Countries to focus on marine progress

A news briefing on the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is held in Beijing on Oct 16. [Photo by Zou Hong/]

China and countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative have made steady progress in ocean cooperation, moving toward a comprehensive, multi-dimensional and in-depth path of development, a Chinese official said on Monday.

China has signed maritime cooperation agreements with more than 50 countries and international organizations, and has engaged in disaster prevention and reduction cooperation with South Pacific island countries, laying the foundation for future practical ocean cooperation, said Wang Antao, deputy director-general of the Department of International Cooperation in the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Wang made the remarks on Monday at a news briefing on the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing.

Furthermore, China has jointly established numerous cooperation mechanisms and platforms with countries taking part in the initiative, including the China-Southeast Asian Countries Marine Cooperation Forum, the official noted.

Wang said that China is willing to work closely with countries involved in the BRI to promote the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and jointly tackle the challenges brought by climate change, protect the marine ecosystem, develop the blue economy, enhance oceanic technological innovation and promote sustainable development, in a bid to keep improving the wellbeing of the oceans.

As far as education and professional training are concerned, China has provided marine scholarships to more than 300 young people from 37 countries in the past decade, cultivating young talents in marine science and management, he said.

Wu Jilu, deputy director-general of the China Institute for Marine Affairs, highlighted the critical role played by think tanks, over and above intergovernmental efforts, in promoting China’s maritime cooperation in the business sector with countries taking part in the BRI.

A slew of research findings and surveys conducted by think tanks have boosted maritime business exchanges, enabling enterprises to gather a comprehensive understanding of relevant information and engage in trade and investment in a safe and orderly manner, said Wu, adding that this has facilitated the high-quality development of the BRI, enhancing people-to-people exchanges.

A thematic forum on maritime cooperation will be held on Wednesday on the sidelines of the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

The forum is aimed at deepening the cooperation between China and countries involved in the BRI in areas such as developing a sustainable blue economy, protecting marine ecosystems, and promoting marine technological innovation.

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