"I think Hainan has been overlooked a lot in conventional Chinese historiography, which is all about famous academics and emperors," writer and editor Hatty Liu said. "A lot of Hainan's development is definitely more recent, but I don't think it's any less important because of that."
The future of the province is a running theme throughout the book, the publication of which comes on the heels of Hainan becoming China's newest free-trade port. The book charts and evaluates Hainan's efforts to establish itself as a hub of environmental protection, animal conservation, underwater archaeology and space exploration—and, it is hoped, of international tourism, investment and trade.
"I think the local authorities have been incredibly forward-thinking in some of the initiatives put forward to drive both tourism and business in Hainan," editor Phoebe Storm said. "I hope many new people will discover the wonders of this island because of the book."
"Our aim is to create something that will go far," Gu Qing, general secretary of The Commercial Press, said at the book launch. "I believe Hainan's development will exceed even the predictions in this book, and we hope this book and Hainan will go out into the world together."