Pingtan Islands, located in the middle of the coastline of Fujian Province, China, is the closest place to Taiwan on the mainland, land area being nearly 400 square kilometers. Its main island Haitan is the largest island in Fujian Province, with only 68 nautical miles from Xinzhu, Taiwan.
Pingtan was established as a comprehensive pilot zone in July 2009. Since then it has become a prefecture-level administrative region directly under the jurisdiction of Fujian Province. On November 1st, 2014, President Xi Jinping for the first time proposed during his visit to Pingtan that these islands shall be forged as a destination for international tourists. In April, 2015, Pingtan District belonging to the Fujian Free Trade Zone was officially established, and was positioned as the common homeland for people across the straits and international tourism islands . On August 8th, 2016, the State Council of China officially released the approval of the Development Plan of Pingtan as International Tourism Islands, and since then the opening up and development of Pingtan has escalated to a new height.
Pingtan has multiple advantages in resources, policies and transportation. The resource advantages can be summarized as '7S': Sunshine, Sand, Sea, Stone, Strait, Shopping and Sport. The policy advantages can be seen from its position strategy as a comprehensive pilot region, a free trade region and international tourism islands altogether. It is the only place in China that enjoys three different preferential policies at the same time. In terms of transportation, it both has extensive networks within islands, and two strait bridges to reach the outside of the islands. On maritime transportation, there are freighters such as Haixia and Lina sailing along the golden seaway back and forth between Taiwan and Pingtan. Besides, there is another strait bridge on the northern side of the islands called Fuping Railway Strait Bridge. It is 16 kilometers in length, aiming to be used for both highways and railways, to be completed by 2018. By then, it only takes 30 minutes to reach Changle Airport. Other planned alternative airports will soon be under construction as well.
As the approval of the Plan, Pingtan has become the second officially recognized international tourism islands after Hainan in China. It is embracing new great development opportunities.
Source: Antara News