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Outcome of 1st Meeting of Korea-China Dialogue on Maritime Cooperation

  • Date : 2021-04-16 08:10:44
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1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China held the 1st meeting of the Korea-China Dialogue on Maritime Cooperation in the form of a videoconference on April 14, 2021.


o Director-General for Northeast Asian Affairs Choi Hee-Deok of Korea and Director-General of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs Hong Liang of China took part as the respective heads of their delegations, along with director-level officials from maritime-related ministries of each country.


2. Korea and China agreed to establish the Korea-China Dialogue on Maritime Cooperation during the Korea-China Foreign Ministers’ meeting in December 2019. After discussing ways to launch the dialogue, the two sides decided to hold the first meeting in the form of a videoconference, considering the recent COVID-19 situation.


3. In this first meeting, maritime-related ministries of the two sides extensively exchanged views on the operational modalities of the dialogue, overall evaluation of maritime cooperation between the two countries, maritime-related law and policy exchange, and methods to promote substantive cooperation in specific areas including maritime economy, environment, law enforcement, and security.


o The two sides appreciated cooperation efforts made thus far in the maritime field, including the maintenance of fishing order, preservation of the marine ecosystem and environment, improvement of navigation safety, and search and rescue in marine accidents. The two sides agreed to activate further discussion between the relevant agencies of the two countries to expand such cooperation.


o In particular, the two sides expressed strong regret and shared concerns over the fact that Japan’s recent decision to discharge contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station into the ocean was made without sufficient consultation with neighboring countries that are directly affected. Korea and China reaffirmed their positions against the discharge of contaminated water from Fukushima without such consultation, and decided to respectively consider various response measures including diplomatic or judicial settlement, if Japan’s corresponding measures are insufficient.


o The two sides also exchanged views on maritime policy and legislation, with China explaining the main content, background, and meaning of their recently passed Coast Guard Law. The two sides affirmed the importance of mutual respect for each country’s legitimate maritime rights and interests, compliance with international law, prevention of accidental conflicts, and confidence-building through effective communication between relevant agencies.


4. The two sides agreed to communicate frequently to check the implementation of substantive cooperation in maritime areas and the operational direction of the dialogue and continue discussing the time and format of the next meeting.


5. As a comprehensive dialogue separate from the various existing dialogues on specific maritime areas, the Korea-China Dialogue on Maritime Cooperation is expected to promote communication between the two countries on general maritime issues and enhance the Korea-China strategic cooperative partnership.