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Xi Jinping and Hainan

By Wang Jianfen and Yu Hongyan | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-04-13 07:00

In 1979, Xi Jinping visited Hainan with his father, Xi Zhongxun, then-Party chief of Guangdong province.

Five years ago in April, President Xi Jinping visited the island again.

Comparing the two visits, Xi said Hainan has experienced dramatic change. "I felt gratified seeing the new changes in Hainan," he said.

"Accelerating the development of Hainan as an international tourism island...offers the biggest opportunity and the biggest comparative advantage for Hainan."

Over the past five years, Hainan's GDP growth averaged 8.1 percent, reaching 446.25 billion yuan ($70.82 billion) in 2017.

Building itself into an international destination, Hainan province has the greatest density of five-star hotels in China, and received 67.45 million tourists in 2017.

It has launched visa-free and visa-upon-arrival policies for tourists from 59 countries.

It offers offshore duty-free shops and is home to Sanya International Cruise Port.

As of 2017, Hainan had 56 international flight routes, and each of its two airports boasted a passenger volume of about 20 million.

It has the world's first island-circling high-speed railway, and a perfect network of roads and expressways, making travel across the island possible in three hours.

"Lush mountains and clear water, blue sea and blue skies are the biggest capital in building an international resort island," Xi said in 2013.

Hainan met the national emissions reduction goal for five consecutive years, and its ecology and environment rank among the best in China.

Xi is a frequent guest to the Boao Forum for Asia annual conference, delivering speeches in 2010, 2013, 2015 and 2018. In the most recent address, he elaborated on opening-up and called for a shared future for mankind.

In the new era, Hainan will further reform and opening-up as a special economic zone and international tourism site.

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