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Experts Urge Int'l Cooperation to Ensure Safety on Sea Channels

Experts from seven countries in the Asia-Pacific region Tuesday called for concerted efforts to secure the safety of international sea transport routes and build a peaceful maritime environment for economic development in this region.  

Nearly 50 experts from China, the United States, the Republic of Korea, Russia, India, Pakistan and Japan attended a two-day seminar on sea transport routes, popularly known as sea lines of communication, held in Beijing.


Safeguarding maritime safety and combating arms proliferation, piracy, smuggling as well as terrorism are of common interests and aspirations to all countries, said Lu Zhongwei, president of the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, a prominent think tank of the Chinese government.


"China has noticed the importance of safeguarding sea channel safety and is ready to increase cooperation in this regard with other countries in the Asia-Pacific region and deepen mutual trust," Lu said at the seminar.


Lu called on the countries in this region to beef up the exchange of intelligence and technology and establish a maritime safety mechanism to fight against crimes and terrorism on sea.


The seminar was sponsored jointly by the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations and the Ford Foundation of the United States.


Andrew Watson, the representative of the Ford Foundation residing in China, said that terrorism, impact of the Iraq war and risks alleviation constitute three major aspects in terms of security of maritime transport routes and countries in the Asia-Pacific region should work together for solutions.


The experts also voiced their views pertaining to the challenges of maritime channel security, expansion of international cooperation to prevent and control weapons proliferation, maritime interception and prospect of China-US-Japan cooperation on maintaining sea channels safety.


(Xinhua News Agency April 14, 2004)

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