Hainan Island, on Parallel Earth

In some alternate-history timeline, could the KMT fled to Hainan, with the result that Hainan became more like our Taiwan (and our Taiwan like Hainan)? Or would geographical and geopolitical factors have prevented that?

They grow betel nut in Hainan, so there’s something.


A lot of KMT fled south into Burma. And look how that ended up.

They actually fled to Hainan too, but they had to give it up.

Hainan is very close to China, so the strait is less of a barrier, and the 7th fleet would not have been able to keep the reds at bay.

Hainan doesn’t have a decent harbor, does it? That could be the biggest difference.

Plus their period of Japanese rule was shorter. Wikipedia says that one-third of Hainan’s male population was killed then. If so, that might have made things easier for the KMT…

On the other hand, it also had an active Communist presence, including guerrillas. (Taiwan’s Communists tended to be intellecuals.)

Were the populations of Hainan and Taiwan about the same back then? (Wikipedia gives the former as 8 million today.) Are the basic “carrying capacities” of the two islands comparable?