Hainan: Three Decades of Dra­matic Change

The dra­matic change in Hainan Prov­ince over the last three decades has be­come a glow­ing torch for China’s re­form and open­ing up.

China Pictorial (English) - - Contents - Text by Tan Xingyu

Since Hainan Prov­ince was des­ig­nated as a spe­cial eco­nomic zone (SEZ) in 1988, this south­ern­most prov­ince in China has been com­mit­ted to the re­form and open­ing up for 30 years straight.

From the days when “100,000 tal­ents went to Hainan” to the cur­rent con­struc­tion of an in­ter­na­tional tourism is­land, the thirty-year his­tory of the south­ern Chi­nese is­land rep­re­sents a bril­liant chap­ter of China’s re­form and open­ing up. The three decades of valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence and tem­pered mem­o­ries have be­come price­less as­sets for the fu­ture growth of the coun­try.

Wild Is­land to Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone

As early as 110 B.C., rulers of the Han Dy­nasty (202 B.C.-A.D. 220) ex­er­cised ju­ris­dic­tion over Hainan Is­land and for­mally an­nexed it into Chi­nese ter­ri­tory. Con­sid­er­ing an­cient pro­duc­tion meth­ods, the peo­ple of Hainan en­dured a harsh trop­i­cal mon­soon cli­mate fea­tur­ing per­pet­ual sum­mer. For a long time, it was con­sid­ered as a wild land and saw lit­tle fun­da­men­tal change un­til very re­cently.

In 1979, shortly af­ter China im­ple­mented the re­form and open­ing-up poli­cies, the coun­try be­gan to set up SEZS in Shen­zhen and Zhuhai along the south­east­ern coast in a bid to ex­plore new de­vel­op­ment paths.

In June 1987 while meet­ing with for­eign guests, Deng Xiaop­ing, chief ar­chi­tect of China’s re­form and open­ing up, first pro­posed the idea of es­tab­lish­ing a spe­cial eco­nomic zone in Hainan. He as­serted, “If Hainan Is­land be­came de­vel­oped, it would be a re­mark­able place.”

On April 13, 1988, the first ses­sion of the 7th Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress passed the De­ci­sionon Es­tab­lish­ing ha in an prov­ince and the Res­o­lu­tion on es­tab­lish­ing a spe­cial Eco­nomic zone in ha in an.

On April 26, the Hainan Provin­cial CPC (Com­mu­nist Party of China) Com­mit­tee and the Hainan Provin­cial Peo­ple’s Govern­ment were for­mally in­au­gu­rated, mak­ing it the youngest prov­ince and the largest SEZ in the coun­try.

Since its es­tab­lish­ment, the Hainan SEZ has achieved break­throughs in many ar­eas: pi­o­neer­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the so­cial­ist mar­ket econ­omy, lead­ing the re­form of the ad­min­is­tra­tive man­age­ment sys­tem char­ac­ter­ized by the pol­icy of “small govern­ment, big so­ci­ety,” and hon­ing the coun­try’s im­ple­men­ta­tion of the visa-on-ar­rival pol­icy, all of which have guided the de­vel­op­ment of re­form and open­ing

up in re­lated fields in China.

In April 2013, Xi Jin­ping, gen­eral sec­re­tary of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, em­pha­sized that Hainan, as the coun­try’s largest SEZ, main­tains many ad­van­tages and great po­ten­tial for de­vel­op­ment, dur­ing his tour to Hainan Prov­ince. He en­cour­aged the prov­ince to strive to be­come a pow­er­ful ex­am­ple for the prac­tice of so­cial­ism with Chi­nese char­ac­ter­is­tics.

Hainan has kicked off a new round of re­form and open­ing-up prac­tices and ex­plo­rations: • Be­come a leader in car­ry­ing out a “mul­ti­ple-reg­u­la­tion-as-one” re­form at provin­cial level by plan­ning its con­struc­tion as a large-scale scenic area and a big metropoli­tan zone. • Launch a new round of re­form of the agri­cul­tural land recla­ma­tion sys­tem to di­vorce en­ter­prises from ad­min­is­tra­tion, which dras­ti­cally stim­u­lates the vi­tal­ity of land recla­ma­tion. • Fully im­ple­ment the re­form of the

ju­di­cial sys­tem. • Con­tin­u­ously fur­ther the re­form of the com­mer­cial sys­tem and im­prove the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment. • Pi­o­neer a cam­paign to build an “Al­lFor-one” Tourism Demon­stra­tion Prov­ince.

