"South China Sea guardian" awarded July 1 Medal for his steadfast devotion to country

(People's Daily Online) 15:30, August 16, 2021

Wang Shumao, who developed civilian forces to safeguard legitimate rights in the South China Sea and led the way in resolutely safeguarding China's territorial integrity and maritime rights, has recently been awarded the July 1 Medal, the highest honor in the Communist Party of China (CPC).

Photo shows Wang Shumao, a recipient of the July 1 Medal. (Photo/Song Guoqiang)

Wang, born and raised in Tanmen, a small fishing town in south China's island province of Hainan, worked as a captain like his father and also served as the Tanmen Militia’s deputy commander. During the construction of the Nansha Islands, Wang proactively participated in the process for materials transportation.

Since the 1990s, the militia, under Wang's leadership, has altogether dispatched 580 batches of fishing boats to transport more than 2 million tons of construction materials for the troops. In 1996, Wang was officially permitted to join the Party.

In May 2014, when a large number of foreign vessels illegally and forcefully interfered with the operation of a Chinese company's HYSY 981 drilling rig inside China's Xisha Islands, Wang led more than 200 militiamen in 10 fishing boats to hurry towards the site and guard against further interruptions.

Wang ordered his fleet to dash those foreign vessels that intended to illegally ram the drilling rig and grossly violate relevant international laws, so as to defend China's territory and sovereignty.

Apart from this, the civilian forces that Wang, also nicknamed the "South China Sea guardian" helped develop also played an active role in the handling of maritime accidents. In October 2010, when Qionghai city, Hainan province was hit hard by torrential rain, the militia organized two emergency rescue teams, dispatched two high-powered speedboats, rescued nearly 100 trapped residents and salvaged 45 ships.

The militia was thereafter rewarded with the recognition of an "advanced unit for flood fighting and rescue" by the CPC Hainan provincial committee and provincial government.

In recent years, Wang started to lead local residents to embark on a new route of economic development in which ecological environmental protection is being highly emphasized. "We should no longer blindly expand the size of the fishing industry, but develop recreational fishery which caters to the demand of residents' upgrading consumption," Wang noted.

In November 2017, when the first leisure fishery-themed company in Hainan province was established in Tanmen, Wang not only took the lead in leasing his two fishing boats, but also encouraged other fishermen to participate in this same way in order to gain shares in the company.

Meanwhile, encouraged by Wang, a local resident named Fu Minglin invested in building a B&B where tourists can enjoy the beautiful view of the sea and created new jobs for over 20 villagers.

"After adopting the new method of economic growth, our fishermen are much better off and can refrain from strenuous fishing activities," noted Wang.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)


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