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Enhancing Solidarity and Cooperation to Build Together
A Maritime Community with a Shared Future

2021/11/09

Remarks by State Councilor Wang Yi
At the Opening Ceremony of the Symposium on Global Maritime
Cooperation and Ocean Governance 2021

Distinguished Guests,
Friends,

It gives me great pleasure to attend the opening ceremony of the Symposium on Global Maritime Cooperation and Ocean Governance 2021. Let me begin by expressing my warm congratulations to the Symposium and extending a hearty welcome to the participating dignitaries, officials, experts, scholars, and friends from the media!

The ocean is a cradle of life, a bond connecting nations around the world, and an important platform for globalization. In recent years, maritime security issues are emerging one after another, the marine ecosystem is worsening, and global ocean governance is confronted with myriads of challenges. None of them can be resolved by any individual country. It takes solidarity and cooperation of the entire international community to address them.

President Xi Jinping has put forward an important vision of building a maritime community with a shared future, thus illuminating from a new perspective the relationship of harmonious coexistence between man and ocean, and pointing the way forward for the cause of global maritime development. At present, the COVID-19 pandemic and the major changes unseen in a century have together brought about complex and grave economic and security challenges, and countries are seeing their future connected more than ever before. Mankind should not be split into isolated islands or blocs by oceans. Instead, we should make the ocean a bond for stronger solidarity and jointly build a maritime community with a shared future. To this end, I propose that we make the following efforts:

We need to stay committed to multilateralism and jointly safeguard the maritime order. Oceans and continents coexist in harmony, and this relationship should not be replaced by zero-sum rivalry between maritime power and land power. The ocean should no longer be used as a tool for unilateral power politics in the world. In the globalized world today, multilateralism is an important basis for safeguarding peace. We oppose the maritime hegemony-seeking moves by certain countries to flex muscles, gang up to form exclusive blocs, and continuously infringe upon the legitimate and lawful rights and interests of other countries. The world should get united, hold high the banner of multilateralism, defend the UN-centered international system, and uphold the maritime order underpinned by international law.

We need to stay committed to dialogue and consultation and jointly promote peace of the ocean. Peace of the ocean is more precious than gold. For thousands of years, the Chinese have used the ocean to promote friendship, but never used it for aggression or expansion. Since the founding of New China, we always respect the legitimate pursuit of maritime interests by all others, work to narrow differences through dialogue, and strive to resolve disputes through negotiation. On the South China Sea, China and ASEAN countries are committed to the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), and we are steadily making new progress in the consultation on the code of conduct (COC). We will soon host a special China-ASEAN summit in commemoration of the 30th anniversary of dialogue relations and next year, we will mark the 20th anniversary of the signing of the DOC. China and ASEAN countries should seize this opportunity to strive for the early conclusion of the COC, and make the South China Sea a sea of peace, a sea of friendship, and a sea of cooperation.

We need to stay committed to openness and inclusiveness and jointly deepen maritime cooperation. The ocean is an artery for international industrial and supply chains. The recent problems in the global supply chains are due to not only the objective reason of the pandemic, but also man-made factors such as unilateralism and protectionism. We need to uphold the principle of shared benefits and shared governance, strengthen maritime connectivity, and promote free trade. We need to maintain stable and unimpeded marine transportation and industrial chains, and build an open global economy at a higher level with an open and connected ocean. China will work with all countries to fully implement the Global Development Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping. We hope that, through building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and jointly promoting the Partnership for Blue Economy, we will boost maritime connectivity at a faster pace, build platforms for maritime cooperation, and inject new vitality into global economic recovery.

We need to stay committed to green development and jointly protect the marine environment. The ocean is the common homeland for all countries. We must take care of the ocean and protect it as we do with our lives. We need to make sure that everything we do is in the interest of the long-term development and progress of humanity. We need to develop and utilize marine resources in an orderly manner, join hands in tackling global challenges such as climate warming and rising sea levels, and deal with conducts that damage the marine environment such as the discharge of nuclear-contaminated water in strict accordance with law, so as to ensure that our blue planet retains its primary color forever, and that our future generations continue to enjoy clean ocean and blue skies. China attaches great importance to promoting marine ecological civilization, and is making sustained efforts to strengthen the prevention and control of marine pollution, protect marine biodiversity, and promote the orderly development and utilization of marine resources. China also stands ready to deepen cooperation with all countries on these fronts to contribute to the green development of the ocean.

Friends,

The 21st century is a century of the ocean. China is ready to work with all countries to build a maritime community with a shared future, so that the ocean can always be a beautiful homeland for humanity to live and thrive. I look forward to your in-depth dialogue and exchanges on important topics of maritime cooperation and governance. To conclude, I wish this forum a full success.

Thank you.

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