Hainan Province scraps local GDP targets to save beaches - SupChina

Hainan Province scraps local GDP targets to save beaches

Part of the daily SupChina newsletter. Subscribe for free

Often dubbed the Hawaii (or Florida) of China, Hainan Island has seen an explosion in tourism and associated development in recent years, with more than 53 million visitors in the first 10 months of 2017, a 12 percent year-on-year increase. But the boom has come at a price, as noted by environmental ministry inspectors in a report last week.

  • The report offered a harsh critique of local practices that have put money first, damaging the coastal ecology, according to Xinhua News Agency (in Chinese).
  • Hainan authorities say they are heeding the criticism. “Twelve of the island’s 19 regions will dump targets for gross domestic product, industrial value and fixed-asset investment so that local officials can focus on protecting its beaches and tropical rainforest instead of trying to woo investors,” the South China Morning Post reports, citing Xinhua.
  • Beijing also sent inspectors to six other provinces in August and September, where they uncovered more than 40,000 incidents involving damage to the environment. This week, two of those provinces — Shandong and Jilin — were singled out for lying to evade central environmental controls.  

Sky Canaves

Sky Canaves previously reported for The Wall Street Journal in Beijing and Hong Kong, where she covered media, culture, social issues, and legal affairs, and served as the founding editor and lead writer of the WSJ’s China Real Time site. Prior to becoming a journalist, Sky worked in the China corporate law practice of Baker & McKenzie, and she has also taught journalism and media law at the University of Hong Kong. She speaks Mandarin and has accumulated more than a decade's experience living, studying and working in China.