed as of 21 April 2014.

Military[edit]

Hainan Island is home to the People's Liberation Army Navy Hainan Submarine Base and strategic nuclear submarine naval harbor 18°13′16″N 109°41′10″E / 18.221°N 109.686°E / 18.221; 109.686.[16] The naval harbor is estimated to be 60 feet (18 m) high, built into hillsides around a military base. The caverns are capable of hiding up to 20 nuclear submarines from spy satellites. The harbor houses nuclear ballistic missile submarines and is large enough to accommodate aircraft carriers. The U.S. Department of Defense has estimated that China will have five Type 094 nuclear submarines operational by 2010 with each capable of carrying 12 JL-2 intercontinental ballistic missile. Two 950-metre (3,120 ft) piers and three smaller ones would be enough to accommodate two carrier strike groups or amphibious assault ships.

Economy[edit]

Further information: Hainan#Tourism

Hainan's economy is predominantly agricultural, and more than a half of the island's exports are agricultural products. Hainan's elevation to province-level status (1988), however, was accompanied by its designation as China's largest "special economic zone", the intent being to hasten the development of the island's plentiful resources.

Prior to this, the province had a reputation for being a "Wild West" area, largely untouched by industrialisation; even today there are relatively few factories in the province. Tourism plays an important part of Hainan's economy, thanks largely to its tropical beaches and lush forests.

The central government has encouraged foreign investment in Hainan and has allowed the island to rely to a large extent on market forces.

Hainan's industrial development largely has been limited to the processing of its mineral and agricultural products, particularly rubber and iron ore. Since the 1950s, machinery, farm equipment, and textiles have been manufactured in the Haikou area for local consumption. A major constraint on industrial expansion has been an inadequate supply of electricity. Much of the island's generating capacity is hydroelectric, and it is subject to seasonal fluctuations in stream and river flows.

Its nominal GDP for 2011 was 251.5 billion yuan (US$39.9 billion), making it the 4th smallest in all of the PRC and contributes just 0.53% to the entire country's economy. At that time, its GDP per capita was 19,166 yuan (US$2,805).

By the first quarter of 2010, Hainan had the highest increase in GDP of any province in China, with a year-on-year increase of 25.1%. The GDP of Hainan's Qionghai city grew 58.7%.

In December 2009, the government of China announced that it plans to establish Hainan as an "international tourist destination" by 2020.[17] This announcement contributed to a surge in the province's economy, with a year-on-year increase in investment of 136.9% in the first three months of 2010. Hainan's real estate sector accounted for more than one third of the province's economic growth.[18]

Economic and technological development zones[edit]

Duty-free program[edit]

On April 20, 2011, a pilot duty-free program commenced with the aim of increasing luxury goods purchases. It permits domestic Chinese visitors to claim tax refunds on imported luxury items purchased within the province. The maximum value is set at 5,000 yuan (US$762), with lowered tax rates on purchases over 5,000 yuan.[19] In October 2012, duty limits were raised to 8,000 yuan ($1,273), and became available to both domestic and international tourists.[20]

The total sales of duty-free products for 2012 was 2.4 billion yuan.[21]

The world's largest duty-free shopping complex is scheduled to open in Haitang Bay in August 2014.[22]

Natural resources[edit]

Hainan has commercially exploitable reserves of more than 30 minerals. Iron, first mined by the Japanese during their occupation of the island in World War II, is the most important. Also important are titanium, manganese, tungsten, bauxite, molybdenum, cobalt, copper, gold, and silver. There are large deposits of lignite and oil shale on the island, and significant offshore finds of oil and natural gas have been discovered. Virgin forests in the interior mountains contain more than 20 commercially valuable species, including teak and sandalwood.

Agriculture[edit]

A small, rural vegetable farm near Haikou. Note the cement reservoir containing cow manure mixed with water. This is commonly used in the province.
Water buffalo in one of the many rice fields in Hainan. Unlike other parts of China, Hainan's rice fields are normally on flatland, with few stepped paddies.

Owing to Hainan's tropical climate, Paddy rice is cultivated extensively in the northeastern lowlands and in the southern mountain valleys.[17] Leading crops other than rice include coconuts, palm oil, sisal, tropical fruits (including pineapples, of which Hainan is China's leading producer), black pepper, coffee, tea, cashews, and sugarcane. In the early 20th century Chinese emigrants returning from then British Malaya, introduced rubber trees to the island; after 1950, state farms were developed, and Hainan now produces a substantial amount of China's rubber. The hot Hainan Yellow Lantern Chili, a variety unique to the island, is grown in the southeast and southwest.

