Experts Highlight the need for a Maritime Community at Future Ocean Forum

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QINGDAO, SHANDONG PROVINCE – More than 30 experts converged at the Third Future Ocean Forum held in Qingdao, Shandong province, on April 20-21 to discuss the imperative of building a maritime community with a shared future encompassing the risk and solutions for ocean affairs. Here are key takeaways from three of the expert speeches:

Ren’ai Jiao Dispute: Addressing potential flashpoints, experts flagged the simmering Ren’ai Jiao issue in the South China Sea. The Philippines’ actions, including attempts to establish a military base and stirring public opinion against China, pose challenges. Suggestions included maintaining the status quo while allowing limited humanitarian supplies to a vessel in the area.

Legal Challenges and Resource Exploitation: Manila’s potential fresh arbitration on Chinese activities near Houteng Jiao and unilateral resource exploitation plans in Liyue Tan threaten regional stability and Chinese interests. Experts emphasized a principled approach, combining diplomacy with assertive measures to protect national interests.

Holistic Approach and Legal Frameworks: Experts stressed the need for a holistic approach, balancing sovereignty claims with cooperation and respect for international law. They advocated for dialogue and cooperation to defuse tensions, transforming the South China Sea into a zone of collaboration.

Maritime Community: Highlighting diverse interests and environmental concerns, experts referenced Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to underscore the complexity of forging a maritime community. They emphasized the importance of legal frameworks in managing conflicts and fostering a shared future.

The forum’s insights contribute to the ongoing discourse on maritime governance, offering pragmatic solutions to navigate challenges and foster cooperation in the maritime domain. as part of the WMU (World Maritime Unviersity) Alumni network brings together over 6000 maritime and ocean professionals from 170 countries in the world to disseminate maritime and oceans knowledge and to bridge academia to the private and public sector, to sail together towards the maritime and oceans future of the world.

Sources: China Daily

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