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The Maritime Strategy of Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping and Xi Jinping


This academic article by the deputy director of a major state-run maritime research institute offers an interpretive summary of long term-trends in PRC maritime policy and strategy.

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China’s development and utilization of the oceans has a long history. Chinese ancestors in coastal regions gathered shellfish, caught fish, navigated close to shore and boiled seawater for salt. Ancient rulers emphasized development and utilization of marine resources as a way to make the country prosperous. The Spring and Autumn period state of Qi vigorously developed marine fishing, the salt industry, ocean navigation and trade activities, allowing it to comprehensively develop across economic, political, military and cultural fields, becoming a “kingdom of the sea” with “land spanning over 300 miles and hundreds of thousands of soldiers.” Advised by the philosopher Guan Zhong to “manage the mountain and the sea” in order to make his state prosper, Duke Huan of Qi implemented a policy of taxing salt, becoming known as the “ancient ancestor of salt administration.” Philosopher Han Fei summed up the lessons of state governance as being “attend well to mountains and seas, and the country will be rich.” Prior to the middle of the Ming dynasty, China’s maritime industry was far ahead of those of other countries. In the late Ming period, the “emphasizing land while neglecting sea [forces]” mindset and closed country policies of rulers caused China to decline gradually from a strong maritime power to a weak one, leaving its seas undefended and allowing the Western powers to come straight in, unimpeded over long distances. “From 1840 to 1949, Japan, Britain, France, the United States, Russia, Germany and others invaded China over 470 times, and on 84 occasions it was on a relatively large scale.” The deeply humiliating Opium Wars, Sino-French War, Sino-Japanese War and so on all came over the sea. The Western powers opened the way with their gunships, and through unequal treaties seized privileges in areas such as stationing naval and army units along China’s coast and rivers, inland navigation, trade, port affairs and customs. This severely violated China’s sovereignty, and left it with “thousands of miles of ocean border, war preparations abandoned, and barriers lost.” The keenly felt pain caused knowledgeable observers in modern China to take a sober view of the world across the oceans, and they profoundly realized the logic of “rejuvenating the country by expanding maritime power.” Facing China’s perilous situation, with undefended seas and the maritime doors of the nation wide open, the great forerunner Sun Yat-sen focused on the oceans from a national survival perspective. “However, the future of the Pacific Ocean really concerns the survival of our Chinese nation and the fate of the Chinese state. The Pacific Ocean’s center of gravity is China, and the fight for maritime power in the Pacific is a fight over the gateways to China.” “If people are fighting over us, how can we pay no attention?”   

中国对海洋的开发利用有着悠久的历史。沿海地区的中华先民采贝捕鱼近岸航海煮海为盐。古代的统治者注重开发利用海洋资源以使国家兴旺发达。春秋时代的齐国大力发展海洋渔业、盐业、舟楫通海和进行商贸活动使经济、政治、军事和文化诸方面全面发展成为地方二千余里带甲数十万海王之国。管子劝谏齐桓公官山海以富国推行征税于盐的政策被誉为千古盐政之祖 韩非子将历心于山海而国家富总结为治国经验。 明代中期以前中国的航海业遥遥领先于世界各国。明朝后期统治者重陆轻海的观念和闭关锁国的政策使中国从海上强国逐渐衰落为海上弱国直至清末有海无防西方列强长驱直入。“1840—1949日、英、法、美、俄、德等国从海上入侵中国达470多次其中规模较大的有84令国人深感屈辱的鸦片战争、中法战争、甲午战争等都来自海上。西方列强炮舰开路通过不平等条约,攫取在中国沿海、沿江驻扎海陆军、内河航运、贸易、港务、海关等方面的特权严重侵犯中国的主权使中国万里海疆战备废弛藩篱尽失。切肤之痛令近代中国的有识之士清醒向洋看世界深刻认识到兴邦张海权的道理。面对旧中国有海无防、海上国门洞开的危局伟大的先行者孙中山从民族存亡的高度关注海洋惟今后之太平洋问题则实关乎我中华民族之生存中华国家之命运者也。盖太平洋之重心即中国也;争太平洋之海权即争中国之门户耳人方以我为争我岂能付之不闻不问乎。” 

Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, successive leaders have all attached great importance to building sea power and the development of marine endeavors, and formed maritime strategies characteristic of the times by analyzing the current situation. From the Mao Zedong era’s defensive maritime strategy with “survival” as the bottom line, to the more open-type maritime thinking of the Deng Xiaoping era with the emphasis on “development,” and the externally oriented, “strong country”-centered maritime strategy of the new era under Xi Jinping, the maritime strategies of three generations of collective leadership have undergone three momentous turns, delineating the evolution of China’s maritime strategy.  


I. Mao Zedong’s strategic thought and practice of seeking maritime survival  


China is located in the eastern part of the Asian mainland, along the western edge of the Pacific Ocean. It has a lengthy coastline and numerous islands. After New China was founded in 1949, China faced severe maritime security threats. The Nationalist regime entrenched on the island of Taiwan was exploiting the natural moat of the Taiwan Strait to carry out constant harassment of the mainland coast. The imperialists, represented by the United States, implemented suppressive policies against New China, including military containment and an economic blockade. They imposed a naval blockade against mainland China, sailed the Seventh Fleet into the Taiwan Strait, and sent naval warplanes to invade the airspace along the coasts of Fujian and Guangdong. The United States also manipulated agencies in the UN. Attempting to strangle New China in the cradle, it orchestrated passage of a trade embargo against China in which the United States, the United Kingdom, France and 13 other countries participated. Modern fishing vessels from Japan and other countries frequently entered China’s offshore fishing grounds to engage in illegal fishing. It was precisely against this special historical background that Mao Zedong’s maritime strategy was formed.  


(i) Accelerating naval construction 

(一) 加快海军建设  

The core of Mao Zedong’s maritime thinking was strengthening inshore defense and coastal defense, resisting foreign invasion, and defending national security. The first generation CCP leadership group under Mao Zedong, having learned the historical lessons of the maritime aggression China suffered from the Western powers for over a century, profoundly understood that “to oppose imperialist aggression, we must build a strong navy.” On January 1, 1950, Mao Zedong’s message for the inaugural issue of People’s Navy was: “We must build a navy, and that navy must be able to protect our sea defenses and resist possible imperialist aggression.” In October 1951, Mao Zedong issued this order to the Central Military Commission: “Coastal defense will henceforth be China’s main frontline defense.” The prerequisite for building a powerful coastal defense is building a powerful navy. Mao Zedong had learned the historical lessons from when modern China’s seas were undefended and foreign enemies had repeatedly invaded by sea. Based on the maritime threats New China faced and the real need for unification with Taiwan, he proposed “building a strong navy,” which was an important part of Mao Zedong’s maritime strategic thinking.  

毛泽东海洋思想的核心是加强岸防和海防、抵御外敌入侵、保卫国家安全。以毛泽东为核心的中国共产党第一代领导集体总结了一百多年来中国饱受西方列强来自海上侵略的历史教训深刻认识到为了反对帝国主义的侵略我们一定要建立强大的海军195011毛泽东为《人民海军》创刊号题词:“我们一定要建设一支海军这支海军要能保卫我们的海防有效地抵御帝国主义的可能的侵略。” 195110,毛泽东颁布中央军委命令:“海防为我国今后主要的国防前线。要建立强大的海防前提是建设一支强大的海军。毛泽东总结了近代中国有海无防、屡遭来自海上的外敌侵略的历史教训根据新中国面临的海上威胁以及统一台湾的现实需要提出建设一支强大的海军”, 这是毛泽东海洋战略思想的重要组成部分。 

