Building a maritime community with a shared future , enhancing the common interests of mankind as a whole
H.E. TIAN Qi, Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of China to the International Seabed Authority, published a signed article about the participation of China in the international seabed affairs and development the Belt and Road Initiative with high quality by China and the ISA on the occasion of the 72nd Anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China
This year marks the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, and also the 25th anniversary of China’s accession to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and its membership in the International Seabed Authority (ISA). Over the past 25 years, China, as a witness, participant and contributor to the international seabed affairs, has always been deeply involved in the relevant affairs, actively contributed Chinese power and wisdom, strongly supported other developing countries in strengthening capacity-building and participating in international seabed affairs, made positive contributions to jointly building a maritime community with a shared future and promoting the common interests of mankind as a whole.
In the past year, the severe COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented difficulties and challenges to the development of the international seabed affairs. China has worked with the ISA and its members to overcome the negative impact of the pandemic and to strengthen cooperation in a flexible and pragmatic manner to combat the virus, develop the Belt and Road Initiative with high quality and boost international seabed affairs. In November 2020, ISA-China joint Training and Research Centre, the first jointly organized by the ISA and member States, was established in Qingdao, China. In December 2020, the ISA, China Ocean Mineral Resources Research and Development Association(COMRA) and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) jointly organized a virtual workshop on Marine Scientific Research in the Area, which identify ways to establish a collaborative platform to improve the knowledge of biodiversity in mid-ocean ridge ecosystems, in particular in the Indian Ocean. In February 2021, China was re-elected to the Council of the ISA as a member of Group A. In July 2021, China actively submitted comments to the ISA on the draft standards and guidelines for the draft exploitation regulations, and in August 2021, the Chinese government again made a donation of US$20,000 each to the Voluntary Trust Fund and Endowment Fund of ISA.
China maintains and strengthens its close ties and anti-pandemic cooperation with the ISA. The Secretary-General of the ISA, H.E. Michael W. Lodge, congratulated China on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China and spoke highly of the important role played by China in addressing global issues and advancing the development of the international seabed affairs. Ambassador TIAN Qi held several video meetings with the Secretary-General Mr.Lodge, introducing China’s successful prevention and control experience and measures, expressing concern and solicitude to the Secretary-General and all the staff of the Secretariat, highly appreciating them for overcoming the negative impact of the pandemic and continuing fulfilling their duties to make steady progress in international seabed affairs.
Jamaica, as the host country of the ISA, has for more than two decades continued to provide dedicated services and comprehensive safeguards to the Secretariat and and national delegations for joint consultation on the deep sea. As a member of the developing countries, China sincerely supports the active participation of other developing countries in international seabed affairs. Since both China and Jamaica firmly uphold the UN-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law, and Jamaica is the first country in the Caribbean region to sign a cooperation plan with China for the joint construction of the Belt and Road, China and Jamaica have a sound basis for cooperation. China is willing to continue to develop the Belt and Road Initiative with high quality, following the principle of consultation and collaboration for shared benefits, and to promote practical cooperation in the international seabed affairs, such as training of marine scientific personnel and building capacity for exploration and development of seabed mineral resources, so as to build the China-Jamaica Blue Partnership.
At present, international seabed affairs are in an important historical period of transition from deep-sea exploration to exploitation, bringing with it great promise for international seabed development. The vision of “a community with a shared future for mankind” and “a maritime community with a shared future” that China advocates closely dovetails with the principle of “the common heritage of mankind” followed by ISA. China is willing to work with the ISA and all of its members, in keeping with principle of “extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits”, to combat the pandemic, develop the Belt and Road Initiative with high quality, advance the development of international seabed affairs, build a maritime community with a shared future, and make greater contributions to enhancing the common interests and well-being of mankind as a whole.