习近平同志在中共中央政治局第八次集体学习时的讲话
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Comrade Xi Jinping’s Remarks to the Eighth Collective Study Session of the CCP Politburo

习近平同志在中共中央政治局第八次集体学习时的讲话

Read-out from 2013 convening of the Politburo to discuss China’s strategy for becoming a “maritime superpower.”


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Today, the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) held its eighth collective study session, whose study content was an investigation into the building of a maritime superpower.  Just now, the explanations by Zeng Heng, the deputy chief engineer of China National Offshore Oil Corporation and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and researcher Gao Zhiguo, director of the Institute of Ocean Development Strategy of the State Oceanic Administration as well as the discussion and speeches by the comrades were very good. After listening to it, I was very inspired. Next, I will discuss a few points learned from study. 

今天,中央政治局进行第八次集体学习,学习内容是建设海洋强国研究。刚才,中国海洋石油总公司副总工程师、中国工程院院士曾恒一同志,国家海洋局海洋发展战略研究所所长高之国研究员的讲解和同志们的讨论发言都很好,听了以后很受启发。下面,我谈几点学习体会。

The ocean is an important base for strategic resources, and there is huge potential for the exploitation of the world’s marine resources. In the 21st century, mankind has entered a period of large-scale development and utilization of the ocean. The ocean plays an even more important role in the country’s pattern of economic development and opening to the outside world. Its role in safeguarding national sovereignty, security, and development interests has increased in prominence, its role in the construction of the nation’s ecological civilization has become more significant, and its strategic position in international political, economic, military, and technological competition has also risen significantly. 

海洋是战略资源的重要基地,世界海洋资源开发潜力巨大。21世纪,人类进入了大规模开发利用海洋的时期。海洋在国家经济发展格局和对外开放中的作用更加重要,在维护国家主权、安全、发展利益中的地位更加突出,在国家生态文明建设中的角色更加显著,在国际政治、经济、军事、科技竞争中的战略地位也明显上升。

Throughout history, the development of great powers has been inseparably linked to the ocean. Some people say “The strong of the world are inevitably the victors at sea, while the weak of the world are necessarily weak at sea” (强于天下者必胜于海,衰于天下者必弱于海). For example, after the industrial revolution in the mid-18th century, some Western nations relied on advanced ocean navigation technology to open up sea routes, expand overseas colonies, control world trade, and plunder world resources, creating the important conditions that allowed them to become world powers. 

纵观历史,大国发展莫不与海洋息息相关。有人说“强于天下者必胜于海,衰于天下者必弱于海”。比如,18世纪中叶工业革命发生后,一些西方国家依靠先进航海技术开辟海上航线、拓展海外殖民地、控制世界贸易、掠夺世界资源,为其成为世界强国营造了重要条件。

The Chinese nation was one of the first nations to make use of the ocean. As early as the Spring and Autumn Period, our ancestors first conceptualized a primitive idea of sea power. At that time, Qi was called the “Land of Sea Kings”. Guan Zhong, the Chancellor of Qi, proposed the idea of a government monopoly on the “resources of the mountains and the sea” (唯官山海为可耳, state monopoly on mineral and maritime resources). He said that, if the state organizes the development of land and sea resources in a unified manner, the country can become prosperous and strong. Long ago, our ancestors opened up the “Maritime Silk Road” for communication between the East and the West. For over a thousand years, China and other countries around the world have been able to communicate with each other through maritime trade and cultural exchanges. Chinese civilization also expanded to other parts of the world along these trade routes. In the first half of the 15th century, the seven voyages of Zheng He to the Western Ocean were one of the great maritime feats in human history. 

