HAIKOU, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- Provinces and special administrative regions in south China have agreed to hasten the development of the South China Sea, as the country is now targeting a stronger marine economy.
Members of the Pan-Pearl River Delta (PPRD) region, which has led China's export-oriented economy for nearly three decades, signed a cooperative agreement to develop the South China Sea at the eighth PPRD Forum held in Hainan Province from Nov. 28 to Dec. 2.
Fishery will be prioritized in the development process, including the establishment of joint fishing fleets and fishery supply bases in the city of Sansha, according to the agreement.
The region will act as a bridgehead for the country to build itself into a maritime power, said Wang Hong, deputy director of the State Oceanic Administration.
Wang said the PPRD has opened an important window for China to participate in globalization and will continue to serve as a base for China to protect and exploit the South China Sea and safeguard its maritime rights and interests.
The forum attracted government leaders and thousands of businessmen from Hong Kong, Macao and other nine provincial-level regions.
Chinese leader Hu Jintao said at the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) held last month that China should enhance its capacity for exploiting marine resources, resolutely safeguard the country's maritime rights and interests and build itself into a maritime power.
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