Expat lovebirds fall for Hainan, each other

Witnessing a wedding in Hainan province is not particularly unusual, but onlookers were surprised to see a foreign bride and groom taking part in a traditional Chinese wedding in Qionghai, on April 14. 

Anais, a bride from Spain, and her French groom Timote work as tennis coaches at the Hainan Campus of Beijing Haidian Foreign Language Shi Yan School. 

After falling in love with the tropical island, they decided to marry there — Chinese style.

The newlyweds are among the highly-skilled workers from overseas attracted by Hainan's talent policies, which are designed to support the building of a free trade zone. 

The fact that two foreigners feel settled enough to get married on the island demonstrates just how welcoming the living environment is for expat workers.

We are trying our best to ensure that foreign workers can blend in with local life without too much difficulty, said Wang Liang, headmaster of the Hainan Campus of Beijing Haidian Foreign Language Shi Yan School.

In addition to housing incentives, the Hainan Campus hosts regular parties and offers Chinese languages courses for its foreign employees, according to Wang. 

The school currently employees 16 foreign teachers from 13 countries and plans to double the number by 2021.

In January, the Hainan provincial government published an action plan for language learning on the island as it gears up to build a free trade port.

And starting from this year, English lessons will be stepped up for first and second graders in Haikou and Sanya, with plans to recruit more foreign teachers.

Responsible editor: 石一涵
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