The Chinese government has decided to open its southern island of Hainan to tourism and foreign investment.
GV PAN Traffic in street on Hainan Island, and pedestrians (3 shots)
GV PAN Hainan countryside
SV Woman carrying child on back and buckets of water on pole walking on road
SV & GV Women dancing between bamboo poles (3 shots)
GV PAN Rocky outcrop TO beach
GV PAN Tree palms TO people in bleach shelter (2 shots)
GV Oil rig offshore
GV PAN Cultivated tiered hillside and valley
SV Truck driving down road
SV & CU Man tapping rubber tree (3 shots)
GV INTERIOR Latex factory and worker (2 shots)
SV PANS Children playing in street and adults with children (2 shots)
SVs Children and women child in arms
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Background: The Chinese government has decided to open its southern island of Hainan to tourism and foreign investment. Hainan, situated in the South China Sea to the east of the Vietnamese coastline, has been closed to foreigners for thirty years. But those days are over, and development is underway.
SYNOPSIS: Hainan is not smaller than Taiwan but with a population of only five and a half million. In economic terms, it is relatively undeveloped. It was one of the last areas of China to go under communist rule. Here was the scene of much bloody resistance in the face of the Red Armies.
Now the island's diverse ethnic communities live in an attractive and peaceful setting.
Around fifteen percent of the population are non-Chinese minority races, the Li and Meo peoples. They hold some legal and cultural autonomy. But they are now being encouraged to develop their indigenous culture as part of the overall scheme to attract tourism.
In previous centuries, court officials who fell out of favour with the Emperor would be banished to Hainan and left to starve. Now the new Chinese leadership plans to turn areas such as this into modern western-style resorts. It's an attempt to attract the tourist dollar. Some facilities already exist... but twenty million dollars more is to be spent.
The island is rich in mineral resources. Onshore and offshore oilfields are currently being explored.
Peking is expected soon to approve a huge new Japanese investment deal to exploit one of the world's largest reserves of titanium on the island.
Rubber is one of Hianan's chief money spinners. It produces some 75-thousand tonnes each year...that's nearly three-quarters of China's total output. Rubber plantations are expanding and are planned to reach a quarter of a million hectares by 1985. Peking is to inject 300-million dollars a year in Hainan to lay the groundwork for foreign participation in its economy.
Though the island's population is manageably low, thousands of refugees have found their way there in recent years. They have been mainly Chinese who had settled in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam until fighting drove them out. The Xing Long Farm, alone, has a population of 26 thousand refugees from eighteen countries. Thousands arrived from Vietnam in the last two years. Many feel uncertain of the legal status of citizenship. They accept that Zing Long may be their home until they die. And while these refugees from war remain on the island they are a reminder of Hainan's great strategic importance ... the gateway between the Chinese mainland and troubled south-east Asia.