Domesticated farm animals comprise mainly goats, cows, water buffalo, chickens, geese and ducks.

Fisheries[edit]

Grouper, Spanish mackerel, and tuna[citation needed] constitute the bulk of the catch from offshore fishing grounds. Scallops and pearls are raised in shallow bays and basins for local use and export.

Shrimp production is estimated to have been 120,000 to 150,000 metric tons (130,000 to 170,000 short tons) in 2007, more than 50% of which was exported. Hainan has over 400 hatcheries, most being located between Wenchang and Qionghai.

Tilapia production in 2008 was 300,000 metric tons (330,000 short tons). The island has an estimated 100,000 local, commercial fish farming families.[23]

Real estate market[edit]

In 1990, Hainan province was the site of the largest property bust in modern Chinese history[17] With 2009 and the announcement of the Chinese Government's plan to develop the province into a major international tourist location, property sales rose by 73%, creating the possibility of another bubble in Hainan's property market.[17]

Since March 2010, commercial and residential property values in some parts of Hainan have slowed down since the market peaked in February. In March, average month-on-month transaction prices dropped 12.82% to 12,280 RMB per square meter, with a reduction in volume to 627,000 square metres (6,750,000 sq ft), a 19.05% decline. Later in April, prices declined 2.84% to 11,932 yuan per square metre, with a 57.59% decline in volume to 567,200 square meters (6,105,000 sq ft). Then in May prices declined a further 29.74% from the previous month to 8,483 yuan per square metre, with a 57.95% decline in volume to 229,000 square metres (2,460,000 sq ft).[24] However, property prices in the tourist resort of Sanya remain strong as of January 2011, with prime developments selling at prices of up to 80,000 RMB per square metre.

Golf industry[edit]

This industry is expanding in Hainan, with numerous courses being constructed, including Mission Hills Haikou, which will be one of the largest golf complexes in the world. The golf industry attracts foreign investment, and overseas golfers from such countries as Australia, South Korea, and Japan.

Medical tourism[edit]

The government of Hainan intends to expand the province's medical tourism industry.[25][26] The provincial government plans to establish the Boao Lecheng International Medical Travel Zone in the Bo'ao area. This was announced at the Boao Forum for Asia in 2011.[27] The State Council has approved the of development of Lecheng Island.[28] as a medical tourism-themed destination.[29] Lecheng Island is a small island in the Wanquan River about 3 km (1.9 mi) west of the coastal town of Bo'ao on the west coast of the province. Construction on the 20 sq. km. zone is expected to begin in December 2014, will cost a projected 1.5 billion yuan, and is scheduled for completion in 2016. It will be the first special zone for medical travel in China.[30]

Automotive industry[edit]

Domestic Chinese manufacturer, Haima Automobile has its global headquarters in Haikou.

Transportation[edit]

Road[edit]

Map showing main highways

Before 1950 there were practically no transportation links with the interior of the island. The first roads were built in the early 20th century, but no major road construction was undertaken in the mountains until the 1950s. Parallel north–south roads along the east and west coasts and through the interior of the island constitute most of Hainan's road network.

Air[edit]

Hainan Province has two international airports, both on Hainan Island: the Haikou Meilan International Airport and Sanya Phoenix International Airport.

Rail[edit]

Today's Hainan is ringed by standard-gauge railways. Since 2004, a rail ferry connects the island's railroad network to the mainland.[31] In 2005, Ministry of Communications allocated 20 million yuan (US$2.4 million) to set up a committee to research and study the possibility of a bridge or tunnel link connecting the island to the mainland.[32]

From the ferry terminal, located near Haikou Railway Station (west of Haikou), freight and passenger trains arriving from the mainland can proceed on the Hainan Western Ring Railway along the island's west coast, via Dongfang to Sanya. This railway line has been developed over several decades, starting with a few short 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) narrow gauge lines constructed during the Japanese occupation in the early 1940s.

The Hainan Eastern Ring High-Speed Railway links Haikou and Sanya along the island's east coast. There are 15 stations in between, either in operation or still under construction. Trains are designed to travel at 250 km/h (160 mph). Travel time from Haikou to Sanya is approximately 1 hour and 22 minutes.

