HAINAN'S 1.2 million ethnic Li people have made significant gains from a series of infrastructure projects in the past decade, Xinhua said. Wang Jiaxian, a member of the Li community and vice-chairman of the Hainan provincial committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said the past 10 years had marked the most rapid economic growth in Hainan's history. The central Government and the Guangdong provincial Government had invested more than 22.6 billion yuan (HK$21.1 billion) in infrastructure in areas populated by ethnic minorities. Among the projects completed was an expressway between Haikou and the port city of Sanya. Mr Wang said the construction drive had forced down the number of Hainan people living in poverty from 870,000 to 250,000. Ethnic minorities' average income had risen from 430 yuan to 1,318 yuan a year between 1987 and last year.