Hainan (海南) is the smallest and southernmost province of the People's Republic of China (PRC), consisting of various islands in the South China Sea. The Hainan Island, the largest and most populous island under PRC administration, makes up the vast majority (97%) of the province. "Hainan", the name of the island and the province, literally means "south of the sea", reflecting its position south of the Qiongzhou Strait, which separates it from Guangdong's Leizhou Peninsula and the rest of the Chinese mainland.
The province has a land area of 33,920 square kilometers (13,100 sq mi), with Hainan Island occupying 32,900 square kilometers (12,700 sq mi) and the rest divided among over 200 islands scattered across three archipelagos, namely Zhongsha, Xisha and Nansha. It was administered as part of Guangdong from 1950 to 1988, when it became a separate province; around the same time, it was made the largest Special Economic Zone established by Deng Xiaoping as part of the Chinese economic reform.
The Li people, a Kra–Dai-speaking ethnic group, are native to the island and are a significant minority group in the province, comprising 15% of the population. Their native languages include the Hlai languages. They are recognized by the Chinese government as one of the country's 56 ethnic groups. The Han population, who compose a majority of the population at 82%, speak a wide variety of languages including Mandarin, Min Hainanese, Yue Chinese, Lingaoese or Hakka Chinese.There are a total of ten major cities and ten counties in Hainan Province. The capital of the province is Haikou, on the northern coast of Hainan Island, while Sanya is a well-known tourist destination on the southern coast. The other major cities are Wenchang, Qionghai, Wanning, Wuzhishan, Dongfang and Danzhou.
According to China's territorial claims, several territories in the South China Sea, including the Spratly Islands (Nansha) and Paracel Islands (Xisha), are notionally administered as Sansha city of the province.


Wikipedia, Blueballoon


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