Coordinates: 19°12′N 109°42′E / 19.2°N 109.7°E / 19.2; 109.7

Hainan Province
Chinese : 海南省
Hǎinán Shěng
Min Nan POJ: Hái-lâm-séng
Cantonese Jyutping: Hoi² Naam1 Saang²
Abbreviations: simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese:   (pinyin: Qióng, POJ: khêng, Jyutping: king4)
Hainanan is highlighted on this map
Origin of name 海 hǎi - sea
南 nán - south
"South of the Sea [Qiongzhou Strait]"
Administration type Province
(and largest city)
CPC Ctte Secretary Wei Liucheng
Governor Luo Baoming
Area 33,920 km2 (13,100 sq mi) (28th)
 - Latitude 18° 10' to 20° 10' N [1]
 - Longitude 108° 37' to 111° 16' E
Population (2010)
 - Density
8,671,518 (28th)
254.7 /km2 (660 /sq mi) (17th)
GDP (2010)
 - per capita
CNY 205.2 billion (US$30.3 billion) (28th)
CNY 19,166 (23rd)
HDI (2008) 0.784 (medium) (17th)
Ethnic composition Han - 82.6%
Li - 15.84%
Miao - 0.82%
Zhuang - 0.67%
Spoken dialects Hainanese, Yue, Hlai
Prefectural level 2 divisions
County level 20 divisions
Township level* 218 divisions
ISO 3166-2 CN-46
Official website
(Simplified Chinese)
Source for population and GDP data:
《中国统计年鉴—2005》 China Statistical Yearbook 2005
ISBN 7503747382
Source for nationalities data:
《2000年人口普查中国民族人口资料》 Tabulation on nationalities of 2000 population census of China
ISBN 7105054255
*As at December 31, 2004
Template ■ Discussion ■ WikiProject China
Native name: 海南
Location East Asia
Area 33,210 km2 (12,822 sq mi)
Area rank 42nd
Highest elevation 1,840 m (6,040 ft)
Highest point Wuzhi Mountain
Province Hainan
Largest city Haikou (pop. 2,046,189)
Population approx. 8,180,000
Ethnic groups Han, Li, Miao, Zhuang

Hainan (Chinese: 海南; pinyin: About this sound Hǎinán , Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Hái-lâm, jyutping: Hoi² Naam4, literally "South of the Sea [Qiongzhou Strait]") is the smallest province of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Although the province 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 (Hainan Dao), from which the province takes its name. The name "Hainan", to the people of China, usually refers to Hainan Island itself; however the PRC government claims territories of the province extend to the southern Spratly Islands, Paracel Islands, and other disputed marine territory. Hainan is also the largest Special Economic Zone laid out by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in the late 1980s.

Hainan Island is located in the South China Sea, separated from Guangdong's Leizhou Peninsula to the north by the shallow and narrow Qiongzhou Strait. It has an area of 33,920 square kilometres (13,100 sq mi) and is China's southernmost province. For centuries Hainan was part of Guangdong province, but in 1988 this resource-rich tropical island became a separate province.

There are a total of eight major cities and ten counties in Hainan. Haikou on the northern coast is the capital whilst Sanya is a well-known tourist destination on the south coast. The Paracel Islands and Spratly Islands, south of Sanya,[2] are claimed by the People's Rebublic of China and thus considered to form an administrative district of Hainan by them. Sovereignty of the islands is however disputed. The Paracel Islands are claimed by Vietnam, the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China (Taiwan) whilst the Spratly Islands are subject to claims by Vietnam, the People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Malaysia, The Philippines, and Brunei.

The other major cities on the island are Wenchang, Qionghai, Wanning, Wuzhishan, Dongfang and Danzhou.



Hainan (海南) describes location as being South of the Qiongzhou Strait, while 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.


Hainan first enters 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 kilometres (7,200 sq mi), about 55 percent of the province's total.[4]

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

During the Three Kingdoms Period, 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 Province, 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 Province 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 government, which responded by bringing in mercenaries from the Miao people regions of Guizhou Province. Many of the Miao settled on the island and their descendants live in the western highlands to this day.

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 Jinmen, Dengbu, and Taiwan. Hence, while many observers of the Chinese civil war thought that the fall of Hainan to the Communists would be followed shortly by the fall of Taiwan, the lack of any communist guerrilla force on Taiwan 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.

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.

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

During the mid-1980s, when Hainan was still part of the Guangdong Province, a fourteen-month episode of marketing zeal by Hainan Special District Administrator Lei Yu[5] 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.


