The ocean, which covers 71 percent of the earth's surface, is a
basic component of the globaal bio-support system. It is also a
treasure house of resources and an important regulator of the environment.
It is inevitable that the development of human society will come
to depend more and more on the ocean.
In the coming 21st century mankind will have new opportunities
to develop and utilize the ocean. Upholding the principles of the
international marine law as defined by the United Nations Convention
on the Law of the Sea, maintaining the wholesomeness of the oceans,
protecting the marine environment and guaranteeing the sustainable
utilization of marine resources and maritime safety have become
common norms for all the people in the world to abide by, and a
collective mission for all mankind to undertake. As a major developing
country with a long coastline, China attaches great importance to
marine development and protection, and takes it as the state's development
strategy. It is constantly strengthening comprehensive marine management,
steadily improving its marine-related laws, and actively developing
science, technology and education pertaining to the oceans. China
has made positive contributions to international ocean development
and protection by participating positively in UN marine affairs,
promoting cooperation between countries and regions and conscientiously
carrying out its obligations in this field.
The year 1998 has been designated by the United Nations as the
International Ocean Year, and on this occasion the Chinese government
would like to introduce the progress of China's work in this particular
field to the world.