How ‘China’s Hawaii’ thrived without international tourists
China has long had high hopes for international tourism in Hainan. In 2009, plans to transform the tropical island province into a desirable overseas destination by 2020 were announced. “But 2020 has arrived and failure to fulfill the island’s potential has not been for want of Beijing’s support,” reported the South China Morning Post in October. Not that Hainan has lacked in visitors. According to the Chinese tabloid the Global Times, “More than 83 million tourists from home and abroad visited southern China’s tropical island province of Hainan in 2019, up 9% year on year.” Tourism revenue also increased, rising 11% to US$16.2 billion, although noticeably absent from the article was the br
Beijing wants to turn the ‘Chinese Hawaii’ into a trade hub to rival Hong Kong
China has unveiled plans to turn its southern island of Hainan into the mainland’s answer to Hong Kong or Singapore, as it tries to dampen the risk of decoupling with the United States. Beijing on Monday outlined a package of special policies to make the tropical island a free-trade port by lowering the income tax rate for selected individuals and companies, scrapping import duties and relaxing visa requirements for tourists and business travelers. The island province of 9.5 million people will also enjoy freedoms in terms of trade, investment and the movement of people and data, according to the plans. The project to create a regional trade, shopping and shipping center in Hainan – which at