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Home > News in Pictures
Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming at the Reception on the Occasion of the 31st Regular Session of the Assembly of the International Maritime Organization: Build a Maritime Community with a Shared Future for Mankind through International Maritime Cooperation
Chinese Embassy in the UK, 26 November 2019
2019/11/27

Secretary-General Lim,

Vice Minister Liu,

Your Excellencies Ministers, Ambassadors and High Commissioners

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends:

Good evening! Welcome to the Chinese Embassy!

It gives me great pleasure to co-host this reception with Vice Minister Liu from the Ministry of Transport of China to mark the opening of the 31st Regular Session of the Assembly of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

I would like to extend my warmest welcome to all the distinguished guests! I also wish to express my heartfelt thanks to you for the support you have given to China in maritime affairs!

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. In the past 70 years, China has made great leaps forward under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. From gaining independence to becoming prosperous and growing strong, China has accomplished in 70 years what had taken Western industrialised countries hundreds of years to achieve.

In this process, China’s maritime sector started from scratch, grew stronger over the years and achieved great success, playing its part in the overall development of nation. China has also contributed to the growth of the international maritime sector, and shared China’s wisdom in global maritime governance.

First, China is an important participant in the development of the IMO.

As a category A member of the IMO Council for 30 years in a row, China has played an important role on issues such as reduction of greenhouse gas emission from shipping, energy efficiency of ships and maritime security. It has worked vigorously for the effective operation of the IMO.

China has ratified almost all of the treaties under the IMO framework. It is now a party to more than 40 major international conventions and protocols.

China always values and supports the IMO in providing technological assistance to the developing world. It has been enhancing exchanges and cooperation with the IMO on maritime technology. And it has made tremendous efforts to help with the capacity building in fellow developing countries.

In the past two years, China has contributed 600 thousand dollars to the IMO Technical Cooperation Fund. The Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre for Asia, which was launched in Shanghai more than two years ago, is running smoothly.

All these show an ever-deepening cooperation between China and the IMO.

Second, China is an important leader in the development of the international shipping industry.

China is keeping abreast with the trend of the times and working to build a modern shipping system that is safe, convenient, efficient, economical and green.

  • In 2018, the freight capacity of China’s ports totaled 14.351 billion tons and the container capacity stood at 251 million TEUs, topping the world for 16 years in a row.
  • Forty-one ports in China have the freight capacity of more than 100 million tons, and seven have made the list of the world’s top ten ports in freight and container capacity.
  • China also tops the world in the number of ships built, accounting for more than 40% of the global market shares.
  • By 2019, China boasted the second biggest fleet in the world, with DWTs reaching 270 million tons.
  • Now China is operating a global network of shipping services, with routes extending to more than 100 countries and regions.

Third, China is an important contributor to global maritime governance.

Maritime governance is an important part of global governance. At the fourth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China concluded early this month, it was emphasised that China will hold high the banner of building a community with a shared future for mankind. And China will take an active part in the reform and building of the global governance system.

At the event marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PLA Navy last April, President Xi Jinping proposed to build a maritime community with a shared future for mankind. This represents China’s wisdom and solution regarding global maritime governance.

China upholds the global governance concept of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefit. In line with this concept, China will engage deeply in global maritime governance.

  • It will promote sound and sustained development of the ocean economy.
  • It will deepen mutually-beneficial cooperation with other countries to protect ocean environment, promote innovation and application of maritime science and technology, share maritime public goods and safeguard maritime security.
  • And it will work with other countries to build “blue partnerships”, namely a win-win maritime cooperation.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century. The global maritime sector is faced with opportunities as well as challenges.

According to WTO predictions, the growth rate of global trade in 2019 is expected to drop to a ten-year low of 1.2%. The international shipping industry needs concerted efforts more than ever to oppose protectionism and create an environment for free and open competition.

Over the years, Hong Kong has been an international centre for shipping and trade. However, the incessant large-scale illegal violence in recent months has pushed Hong Kong into an extremely dangerous situation.

The nature of what is happening in Hong Kong has nothing to do with democracy or freedom as claimed by some Western politicians and media. The essence of this issue is that extreme violent offenders have trampled on rule of law, disrupted public order, severely undermined the prosperity and stability in Hong Kong, and challenged the bottom line of “One Country, Two Systems”. Their actions are extreme, violent and illegal. Such violence cannot be allowed to rage on in Hong Kong.

The Chinese Government firmly supports the SAR Government, the police and the judicial institutions of Hong Kong in ending violence and restoring order. The Chinese Government also remains unwavering in its determination to safeguard China’s national sovereignty, security and development interests, implement “One Country, Two Systems”, and oppose any interference from external forces in Hong Kong affairs.

It is our hope that the international community will have a clear understanding of the nature of what is happening in Hong Kong, strongly condemn and oppose the violent activities, have faith in Hong Kong and help the “oriental pearl” to once again shine brightly.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Let me quote a famous line from an ancient Chinese poem to conclude my remarks.

A time will come to ride the wind and cleave the waves;

I’ll set my cloud-white sail and cross the sea which raves.

As an important member of the IMO family, China stands ready to work with other member states to promote the development of global maritime sector, deepen international cooperation on maritime affairs, and advance the development of the international shipping industry.

Let’s join hands to create an ocean of peace, cooperation and harmony. Let’s work together to build a maritime community with a shared future for mankind!

Now, may I invite you to join me in a toast:

To the friendship between China and the IMO,

To a brighter future for international maritime cooperation, and

To the health of all the distinguished guests present tonight,

Cheers!

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