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 (瓊州海峽) from the Leizhou Peninsula (雷州半島) of Guangdong, is the largest island administered by the People's Republic of China. The size of Hainan Island (32,900 km2 (12,700 sq mi), 97% of the province) is comparable to the size of Belgium. The PRC, however, regard it as the second largest island, since it considers Taiwan (35,980 km2/13,890 sq mi) as an integral part of its territory. To the west of Hainan is the Gulf of Tonkin. Wuzhi Mountain (1,840 m) is the highest mountain on the island.

Rivers and lakes

High-resolution topographical map

Most of the rivers in Hainan originate in the central area of the island and flow radially in different directions. 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.


Hainan has a tropical moist monsoonal climate. Its annual temperature change is less than 15 °C (27.0 °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.

Flora and fauna

Two types of Hainan Yellow Lantern Chili

Hainan has over 1,500 km2 of primitive tropical forest, in which live 4,600 kinds of plants, and more than 570 species of animals. There are 53 genera in 29 families of wild and cultivated fruit growing on the island.[6] There are few large trees on the island. Coconut palms are very common, along with and other smaller trees. Most of the island is covered by forest. Much of the wildlife comprises domesticated farm animals such as goats, water buffalo, chickens, and ducks. The farms on Hainan generally do not raise sheep, and there are few cows. Almost no large animals remain in the wild. Reptiles such as frogs, toads, lizards, and geckos are common throughout the island, with snakes being somewhat more rare. The lakes are largely populated with carp and catfish. Seabirds such as gulls are not generally seen. Egrets are common in agricultural areas. Similar to many subtropical areas, insect species are diverse, with mosquitoes being very common.



  • Hainan Gymnure, also known as the Hainan Moonrat, is a species of mammal.
  • Hainan Partridge is a species of bird endemic to Hainan.
  • Hainan Peacock-pheasant, an endangered species belonging to the Phasianidae
  • Hainan black crested gibbon is one of the world's most endangered primates. Seacology, a non-profit organization in Berkeley, California, United States, initiated a project to protect the highly endangered Hainan Gibbon in exchange for scholarships for the children of four villages near Bawangling Reserve.
  • Hainan Hare is a species of hare endemic to Hainan

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


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

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%). 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.

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.


Out of the total population, 90% 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: 35,000 Protestants and 4,100 Catholics by the biggest estimates. There is less oppression of Christians in Hainan than in other parts of the country. [7]

Nanshan Park is the centre of Buddhism on Hainan Island. Encompassing more than 50 square kilometres 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.[8]


The population density of Hainan is low compared to most Chinese coastal provinces. Compared to Taiwan, and to other islands of the Sinosphere, Hainan has both fewer mountains and more plains.[citation needed]


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 many 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 language family.

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 Mandarin 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. Some of the Cham speakers also speak the Danzhou dialect, a Cantonese dialect.[9]


Even while Hainan 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.


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.


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.


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 four 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 of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
# Name and Administrative Seat Hanzi Hanyu Pinyin Administrative Seat Population (2010)
Prefecture-level city
1 Haikou 海口市 Hǎikǒu Shì Meilan District 2,046,189
2 Sanya 三亚市 Sānyà Shì Sanya 685,408
Sub-prefecture-level city
3 Wenchang 文昌市 Wénchāng Shì Wenchang 537,428
4 Qionghai 琼海市 Qiónghǎi Shì Qionghai 483,217
5 Wanning 万宁市 Wànníng Shì Wanning 545,597
6 Wuzhishan 五指山市 Wǔzhǐshān Shì Wuzhishan 104,122
7 Dongfang 东方市 Dōngfāng Shì Dongfang 408,309
8 Danzhou 儋州市 Dānzhōu Shì Danzhou 932,362
— County —
9 Lingao 临高县 Língāo Xiàn Lingao 427,873
10 Chengmai 澄迈县 Chéngmài Xiàn Chengmai 467,161
11 Ding'an 定安县 Dìng'ān Xiàn Ding'an 284,616
12 Tunchang 屯昌县 Túnchāng Xiàn Tunchang 256,931
Sub-prefecture-level autonomous county
13 Changjiang (Li) 昌江黎族自治县 Chāngjiāng Lízú Zìzhìxiàn Changjiang 223,839
14 Baisha (Li) 白沙黎族自治县 Báishā Lízú Zìzhìxiàn Baisha 167,918
15 Qiongzhong (Li & Miao) 琼中黎族苗族自治县 Qióngzhōng Lízú Miáozú Zìzhìxiàn Qiongzhong 174,076
16 Lingshui (Li) 陵水黎族自治县 Língshuǐ Lízú Zìzhìxiàn Lingshui 320,468
17 Baoting (Li & Miao) 保亭黎族苗族自治县 Bǎotíng Lízú Miáozú Zìzhìxiàn Baoting 146,684
18 Ledong (Li) 乐东黎族自治县 Lèdōng Lízú Zìzhìxiàn Ledong 458,876
— Administrative office —
*19 Paracels, Spratlys, & Zhongsha Iss. 西沙群岛、南沙群岛、
Hǎinán shěng Xīshā Qúndǎo, Nánshā Qúndǎo,
Zhōngshā Qúndǎo Bànshìchù
Yongxing Island
(Woody Island)
*Note: Sovereignty over the Paracel, Spratly, & Zhongsha Islands is disputed as of 21 November 2011.