中华民族是最早利用海洋的民族之一。早在春秋时期,我们的先人们就萌生出原始的海权意识,当时齐国被称为“海王之国”,齐国军相管仲提出“唯官山海为可耳”的治国主张,说的是由国家统一组织开发陆地和海洋资源,国家就能富强。我们的先人们早就开辟了沟通东西方的“海上丝绸之路”,在长达上千年的时间里,通过海上贸易和文化交流,我国同世界各国互通有无,中华文明也随之传播到世界各地。15世纪上半叶,郑和七下西洋,更是人类历史上的航海壮举。

After the mid-Ming Dynasty, when the world entered the age of exploration and the West established its maritime hegemony, China’s feudal dynasty adopted a closed-door policy. Its economic and technological development was slow, and overall national power was gradually declining. During and after the Opium Wars, most of the invasions of China by Western powers came from the sea. Continuous invasion by Western powers gradually turned China into a semicolonial and semi-feudal country. 

明代中期以后,就在世界进入大航海时代和西方建立海上霸权之际,中国封建王朝采取了闭关锁国政策,经济技术发展缓慢,综合国力日渐衰落。鸦片战争时期及之后,西方列强对我国的入侵大多来自海上。西方列强不断入侵,使我国逐渐成为一个半殖民地半封建国家。

Historical experience tells us that orienting to the ocean will lead to prosperity, while abandoning the ocean will lead to decline. A strong country is a strong maritime power, and a weak country is a weak maritime power. 

历史经验告诉我们,面向海洋则兴、放弃海洋则衰,国强则海权强、国弱则海权弱。

China is both a major land power and a major sea power. We have more than 18,000 kilometers of continental coastline, over 14,000 kilometers of island coastline, claim over 3 million square kilometers of jurisdictional waters, and have extensive maritime strategic interests. How the marine industry develops and whether marine issues are resolved well or not are linked to the survival and development of our nation as well as the rise and fall, security or danger of our country. 

我国既是陆地大国,也是海洋大国,拥有1. 8万多公里大陆海岸线、1. 4万多公里岛屿岸线、300万平方公里主张管辖海域,拥有产泛的海洋战略利益。海洋事业发展得怎么样,海洋问题解决得好不好,关系我们民族生存发展,关系我们国家兴衰安危。

The party and the State have long placed a great emphasis on marine work and the development of marine undertakings. The 18th Party Congress made a major deployment for the building of a maritime superpower. This is a strategic choice made by our Party after accurately grasping the characteristics of the times and world trends, objectively analyzing the features of the development process and stage of China’s marine industry, and making overall plans for the overall situation. The implementation of this major deployment is of great and far-reaching significance for promoting sustained and healthy economic development, safeguarding national sovereignty, security, and development interests, and realizing the goal of establishing a well-off society in an all-round way and thus achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. 

党和国家历来高度重视海洋工作和海洋事业发展。党的十八大作出了建设海洋强国的重大部署。这是我们党准确把握时代特征和世界潮流,客观分析我国海洋事业发展历程和阶段性特点,统筹谋划全局作出的战略抉择。实施这一重大部署,对推动经济持续健康发展,对维护国家主权、安全、发展利益,对实现全面建成小康社会目标、进而实现中华民族伟大复兴都具有重大而深远的意义。

After years of development, China has established a relatively complete marine industry system, achieved major breakthroughs in marine science and technology, continuously enhanced marine resource development capabilities, gradual improved marine laws and regulations, completed the preliminary establishment of a comprehensive marine management system, and significantly enhanced the maintenance of marine rights and interests. On the whole, the marine industry has entered its best period of development in our history. These achievements have laid a solid foundation for our construction of a maritime superpower. 

经过多年发展,我国已经建立起比较完整的海洋产业体系,海洋科学技术取得重大突破,海洋资源开发能力持续增强,海洋法律法规体系逐步健全,海洋综合管理体制初步确立,维护海洋权益能力明显增强,海洋事业总体上进入了历史上最好的发展时期。这些成就为我们建设海洋强国打下了坚实基础。

How should China approach the construction of a maritime superpower? This problem not only concerns us, but the international community as a whole. Some say that China’s promotion of the construction of a maritime superpower will make it into a new maritime hegemon, affecting regional stability and world peace. This worry is completely unnecessary! We will never follow the old path of colonization and plunder like some major powers in history. That path runs counter to the general trend of peaceful world development and it does not conform to the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation. We adhere to the development path of sea-based national prosperity, sea-based national strength, harmony between man and the sea, and mutually beneficial cooperation. We will achieve the goal of building a maritime superpower through peaceful, development-oriented, cooperative, and mutually beneficial methods. 

