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Low taxes. Duty-free shopping. Sandy beaches. The Communist Party even wants to put people on yachts.

China wants to turn Hainan province, an island the size of Maryland in the South China Sea, into a free-trade port and international commercial hub. The island, with 9.5 million full-time residents, is offering new incentives to transform the snowbird haven into a destination for global companies, jet-setting financiers and sophisticated shoppers alike.

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