Hainan 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.[10] 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 Defence 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.


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 2009 was 164.7 billion yuan (US$24 billion), making it the 4th smallest in all of the PRC and contributes just 0.5% 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 announed that it plans to establish Hainan as an "international tourist destination" by 2020.[11] 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.[12]

Economic and technological development zones

  • Haikou Free Trade Zone
  • Haikou New & Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone
  • Yangpu Economic Development Zone

Natural resources

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.


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.[11] 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.


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.[13]

Real estate market

In 1990, Hainan province was the site of the largest property bust in modern Chinese history[11] 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.[11]

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.

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).[14]

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

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.


A street view in Sanya, the second largest city in Hainan. This popular tourist destination is located at the southernmost tip of the province.


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.


Hainan has two international airports: the Haikou Meilan International Airport and Sanya Phoenix International Airport.


A Railroad ferry link was established in early 2000s connecting the island's railroad network to the mainland.[15] 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.[16]

The Hainan East Ring Intercity Rail links Haikou and Sanya. There are 15 stations in between, either in operation or still under construction. Trains are designed to travel at 250 km/h. Travel time from Haikou to Sanya is approximately 1 hour and 22 minutes.

Another high-speed railway will be built on the west coast of Hainan. The 345 km western ring will link up with the Hainan Eastern Ring Railway.[17]


This harbour is located within a bay, next to Sanya's city centre. Often densely packed, many of the boats are not modern, but made of wood, and serve as residences.
  • Haikou Xiuying Port (海口秀英港) serves as the main passenger and cargo center.[18]
  • Haikou New Port (海口新港) opened June 1, 2005[18]
  • Macun Port (马村港) located in Chengmai County, northern Hainan and opened June 1, 2005[18]
  • Hainan Strait Port[19]
  • Basuo Port is a small port on the west coast of Hainan near Dongfang.

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.[20]


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

  • Hainan University (海南大学)
  • Hainan Normal University (海南师范大学)
  • Qiongzhou University (琼州大学)
  • Hainan Medical Institute (海南医学院)
  • Haikou College of Economics (海口经济学院)
  • South China Tropical Agricultural University (华南热带农业大学, merged into Hainan University on Aug 14, 2007)


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.


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 and Hainan Daily newspapers are published in Haikou.


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 city, 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, Xiangshui Wan is reputed to provide some of the best.


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

As Hainan Island is not heavily industrialised, its greenery, together with its beautiful beaches and clean air, make it a popular tourist attraction. 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.

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).


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.[21]

Historical sites

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.

The Tomb of Hai Rui (Chinese: ; pinyin: Hǎi Ruì , 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

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:

  • Phoenix Island, an artificial archipelago currently under construction in Sanya Bay.
  • Monkey Island, near the well-known perfume bay or Xiangshui Wan, a popular tourist destination located in Lingshui County, is a state-protected nature reserve for macaques.
  • Yalong Bay (Crescent Dragon Bay or Yalong Wan), a 7 kilometres (4.3 mi) long beach east of Sanya City.
  • Xiangshui Bay Scenic Area, 48 kilometres (30 mi) from Sanya Tiandu.
  • Luobi Cave, 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) north of Sanya City.
  • Nanshan Temple, a Buddhist cultural area west of Sanya featuring a 108 metres (354 ft) Statue of Guanyin, Buddist Goddess of Mercy.


