As the host, China has paid great attention to the fourth APEC Ocean-related Ministerial Meeting held on Aug 28 in Xiamen.
Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli said that hosting the event was of great importance for China to strengthen marine cooperation and promote industrial development.
The ocean is significant for human activities. With increasing economic globalization, economies worldwide have carried out closer ocean-related cooperation and more frequent communication.
The ocean suffers from frequent marine disasters and destruction of the marine ecological environment and resources.
With those challenges in mind APEC economies, as coastal economies, must gather together to discuss possible solutions.
This year’s APEC ocean-related meeting is themed “building new partnerships in Asia-Pacific marine cooperation”.
Discussions mainly focus on four topics－marine ecosystem conservation and disaster resilience, the role of the ocean in food security and food-related trade, marine science, technology and innovation, and the blue economy.
The Chinese government has always attached great importance to marine development and cooperation, as the ocean has an increasingly dominant position in the country’s social development, ecological construction and opening-up policy.
China witnessed rapid growth of the marine economy and established related pilot areas in Shandong, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Fujian and Tianjin.
The nation has also collaborated and partnered with neighboring countries, which resulted in the China-ASEAN maritime cooperation fund and a series of marine cooperation agreements.
China’s proposals to build a 21st century Marine Silk Road received positive responses as well as widespread concerns from the international community.
The country welcomes suggestions from relevant countries to enrich and improve this project.
As a responsible country, China will adhere to the spirit of honesty and openness when forging ahead to become a marine power to make contributions to the effective protection, peaceful utilization and reasonable development of the ocean.
The author is the head of State Oceanic Administration. The above is based on part of his opening speech at the fourth APEC Ocean-related Ministerial Meeting.