On 6 November 2015, the 10th World Ocean Week (WOW) was launched in Xiamen, Fujian Province. The 2015 International Ocean Forum and the 5th Ministerial Forum on Marine Sustainable Development for Developing Countries, as the major activities of the 10th WOW under the theme of ¡°Jointly Building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road: Marine Cooperation among China, ASEAN Countries and other Developing Countries¡±, were held on the same day. The Week was hosted by the Ministry of Commerce, State Oceanic Administration (SOA) and the WOW Organizing Committee, and co-organized by ASEAN-China Centre (ACC). ACC Secretary-General H.E. Mme.Yang Xiuping attended the Week and delivered the opening remarks. Around 200 people, including officials from SOA, National Development and Reform Commission, Fujian Provincial Government and Xiamen Municipal Government, officials and experts from Bahamas, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam, representatives from UNDP, Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia, and other international organizations, as well as scholars and representatives from the relevant industries attended the Forum.
Mr. Wang Hong, Administrator of SOA, commended that the World Ocean Week in Xiamen had become an influential forum for international maritime cooperation. In 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward the proposal of jointly building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and received wide support from the countries along the Maritime Silk Road. It had become a common goal for the relevant countries to build a cooperative and mutual beneficial community with common destiny. In recent years, SOA had actively catered to the needs of the countries along the Maritime Silk Road, conducted exchanges and cooperation in the fields of ocean forecast, building of shipping channels, ocean disaster prevention and relief with countries of Southeast Asia, South Asia, South Europe, Africa, South Pacific Ocean, and established a series of maritime cooperation platforms. Marine economy was the new growth point and one of the major areas for international cooperation. China is willing to share the experiences on port infrastructure building, port industrial park building, innovative marine industries, etc., and carry out mutual beneficial functional cooperation to promote economic growth of the countries along the Maritime Silk Road.
Mr. Zhang Zhinan, Vice Governor of Fujian Province, indicated that Fujian is one of the starting points of the Maritime Silk Road, while Quanzhou, Xiamen and Zhangzhou are important ports of the Road. In recent years, Fujian Province had been actively involved in the building of the ¡°Belt and Road¡±, stepped up the construction of a strong marine province and steadily pushed forward the building of Fujian Strait Blue Economic Experimental Zone. Fujian had made constant progress in the fields of ocean fishery, ocean pharmaceutic industry, cruise and yacht economy, hi-end equipments manufacture, etc. This year¡¯s World Ocean Week had distinctive characteristics of ASEAN, participation of enterprises and industrial cooperation, and would further promote ASEAN-China maritime cooperation. He expected that relevant countries could take this opportunity to push forward the building of China-ASEAN Marine Cooperation Centre and make new contribution to deepen ASEAN-China maritime functional cooperation.
Secretary-General Yang warmly congratulated the opening of the World Ocean Week. She commended that the World Ocean Week in Xiamen had been successfully held for nine times up to this year. With its influence and scale kept on expanding, the World Ocean Week had become a very important platform for strengthening maritime cooperation, and promote maritime cultural exchanges. Jointly building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and related cooperation would inject new impetus to the common development of the countries. She emphasized that maritime cooperation is an important component of ASEAN-China cooperation. ASEAN and China had conducted cooperation in maritime climate change, maritime environment and eco-system protection, maritime disaster prevention and mitigation, and achieved fruitful results. The year 2015 is designated as the ASEAN-China Maritime Cooperation Year, during which the two sides have intensified their maritime functional cooperation.
Secretary-General Yang hoped both sides should seize this opportunity, and jointly build the silk road through consultation to meet the interests of all. Efforts should be made to integrate the development strategies of China and ASEAN countries, and achieve the goal of mutual benefit. She put forward suggestions, including enhancing policy coordination, promoting maritime production capacity cooperation, highly valuing the marine ecological civilization, and strengthening the maritime people-to-people exchanges, etc. The ASEAN Community would be the first sub-regional Community in Asia¡¯s history, which was remarkable in the process of deepening regional economic integration. Next year will mark the 25th anniversary of ASEAN-China dialogue relations. ASEAN-China cooperation is having great opportunities ahead. All concerned parties should make joint efforts to make maritime functional cooperation a new highlight in ASEAN-China relations. ACC is willing to cooperate with all sides to promote ASEAN-China maritime functional cooperation, and make its own contribution to the jointly building of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
At the Forum, Secretary-General Yang received interviews from Xiamen TV, Xiamen Daily and other major local media.