20.6 million tourists visited Hainan in 2008, producing total revenues of 19.23 billion yuan (US$2.81 billion). Of these tourists, 979,300 were from overseas with the largest numbers coming from ROK, Russia and Japan.[22]

During 2010, the amount of overnight tourists visiting Hainan was 25.87 million, 663,000 of which came from outside China.[21]


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[23]
  • 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.[24][25]

Miscellaneous topics

  • Hainan is a sister province of Jeju-do island-province of South Korea and of the Canadian island-province of Prince Edward Island.
  • The novel, Red Detachment of Women, by Liang Xin, was set in Hainan. The novel was first adapted to a feature film in the 1950s, and then a ballet in the 1960s as one of the Eight model plays. Most of the people of that time derived their romanticized image of Hainan Island from the scenes in the ballet, particularly that of the vivid forests of coconut trees, the Five Finger Mountain (Wuzhi Shan), and the Wanquan River.
  • One of the satellite launch centers of China is located in Hainan near the city of Wenchang. It is called Wenchang Satellite Launch Center. It is the closest Chinese launch center to the equator.
  • Parts of the 2010 movie If you are the One 2 (非诚勿扰 2) were shot in Shimei Bay (石梅湾) near Sanya.[26]
  • Two notable lighthouses are located on Hainan: the Baishamen Lighthouse and Mulantou Lighthouse are among the tallest in the world, the latter being the tallest in China.
  • 3024 Hainan, named for the province, is an outer main-belt asteroid discovered in 1981.
  • Hainan Kopi Tales is an award-winning Singaporean Chinese drama serial set in a famous Hainan coffee shop that explores the Hainanese way of life from the 1960s to the 1980s.

Space centre

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

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.

See also


  1. ^ Does not include the Spratly or Paracel Islands
  2. ^ "电子地图 - 海南省人民政府网站". Hainan.gov.cn. http://www.hainan.gov.cn/code/V3/map. Retrieved 2010-08-09. 
  3. ^ "Tracing the legacy of the early Hainan Islanders - a perspective from mitochondrial DNA". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 15 February 2011. http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/11/46. Retrieved February 18, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Population and People of Hainan Island". http://www.sunnysanya.com/hainan_island/population_people_hainan_island.asp. 
  5. ^ Subsequently Vice Mayor of Shenzhen SEZ (May 1985 to January 1988), Executive Vice Mayor of Guangzhou (January 1988 to April 1992) and Vice Chairman of Guangxi AR (April 1992 to January 1996).
  6. ^ Gwinnell, Philip; Han, Bin (2010), China's Emerging Jewel, Hainan, The Definitive Guide, ISBN978-7-5501-0016-9., p.23-26
  7. ^ PDF downloadable at http://www.mrt-rrt.gov.au/ArticleDocuments/71/chn31077.pdf.aspx
  8. ^ "wenewsit.com". wenewsit.com. http://wenewsit.com/2011/06/spirituality-by-the-sea-in-hainan/. Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  9. ^ Thurgood, Graham. "Sociolinguistics and contact-induced language change: Hainan Cham, Anong, and Phan Rang Cham."‭. 2006. Tenth International Conference on Austronesian Linguistics, 17–20 January 2006, Palawan, Philippines. Linguistic Society of the Philippines and SIL International.
  10. ^ "China Builds Secret Nuclear Submarine Base in South China Sea". FoxNews.com. 2008-05-02. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,353961,00.html. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  11. ^ a b c d "Hainan Province: Economic News and Statistics for Hainan's Economy". Thechinaperspective.com. http://thechinaperspective.com/topics/province/hainan-province/. Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  12. ^ "Hainan officials rule out bubble burst". Chinadaily.com.cn. 2010-05-10. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2010-05/10/content_9829683.htm. Retrieved 2010-08-09. 
  13. ^ "Sustainable Aquaculture in South China – Shrimp and Tilapia Farming in Hainan and Guangdong Provinces". Euchinawto.org. http://www.euchinawto.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=314&Itemid=36. Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  14. ^ "CapitalVue News: Hainan Property Market Collapses". Capitalvue.com. 2010-06-17. http://www.capitalvue.com/home/CE-news/inset/@10063/post/1197863. Retrieved 2010-08-09. 
  15. ^ "Railway Ferry Service Across Qiongzhou Straits Begins". People's Daily Online. 2003-01-08. http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200301/07/eng20030107_109686.shtml. Retrieved 2008-08-12. 
  16. ^ Xinhua News Agency (2005-02-03). "Hainan Mulls Bridge/ Tunnel Link to Mainland". China.org.cn. http://www.china.org.cn/english/China/119799.htm. Retrieved 2008-08-12. 
  17. ^ "Hainan International Tourism Island Steps in to the Age of High Speed Rail Age (海南吉林迈入高铁时代 高铁激活国际旅游岛)" (in Chinese). January 4, 2011. http://auto.ifeng.com/usecar/traffic/20110104/504683.shtml. Retrieved January 6, 2011. 
  18. ^ a b c "Hainan Harbor & Shipping Holding Co.,Ltd.". China Ports. http://english.chinaports.org/info/201011/000124.html. Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  19. ^ "Hainan Strait Port , China". ports.com. http://ports.com/china/hainan-strait-port/. Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  20. ^ "China exports 11k tons of aquatic products via Hainan ports in Nov - What's On Sanya". Whatsonsanya.com. 2010-12-28. http://www.whatsonsanya.com/news-14177-china-exports-11k-tons-of-aquatic-products-via-hainan-ports-in-nov.html. Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  21. ^ a b "China opening up Hainan Island to the world". The Independent (London). 2011-03-31. http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/china-opening-up-hainan-island-to-the-world-2257987.html. 
  22. ^ "Hainan tourism Hainan on the way to become the new Hawaii ?". eTurboNews.com. http://www.eturbonews.com/13871/hainan-way-become-new-hawaii?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:%20Eturbonews-TravelAndTourismIndustryNews%20(eTurboNews%20-%20Travel%20and%20Tourism%20Industry%20News). Retrieved 2010-08-09. 
  23. ^ "(Hainan Sanya) - Yachts, Business Jets, Luxury LifeStyle". Hainan RendezVous. http://hainanrendezvous.com/en/. Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  24. ^ "Hot Air Balloon Challenge held in Haikou". News.xinhuanet.com. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/photo/2011-06/14/c_13927851.htm. Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  25. ^ "H1 China Hot Air Balloon Challenge kicks off". 360doc.com. http://www.360doc.com/content/11/0614/08/363711_126783525.shtml. Retrieved 2011-11-12. 
  26. ^ "China's Top Ten 2011". Global Times. January 19, 2011. http://life.globaltimes.cn/travel/2011-01/614134.html. Retrieved January 20, 2011. 