中国建设海洋强国之路怎么走?对这个问题,不仅我们关心,国际社会也很关注。有人说,中国推进海洋强国建设,将会形成新的海上霸权,影响地区稳定和世界和平。这种担心是完全没有必要的!我们绝不会走历史上一些大国殖民掠夺的老路。那条路既与世界和平发展大势背道而驰,更不符合中华民族根本利益。我们坚持走依海富国、以海强国、人海和谐、合作共赢的发展道路,通过和平、发展、合作、共赢方式,实现建设海洋强国的目标。

We must follow the development trends of international maritime affairs, focus on the overall development of the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics, coordinate the overall domestic and international situations, adhere to land and sea coordination, and steadily promote the building of a maritime superpower. 

我们要顺应国际海洋事务发展潮流,着眼于中国特色社会主义事业发展全局,统筹国内国际两个大局,坚持陆海统筹,扎实推进海洋强国建设。

First, we will improve the development of marine resources and focus on promoting the transformation of the marine economy to a quality and efficient type. A developed marine economy is an important support for the construction of a maritime superpower. The marine economy has become one of the most dynamic and promising areas of economic growth for coastal countries. The development of the Chinese marine economy has made great achievements, but compared with developed countries, the scale of our economy is small, its degree of development and intensity of utilization of marine resources is not high, and the development methods are still relatively unrefined. We must improve our marine development capabilities, expand the field of marine development, and make the marine economy a new point of growth. 

第一,提高海洋资源开发能力,着力推动海洋经济向质量效益型转变。发达的海洋经济是建设海洋强国的重要支撑。海洋经济已经成为临海国家经济增长最具活力和前景的领域之一。我国海洋经济发展取得了很大成绩,但与发达国家相比,不仅规模偏小,而且海洋资源开发利用程度也不高,开发方式仍比较粗放。我们必须提高海洋开发能力,扩大海洋开发领域,让海洋经济成为新的增长点。

It is necessary to strengthen marine industry planning and guidance, optimize the structure of the marine industry, improve the quality of marine economic growth, and focus on the development and utilization of marine biological resources, seawater utilization, the marine shipbuilding industry, marine oil and gas, mineral resource exploration and exploitation, marine transportation, marine tourism, and other industries. We must implement major special projects for marine engineering and equipment, improve deep-sea exploration, development, and load-carrying capacity, cultivate and expand strategic emerging marine industries, increase the contribution rate of the marine industry to economic growth, strive to make the marine industry a pillar industry of the national economy, and contribute to the assurance of national energy security, food security, and water resources security.

要加强海洋产业规划和指导,优化海洋产业结构,提高海洋经济增长质量,重点发展海洋生物资源开发利用、海水利用、海洋船舶工业、海洋油气、矿产资源勘探开发、海洋交通运输、海洋旅游等产业,实施海洋工程和装备重大专项,提高深海勘探开发和运载能力,培育壮大海洋战略性新兴产业,提高海洋产业对经济增长的贡献率,努力使海洋产业成为国民经济的支柱产业,为保障国家能源安全、食物安全、水资源安全作出贡献。

Second, we will protect the marine ecological environment and strive to promote the conversion of marine development methods to recycling and reuse type. Currently, the situation of China’s coastal ecological environment is not promising, and environmental problems such as marine pollution and marine disasters are becoming increasingly apparent. If this problem is not solved well, not only will it impact sustainable economic and social development, but it will also impact social stability. We must resolutely take measures to curb the deterioration of the marine ecological environment with all our strength to significantly improve China’s marine ecological environment, allow the people to eat green, safe, and worry-free marine products, and enjoy the blue sea, blue sky, and clean beaches. 