Mao first perceived the navy’s independent status—“The navy should be a strategic decision-making body: It is a military service, and should be established as a separate command.” The overall aim of naval construction was to “establish a powerful navy,” and “build our coastline into a maritime Great Wall.” The basic mission of naval construction was “opposing aggression, protecting security and promoting unification.” As Mao noted: “In order to eliminate harassment from sea bandits and ensure the safety of sea lane transportation, to prepare for the recovery of Taiwan at the appropriate time and finally unify the whole country, and to gather strength and oppose imperialist aggression coming from the sea, we must build a powerful navy—gradually and systematically and over a relatively long period of time—based on the industrial development situation and financial situation. In October 1959, the Soviet Union turned down China’s request for help in developing nuclear submarines. Under conditions of poverty and backwardness, but with the determination and will to “achieve nuclear submarines, even if it takes 10,000 years,” China independently developed nuclear submarines to defend the underwater gates to the country.  

毛泽东首先明确了海军的独立地位———“海军应该是一个战略决策机构是一个军种应单独成立司令部。海军建设的总目标是建立一支强大的海军”, “把我国海岸线筑成海上长城。海军建设的基本任务是反侵略、保安全、促统一。毛泽东指出:“为了肃清海匪的骚扰保障海道运输的安全为了准备力量于适当时机收复台湾最后统一全部国土为了准备力量反对帝国主义从海上来的侵略我们必须在一个较长时期内,根据工业发展的情况和财政的情况有计划地逐步地建设一支强大的海军。” 195910苏联拒绝了中国提出的帮助研制核潜艇的请求。中国在一穷二白的情况下核潜艇一万年也要搞出来的决心和意志独立自主研制核潜艇保卫水下国门。 

When he spoke about strengthening naval construction at an enlarged meeting of the Central Military Commission on June 21, 1958, Mao observed: “In order to build a strong maritime fighting force in the coming years, apart from continuing to strengthen the army and air force, we must greatly develop the shipbuilding industry and establish ‘maritime railroads.’”  

1958621毛泽东在中央军委扩大会议上谈到加强海军建设时指出:“除了继续加强陆军和空军的建设外必须大搞造船工业建立海上铁路’, 以便在今后若干年内建设一支强大的海上战斗力量。 

Mao’s conception of naval construction and development of naval equipment, besides the primary mission of “opposing aggression, protecting security and promoting unification,” and the construction of a “maritime Great Wall,” also focused on the “establishment of maritime railroads”—ensuring the safety of maritime transportation in order to achieve the goals of defending national maritime rights and interests, developing national maritime endeavors, opposing hegemonism and maintaining world peace. This shows that Mao considered issues of naval construction both from a national maritime perspective, as well as from the viewpoint of the country’s future development.  


(ii) Defending the country’s sovereignty  

(二) 捍卫国家主权 

On one hand, Mao solved the existential crisis of the Chinese nation by supporting naval construction; on the other hand, by recovering rights over stationing forces, customs administration and navigation, countering foreign invasion, and fighting against the bullying of major powers, he also effectively defended national sovereignty, maintained national dignity, and guarded China’s fundamental maritime rights and interests. 


Recovering rights over stationing forces in territorial waters, and customs administration and maritime navigation rights. Mao Zedong issued a proclamation on April 30, 1949 stressing that “the People’s Liberation Army demands that the British, American and French warships, military aircraft, marines and other armed forces in the Huangpu River and Yangtze River, and other places in China, withdraw rapidly from the territorial waters, seas, territories and airspace of China.” Under pressure from the Chinese government, the naval fleets and marine forces of the United States and other countries withdrew from China one after another, and the rights of the Western powers to station forces in China’s territorial waters were finally and completely taken back. In December 1950, the Chinese government issued the Instructions on Principles for Customs Establishment and the Adjustment of Customs Agencies Nationwide, which laid out the basic principles for the establishment of customs in the new China. 1951 saw the promulgation of the Customs Law of the People’s Republic of China and Import and Export Tariffs, along with their implementing regulations, signifying that China had truly achieved the sovereignty and independent administration of customs. In order to recover China’s navigation rights in coastal and inland waters, China promulgated a series of laws and regulations, such as the Interim Measures on the Administration of Imports and Exports of Foreign Vessels and the Instruction on the Unified Administration of Shipping and Port Affairs, which clearly stipulated that foreign vessels could not sail into China’s inland rivers without the permission of the Chinese government. Compulsory pilotage of foreign vessels was instituted through promulgation of the Interim General Rules for Harbor Pilotage. As a result, the coastal and river navigation rights that had been lost for more over a century due to the corruption and incompetence of the Qing government were returned to the Chinese people.  


