China is working on a new plan for international cooperation in the South China Sea and its neighboring waters to cover the next five years, sources with the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said on April 28.
It will focus on partnerships between China and the ASEAN and in East Asia, said Chen Yue, deputy director of the SOA’s international cooperation department. Chen did not go into specifics or say when the plan will be unveiled.
The two projects are expected to be jointly established by the SOA and the government of southeast China’s coastal Fujian province as well as the SOA and the government of east China’s Shandong province, respectively.
Under the previous five-year plan covering 2011 to 2015, China signed 19 intergovernmental and 17 inter-institutional documents on marine cooperation with 15 countries around the South China Sea, the Indian Ocean and the South Pacific, according to SOA figures.
China also led, initiated and carried out more than 30 cooperation projects, and offered apparatus for four ocean observation stations for Southeast Asian countries including Indonesia and Malaysia.
During the period, the Chinese government offered scholarships to 71 students from 27 developing countries and regions to study for master’s or doctoral degrees in related majors in China, according to Chen.