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Hainan (UK: //, US: /-/; Chinese: 海南ⓘ) is the southernmost province of the People's Republic of China (PRC), consisting of various islands in the South China Sea. The name means "south of the sea", reflecting the island's position south of the Qiongzhou Strait, which separates it from Leizhou Peninsula and the Chinese mainland.
|Province of Hainan|
|• Chinese||海南省 (Hǎinán Shěng)|
|• Cantonese Jyutping||Hoi2naam4 Saang2|
|• Abbreviation||琼 (Qióng / Khêng / King4)|
|Guangnan West Circuit||988|
|Hainan Special Administrative Region||1944|
|Incorporation into the PRC||1 May 1950|
|Separation from Guangdong||26 April 1988|
and largest city
|Divisions||4 prefectures, 25 counties, 218 townships|
|• Body||Hainan Provincial People's Congress|
|• CCP Secretary||Feng Fei|
|• Congress Chairman||Feng Fei|
|• Governor||Liu Xiaoming|
|• CPPCC Chairman||Li Rongcan|
|• Total||35,191 km2 (13,587 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||1,840 m (6,040 ft)|
|• Density||290/km2 (740/sq mi)|
|• Ethnic composition||Han: 82.6%|
|• Languages and dialects||Standard Chinese, Hainanese, Yue, Lingao, Hakka, Hlai, Miao, Tsat|
|ISO 3166 code||CN-HI|
|GDP (2021)||CN¥647.52 billion |
US$100.39 billion (31st)
|GDP per capita||CN¥64,230 |
|HDI (2018)||0.750 (high) (19th)|
|Area||33,210 km2 (12,820 sq mi)|
|Length||156 km (96.9 mi)|
|Width||170 km (106 mi)|
|Highest elevation||1,840 m (6040 ft)|
|Highest point||Wuzhi Mountain|
People's Republic of China
|Largest settlement||Haikou (pop. 2,873,358)|
Republic of China (claimed)
|Special Administrative Region||Hainan|
|Ethnic groups||Han, Li, Miao, Zhuang, Utsul|
|Literal meaning||"South of the Sea (Qiongzhou Strait)"|
|Literal meaning||Pearl Cliffs|
|Literal meaning||Jade Cliffs|
|Literal meaning||Jade Prefecture|
The province has a land area of 33,920 square kilometers (13,100 sq mi), of which Hainan Island is 32,900 square kilometers (12,700 sq mi) and the rest is over 200 islands scattered across three archipelagos: Zhongsha, Xisha and Nansha. It was part of Guangdong from 1950 to 1988, after which it was made a province of its own and was designated as a special economic zone by Deng Xiaoping, as part of the Chinese economic reform program.
Indigenous peoples such as the Hlai, a Kra–Dai-speaking ethnic group, are native to the island and compose 15% of the population. Their native languages include the Hlai languages. The Hlai are recognized by the Chinese government as one of the country's 56 ethnic groups. The Chinese population, who compose a majority of the population at 82%, speak a wide variety of languages including Standard Chinese, Hainam Min, Yue Chinese, Cantonese, Hakka Chinese, etc. Speakers of Be, despite speaking a Kra-Dai language, are reckoned officially as ethnically Chinese. Hainan is also home to the Jiamao language, of disputed provenance.
There are ten major cities and ten counties in Hainan Province. The capital of the province is Haikou, on the northern coast of Hainan Island, while Sanya is a well-known tourist destination on the southern coast. The other major cities are Wenchang, Sansha, Qionghai, Wanning, Wuzhishan, Dongfang and Danzhou.
According to China's territorial claims, several disputed territories in the South China Sea, including the Spratly Islands (Nansha) and Paracel Islands (Xisha), are administered under Sansha city of the province. However, many of these islands are also claimed and de facto controlled by other countries, such as Philippines and Vietnam.
In 2020, a large-scale plan was announced by the Chinese government to transform the entire island province into a free trade port, with the aim of turning it into the largest free-trade port in the world by 2035. The plan involves building a hub for offshore financing and duty-free shopping, as well as using lower taxes and reduced visa requirements to help draw in foreign businesses and tourists. Moreover, all goods sold from Hainan to other parts of China would be treated as imports from 2025 onward.
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