Rejecting the Soviet Union’s unreasonable demands and upholding China’s maritime rights. “There can be no foreign military bases on socialist China’s territory” was Mao’s consistent principled stand. In order to solve historical problems such as the Lüshun (Port Arthur) shipping base and Dalian commercial port, Mao went to the Soviet Union and signed the Sino-Soviet Agreement on the Chinese Changchun Railway, Port Arthur and Dalian, taking back the ports of Port Arthur and Dalian. In April 1958, the Soviet Union voiced its desire to establish a “joint fleet” and long-wave radio stations along China’s coast, and to use Chinese ports and station troops in China. Mao refused, criticizing the Soviet Union’s chauvinistic tendency to “extend Russian nationalism to China’s shores.” Mao noted that the course for establishing a submarine fleet must be set by China, and “when it comes to political conditions, not even half a finger [out of ten] is acceptable. Mao Zedong withstood the Soviet Union’s pressure, defeated its attempts to control the Chinese coast, and defended China’s sovereignty and maritime rights. 

拒绝苏联的无理要求维护中国海洋权益。社会主义中国领土上不能有外国军事基地是毛泽东一贯的原则立场。为解决旅顺海运基地和大连商港等历史遗留问题毛泽东赴苏签订《关于中国长春铁路、旅顺口及大连的协定》收回了旅顺港和大连港。19584苏联又提出欲在中国沿海建立联合舰队和长波电台并使用中国港口和在中国驻军。毛泽东严词拒绝批评苏联把俄国的民族主义扩大到了中国的海岸的大国沙文主义倾向。毛泽东指出建立潜艇舰队的方针应该由中国定, “要讲政治条件连半个指头都不行毛泽东顶住苏联的压力打掉其控制中国海岸的企图, 维护了中国的主权和海洋权益。 

Establishing the territorial water system, and delimiting the extent of territorial waters. In 1958, based on international documents such as the Geneva Convention on the Law of the Sea adopted by the First United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea, and taking into consideration China’s national and military conditions, Mao proposed the idea of a twelve nautical mile width for territorial waters, and convened experts in international law to study territorial waters and other issues. On September 4, 1958, the 100th meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the PRC approved the Declaration of the Government of the People’s Republic of China on China’s Territorial Sea (hereinafter referred to as the Declaration on China’s Territorial Sea). The Declaration on China’s Territorial Sea proclaims: (a) The breadth of China’s territorial sea is 12 nautical miles, and this provision applies to all territories of the People’s Republic of China, including the Chinese mainland and its coastal islands, Taiwan and its surrounding islands, the Penghu Islands, the Dongsha Islands, the Xisha Islands, the Zhongsha Islands, the Spratly Islands, and other islands belonging to China. (b) The straight baseline method is used for the baseline of China’s territorial sea. The territorial sea of mainland China and its coastal islands is defined as the baseline between base points on the mainland coast and on the outermost islands along the the coast, and the waters extending 12 nautical miles from the baseline are China’s territorial waters. The water area inside the baseline, including Bohai Bay and Qiongzhou Strait, are Chinese inland waters. The islands inside the baseline, including Dongyin Island, Gaodeng Island, the Matsu Islands, the Baiquan Islands, Wujiu Island, the Greater and Lesser Jinmen [Quemoy] Islands, Dadan Island, Erdan Island and Dongding Island, are islands of Chinese inland waters. (c) No foreign aircraft or military vessels are allowed to enter China’s territorial waters or airspace without the permission of the government of the People’s Republic of China. Any foreign vessel sailing in China’s territorial waters must abide by the relevant laws and regulations of the Government of the People’s Republic of China. “The aforementioned Declaration on China’s Territorial Sea, made outside the First United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea framework, had a tremendous inspirational effect on developing countries.” On September 14, 1958, [North] Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Van Dong sent a diplomatic note to Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai stating that the Vietnamese government “recognizes and endorses” China’s territorial sea declaration and “respects this decision.” The territorial sea system and basic principles established in the Declaration of China’s Territorial Sea, has been inherited, supplemented, developed and improved by other maritime legislation, including the Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone in 1992 and the Declaration on the Baselines of the Territorial Sea of the People’s Republic of China in 1996.  