The total length of Hainan Eastern Ring High-Speed Railway is 308.11 km (191.45 mi). The in-between railway stations include Haikou East, Changliu, Xiuying, Meilan Airport, Wenchang, Qionghai, Bo'ao, Wanning, Shenzhou, Sun and Moon Bay, Lingshui and Tiandu.[33]

The first train run started on 30 December 2010 at the price of 114 RMB for first-class seat and 95 RMB for a second-class seat for a full journey between Haikou and Sanya.[34]

Another high-speed railway will be built on the west coast of Hainan, roughly paralleling the existing Hainan Western Ring Railway. The future 345 km (214 mi) Hainan Western Ring High-Speed Railway will link up with the Hainan Eastern Ring Railway at both ends, thus forming a high-speed railway ring around the island.[35]

Seaports[edit]

Haikou Xiuying Port

Hainan received 11,000 tons of products via ports November 2010, up 90.1 percent month-on-month. Between January and November 2010, 102,000 tons of products were exported via Hainan, 34,000 tons of which were exported to the US, and 14,000 tons sent to the EU.[38]

Education[edit]

Haikou College of Economics, Guilinyang campus

The level of primary and secondary education has improved since 1949, but facilities for higher education remain somewhat inadequate.[citation needed]

Culture[edit]

Hainan has always been on the fringe of the Chinese cultural sphere. Traditionally, the island was a place of exile for criminals and disgraced officials. As a frontier region celebrated by such exiled poets as Su Dongpo, Hainan acquired an air of mystery and romance. The influx of large numbers of mainlanders after 1950 – particularly in the 1970s, when young Chinese from southern Guangdong were assigned to state farms to help develop Hainan, and in the 1980s, when thousands more came to take advantage of the economic opportunities offered – has perpetuated the frontier atmosphere on the island.

Media[edit]

As well as programming from Central China Television (CCTV), Hainan has a number of local TV stations including Hainan TV and Haikou TV. The Chinese language Nanguo Metropolis Daily, Haikou Evening News, and Hainan Daily newspapers are published in Haikou.

Cuisine[edit]

Wenchang Chicken after cooking and before being cut into pieces, this dish is sold widely throughout the province, and is served with rice.

Hainan cuisine is said to be "lighter, with mild seasonings." A lot of local taste is mixed with the Han Chinese taste. Seafood predominates the menu, as shrimp, crab, fish and other sea life are widely available.

Wenchang Chicken is a dish known throughout the province of Hainan. Although there are many varieties of this dish, the name is usually used to define a type of small, free-range chicken from Wenchang, located on the east coast of the province. As opposed to battery chickens, its meat has more texture and is somewhat drier.

Hainan chicken rice is a famous dish in Southeast Asia bearing the region's name. However, whilst many restaurants use chicken fat to quickly add flavour to the dish, the proper local method is to 'marinate' the rice with chicken soup to add a more full flavour.

Seafood is of course a favorite in Hainan. Many places and a wide range of variety. However in the last year pollution put a toll on the quality. The best seafood can be found north of Sanya, Haitang Wan is reputed to provide some of the best.

Tourism[edit]

Located in Sanya, this beach is typical of those along the entire eastern coast of Hainan

During 2011, more than 30 million tourists visited Hainan, mostly from mainland China. Of the 814,600 overseas tourists, 227,600 of them came from Russia, a 53.3 percent a rise year-on-year.[39] Total revenue during that year was 32 billion RMB ($4.3 billion US), up 25 percent from 2010.[40]

In the first quarter of 2012, the Hainan Provincial Tourism Development Commission reports that Hainan received 208,300 overnight visitors, 25 percent of whom came from Russia.[39]

In 2000, the province initiated a visa-upon-arrival policy for foreign tourist groups. It is available to citizens of twenty-six different countries, and was established in order to attract visitors.

To encourage tourism to Hainan, visitors are allowed to claim a maximum 8,000 yuan tax refund on luxury items purchased within the province.

Hainan Island is often divided into eight regions for tourism purposes: Haikou and area (Haikou, Qiongshan, Ding'an); the Northeast (Wenchang); the Central East Coast (Qionghai, Ding'an); the South East Coast; the South (Sanya); the West Coast also called the Chinese Riviera (Ledong, Dongfang, Xianghsui, Changjiang); the North West (Danzhou, Lingao, Chengmai); and the Central Highlands (Baisha, Qiongzhong, and Wuzhishan/Tongzha).

Yachting[edit]

To encourage the international yachting community, new regulations now allow foreign yachts to stay for a total of 183 days each year, with a maximum single stay duration of 30 days. 13 additional ports will be built around the island to accommodate this market.[41]

Historical sites[edit]

Haikou is the province's capital and contains interesting historic sites. Also known as Coconut City, Haikou is a major port. The Five Officials Temple (Chinese: ; pinyin: gōng , 20°0′35.79″N 110°21′17.34″E / 20.0099417°N 110.3548167°E / 20.0099417; 110.3548167) consists of five traditional temples and halls that were built in honour of five officials of the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties. These officials were banished to Hainan for periods ranging from 11 days to 11 years for speaking out against what they felt were wrong practices by the Emperors. (It is perhaps significant that the establishment of the Five Officials Temple in the late 19th century coincides with a time when China's territorial integrity was under threat, and that several of the officials honoured here were exiled for espousing aggressive policies on the recapture of the north of China from the Jurchens during the Southern Song dynasty.)