Af­ter its des­ig­na­tion as the coun­try’s largest SEZ, Hainan has gen­er­ated new ideas and blazed new trails for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

Over the past 30 years, Hainan’s ma­jor eco­nomic in­di­ca­tors have mul­ti­plied dozens to hun­dreds of times.

Com­pared to 1987 just be­fore it was first es­tab­lished as a prov­ince, in 2017, Hainan saw a 22-fold in­crease in its re­gional GDP, an in­crease of 226.8 times in lo­cal gen­eral pub­lic bud­get rev­enues and a rise of 30.3 times and 24.7 times in the in­comes of ur­ban and ru­ral res­i­dents, re­spec­tively.

Chi Fulin, pres­i­dent of the Hainan-based China In­sti­tute of Re­form and De­vel­op­ment, noted in an in­ter­view that Hainan is an is­land eco­nomic en­tity. Hainan could not have the strength it does to­day with­out the re­form and open­ing-up poli­cies.

Open­ing up de­mands mod­ern in­fra­struc­ture. Hainan has ac­cel­er­ated

con­struc­tion of a road net­work, fiber-op­tic net­work, gas net­work, wa­ter net­work, and power grid.

In terms of roads, the world’s first round-is­land high-speed rail be­gan op­er­a­tion in Hainan in 2015. It now takes three hours to make a full cir­cle around Hainan Is­land. In 2016, Boao Air­port was com­pleted and opened. Two larger air­ports, Meilan and Phoenix, are cur­rently un­der re­or­ga­ni­za­tion and ex­pan­sion, and the con­struc­tion of an ex­press­way net­work has started.

In terms of in­ter­net ac­cess, by the end of 2017, 99.9 per­cent of Hainan’s cities and towns and 2,573 ad­min­is­tra­tive vil­lages had been cov­ered by a fiber-op­tic broad­band net­work, and all ad­min­is­tra­tive vil­lages re­ceived 4G sig­nals.

As far as the gas net­work is con­cerned, the west­ern line of the nat­u­ral gas pipe­line net­work has been

com­pleted, and the con­struc­tion of the east­ern line has started and is ex­pected to be­gin op­er­a­tion by the end of 2020.

Con­struc­tion of the Hongling Key Wa­ter-con­trol Project has fin­ished, and work on large-scale wa­ter con­ser­vancy projects such as the Hongling Ir­ri­ga­tion District and the Nandu River Wa­ter Diversion has ac­cel­er­ated. These two projects are ex­pected to pro­vide highly ef­fi­cient wa­ter-sav­ing ir­ri­ga­tion for more than 15,000 hectares of farm­land.

As for the power grid, mul­ti­chan­nel power sup­ply mea­sures such as hy­dropower, ther­mal power, nu­clear power and wind power have been im­ple­mented in Hainan. To­day, all vil­lages in the prov­ince have re­li­able elec­tric­ity.

To­day, Hainan has opened its door wider to the out­side world and en­joys con­tin­u­ously grow­ing in­ter­na­tion­al­iza­tion. It can be reached by 58 in­ter­na­tional air routes, 337 do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional cargo routes and 14 cruise routes. Taxfree shop­ping poli­cies on the is­land have re­sulted in an am­pli­fy­ing ef­fect. The prov­ince of­fers visa-free and land­ing visas for 26 coun­tries and has es­tab­lished friendly ties with 56 cities in other parts of the world.

In 2017, the vol­ume of Hainan’s an­nual in­bound tourists ex­ceeded one mil­lion, reach­ing the tar­get set by the provin­cial govern­ment three years ahead of sched­ule.

Open­ing up re­quires a sound in­vest­ment en­vi­ron­ment.

