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Xi stresses Hainan's development as resort island


HAIKOU - Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for faster development of Hainan Province as an international resort island.

Xi, also general secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and chairman of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks during an inspection tour from Monday through Wednesday of the island province in south China, where he chatted with fishermen returning from work in the South China Sea, visited a rose farm and a major cruise terminal, among other events.

Xi stresses Hainan's development as resort island

President Xi Jinping puts on a bamboo hat, traditionally donned by ethnic Li people in Sanya on Tuesday, during his visit to the southernmost island province of Hainan. Photo by Li Xueren / Xinhua

"Accelerating the development of Hainan as an international tourism island is a key decision made by central authorities and also offers the biggest opportunity and the biggest comparative advantage for Hainan," Xi stressed.

He called on local authorities to make greater efforts in freeing up minds, and carrying out reform and opening up to fully stimulate people's initiative to create a better future through hard work.

As China's biggest special economic zone that was approved by China's top legislature in 1988, the island province enjoys late-comer advantage and has great development potential, according to Xi.

He urged the island to make a leap in development by focusing on building Hainan into an international resort site, thus contributing to the development of a beautiful China.

Concerned about ecological conservation in Hainan, Xi expressed hope that the province can balance economic development and ecological protection.

"A good ecological environment is the fairest public product, and the most accessible welfare for the people," he said. "Green mountains, clear water and blue sky are Hainan's biggest strength in building an international resort island, and must be cherished and taken good care of."

On Monday afternoon, he visited a local fishermen's association in Tanmen township of Qionghai city and boarded a ship which was just back from a fishing mission on the South China Sea. He shook hands with fishermen and asked about their fishing and income, wishing them safety during fishing journeys and a better life.

After visiting a rose farm in Yalong Bay, Sanya, on Tuesday afternoon, he urged greater efforts in tapping Hainan's advantage in growing tropical agricultural products.

On Wednesday morning, the president visited an international cruise terminal in Phoenix island, Sanya. He urged local authorities to speed up the formation of a modern service industry with tourism as the leading sector.