建立领海制度划定领海范围。1958根据联合国第一次海洋法会议通过对日内瓦海洋法公约等国际文件结合中国国情和军情毛泽东提出了12海里领海宽度的主张并召集国际法专家研究领海等问题。195894中华人民共和国全国人民代表大会常务委员会第100次会议批准了《中华人民共和国政府关于领海声明》 (以下简称《领海声明》。《领海声明》宣布: 中国的领海宽度为12海里这项规定适用于中华人民共和国的一切领土包括中国大陆及其沿海岛屿、台湾及其周围各岛、澎湖列岛、东沙群岛、西沙群岛、中沙群岛、南沙群岛以及其他属于中国的岛屿。中国的领海基线采用直线基线法中国大陆及其沿海岛屿的领海以连接大陆岸上和沿海岸外缘岛屿上各基点之间的各直线为基线从基线向外延伸12海里的水域是中国的领海。基线以内的水域 (包括渤海湾、琼州海峡是中国的内海基线以内的岛屿 (包括东引岛、高登岛、马祖列岛、白犬列岛、鸟丘岛、大小金门岛、大担岛、二担岛、东碇岛是中国的内海岛屿。未经中华人民共和国政府的许可一切外国飞机和军用船舶不得进入中国的领海和领海上空。任何外国船舶在中国领海航行必须遵守中华人民共和国政府的有关法令新中国在第一次联合国海洋法会议框架之外所作出的上述《领海声明》对于发展中国家起着巨大的鼓舞作用1958914越南总理范文同照会中国国务院总理周恩来表示越南政府承认和赞同中国的领海声明尊重这一决定《领海声明》中确立的领海制度、基本原则等内容在包括1992年《中华人民共和国领海及毗连区法》、1996年中华人民共和国政府《关于中华人民共和国领海基线的声明》以及其他海洋立法中得到继承、补充、发展和完善。 

Defending sovereignty over seas and oceans, and countering foreign aggression. In response to the San Francisco Conference, which blatantly excluded China, and the draft peace treaty with Japan that the United States had drawn up unilaterally, Zhou Enlai issued a statement sternly pointing out that “The Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China considers that the draft peace treaty with Japan proposed by the United States and British governments violates international agreements and is fundamentally unacceptable, and the San Francisco Conference, which is scheduled to be convened by the United States government on September 4, [1951] and which blatantly excludes the People’s Republic of China, is also a fundamentally inadmissible conference that repudiates international commitments.” “The draft treaty…only provides that Japan renounce all rights to Taiwan and the Pescadores as well as to the Kurile Islands, and the southern part of Sakhalin and all islands adjacent to it, but with regard to returning Taiwan and the Pescadores to the People’s Republic of China…there is not one word.” “At the same time, the draft treaty deliberately provides that Japan renounce all rights to Spratly Island and the Xisha (Paracel) Islands but again makes no mention of the problem of restoring their sovereignty.” In fact, the Paracel Islands and Spratly Island, just like the Zhongsha Islands (Macclesfield Bank), and Dongsha Islands (Pratas), have always been China’s territory, and although they fell once during the war of aggression waged by the Japanese imperialists, they were completely taken back after the Japanese surrender by the Chinese government at that time. “The Central People’s Government of the People’s Republic of China hereby declares: Regardless of whether or not the United States-British draft treaty has provisions on this matter, or howsoever they stipulate, the inviolable sovereignty of the People’s Republic of China over Spratly Island and the Paracel Islands shall not be affected in any way.”   


