|Hainan Island History|
Although human habitation on Hainan Island can be traced back 6,000 years, the island's first recorded history is found in the Qin Dynasty when the area was administered as Xiang Prefecture. In the West Han Dynasty (100 BC), Xiang Prefecture was divided into the Zhuya and Dan'er prefectures and, in 46 BC, Emperor Yuan combined the two prefectures into Zhulu County. In the Nanbei Dynasty, Emperor Liangwu established the "zhou" system in Hainan and called the area Ya Zhou. Two prefectures, Linzhen and Zhuya, were established in the Sui Dynasty and, in the Tang Dynasty, Yazhou, Qiongzhou, Zhenzhou, Danzhou and Wanzhou were founded. In the Ming Dynasty, Hainan was called Qiongzhoufu, with Danzhou, Wanzhou, Yazhou and 10 counties under administration.
Hainan became administered as Qiongyadao in 1912 and Haikou was proclaimed a city in 1926. In 1948, Qiongyadao became The Hainan Special Administrative Area under the direction of the State Administrative Council. The Hainan Administrative Office was established in 1951. The Hainan Li and Miao Autonomous Region was founded in 1952 and then revised as the Hainan Li and Miao Nationalities Prefecture in 1955.
More recently, the Hainan Administrative Area was founded in 1984 and, in 1988, Hainan was proclaimed a province of China with Haikou as its capital. Hainan was also proclaimed a Special Economic Zone in 1988 to augment its commercial development.