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    Updated: 2021-01-14

    The city of Sanya, also called "Lucheng", was officially established with the approval of the State Council in May 1984. It is located on southern Hainan Island and borders Lingshui county in the east, Ledong county in the west, Baoting county in the north, and the South China Sea in the south.

    The city has jurisdiction over four administrative districts, namely Haitang, Jiyang, Tianya, and Yazhou, with a total land area of 1,921 square kilometers and a sea area of 3,500 square kilometers. 

    With its unique geographical environment, Sanya is the only city in China that can enjoy a tropical rainforest and ocean scenery at the same time. The city is surrounded by mountains on three sides, and the three beautiful landscapes of mountains, the sea, and rivers merge naturally. Many of its hilltops also provide places overlooking the sea, river bay, and urban landscape.The natural scenery and excellent ecological environment make Sanya a paradise for daily living, travel, and vacations.

    With a rich and long history, the city of Sanya also boasts rich intangible cultural heritages, with two local art forms, dachaiwu (chopping wood dance) of the Li ethnic group and Yacheng Folk Songs, selected as a National Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2006, as well as seven cultural items listed on the provincial intangible cultural heritage list.

    Meanwhile, Sanya is one of the few places in China where the Li ethnic group have settled. Over the past thousand years, this ethnic group created architecture, music and dancing, garments and brocades. The facial tattoos of the Li people have been highly praised as a "living fossil of body art". The Miao and Hui people are other ethnic groups living in Sanya, and their distinctive cultures and customs attract many visitors annually.

    The city has won the titles of "National Ecological Demonstration Zone", "National Garden City", "National Health City", and "China Habitat Environment Award".

    In 2020, the city of Sanya opened its tourism industry wide to the outside world, actively promoting its visa-free policy for 59 countries.

    According to statistics from Sanya Phoenix International Airport, the airport hosted 108,000 flights, transported 15.4 million passengers, and handled 178,000 tons of cargo and mail in 2020. From August to December last year, the passenger throughput of the airport achieved positive growth for five consecutive months, and its production and transportation maintained a sustained and steady growth. In addition, the airport achieved an annual passenger throughput exceeding 10 million passengers by National Day, and passenger throughput has exceeded 10 million for 10 consecutive years.

    In the first three quarters of 2020, the city's GDP reached 46.69 billion yuan ($7.24 billion), a year-on-year increase of 0.1 percent, and the growth rate was 8.0 and 4.7 percentage points higher than the first quarter and the first half of the year respectively. The added value of the primary industry was 5.62 billion yuan, representing 2.7 percent growth; that of the secondary industry was 7.78 billion yuan, registering a growth of 5.6 percent; that of the tertiary industry was 33.29 billion yuan, a decline of 1.7 percent.


    Sanya Phoenix Island [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]