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China to Expand Maritime Administration Scope
China plans to expand its maritime administration scope from the current 50 sea miles to 100 sea miles by 2010, and shorten emergency reaction time for its key navigational channels and major ports.

The Ministry of Communications said Wednesday that by 2010, the Maritime Safety Administration of China (China MSA) will stretch its administration scope to all of the key navigational routes and maritime facilities within 100 sea miles.

By then, the current four or five emergency reaction hours for the key navigational channels and major ports within 50 sea miles will be reduced to less than 150 minutes.

An all-round, 24-hour operation and rapid reaction safety security system for maritime transportation will be established by 2010, said the ministry.

By 2020, China MSA will further expand the administration scope of its exclusive economic zone in 200 sea miles, and the emergency reaction hours within 50 sea miles will be shortened to 90 minutes for effective and rapid maritime rescue.

Zhai Jiugang, an official with the Ministry of Communications in charge of navigation administration, said that to realize the goals, the ministry will increase its future input in science and technology and further improve its maritime administrative methods.

More vessels and aircraft of different models will be made in the coming years, to be used for tridimensional inspection and control over the sea, and an Internet vessel reporting system will also be put into use, said Zhai.

In 2002, a total of 7,973 people were involved in wrecks or accidents within the maritime administration scope of China MSA, 7,532 of which were rescued by the nationwide MSA branches, including 324 foreigners, with the successful rescue rate hitting 94.5 percent, said the ministry.

(Xinhua News Agency February 12, 2003)

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