China will formulate and implement a strategy for marine development, and promote the development of the marine economy, according to Premier Wen Jiabao's Government Work Report released during the fifth session of the 11th National People's Congress (NPC). The report's contents drew strong responses from PLA deputies to the NPC.
One of the deputies who commented on China's need to formulate a marine development strategy was Zhu Wenquan, a PLA deputy to NPC, and former commander of the Nanjing Military Region. He said: "The 21st century is the century of the sea and we have entered a new era in which marine resources are being developed and utilized on a large scale. However, China hasn't yet published an overall marine development strategy."
He continued: "At present, it is of paramount importance that we promulgate an overall, comprehensive and systematic marine development strategy based on our political, economic, and military situation."
Gu Shoucheng, a PLA deputy to the NPC and former director of the Joint Logistics Department of the Nanjing Military Region said that the key to tackling China's lagging marine development is changing the tradition idea that the land, and its resources, and more important than the ocean.
Wang Hewen, a PLA deputy to the NPC and former command of Zhejiang Military District said that besides energy, the marine economy also includes marine fisheries, offshore aquaculture, marine and mining resources, port economy, marine shipping and shipbuilding. All of these aspects are necessary in order to build a comprehensive marine economic strategy, which will, in turn, guide their functioning.
Commenting further, Zhu Wenquan said: "We have reached a consensus to develop and utilize marine resources. However, China has many problems such as its low level marine industry, insufficient technical and scientific support as well as low level of marine development and utilization."
Wang Yu, a PLA deputy to the NPC and dean of the Marine Equipment Research Institute suggested that China should build a high-level scientific and technological research and development base to support research into marine life, oceans and climate, ocean carbon cycle, marine ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles and naval equipment.
"Our marine affairs are now managed by many departments from different fields including economic, scientific, diplomatic and security," said Zhu Wenquan. He added that the lack of a high-level management and coordination mechanism means that it is difficult to formulate an overall policy to coordinate every aspect of the industry.
He continued: "We need to learn from the marine management systems used in and promote reform in central government, management and enforcement." He also suggested that central government make decisions and policies and that the marine administrative department's power be expanded in order to manage macro marine affairs and build China's marine law enforcement and supervision corps.
Wang Hewen commented that said that central government should take a decision at the highest level to cope with the current uncoordinated issues of coastal defense construction and marine economic development.
To that end, Zhu Wenquan suggested establishing a military and political coordination mechanism in order to promote the coordinated and trouble--free development of coastal defense construction and marine economic development.