In the 1960s, with the United States’ support, the Taiwan regime’s military attacked the southeast coast of the mainland on a large scale. Facing severe maritime security threats, Mao Zedong directed the shelling of Jinmen in order to suppress the Taiwan regime, which was rampantly harassing the mainland’s coastal regions. In Resolutely Attack U.S. Aircraft that Invade Hainan Island Airspace, Mao clearly instructed: “If U.S. aircraft invade Hainan, they must be fought, resolutely fought. … Hainan naval aviation and air forces must have unified command, and the navy and air force must cooperate well in fighting.” In September 1965, naval air forces defended national sovereignty by shooting down a U.S. F-104C fighter that had invaded Leizhou Peninsula and Hainan Island.  

20世纪60年代在美国的支持下台湾当局军队大规模袭扰大陆东南沿海。面对严峻的海上安全威胁毛泽东指示炮击金门弹压猖獗骚扰大陆沿海地区的台湾当局。毛泽东在《坚决打击入侵海南岛上空的美机》中明确指示:“美机入侵海南岛应该打坚决打。……海军航空兵和空军应该统一指挥海军和空军应该很好地配合起来打。” 19659海军航空兵击落一架入侵雷州半岛和海南岛的美国F-104C战斗机维护了国家主权。 

In the 1970s, the South Vietnamese government brazenly invaded the Paracel Islands, disregarding China’s sovereignty over the South China Sea. Mao instructed that “failure to fight would be to inadequately defend China’s maritime rights and interests.” On January 19, 1974, the Chinese navy carried out a limited self-defense counterattack, recovering the three islands—Ganquan, Shanhu and Jinyin [Robert, Pattle and Money]—that had been occupied by the Vietnamese forces, and thus defended China’s territorial sovereignty in the South China Sea.  

20世纪70年代南越政府无视中国的南海主权悍然侵犯西沙群岛。毛泽东指示, “不打一仗不足以维护中国的海洋权益1974119,中国海军进行了有限的自卫反击收复了被越军侵占的甘泉、珊瑚和金银三岛维护了我国在南海的领土主权。 

II. Deng Xiaoping’s strategic thought and practice of opening the ocean 


In the 1980s, major changes occurred in the international situation. International tensions gradually eased, and “peace and development” became the theme of the times in the modern world. Against the background of this age, important adjustments have also been made in China’s maritime strategy. Unlike Mao Zedong, who viewed the seas from a bottom-line-thinking perspective, Deng Xiaoping considered the seas from the perspective of economic development and reform and opening up. Deng Xiaoping’s opening up to the outside was essentially opening up toward the seas and going the world by means of the seas. 

20世纪80年代国际形势发生重大变化国际紧张形势渐趋缓和, “和平与发展成为当今世界的时代主题。在这一时代背景下中国的海洋战略也作出了重要调整。与毛泽东以底线思维来看待海洋的视角不同邓小平是从改革开放发展经济的角度去思考海洋的。邓小平的对外开放实 

(i) Opening up toward the seas and going to the world  

(一)向海开放, 走向世界 

During his visit to the United States in 1979, Deng Xiaoping pointedly observed that the Pacific can no longer be, nor should it be, a barrier separating us, but rather a bridge and a link for us to go toward the world. In Deng Xiaoping’s view, the seas are transportation thoroughfares connecting the countries of the world, and are bridges and links that promote the world’s economic development. The seas are no longer merely a strategic barrier protecting the country, but are also a shortcut to going toward the world and to national prosperity. Having deeply analyzed China’s maritime rights in the modern era, Deng noted: “For any country that wants to develop, it is impossible with one’s doors closed to the world. We have experienced this bitter truth, and our ancestors experienced this bitter truth… Closed doors made China poor and backward, stupid and ignorant.” If China wants to seek development, therefore, it must open the sea gates that have confined it for centuries, implement the policy of opening up to the outside , go to the world using the seas as the channels, and let China’s economy connect with the world.  


