Hainan Island History/History of Hainan Island


History can’t make up its mind about the Hainan Island. Sitting off the southern coast of China and to the east of Vietnam, it has been both eulogized as the Hawaii of the East and condemned as the Gates of Hell. Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between. Originally considered by the Chinese to be the place where the civilized world officially ended and fit only to send convicts, the Hainan of today is conversely overrun with Chinese tourist and espoused by many as China’s idyllic island paradise.
Human activities on Hainan Island can be traced back between 6000 and 10000 years. Written history, however only begins after 200 BC when Hainan Island fell under Chinese Control during the Qin Dynasty. Subsequent dynasties like the Tang, Song and Yuan (6th-14th centuries) set up special administrative offices on Hainan Island and began incorporating it into the country’s central government. Han Chinese moved in and the indigenous tribes retreated further inland.

According to ancient records, Hainan Island was nicknamed the Tail of the Dragon, the last unexplored frontier of China and civilization. Because of its remote and forbidding location, many renegades were exiled to its sand shores, including the famous Poet Su Dongpo, who was banished there during the Song Dynasty.

In more recent times, Hainan Island was used as a strategic military outpost in 1890 to combat the French in the Qing Dynast. Similarly, the Hainan people later helped the Communists to battle the Japanese in the 1930-1945. In 1950, the PRC officially established the Hainan Special Administrative Area. Finally in 1988, Hainan Island officially became a province, the youngest and smallest province of China in Land and the biggest in ocean area with Haikou established as the capital. At the same time, Hainan Island became a special economic zone. Free market economies quickly took root and Hong Kong investment began pouring in. Since then, the local government and people have both caught the tourism bug, seeing the tourism industry as the easiest way to make a quick buck and advance the economy. Their motto is to promote the 10 major tourist resources: blue sea, bright sunshine, sandy beaches, hot springs, tropical climate, tropical rainforest, grottos, minority culture, clean air and beautiful scenery.                                         
 

Hainan Island History/History of Hainan Island