China speeds up South China Sea development

Updated: 2012-12-04 09:55


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HAIKOU - 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.

Related: Hope for stronger ASEAN trade links

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.

Liu Cigui, director of the SOA, said "maritime power" usually refers to a country with comprehensive strength in maritime exploitation, marine economic development, marine environmental protection and marine control.

Liu said the maritime economy is becoming a new engine for China's economic restructuring.

The government's determination to develop the marine economy has resulted in a series of efforts, including the establishment of Sansha city in July and the State Council's approval of maritime zoning plans submitted by Guangdong and Hainan provinces for the 2011-2020 period, as well as its approval of a five-year plan for maritime economic development from 2011 to 2015.

Related: Sansha's ecological environment priority: city govt

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