The State Council published a plan on Aug 20 concerning the layout of the main functional areas of China’s oceans, with the aim of optimizing marine development and improving the utilization efficiency of oceans to ensure sustainable development.
As part of the country’s overall plan for main functional areas, the plan published on Aug 20 will serve as the basis for shaping the distribution of main functional areas and it will help the authorities monitor marine development.
Regarding main functions, the plan divides ocean space into four types: areas that have been intensively exploited and should be developed in an optimal manner as resources are being depleted, areas that still have great potential and rich resources and should be key development areas, and areas of limited development or where development is prohibited.
The plan clearly categorizes the four types of areas in relation to China’s inland waters, territorial seas, exclusive economic zones, continental shelves, and other sea areas under China’s jurisdiction (excluding Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan).
It also details the future development and exploitation principals for these areas.
Central departments and local governments in coastal areas are required to strengthen coordination and ensure the implementation of favorable policies concerning finance and taxation and investment and the environment - in an ethical and honest manner.
The authorities are also responsible for making plans and concrete measures to carry out the tasks described in this plan.