Province (pop., 2007 est.: 8,360,000) and island of China. With an area of 13,200 sq mi (34,300 sq km), the province also includes the Xisha and Nansha islands. It is located in the South China Sea, separated from Guangdong province by a narrow strait. For centuries part of Guangdong, Hainan became a separate province in 1988, the southernmost province of China and the smallest. Its capital is Haikou. It was under Chinese rule from the 2nd century BC but was not closely controlled until the Tang dynasty (AD 618–907). Chinese began settling the island in the 16th–17th centuries, gradually forcing the indigenous peoples into the interior. Hainan was occupied by the Japanese in 1939–45, after which it reverted back to China. The island, designated a special economic zone after becoming a province, has since then experienced considerable economic growth.
Variants of HAINAN
Hainan or Hai-nan
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