Rename Hainan Province to ‘Nanhai’ to highlight South China Sea sovereignty, suggest experts

By Chen Heying Source:Global Times Published: 2016/8/20 0:48:39

South China's island province of Hainan should be renamed "Nanhai" Province, meaning "South China Sea" in Putonghua, suggested a former tourism official, which would highlight China's sovereignty over the vast region.

"The current name 'Hainan' only refers to the island, while 'Nanhai' would fully represent the vastness of the region, which includes over 2 million square kilometers of water," Wei Xiao'an, secretary-general of the China Tourism Leisure Association, told the Global Times Friday.

Wei's comments come after an article he published in 2015 was recently reposted and has gained traction online, with skeptics arguing that the move is unnecessary and would cause lengthy administrative procedures. 

Separately, three provincial political advisers from Hainan submitted a proposal to rename the province "Nanhai" at a meeting attended by members of Hainan Provincial Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in January this year, news portal reported. They also suggested that Hainan should invite experts and officials to conduct a thorough feasibility study and draft a plan on the renaming "in view of the national interest," said the report.  

"Nanhai" could also help strengthen people's awareness of the South China Sea and that China has indisputable sovereignty over the region, Wei noted.

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