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English>>China Military

Hainan's island idyll needs military guard

By Dai Xu (Global Times)

09:24, September 05, 2012

(Illustration: Global Times/Sun Ying)

The development of Hainan Province is drawing increasing attention nationwide after the establishment of the new city of Sansha.

The ceaseless crisis around China's seas has once again brought national security concerns into the further development of Hainan.

When Hainan was named an international tourism destination years ago, suggestions were raised on learning from Hawaii about how to develop the tourism industry.

However, they only saw the glittering prosperity of the "paradise on earth" and failed to recognize a truth behind it: The US air-sea command for the Pacific region is headquartered in the Hawaiian Islands. Military expenditure even served as the economic backbone of Hawaii in the 1960s.

A wave of entertainment construction has swept Hainan, after the State Council made it an international tourism spot. But as a result, people seem to forget there exist a large amount of marine territories outside this island.

While Hainan focused on developing its land, Vietnam was persuading oil giants from the US, Europe and Russia to exploit the oil and gas resources after invading the Nansha Islands. At the same time, Vietnam was urging the US and other countries to get involved in regional disputes by purchasing Kilo-class submarines and Su-30 long-range aircraft.

The South China Sea has been turned into a powder barrel with the eastward movement of US strategy and provocations from Japan, the Philippines, and India. Hainan would bear the brunt if a war broke out. Consequently, the decision-makers of the province should take into consideration of how to deal with external intrusions from both air and sea, besides developing its marine territory. An economy without security is volatile.

The notion of "centering on economic development" went askew in some decision-makers who looked at everything only from the economic angle. They ignored that China's economic development is taking place in a complex and fierce security environment.

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