Ledong: From traditional art cradle to ZTE host

By Chen Shumin / HICN / Updated: 21:12,21-July-2021

As Hainan develops three main industries – tourism, high-tech, and modern services – in line with the master plan for the Hainan Free Trade Port (FTP), the once sleepy county of Ledong is seeing sweeping changes, developing its traditional attractions as well as hosting telecom giant ZTE Group’s new smart base for high-tech companies.

Ledong, located in southwest Hainan and home to the Li people with a long history, is being developed into a tourist destination showcasing their arts.

Xili, a village in the county, is well-known for its paper cuts, a time-honored skill that dates back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) and is now an intangible cultural heritage in Hainan.

The Baisha River Valley Cultural Park displays the cultural traditions of Ledong courtesy of Yuan Jinhua, a local resident in his 70s, who spent over 40 years collecting historical and cultural relics. They range from food vessels and farm tools in ancient times to the famed Li brocade woven by the Li ethnic group and their select utensils.

Guests visit the Baisha River Valley Cultural Park in Ledong, Hainan. (Photo by Sha Xiaofeng)

Recently, a media group consisting of journalists, photographers and communication officers were taken on a fam trip around Hainan. When they visited Ledong, they were fascinated by the Li culture. Nicki Johnson, an overseas communication officer of Hainan International Media Center, tried learning paper cutting from the local artisan in Xili.

Nicki Johnson tries her hand at paper cutting with instructions from the local artisan in Xili, Ledong. (Photo by Sha Xiaofeng)

Guests admire paper cuts in Xili, Ledong. (Photo by Sha Xiaofeng)

The touch of modernity comes from the ZTE headquarters base, which started to be built last April. To be completed by 2025, the 500,000-square-meter base will be home to the regional headquarters of 300 companies in the fields of communication technology, 5G information technology, new energy and creative architectural design.

Visitors are wowed by the ZTE smart headquarters base in Ledong. (Photo by Sha Xiaofeng)

The media group also visited Haikou, Qionghai, Wanning, and Qiongzhong for a better understanding and close look at the development of the Hainan FTP.

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