BEIJING, April 11-- China is facing serious challenges to its maritime rights, with its resources being plundered and seas carved up, a senior oceanic official said Friday.
Some islands have been encroached on and the security of strategic thoroughfares is threatened. Various conflicts have occurred in China's waters, said Liu Cigui, director of the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), according to the SOA's official website.
Liu made the remarks while delivering a speech at the Party School of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.
China boasts a mainland coastline of more than 18,000 km and island coastline of more than 14,000 km.
The SOA has taken countermeasures against infringements of China's maritime rights and interests, including Japan's illegal "nationalization" of China's Diaoyu Islands in 2012 and the Philippines' attempt to seize the Ren'ai Reef, he said.
"Initial achievements have been made to safeguard China's legitimate rights."
While talking about waters beyond China's boundaries, Liu said China has wide strategic interests and legitimate rights in open seas, oceans, international seabed areas, as well as the South Pole and the North Pole, according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
China will make full use of Jiaolong, the country's first manned deep-sea submersible, in oceanic research to enhance its capabilities of deep-sea exploration, Liu added.