On Fe­bru­ary 5, 2018, the Wall Street Jour­nal pub­lished a story ti­tled “Ad­min­is­tra­tive Ap­proval Re­form in Hainan to At­tract Overseas In­vest­ment,” which re­ported that Rus­sian IT en­gi­neer De­nis Kleszkov sub­mit­ted a busi­ness reg­is­tra­tion ap­pli­ca­tion form to a lo­cal ad­min­is­tra­tion at 5:00 p.m. and ob­tained the li­cense the next morn­ing, stun­ning the ap­pli­cant and his share­hold­ers. Like this Rus­sian com­pany, many for­eign in­vestors have ex­pe­ri­enced Hainan’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to op­ti­mize the busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment to at­tract in­vest­ment from overseas.

Open­ing up re­quires a beau­ti­ful eco­log­i­cal and cul­tural en­vi­ron­ment.

Over the last few years, Hainan has launched a se­ries of strate­gic cam­paigns in­clud­ing es­tab­lish­ing an “All-for-one” Tourism Demon­stra­tion Prov­ince and im­ple­ment­ing the Beau­ti­ful Hainan ini­tia­tive.

With fo­cus on the de­vel­op­ment of liv­able and tourism-ori­ented projects as well as the pro­mo­tion of the in­te­gra­tion of ecol­ogy, pro­duc­tion and life, the prov­ince has al­ready es­tab­lished 406 uniquely fea­tured vil­lages and aims to have more than 1,000 by 2020.

Hainan has amended the as­sess­ment pri­or­i­ties of 12 cities and coun­ties to fo­cus on res­i­dents’ in­come and the eco­log­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment. In this way, more space is open for trans­form­ing de­vel­op­ment pat­terns so that Hainan­ers and peo­ple from other parts of the world share the ben­e­fits of its fa­vor­able eco­log­i­cal en­vi­ron­ment.

Over the past 30 years, the jour­ney of Hainan’s re­form and open­ing up has only just be­gun.

As spec­i­fied by Liu Cigui, sec­re­tary of the Hainan Provin­cial CPC Com­mit­tee, through con­tin­u­ous open­ing and co­op­er­a­tion, Hainan will be­come a big win­dow show­cas­ing China’s ef­forts to build a com­mu­nity of a shared fu­ture for mankind and re­al­ize the Chi­nese Dream of the great re­ju­ve­na­tion of the Chi­nese na­tion.

The world can ex­pect Hainan’s re­form and open­ing up in the new era to con­tinue im­prov­ing and ex­pand­ing. Un­der the strong lead­er­ship of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee with Xi Jin­ping at the core, the prov­ince has its best days ahead thanks to the re­form and open­ing up.

1998: A stream of vis­i­tors at the en­trance of Ever-green Park, a trop­i­cal sea­side eco­log­i­cal park in Haikou, with a no­tice­able mas­sive por­trait of Deng Xiaop­ing. In June 1987, Deng Xiaop­ing, the chief ar­chi­tect of China’s re­form and open­ing up, pro­posed the idea of es­tab­lish­ing a spe­cial eco­nomic zone in Hainan. by Chen Xiaoy­ing/xin­hua

April 13, 2018: Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping shakes hands with vil­lagers dur­ing his visit to Shicha Vil­lage, Shis­han Town, Xi­uy­ing District, Haikou. Un­der the lead­er­ship of the Com­mu­nist Party of China (CPC) Cen­tral Com­mit­tee with Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Xi Jin­ping at the core, Hainan has launched a new round of prac­tice and ex­plo­ration of re­form and open­ing up since the 18th CPC Na­tional Congress in 2012. by Xie Huanchi/xin­hua

1991: An ae­rial view of bustling job hunters on a street in Hainan. by Huang Yim­ing/vcg

1988: Work­ers ar­rive in Hainan via ferry. Hainan Prov­ince at­tracted an enor­mous la­bor force from around China when the spe­cial eco­nomic zone was es­tab­lished through a se­ries of mea­sures to carry out the re­form and open­ing up. by Huang Yim­ing/vcg

1988: Young work­ers from across China hunt for jobs in Hainan. by Huang Yim­ing/ VCG

1991: The crowd of job hunters at a re­cruit­ing win­dow in Hainan. by Huang Yim­ing/ VCG

De­cem­ber 30, 2015: Stretch­ing to 653 kilo­me­ters, Hainan Round­about High-speed Rail, the first of its kind in the world, be­gins full op­er­a­tion, con­nect­ing al­most ev­ery fa­mous scenic spot and ma­jor city in the prov­ince. by Yang Guanyu/xin­hua

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