Xiuying Fort Barbette was built in 1891 to defend the southeastern corner of China during the Sino-French War. The Xiuying Fort Barbette covers about a third of an acre. Its five large cannons are still intact and viewable at the site.

Tomb of Hai Rui

The Tomb of Hai Rui (20°0′29.66″N 110°17′30.18″E / 20.0082389°N 110.2917167°E / 20.0082389; 110.2917167) is a key national cultural protection site. Hai Rui was a compassionate and popular official of Hainanese origins who lived during the Ming Dynasty. He was famous for his lifelong honesty and his willingness to speak out on behalf of local people. In later life, Hai Rui was persecuted and fell out of favour with the emperor. His admirers built the Hai Rui Tomb after his death to commemorate his great works. Construction of the tomb began in 1589.

The Yangpu Ancient Salt Field is a heritage site in Yantian village on Yangpu Peninsula. The area comprises more than 1,000 stones, cut flat on top, used to dry seawater to produce salt.

Other attractions and destinations[edit]

Yalong Bay, the most expensive and well-known beach in Hainan, and location of numerous 5-star hotels.

Hainan Island has a number of beaches, hot springs and other attractions. Some top scenic sites include Yalong bay National Resort; Dadonghai Tourist Resort; Qizhi Shan (Seven Finger Mountain), Nuilin mountain tropical botanical reserve in Lingshui county, Guantang Hot Spring Resort, Shishan Volcanic Garden; the Wanquan River, Baishi Ridge Scenic Zone and Baihua Ridge.

Other attractions in Hainan include:

Statistics[edit]

20.6 million tourists visited Hainan in 2008, producing total revenues of 19.23 billion yuan (US$2.81 billion). Of these tourists, 979,800 were from overseas with the largest numbers coming from ROK, Russia and Japan.[42]

During 2010, the amount of overnight tourists visiting Hainan was 25.87 million, 663,000 of which came from outside China.[41]

Events[edit]

Numerous events are hosted or sponsored on the island, including:

  • Miss World beauty pageant is regularly held in the city of Sanya.
  • Mission Hills Star Trophy is an annual golf tournament that started in 2010.
  • Tour of Hainan bicycle race
  • Hainan Rendez-Vous, an annual four-day event that draws China's ultra high net worth individuals to the Chinese Riviera-like shores of Hainan[43]
  • Ironman triathlon
  • Boao Forum for Asia, held in Boao, is an international high-level government, business, and academia forum.
  • H1 Hot Air Balloon Challenge is held annually in Haikou. Balloons from across the nation fly over the Qiongzhou Strait from Haikou to a designated location on the mainland in Xunwen County, Guangdong.[44][45]

Miscellaneous topics[edit]

Space centre[edit]

Main article Wenchang Satellite Launch Center.

China announced in October 2007 that it would build its fourth space launch centre, just a week after it fired off its first lunar orbiter. The new launch centre, to be built on the eastern island province of Hainan, is scheduled to start operating between 2014 and 2015. The location of the launch centre in Hainan, a low-latitude coastal region advantageous for orbital launches, will displace more than 6,000 residents that will be relocated to make way for the space centre, which will occupy 1,200 hectares (3,000 acres). The site will be mainly used for launching various kinds of satellites and large space stations. The plan has been approved by the government. A 407-hectare (1,010-acre) space themed park will also be constructed near the new launch centre.

Notable residents[edit]

The poet Su Shi (1036–1101) popularized Hainan's isolation and exoticism when he was exiled there under the Song dynasty. The Dongpo Academy was built on the site of the residence where he lived in exile.

Hai Rui (1514–1587) was a famous Chinese official of the Ming dynasty. His name has come down in history as a model of honesty and integrity in office.

The most well-known native of Hainan is Chinese-American Methodist minister turned businessman, Charlie Soong, father of the Shanghai-born Soong sisters: Soong Ai-ling, wife of H. H. Kung (once China's richest man); Soong Ching-ling, wife of Sun Yat-Sen; and Soong Mei-ling, wife of former ROC President Chiang Kai-shek.

International partnership[edit]

Hainan has international relationships with these places: [47]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  47. ^ [1]

Further reading[edit]

  • D'Arcy Brown, Liam (2003). Green Dragon, Sombre Warrior: travels to China's extremes. London: John Murray. ISBN 0-7195-6038-1

External links[edit]