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Hainan urged to further reform, open up
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Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang on Sunday urged Hainan Province, China's largest special economic zone (SEZ), to further carry out reform and opening up as it embraces its 20th anniversary.

The province should "beef up reforms and make efforts to achieve breakthroughs in key fields", said Li during his inspection tour to the island province from Thursday to Sunday.

He suggested that the province should build itself into a shipping hub and center of logistics and export-oriented processing facing southeast Asia.

Local authorities were also told to "adjust and optimize the industrial structure from a high starting point" and place priority on protecting the environment and ecology.

Meanwhile, the results of reforms and opening up should be enjoyed by the masses, said Li, who called for more attention to solving problems concerning ordinary people's livelihood such as medical care and housing.

Li visited factories, ports, hospitals, schools and rural families in Hainan, which celebrated its 20th anniversary on Saturday.

With an area of 34,000 square kilometers, the tropical and sub-tropical island was established in 1988 as a province and approved as a special economic zone enjoying preferential development policies.

It saw its gross domestic product expand 7.6-fold in real terms in the past two decades while pioneering in experimenting with the market economy and in other fields of foreign investment use, agricultural tax and education.

China's other four SEZs are Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Shantou and Xiamen, all southern cities.

(Xinhua News Agency April 28, 2008)

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