Building a maritime community with shared future for the blue planet

(Xinhua) 08:59, June 08, 2021

Aerial photo taken on June 5, 2021 shows an artificial beach resort at Dongjiang Port in the Binhai New Area of north China's Tianjin. (Xinhua/Li Ran)

BEIJING, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Countries across the world will observe World Oceans Day on Tuesday. This year's theme, "The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods," highlights the importance of oceans for the life and activities of the global community.

In China, this year's World Oceans Day will be marked with a focus on protecting marine biodiversity and raising public awareness on the harmonious coexistence between humankind and nature.

"The ocean does not separate our blue planet into isolated continents; instead, it links the peoples of all countries to form a global community of shared future that remains bound together through thick and thin," Chinese President Xi Jinping once commented on the relationship between the oceans and humanity.

Xi made the remarks when he met with foreign naval dignitaries in 2019, when he called for cherishing the ocean and proposed building a maritime community with a shared future.

"We need to care for the ocean as we treasure our lives," he told the foreign guests.

Guided by this vision, the country has made strides in the conservation of marine ecology, prevention and treatment of marine pollution and protection of marine biodiversity, in a bid to leave a clean marine environment to the world's future generations.

Photo taken on May 30, 2021 shows a mussel breeding base in Shengsi County of Zhoushan City, east China's Zhejiang Province. (Photo by Yao Feng/Xinhua)

In a three-year campaign launched in December 2018, for instance, China has restored 8,891 hectares of wetlands along the Bohai Sea, the country's semi-enclosed inland sea whose coast is of global importance for many migratory bird species.

In the same period, the country also finished the improvement of 132 km of coastline of the Bohai Sea. As of last year, up to 82.3 percent of the nearshore waters in the sea have been of good quality, according to environmental authorities.

In proposing building a maritime community with a shared future, Xi has not only pledged great attention to the building of marine ecological civilization, but also called for joint efforts to address common threats and challenges at sea, and safeguard maritime peace and tranquility.

Maritime peace and tranquility concern the security and interests of all countries and need to be jointly maintained and cherished, the president has said, noting that ocean-based cooperation in market, technology, information, culture and other areas has been steadily deepening.

In a congratulatory letter to the 2019 China Marine Economy Expo, Xi also called for efforts to accelerate marine sci-tech innovation, improve marine development capacity, and foster and strengthen emerging marine industries of strategic importance.

He urged efforts to promote marine connectivity and cooperation in all areas and develop a "blue partnership" among all countries.

In past years, China has fully participated in the formulation and implementation of maritime governance mechanism and related rules within the United Nations framework, and is committed to sustainable marine development.

Tourists practice surfing at Dadonghai scenic area in Sanya City, south China's Hainan Province, Oct. 6, 2020. (Xinhua/Guo Cheng)

"As a Chinese saying goes, 'The ocean is vast because it admits all rivers.' Whenever a problem crops up, countries concerned should always hold deliberations in good faith, rather than resort to the use or threat of force at will," Xi has said.

In 2013, Xi proposed jointly building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, part of the Belt and Road Initiative, which has become an important platform for international maritime cooperation.

The reason for China to propose jointly building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, Xi said, is to facilitate maritime connectivity, pragmatic cooperation in various fields and the development of the "blue economy," as well as to promote the integration of maritime cultures and to improve maritime wellbeing.

China's gross ocean product increased 6.2 percent year on year to more than 8.9 trillion yuan (about 1.39 trillion U.S. dollars) in 2019, while its trade with countries along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road grew 4.6 percent, official data showed.

In part of its efforts to enhance maritime connectivity, China assisted with the Friendship Port expansion project in Mauritania, which improved the handling capacity and alleviated cargo congestion and delays in the port, making it an important logistics node along the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, according to a white paper released early this year.

Looking ahead, China will coordinate and promote maritime ecological protection and maritime economic development while safeguarding its maritime rights and interests, according to the country's outline of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) and the long-range objectives through the year 2035.

For the next five years and beyond, China will seek extensive involvement in the making and implementation of the global maritime governance mechanism and push for the building of a maritime community with a shared future, said the outline.

Efforts will be made to develop "blue partnerships" and expand cooperation with coastal countries in terms of marine environment protection, scientific research and maritime rescue, among others, it said. 

(Web editor: Guo Wenrui, Liang Jun)


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