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Under Xi's watch, China's sunshine island basks in warmth of opening up
By:Xinhua
update:April 13,2018

By making full use of its geographic advantages, natural resources and special economic zone status, the island is now a vigorous center of tourism and green agriculture.

In the past five years, the island's GDP has increased by an annual average of 8.1 percent to 446 billion yuan (about 71 billion U.S. dollars) in 2017.

Since the 18th Communist Party of China (CPC) National Congress in 2012, the number of tourists visiting the island increased from about 33.2 million to 67 million last year. Urban residents have seen their incomes rise by 9.6 percent every year. For rural residents the increase is 11.7 percent annually.

OPENING-UP BRINGS VIGOR

"Hainan has the advantage of being on the front line with ASEAN countries," Xi said. "It should be a pioneer in opening up."

Since the 18th CPC National Congress, Hainan has hosted a series of diplomatic, economic and cultural gatherings. Since 2010, Xi's participation in four BFA events have been the highlights.

These international events have greatly raised the island's profile and exposed the province to the very latest in business practices and pioneering services.

On the island, overseas investors are allowed to set up medical institutions. The threshold for imports of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals have been lowered, and foreign doctors are allowed to extend their practice.

In March, a new hospital opened in the Hainan Boao Lecheng International Medical Tourism Pilot Zone, expected to be one of the first hospitals in China to provide the nine-valent HPV vaccine.

Moreover, people from 26 countries can now visit the island's beaches visa-free via 57 international air routes. The international airports in Haikou and Sanya received over 40 million passengers last year.

The province has a five-year plan for participation in the Belt and Road Initiative and trade between Hainan and countries along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road increased by 14.8 percent last year.

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