第二,保护海洋生态环境,着力推动海洋开发方式向循环利用型转变。目前,我国近海生态环境不容乐观,海洋污染、海洋灾害等环境问题日益突出。这个问题解决不好,不仅会影响经济社会可持续发展,而 且会影响社会稳定。要下决心采取措施,全力遏制海洋生态环境不断恶化趋势,让我国海洋生态环境有一个明显改观,让人民群众吃上绿色、安全、放心的海产品,享受到碧海蓝天、洁净沙滩。

We must incorporate the construction of a marine ecological civilization into the overall layout of marine development, adhere to the principle of placing an equal emphasis on development and protection while performing pollution prevention and ecological restoration at the same time, scientifically and rationally develop and utilize marine resources, and maintain the natural reproduction capabilities of the marine environment. We must establish a total control system for marine pollution to effectively control the discharge of land-sourced pollutants into the sea at their sources. We must improve the environmental impact assessment system for marine engineering, resolutely exercise control based on environmental impact assessment results, and absolutely prevent the implementation of projects that seriously damage the marine environment. We must formulate coastline protection and utilization plans as soon as possible, strictly control land reclamation projects, protect coastal wetlands, and seriously investigate and deal with “three-sided projects” (三边工程), with simultaneous application, approval, and construction, as well as the practices of subdivision (化整为零) and ultra vires approval (越权审批). We must speed up the establishment of marine ecological compensation and ecological damage compensation systems, carry out marine restoration projects, promote the construction of marine nature reserves, and improve the emergency response mechanisms for marine environmental emergencies. 

要把海洋生态文明建设纳入海洋开发总布局之中,坚持开发和保护并重、污染防治和生态修复并举,科学合理开发利用海洋资源,维护海洋自然再生产能力。要建立入海污染总量控制制度,从源头上有效控制陆源污染物入海排放。要完善海洋工程环境影响评价制度,坚决把好环评关口,杜绝严重损害海洋环境的项目上马。要尽快制定海岸线保护利用规划,从严控制围填海项目,保护滨海湿地,严肃查处边申请、边审批、边施工的“三边工程”以及化整为零、越权审批的做法。要加快建立海洋生态补偿和生态损害赔偿制度,开展海洋修复工程,推进海洋自然保护区建设,完善海洋环境突发事件应急反应机制。

Third, we will develop marine science and technology and strive to promote the transformation of marine science and technology to innovation-led type. To build a maritime superpower, we must vigorously develop advanced marine technology. In recent years, Chinese marine science and technology have achieved some breakthroughs, and some research results have had a great impact on the international community. In general, however, marine science and technology is still a “weak link” (短腿, lit. short leg) and has difficulty meeting the development requirements of the marine industry. We must rely on scientific and technological progress and innovation and strive to break through the scientific and technological bottlenecks that impede the development of the marine economy and the protection of the marine ecosystem. 

第三,发展海洋科学技术,着力推动海洋科技向创新引领型转变。建设海洋强国必须大力发展海洋高新技术。近年来,我国海洋科技取得了一些突破,有些研究成果在国际上产生了较大影响,但总的看,海洋科技还是一条“短腿”,难以满足海洋事业发展要求。必须依靠科技进步和创新,努力突破制约海洋经济发展和海洋生态保护的科技瓶颈。

We must do a good job in overall planning for marine scientific and technological innovation, insist on doing what must be done and refraining from what must not be done, and focus on making breakthroughs in advanced marine technology in the deep-water, green, and safety fields. In particular, it is necessary to promote the research and development of core technologies and key general-purpose technologies that are urgently needed in the process of the transformation of the marine economy. It is necessary to carry out in-depth scientific investigations in open ocean and polar regions, carry out deep-sea and far–off-shore surveys and research, expand international cooperation in marine science and technology, and make preliminary preparations for the utilization of ocean and polar resources. 

