BEIJING — The gross production value of China’s maritime industry grew by 7.5 percent annually on average in the past five years, accounting for nearly 10 percent of the country’s GDP, the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) announced on Jan 21.
The maritime economy generated 7.8 trillion yuan ($1.22 trillion) in 2017, said SOA Director Wang Hong at a national maritime meeting.
China aims to increase the gross production value of its maritime industry to 10 trillion yuan by 2020 and have it account for around 15 percent of the country’s GDP by 2035, according to Wang.
Among major progress made last year, the SOA, for the first time, dispatched inspectors to 11 coastal provinces, municipalities and regions for reclamation projects.
The SOA concluded a nationwide survey of land-based sources of marine pollution, identifying a total of 9,600 such sources.
A platform for maritime management in the Nansha Islands was also set up, and forecasts on the marine environment of three reefs including Yongshu, Meiji and Zhubi began to be released.
China made progress in maritime research expeditions, including those made by icebreaker Xuelong and deep-sea manned submersible Jiaolong, according to SOA.
REFORMS ON AGENDA
Major reforms outlined by the SOA for 2018 include appointing “gulf chiefs” to step up maritime pollution control as similar approaches adopted in 2016 and 2017 to protect rivers and lakes have achieved results.
“The government will speed up the establishment of marine economy demonstration zones,” said Wang, noting that it is part of the country’s drive to pursue high-quality development.
Efforts will be made to foster world-class high-end marine industrial clusters in Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, and build Shanghai and Shenzhen into global marine centers.
China plans to put three maritime satellites into space to improve maritime research.
In the meantime, the government will promote maritime legislation by drafting the basic law of the sea, according to the SOA.
While intensifying efforts to protect ecology and curb pollution, the government will step up inspection on law enforcement, which is expected to cover all major oceanic projects, it said.
According to the agenda, the SOA will promote the building of the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road by enhancing bilateral and multilateral maritime cooperation with other countries in the new year.