Place Names

Hainan, PRC

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Hainan Province
Name transcription(s)
 • Chinese 海南省 (Hǎinán Shěng)
 • Abbreviation simplified Chinese: 琼; traditional Chinese: 瓊 (pinyin: Qióng, POJ: khêng, Jyutping: king)
 • Min Nan POJ Hái-lâm-séng
 • Yue Jyutping Hoi² Naam Saang²
 • Yue Yale Hóinàahm Sáang
Map showing the location of Hainan Province
Map showing the location of Hainan Province
Coordinates: 19°12′N 109°42′E / 19.2°N 109.7°E / 19.2; 109.7Coordinates: 19°12′N 109°42′E / 19.2°N 109.7°E / 19.2; 109.7
Named for 海 hǎi – sea
南 nán – south
"South of the Sea [Qiongzhou Strait]"
(and largest city)
Divisions 3 prefectures, 20 counties, 218 townships
 • Secretary Luo Baoming
 • Governor Liu Cigui
 • Total 35,400 km (13,700 sq mi)
Area rank 28th
Population (2012)
 • Total 8,900,000
 • Rank 28th
 • Density 250/km (650/sq mi)
 • Density rank 17th
 • Ethnic composition Han – 82.6%
Li – 15.84%
Miao – 0.82%
Zhuang – 0.67%
 • Languages and dialects Hainanese, Yue, Hlai
ISO 3166 code CN-46
GDP (2013) CNY 314.65 billion
US$ 51.33 billion (28th)
 - per capita CNY 35,354
US$ 5,763 (23rd)
HDI (2010) 0.680 (medium) (19th)
Native name: 海南岛
Hainan tmo 07feb05 250m.jpg
Location East Asia
Area 33,210 km (12,820 sq mi)
Area rank 42nd
Length 156 km (96.9 mi)
Width 170 km (106 mi)
Highest elevation 1,840 m (6,040 ft)
Highest point Wuzhi Mountain
People's Republic of China
Province Hainan
Largest settlement Haikou (pop. 2,046,189)
Population approx. 8,180,000
Ethnic groups Han, Li, Miao, Zhuang
This article contains Chinese text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Chinese characters.

Hainan (Chinese: 海南; pinyin:  Hǎinán (help·info); Jyutping: Hoi² Naam; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Hái-lâm; literally: "South of the Sea [Qiongzhou Strait]") is the smallest and southernmost province of the People's Republic of China (PRC). The name "Hainan" also refers to Hainan Island (海南岛, Hǎinán Dǎo), the main island of the province. Hainan is located in the South China Sea, separated from Guangdong's Leizhou Peninsula to the north by the shallow and narrow Qiongzhou Strait.

For centuries, Hainan was part of Guangdong Province until in 1988 when the island became part of the newly created Hainan Province (海南省, Hǎinán Shěng).

The province has an area of 33,920 square kilometers (13,100 sq mi) and is China's southernmost province. Although it comprises some two hundred islands scattered among three archipelagos off the southern coast, 32,900 square kilometres (12,700 sq mi) (97%) of its land mass is Hainan Island, from which the province takes its name. The PRC government claims territories of the province extend to the southern Spratly Islands, Paracel Islands, and other disputed marine territory.

Hainan Province is the largest Special Economic Zone established by Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping in the late 1980s.

There are a total of ten major cities and ten counties in Hainan Province. Haikou on the northern coast of Hainan Island is the capital while Sanya is a well-known tourist destination on the south coast. The other major cities are Wenchang, Qionghai, Wanning, Wuzhishan, Dongfang and Danzhou.

After the Japanese surrender in 1945 the Nationalist Party (KMT) re-established control. Hainan was one of the last areas of China controlled by the Republic of China.

Communist Takeover

From March to May 1950, the Landing Operation on Hainan Island captured the island for the Chinese communists. Hainan had been left to the command of Xue Yue after Chiang Kai-shek fled to Taiwan. Feng Baiju and his column of guerrilla fighters played an essential role in scouting for the landing operation and coordinated their own offensive from their jungle bases on the island. This allowed the Hainan takeover to be successful where the Jinmen and Dengbu assaults had failed in the previous fall.

The takeover was made possible by the presence of a local guerrilla force that was lacking also on Taiwan. Hence, while many observers of the Chinese civil war thought that the fall of Hainan Island to the Communists would be followed shortly by the fall of Taiwan Island, the lack of any communist guerrilla force on Taiwan Island and its sheer distance from the mainland made this impossible, as did the arrival of the US 7th fleet in the Taiwan Strait after the outbreak of the Korean War in June.

June 26, 1950 12:30 PM

6/25/50  10:30 PM Washington 6/26/50 12:30 PM

[About noon, Monday, in Korea,] Truman returned to Washington that Sunday evening, June 25. En route he summoned his chief Pentagon and State advisers to a meeting that night at Blair House, the president's temporary home and office during the renovation of the White House. Thirteen senior officials gathered at Blair House for a fried chicken dinner and urgent talks. Of the thirteen, the majority - eight - were from the Pentagon. These included Louis Johnson and Omar Bradley, returned from the aircraft carrier demonstration in Norfolk, the three service secretaries - Frank Matthews, Frank Pace, and Tom Finletter - and the three military chiefs - Collins, Vandenberg, and Sherman.[3-17]

Confident that the ROK Army would push back the NKPA, the Pentagon contingent had a larger Far East worry that night: Formosa. Recently the Chinese Communists had taken Hainan Island and had amassed 200,000 troops on the mainland opposite Formosa. The Pentagon advisers believed that the NKPA invasion in Korea might possibly be a feint to divert attention and resources from a Chinese Communist invasion of Formosa. Johnson and Bradley, armed with a long and eloquent study paper from MacArthur urging American support for Formosa, took advantage of the crisis atmosphere to push for a reversal of the Truman-Acheson hands-off Formosa policy. On Johnson's instructions, the ailing Bradley read the entire MacArthur paper, and Johnson recommended (as the JCS had the previous December) that an American survey team be authorized to go to Formosa to find out what was required to maintain the security of the island.[3-18]