Remarks by Ambassador Dai Bing at Security Council Open Debate on Maritime Security
9 August 2021
Maintaining maritime security is of great significance to promoting world peace, stability, development and prosperity. At present, COVID-19 is still raging around the globe. Regional conflicts continue unabated. Criminal activities such as piracy, armed robbery, human and drug trafficking at sea, and maritime weapon smuggling are rampant, all of which have further destabilized relevant regions.
China attaches great importance to maritime safety and has always advocated the concept of common maritime security for the purpose of mutually beneficial cooperation and win-win outcome. We are committed to creating shared maritime security environment featuring equality, mutual trust, fairness and justice, joint participation and shared benefits. On the topic of today’s meetings, I wish to emphasize the following points.
First, maritime security cooperation should uphold the concept of a maritime community with a shared future. The blue planet humans inhabit is not divided into islands by the oceans, but is connected by the oceans to form a community with a shared future. The peace and tranquility of the ocean is important for the common security of all countries, and requests the joint efforts by all. At present, a few countries are pursuing exclusive regional strategies in the Asia Pacific region and attempt to create an intensifying maritime conflicts, undermine the sovereignty and security interests of relevant countries, and weaken regional peace and stability. This runs counter to the aspirations of most countries in the region to seek peace, cooperation and development. China calls on all countries to strengthen dialogue and exchanges on maritime issues, deepen pragmatic cooperation, and work together to respond to various maritime security threats and challenges on the basis of mutual respect, equality, and enhanced mutual trust.
Second, maritime security cooperation should follow the international law. The UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation, UNCLOS, and other conventions that are accepted by the international community constitute the basis of international law for combating transnational crimes at sea and strengthening maritime security cooperation. All countries should interpret and apply relevant international conventions in good faith in a complete and accurate manner in order to jointly safeguard the authority and effectiveness of relevant international conventions and the international maritime order based on international law.
Third, maritime security cooperation should serve the economic and social development of coastal countries. The ocean is a treasure pool of resources for human survival, and is also a bridge between countries to communicate and engage in trade activities. The international communities should help coastal countries actively develop the maritime economy, fully implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, tap their growth potentials, and walk the path of mutual benefits and win-win results. In an active effort to implement the Belt and Road Initiative, China is committed to jointly building a smooth, safe and efficient maritime channel and promotes the establishment of a maritime cooperation platform for common development. What needs to be pointed out is that the maritime environment is vital to the sustainable development of the maritime economy. Japan’s unilateral decision to release Fukushima’s waste water into the ocean is irresponsible. China strongly urges Japan to earnestly fulfill its international obligations by revoking its wrong decision, and prudently handle the issue of Fukushima waste water, so as to avoid harming the health of the people of coastal countries and the global marine ecology.
Fourth, maritime security cooperation should continue to focus on combating piracy. At present, piracy is on the rise, especially in West Africa and the waters of Somalia. We must take seriously the potential threats of piracy to the world economy and regional stability. China supports the international community in continuing to carry on escort operations in the coastal waters of Somalia in accordance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council. China will continue to conduct joint maritime exercises with Southeast Asian countries aimed at maintaining maritime security to respond to the threat of piracy together. China will also continue to support the AU, ECOWAS, ECCAS and GGC in implementing the comprehensive anti-piracy strategy. China stands ready to work with all countries to deepen pragmatic cooperation in combating piracy and maritime law enforcement in our joint efforts to achieve peace and tranquility in the oceans.
I also wish to point out that the Security Council is not the right place to discuss the issue of the South China Sea. The United States just mentioned the South China Sea issue, and China firmly opposes this act. At present, with the joint efforts of China and ASEAN countries, the situation in the South China Sea remains generally stable. All countries enjoy freedom of navigation and overflight in accordance with international law. China and ASEAN countries are committed to fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and strive to reach the code of conduct in the South China Sea at an early date. We are determined and able to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.
The United States itself is not qualified to make irresponsible remarks on the issue of South China Sea. The US has been stirring up trouble out of nothing, arbitrarily sending advanced military vessels and aircraft into the South China Sea as provocations and publicly trying to drive a wedge into regional countries, especially countries concerned. This country itself has become the biggest threat to peace and stability in the South China Sea.
The US itself does not join UNCLOS, but consider itself a judge of the Convention, pointing fingers at other countries and interfere arbitrarily. It has no credibility on maritime issues.
The US’s hype in the Security Council is entirely politically motivated. The South China Sea arbitrary tribunal violated the principle of state consent and tried ultra vires. There were obvious errors in the determination of facts and application of the law and its award was invalid and without any binding force.
Thank you, Mr. President.