Further reading

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

External links

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  • Hainan — (chino: 海南, pinyin: Hǎinán), provincia insular de la República Popular China formada por diferentes islas; la mayor de ellas es la de Hainan. Su capital es Haikou. Está situada en el Mar de la China Meridional, en la parte más meridional del país …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Hainan — Hainan,   tropische Insel vor der Küste Südchinas, als Provinz 34 000 km2, 7,53 Mio. Einwohner (davon etwa 10 % Li und Miao), Hauptstadt und Hauptort der Insel ist die Hafenstadt Haikou. Vom Festland (Halbinsel Leizhou) durch die 28 km breite… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Hainan — Hainan, Insel vor dem Golf von Tongking im Südosten von China gelegen u. zur chinesischen Provinz Canton gehörig, vom Festlande nur durch die 2 Meilen breite inselreiche Hainanstraße vom Festland getrennt, ist 950–1000 QM. groß u. im Innern von… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Hainan [1] — Hainan (chines. Kiungtschoufu), zur chines. Provinz Kwangtung gehörige Insel (s. die Karten »Hinterindien« und »Französisch Indochina«), zwischen 20°13´ und 18°10´ nördl. Br., südöstlich vor dem Golf von Tongking und durch die 28 km breite Straße …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Hainan [2] — Hainan (Haynau), Stadt im preuß. Regbez. Liegnitz, Kreis Goldberg H., 153 m ü. M., an der Schnellen Deichsa und der Staatsbahnlinie Sommerfeld Liegnitz, hat eine evangelische und eine kath. Kirche, Synagoge, Blücherdenkmal, Amtsgericht, Handschuh …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Hainan — Hainan, chines. Insel, durch eine ziemlich schmale Halbinsel von dem Festlande der Provinz Canton getrennt, ist etwa 900 QM. groß, mit einem Hochgebirge, dessen Ausläufer treffliches Nutzholz tragen. Sie ist ziemlich fruchtbar, hat etwa 11/2 Mill …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Hainan — île chinoise du golfe du Tonkin; 34 000 km²; env. 6 millions d hab.; ch. l. Haikou. Fer, uranium …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Hainan — [hī′nän′] island province of China, in the South China Sea: 13,243 sq mi (34,299 sq km); pop. 6,420,000; cap. Haikou …   English World dictionary

  • Hainan — 海南省 Hǎinán Shěng Abkürzung: 琼 (Pinyin: Qióng) Hauptstadt Haikou Fläche   Gesamt   Anteil an der VR China Rang 28 von 33 33.920 km² …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hainan — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Hainan (homonymie). Hainan 海南 (zh) …   Wikipédia en Français

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