According to a Chinese newspaper – China is working on a plan that will protect the maritime resources on and around Nansha Islands (Spratlys Islands) and improve public services in the South China Sea, the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) said on Tuesday.
The plans include a maritime research center, a herbaria and database on sea creatures, environmental monitoring stations, and an emergency response center for oil spills, the SOA said. Overfishing and pollution have caused deterioration of precious marine resources, greatly threatening the area’s ecology, according to the SOA.
The sea around the Nansha Islands have witnessed frequent accidents due to the impact of typhoons and unconventional security risks, but poor infrastructure has resulted in insufficient capacity in public services, the SOA said.
The SOA will establish a maritime monitoring center on the Nansha Islands and adjacent waters as part of a maritime monitoring and warning network to provide precise and timely ocean environmental data to surrounding countries and vessels passing through the South China Sea.
Telecommunication and navigation facilities will be built to serve fishing boat and ocean liners. A transit and supply base will be put into place to serve passing ships. There will also be a forward support base to carry out rescue operations, humanitarian aid in case of major disasters and incidents as well as law enforcement, the SOA said.
China will also set up platforms to promote cooperation with countries surrounding the South China Sea on deep-sea research, development of wind power, tidal power and other forms of renewable maritime energy, the SOA said.
As a responsible major country, China is obliged to build public service facilities on the Nansha Islands so as to provide high quality public services and pursue international cooperation in oceanological study and maritime environment protection, the SOA said.
The Nansha Islands are situated in the southern part of the South China Sea, which is an important international maritime transport route as well as a major fishing ground.