China elected again to council of International Maritime Organization
2023-12-27 16:55:00  
New council members of the International Maritime Organization, or IMO, were elected at its 33rd general assembly in London on Friday, with China reelected as a Category A member of the council.

Other elected Category A members include Greece, Italy, Japan, Liberia, Norway, Panama, the Republic of Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The IMO is a specialized agency of the United Nations involved in maritime safety, security, and the prevention of marine pollution.

The biennial general assembly is the IMO's supreme authority and the election of council members is one of the major items on the agenda for the session.

This year holds special significance for China because it commemorates the 50th anniversary of the country's restoration of its seat at the IMO.

Speaking at a reception at China's embassy in London on Tuesday, Zheng Zeguang, China's ambassador to the UK, highlighted the country's active participation in international shipping cooperation and its constructive role in ensuring stable, safe, and smooth global supply chains.

He emphasized the significance of the shipping industry for international trade and personnel exchanges between countries. And he also acknowledged the important role played by the IMO in promoting international shipping cooperation and advancing global trade.

Zheng said: "China has always supported IMO in its work. Since the restoration of its membership 50 years ago, China has conscientiously fulfilled its responsibilities and obligations as a member state, actively supported IMO's efforts in various aspects, and continued to deepen exchanges and cooperation with all member states. Together, we have made important progress in global maritime governance."

The ambassador said China's maritime economy accounted for 7.8 percent of its GDP in 2022, Chinese ports ranked first in the world in terms of cargo throughput, and China's ocean-going fleet was ranked second globally. China's international shipping routes connect more than 100 countries and regions, demonstrating its extensive maritime presence, he added.

Last month, the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was held in Beijing. At the forum, President Xi Jinping announced eight major steps that China will take to support the joint pursuit of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. Among them, he emphasized China's efforts to integrate ports, shipping, and trading services along the Maritime Silk Road, and the acceleration of the development of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor, and the Air Silk Road. These actions are expected to provide new opportunities and stimulate growth in the international shipping industry, promote global connectivity, and support economic development.

Fu Xuyin, vice-minister of the Ministry of Transport of the People's Republic of China, highlighted China's diligent fulfilment of international responsibilities and its 34-year tenure as an "A" category council member of the IMO.

"China has played a significant role in critical areas, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving ship energy efficiency, and enhancing maritime safety," he said.

Fu underscored China's consistent support for the IMO's technical assistance offered to developing countries, and its active engagement in technical cooperation projects, and he said China is committed to contributing to the common development of the international maritime industry.

Fu emphasized the importance of adopting proactive and dynamic approaches to seize opportunities, address challenges, and promote the sustainable development of the global maritime industry. And he said green, low-carbon, and intelligent approaches are crucial trends in global maritime development.

Fu added that China will continue working closely with all member states of the IMO to make greater contributions toward the goal of "clean and safe shipping on the ocean".

"China will firmly advocate and uphold multilateralism, adhere to the global governance concept of consultation, co-construction, and shared benefits, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with all member states of the IMO, actively build a cooperative and win-win 'blue partnership', jointly address the challenges facing global maritime governance, and promote the steady and far-reaching development of global maritime governance and shipping," he added.