Hainan , an island of China, in the China sea, between lat. 18° and 20° N., and Ion. 108° and 1110 E.; area, about 12,000 sq. m.; pop. about 1,500,000 Chinese, besides the tribes in the interior. It forms part of the province of Kwangtung, and lies off the peninsula of Lien-chow, from which it is separated by the strait of Hainan. 15 m. broad and of difficult navigation. The E. coast is steep and rocky; the N. W. coast is unapproachable because of sand banks; but the S. coast is indented with several commodious and safe harbors. The interior of the island is mountainous and barren, but the low lands near the sea are fertile and well cultivated. The principal productions are rice, sweet potatoes, sugar, tobacco, fruits, medicinal plants, sandal wood, braziletto, ebony, dye woods, and wax, the last obtained from the pehlah-chung or white wax insect. There are valuable fisheries, and great quantities of dried and salted fish are shipped to Canton. The inhabitants of the maritime districts are mostly the descendants of Chinese settlers, but the interior is occupied by a distinct race, called Li, who claim to be independent of the Chinese government, and are supposed to be aborigines. These people are described as inoffensive and industrious. Hainan is divided into 13 districts.

Kienchow, the residence of the governor and the capital of the whole island, on the X. coast, has a population estimated at 200,000.