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South China Sea economic cooperation zone proposed

By Xu Wei (chinadaily.com.cn)

Updated: 2016-03-06 14:45:15


China should take the lead in establishing a Pan-South China Sea economic cooperation framework to better coordinate with countries in the area and enhance regional connectivity, a political adviser said on Sunday.

Yu Xun, chairman of the China People's Political Consultative Conference Hainan provincial committee, said that the countries in the South China Sea area should work together more closely to improve economic cooperation, boost air and sea transport and enhance information sharing.

"There are solid grounds for shaping an economic cooperation organization in the South China Sea area. It would be a win-win outcome," said Yu, who is also a CPPCC National Committee member, on the sidelines of the body's annual session.

China's southernmost city, Sansha, encompassing a number of South China Sea islands, is under the jurisdiction of Hainan province.

Yu said the country also should step up oceanographic research in the area, and encourage universities to devote more resources to tropical marine studies.

"The country's oceanographic studies have been focused on oceans in the temperate and frigid latitudes. The study of the tropical marine environment and the exploration and development of maritime resources are far from adequate," he said.

He noted that China would be willing to share its research findings with other countries in the South China Sea area, just like it shares its agricultural technology with Southeast Asian countries.

The country also should strengthen maritime rescue forces in the area because of the area's size, he said.

"There are more than 1,000 nautical miles between Hainan island and the southernmost territory of Zengmu Ansha reef. The helicopters and rescue vessels we have now are far from adequate," he said.