Abstract The report to the 19th CPC National Congress has put forward that the central government will grant more powers to pilot free trade zones to conduct reform, and explore the opening of free trade ports. The plan released by the State Council to build Hainan into a pilot free trade zone also declares that the overall goal is to lay a solid foundation for gradually exploring and steadily promoting the establishment of a free trade port in Hainan, and putting forward policies and institutions in a step by step and phased manner. This is another major decision made by the CPC Central Committee and State Council when the reform and openingup has entered into a new stage, which indicates that China will further expand openingup to embrace the economic globalization and trade liberalization. Although both the free trade pilot zones and the free trade ports focus on the innovation of systems with the aim to foster a modern and open business environment, their orientations are different. The free trade pilot zones lay stress on gaining experience which can be copied in other areas, paving the way for national reforms. While the free trade ports try to attract capital and expertise from outside China, propelling China to integrate into the global world. Therefore, the free trade port is a completely new issue for China. We must have a keen appreciation of the following issues and take some substantial steps, such as the relationship between free trade ports and the Belt and Road Initiative, the classification and orientation of free trade ports, the construction of legal system in the free trade ports and the spreading impact of free trade ports.