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Yang Jiechi: Forge "Ocean Protection" into a New Growth Point for China-US Cooperation

On June 24 local time, State Councilor Yang Jiechi, special representative of President Xi Jinping, and Secretary of State John Forbes Kerry, special representative of US President Barack Obama, jointly attended in Washington D.C. the China-US special conference on “Ocean Protection” under the framework of the seventh round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED). Yang Jiechi proposed that China and the US should make persistent efforts on the basis of existing cooperation achievements to forge “Ocean Protection” into a new growth point for China-US cooperation.

Yang Jiechi expressed that the oceans are the common home of mankind and closely related to the survival and development of mankind. Sincere cooperation among countries in the world including China and the US is required to develop ocean resources, safeguard maritime security, protect ocean ecology, and push forward the sustainable development of the oceans. The Chinese government pays high attention to carrying out international cooperation on the oceans, and commits to working with countries in the world to jointly construct maritime passages, maintain maritime security, develop ocean economy and utilize ocean resources, so as to promote the construction of harmonious, cooperative and green oceans.

Yang Jiechi pointed out that as two major maritime powers, both China and the US have made positive contributions to mankind’s exploration and comprehension, development and utilization, as well as protection and conservation of the oceans, and share extensive common interests in global ocean governance. In recent years, the two sides have constantly deepened policy exchanges and practical cooperation in the ocean field, and made abundant cooperation achievements in marine science, maritime law enforcement, maritime security, sustainable utilization of ocean resources, maritime search and rescue, and many other fields.

Yang Jiechi emphasized that under the new situation, China and the US should make persistent efforts to forge “Ocean Protection” into a new growth point for China-US cooperation. The two sides should make full use of the existing dialogue and cooperation mechanism, and on such a basis constantly enrich communication channels, increase dialogue frequency, jointly discuss the practical cooperation in constructing marine ecological civilization, detecting marine environment, conserving fishery resources and other aspects, as well as share each other’s experience and achieve mutual complementarity, so as to keep the blue sea and clear sky for future generations. The two sides should further enhance contacts between bilateral maritime law-enforcement departments, and raise the level of cooperation in crackdown on illegal drift-net fishing on the high seas, maritime humanitarian relief, transportation management of hazardous materials and other aspects, so as to co-construct a peaceful and tranquil marine environment. Both should further enhance practical maritime cooperation under multilateral frameworks like the UN and APEC, strengthen communication and exchanges on maritime law and polar affairs, and jointly maintain a fair and reasonable international maritime order, so as to promote prosperity and sustainable development of the oceans.

John Forbes Kerry expressed that the US and China are the two largest economies in the world, as well as big fishery countries and leading countries in marine science. At present, there exist severe challenges in safeguarding marine ecological environment and realizing sustainable ocean exploitation. Therefore, the cooperation in ocean protection between the US and China is in line with the benefit of the two countries as well as other countries in the world, and will play a significant leading role worldwide. Ocean protection is another important field in the constant expansion of US-China cooperation, and both sides have launched beneficial cooperation in marine science, ocean resources management and other aspects. The US side stands ready to work with the Chinese side to continue expanding cooperation in maritime law enforcement, sustainable development of the oceans and other fields, so as to maintain and promote the common well-being of mankind.

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