Protecting the Marine Environment is a Common Cause: China Daily Editorial Team
3 mins read

Protecting the Marine Environment is a Common Cause: China Daily Editorial Team

Restored corals grow around reefs near Fenjiezhou Island in Hainan Province. (Photo: Zhang Mao/China Daily)

The white paper on “Protecting China’s Marine Environment”, which the State Council Information Office released on Thursday, undoubtedly shows China’s commitment to implementing all-round cooperation to protect marine ecology and the marine environment.

The professionalism and objectivity of the fact-based document, jointly produced by the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, the State Oceanic Administration and several other departments, are clearly visible. The white paper clearly outlines China’s achievements in marine conservation and environmental protection since 2012 and shares practical experiences as well as some hard-learned lessons.

It is clear from this that China sees the ocean as a bond with other countries and a valuable community resource with a shared future. Protecting the marine environment should be a shared concern of all countries, including landlocked ones, and not a weapon for some in their geopolitical games.

China attaches great importance to the marine ecological environment and has introduced strict management systems and laws for the protection of the marine ecological environment, giving equal attention to protection, pollution prevention and control, and restoration. It has effectively improved its marine ecological environment by coordinating land and sea and increasing river-sea connectivity.

To mitigate the impact of land-based pollution on the marine environment, China has adopted sound measures to coordinate land-sea pollution control and monitor key pathways for land-based pollution to the sea. Through comprehensive management of key marine areas, land-sea coordination in pollution control, and the construction of beautiful bays, the quality of China’s coastal waters has improved. In 2023, the proportion of marine areas with good or excellent water quality increased by 21.3 percentage points compared with 2012.

China will continue to support and assist other developing countries to the best of its ability in solving marine eco-environmental problems through various means. The land-sea coordination and river-sea connectivity mechanism that China has explored should be a reference for developing countries to minimize the negative impact of their extensive growth model on the marine eco-environment, avoiding the costly post-pollution clean-up development curve that some parts of China have experienced.

Supporting multilateralism, China advocates the vision of a maritime community with a shared future and conducts in-depth, win-win cooperation with the international community through multiple channels and in various forms, developing blue partnerships with an open and pragmatic approach.

As stated in the white paper, on this new journey, China will continue to promote a new development philosophy, promote ecological progress and build a marine ecological environment based on harmony between people and the sea.

Adhering to the vision of a better world through cooperation and mutual benefit, China contributes to building a global maritime community with a shared future through concrete actions. It is willing to work with other countries to lay the foundation for a marine eco-civilization, pursue green marine development, and build a cleaner and more beautiful world where the oceans serve as a permanent home for people to live and thrive.

As the White Paper states, marine issues are global issues and the protection of the marine ecological environment is a common concern for people around the world. All countries are responsible for protecting and improving the marine environment and for conserving and using marine resources in a sustainable manner.

This should prevent attempts to sabotage or hinder China’s cooperation with its neighbours in protecting the marine environment.