Since the beginning of the 21st century, China's marine economic development has achieved great progress. With expanding marine industry scales and increasing categories, the industrial structure has been significantly improved, as well as the social and economic benefits. The marine industry plays an more important role in the economic and social development, especially in the coastal areas.
However, along with the rapid development of the marine economy, a series of problems, such as resources and environment, have become the bottleneck restricting the sustainable its development. Therefore, corresponding measures must be taken to analyze the existing problems of the marine economic development, propose feasible suggestions and countermeasures, and further form a clear strategic orientation to ensure the smooth implementation of our marine economic sustainable development strategy.
I. Reasonably plan the development of marine resources and comprehensively optimize the layout of marine industry. The Twelfth Five-Year Plan for National Marine Economic Development clearly states that, we should be based on national industrial parks, supported by major technological breakthroughs, and guided by market demand, consolidate and strengthen the marine engineering equipment manufacturing industry, accelerate the development of seawater utilization industry, support the cultivation of marine medicine and biological products industry and marine renewable energy industry, to effectively enhance the competitiveness of the industry.
II. Support the leapfrog development of marine economy by improving scientific and technological innovation system. The development of marine economy is inseparable from technological innovation. Firstly, we should continue to implement the strategy of revitalizing the marine industry with science and technology, implement the development plan of marine science and technology, aim at the forefront of the world’s marine high-tech, and vigorously develop high-tech technologies such as deep-sea exploration, genetic engineering, satellite remote sensing, utilization of marine renewable energy, etc. Secondly, a system of transformation and promotion of marine scientific and technological achievements should be established to accelerate the pace of marine informatization.
III. Increase financial investment to ensure that marine engineering projects. It is necessary to strengthen the support of credit channels; support key marine-related enterprises that meet the listing requirements to directly finance through listing and issuing corporate bonds; innovate financial products and operating methods, expand direct investment and financing channels; make full use of social capital, and gradually establish a diversified investment and financing system with individual investment as the main body, national fiscal investment as the guidance, credit funds as the support, and various funds such as foreign capital and capital markets as supplements.
IV. Unify national marine development plan to create a large “S” sea economic zone. In view of the current disorderly development in China's offshore areas, the state should actively take corresponding measures to coordinate the development plan of marine economy in 11 coastal provinces and municipalities. First, integrate 100 km of coastal land and 200 nautical miles of exclusive economic zone to create a main functional area for land and sea coordination. Secondly, relying on the main functional areas mentioned above, establish a high management and coordination agency beyond the provinces, departments and specific market development entities at the national level, to unify and coordinate the overall development of China’s marine territory. More importantly, we must pay attention to comprehensive planning of new plates in marine industry, and truly form a strategic situation for the overall development of land and sea, and create a large "S" sea economic zone from north to south.
V. Launch a maritime transportation safety strategy to effectively protect the expansion of national interests. With the introduction of marine transportation protection strategy, our marine transportation capacity will gradually increase, with marine economy leap to a new level. Only by holding the lifeline of the maritime transportation channel firmly in our hands, gradually promoting a pattern of wide marine channel with extension in eastward, westward, southward and northward, to enhance our right to speak in world marine affairs.
VI. Resolutely safeguard the national marine rights and interests, and earnestly strengthen international cooperation and development. China is a big marine country, but there are many problems such as maritime delimitation. With the constantly changing international situation, and complicated surrounding sea-related situation, opportunities and challenges are coexisting. In carrying out rights protection and international cooperation, it is necessary to continue to coordinate both internal and external situations, achieve the unity of rights protection and stability maintenance, effectively protect marine rights and interests, and vigorously strengthen international cooperation. VII. Strengthen the overall planning of marine strategy and build a strategic platform for comprehensive marine cooperation. In consideration of the eastward shift of the focus of world economic development and the frequent occurrence of sovereignty disputes in the surrounding sea areas, China urgently needs to build a strategic platform to promote the overall lineup of the national marine strategy.
In summary, making full use of marine resources and accelerating the development of marine economy are inevitable requirements and aggressive behaviors that conform to the trend of the times, and are the foundation and guarantee for China to achieve its strategic goal as a marine power.
(The author is a researcher at the Research Center of Marine Economy and Management of Guangdong Ocean University and the director of the Institute of Sea Area Development of Liaoning Normal University)