TOP Chinese leader Mr Jiang Zemin reassured the sub-tropical island of Hainan that it remained one of the ''windows'' in the drive to widen reforms. Mr Jiang, party and state leader, gave the upbeat message yesterday in Haikou to mark the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the Hainan Special Economic Zone (SEZ). He said the setting up of SEZs as the ''windows'' on China's open policy played an active and pioneering role in those reforms. Mr Jiang noted that Hainan had had distinct advantages in its resources and a sound prospect for development. The decision to set up an SEZ in Hainan was to give full play to its natural advantages to accelerate the pace of reform, he said. Over the past five years, he maintained, Hainan authorities helped bring prosperity to the once-backward island. A rapidly growing economy had brought great changes to the island, said Mr Jiang. The Hainan SEZ, the largest in China, had achieved its objective of catching up with the national average in economic growth, he said. Senior party and government leaders, including a vice-chairman of the National People's Congress, Mr Tian Jiyun, Vice-Premier Mr Li Lanqing, and Defence Minister Mr Chi Haotian, also turned up. Mr Ruan Chongwu, party secretary and governor of Hainan, described the past five years as a period that witnessed the fastest and the most profound changes in the outlook of the island. The total accumulated investments in the island had reached 21.7 billion yuan (HK$29 billion). Mr Ruan said that with the opening of customs offices, the Yangpu economic development zone and Haikou free-trade zone would be fully operational. A number of construction projects will start and a large number of contracts have been signed with Chinese and foreign investors, he said. The province has entered a phase of ''high-rate growth'' and was one of the most active regions in China, said Mr Ruan. A former minister of labour, Mr Ruan replaced Mr Deng Hongxun as party secretary early this year.