要搞好海洋科技创新总体规划,坚持有所为有所不为,重点在深水、绿色、安全的海洋高技术领域取得突破。尤其要推进海洋经济转型过程中急需的核心技术和关键共性技术的研究开发。要深入开展大洋和极地科学考察工作,开展深海远洋调查研究,拓展海洋科技国际合作,为利用大洋和极地资源做好前期准备。

Fourth, we will safeguard national maritime rights and interests and strive to promote the transformation of maritime rights protection to a unified and comprehensive type. Due to complicated historical reasons, China’s surrounding waters, and especially the South China Sea, are among the regions in the world with the most disputes over island sovereignty, most acute maritime delimitation issues, most intense competition for resources, and most complicated geopolitical situation. More than half of the 3 million square kilometers of maritime jurisdiction claimed by China involve overlapping maritime claims and jurisdictional disputes with neighboring countries. Our work as regards safeguarding maritime rights and interests is facing a very complicated and serious situation. To solve this problem, we must implement unified coordination for the two overall interests of maintaining stability and safeguarding rights, insist on maintaining the unity of national sovereignty, security, and development interests, maintain maritime rights and interests in a manner corresponding to the increase in overall national strength, and achieve progress while maintaining stability. 

第四,维护国家海洋权益,着力推动海洋维权向统筹兼顾型转变。由于复杂的历史原因,我国周边海域特别是南海是世界上岛屿主权争端最多、海域划界问题最尖锐、资源争夺最激烈、地缘政治形势最复杂的地区之一。我国主张的300万平方公里的管辖海域中,有一半以上与邻国存在海域主张的重叠和管辖权的争议。我们维护海洋权益工作面临着十分复杂严峻的形势。解决这个问题,总的要统筹维稳和维权两个大局,坚持维护国家主权、安全、发展利益相统一,维护海洋权益和提升综合国力相匹配,实现稳中求进。

On the one hand, we must persist in resolving disputes through peaceful methods and negotiation methods and strive to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea and the East China Sea. On the other hand, we must be prepared to deal with various complex situations, strengthen the building of forces for the protection of maritime rights and law enforcement, accelerate the pace of construction of a modernized navy, improve maritime rights protection capabilities, and resolutely safeguard China’s maritime rights and interests. We love peace and adhere to the path of peaceful development, but we must never give up our legitimate rights and interests, let alone sacrifice our country’s core interests. 

一方面,要坚持用和平方式、谈判方式解决争端,努力维护南海、东海和平稳定。另一方面,要做好应对各种复杂局面的准备,加强海上维权执法力量建设,加快海军现代化建设步伐,提高海洋维权能力,坚决维护我国海洋权益。我们爱好和平,坚持走和平发展道路,但决不能放弃正当权益,更不能牺牲国家核心利益。

We must adhere to the principles of “sovereignty belongs to us (主权属我), shelving differences, and seeking joint development,” promote mutually beneficial and friendly cooperation with ASEAN countries, find and expand the convergence of common interests by strengthening cooperation, and create the conditions for the resolution of maritime issues. At the same time, it is necessary to strengthen security dialogs, strengthen communication and coordination with relevant parties, and strive to resolve differences and eliminate misjudgments. 

要坚持“主权属我、搁置争议、共同开发”的方针,推进同东盟国家的互利友好合作,通过加强合作寻求和扩大共同利益的汇合点,为解决海上问题创造条件。同时,要加强安全对话,加强同有关方面的沟通和协调,努力化解分歧、消除误判。

In short, building a maritime superpower is an important part of the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. We must further concern ourselves with the ocean, understand the ocean, and manage the ocean so as to promote the continuous realization of new achievements in China’s construction of a maritime superpower. 

总之,建设海洋强国是中国特色社会主义事业的重要组成部分。我们要进一步关心海洋、认识海洋、经略海洋,推动我国海洋强国建设不断取得新成就。

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Cite This Page

习近平 (Xi Jinping) (2022). "Comrade Xi Jinping’s Remarks to the Eighth Collective Study Session of the CCP Politburo [习近平同志在中共中央政治局第八次集体学习时的讲话]". Interpret: China, Original work published July 30, 2013, https://interpret.csis.org/translations/comrade-xi-jinpings-remarks-to-the-eighth-collective-study-session-of-the-ccp-politburo/

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