Maritime surveillance forces will expand to meet challenges

Updated: 2011-05-02 07:07

By Wang Qian (China Daily)

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BEIJING - China marine surveillance forces will expand rapidly to better protect the country's marine security, a senior official said.

Sun Shuxian, deputy director of the China Marine Surveillance (CMS), estimated more than 1,000 people will join the CMS staff by the end of 2011, increasing the total number to at least 10,000.

"New equipment will be installed on part of the inspection fleet to improve law enforcement capacity," he added.

So far, the CMS has about 300 marine surveillance ships, including 30 ships rated over 1,000 tons, and 10 planes, including four helicopters, to monitor marine affairs, Sun said.

In the coming five years, another 36 inspection ships will join the surveillance fleet to patrol the sea areas around China, according to earlier reports.

Sun said China will "carry out regular sea patrols more frequently to strengthen law enforcement in Chinese related waters to safeguard the country's marine rights in 2011".

He said great achievements have been made in 2010 with 12 inspection ships added and six marine surveillance branches built, including the No 10 branch of CMS in Haikou, Hainan province, and a law enforcement branch for Xisha, Nansha and Zhongsha islands.

China Marine Surveillance 75, a ship reported to be the fleet's fastest with a maximum sailing range of 5,000 nautical miles, joined the fleet in October to patrol the South China Sea.

According to the latest statistics released by the CMS, about 1,068 flights and 13,337 sea patrol voyages were made covering all Chinese water areas in 2010.

About 1,379 illegal offshore activities were detected, with estimated fines totaling 757 million yuan ($116 million) during the regular patrol in 2010, the statistics showed.

The supervision fleet monitored 1,303 voyages of foreign ships and 214 foreign flights in 2010 while protecting the country's marine rights and interests, Sun said.

Sun added that compared with 2009, the number of monitored flights and voyages sharply increased in 2010, mainly due to the frequent naval exercises in Huanghai Sea.

As the environment around Chinese waters is becoming more complicated, China is facing new challenges in protecting the country's marine rights, said Gao Zhiguo, head of the China Institute for Marine Affairs of the State Oceanic Administration, on Friday.

As offshore development and exploration accelerates and sea disputes between China and other countries have surged, CMS is facing more challenges.

In the South China Sea, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei have competing claims over some Chinese islands.

According to the China Ocean Development Report 2011 released by the institute on Friday, for the past 30 years, about 150 ports and harbors have been built and another 18 will be built covering 2,251 kilometers of coastline, about 13 percent of China's total.

China Daily

(China Daily 05/02/2011 page2)


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