SCIO briefing on master plan for Hainan Free Trade Port

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Hu Kaihong:

The last question.

Hong Kong Economic Herald:

We all know that Hainan has the best natural environment, air and water quality in the country. How can Hainan balance economic development and environmental protection during the construction of the Hainan FTP? Thank you.

Liu Cigui:

Thank you for your question. In the construction of the Hainan FTP, we must protect the environment. This is the bottom line. The ecological environment of Hainan will only get better and will not deteriorate. This has always been our philosophy guiding economic development. During his inspection tour of Hainan in April 2013, General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized that green mountains, clear water and blue sky are Hainan's biggest strength in building an international resort island, and must be cherished and taken good care of. We have kept General Secretary Xi Jinping's instructions in mind. No matter how much GDP the project can generate or how much tax we can collect, as long as it affects and harms the environment, we don't do it. In recent years, we have taken a series of measures following General Secretary Xi Jinping's instructions. People are particularly concerned about air quality. The average PM2.5 concentration in 2017 was 18 micrograms per cubic meter; in 2018, it was 17 micrograms; in 2019, it was 16 micrograms. The 1 point drop per year entailed a lot of hard work. We have set a goal that by 2030, the PM2.5 in Hainan will be in the single digits. How can we achieve this goal? We have already taken a series of measures. First, we are using clean energy. By then, the whole island will be using clean energy. Second, we will no longer sell gas-powered cars by 2030. Third, starting from the end of this year, we will prohibit the use of non-biodegradable plastic products, including plastic bags and plastic tableware. Fourth, to address the problem of firewood burning in rural areas, we have built more than 2,000 kilometers of LNG gas supply pipelines. By 2030, we can basically replace firewood with gas. Fifth, our forest coverage rate remains above 62%. We will protect the 4,400 square kilometers of tropical rainforest, which are the "lungs" of Hainan. The Hainan tropical rainforest national park project is under construction upon approval. Sixth, we will continue to improve people's living environment, including the remediation of coastal areas and polluted water and the demolition of illegal buildings. This is our development philosophy.

In terms of the development area, we have restrictions on the locations of the projects. We have established 20 industrial parks. On June 3, 11 of them officially opened at the same time. The projects will be operated inside these industrial parks, and the provincial-level approval authority will be given to the parks. This is what we call, "streamlining the permitting process." There will be supporting facilities like top kindergartens, primary and secondary schools to attract entrepreneurs.

In selecting industries, we mainly focus on three major areas: tourism, modern service, and high-tech industry. For the high-tech industry, we focus on the development of the three well-known industries of land, sea, and air. Land refers to growing hybrid rice at the famous Nanfan Scientific and Research Breeding Base. Sea refers to deep-sea research and development and marine economy. Air refers to the satellite launch at Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on Hainan island and the satellite-related industry. We choose the industries with care. Thank you.

Hu Kaihong:

Today's press conference ends here. Thank you to our seven speakers. Thank you all. 

Translated and edited by Xiang Bin, Zhang Junmian, Zhang Jiaqi, Fan Junmei, Zhang Liying, Wang Yanfang, Duan Yaying, Zhang Rui, Wu Jin, Wang Yiming, Li Huiru, He Shan, Liu Qiang, Wang Qian, Yuan Fang, Zhu Bochen, Yang Xi, Laura Zheng, Jay Birbeck, David Ball, Geoffrey Murray, Scott Rainen. In case of any dispute over a discrepancy, the Chinese version is deemed to prevail.

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