In 1979, China opened four special economic zones—Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Xiamen and Shantou—and 14 open coastal cities, including Dalian, Tianjin, Shanghai, Ningbo and Guangzhou, as well as coastal open economic zones such as the Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta, Southern Fujian Delta and the Bohai Rim region. From trade to investment, from trade in goods to trade in services, and from “introducing” to “going global,” a new pattern of multi-level, wide-ranging and omnidirectional opening up to the outside was ultimately formed in the special economic zones, coastal open cities and coastal open economic zones, achieving the great historical transition of going “from the ocean to the world.”  


(ii) Development and utilization of marine resources 


Deng Xiaoping began to focus great attention on the development and utilization of China’s seas, and put forward a maritime strategy with the basic policy of opening up coastal areas, developing offshore resources and exploring public lands further out to sea. He stressed many times the need to “advance into the seas for the benefit of the people,” and proposed “developing maritime industries to revitalize the national economy.” Deng Xiaoping linked the seas and the economy closely together, seeking to put establishment of maritime power on China’s economic development track through the comprehensive development and utilization of marine resources, and supporting the construction of maritime power through economic development.  

邓小平开始高度关注中国海洋的开发和利用问题提出了以开放沿海地区、开发近海资源、开拓远海公土为基本方针的海洋经略思想。他多次强调要进军海洋造福人民”, 提出发展海洋事业振兴国家经济。邓小平把海洋和经济紧密联系在一起通过全面开发利用各种海洋资源寻求将海权建立在中国经济发展的轨道上通过经济发展支撑海权建设。 

China’s maritime endeavors have gone beyond the offshore periphery, and rapid development has been achieved even in the two polar regions. In October 1984, Deng Xiaoping’s wrote an inscription prior to China’s first Antarctic expedition: “Contribute to mankind’s peaceful use of Antarctica.” In February, 1985, China established its first scientific research station—the Great Wall Station—at 62 degrees south latitude on King George Island. Establishment of the research station meant China would have a seat at the table in decision-making on Antarctic affairs. Deng Xiaoping established the policy foundation for “surveying China’s seas, advancing into the three oceans, and landing on Antarctica.” Today, China has not only initially surveyed China’s seas, but has also obtained four exclusive exploratory mining areas for three resources—polymetallic nodules, polymetallic sulfides and cobalt-rich crusts—in the Pacific and Indian Oceans; and not only has it landed in Antarctica, but it has also established scientific research stations in the Arctic. Chinese scientific research ships have crossed the Arctic Ocean many times for scientific investigations.  

中国的海洋事业跨出周边近海在两极地区也得到了迅速发展。198410邓小平在中国首次南极考察队出征之前题词, “为人类和平利用南极做出贡献19852中国在南纬62度的乔治王岛建立了第一个科学考察站———长城站;19891月又在东南极大陆拉斯曼丘陵上建立了中山站。科考站的建立使中国对南极事务的决策有了发言权。邓小平为查清中国海进军三大洋登上南极洲奠定了政策基础。如今中国不仅初步查清了中国海还在太平洋、印度洋获得了多金属结核、多金属硫化物和富钴结壳三种资源的四块专属勘探矿区; 不仅登上了南极洲还在北极地区建立了科考站中国的科考船多次穿越北冰洋进行科学考察。 

(iii) Coastal defense and naval construction 


Deng Xiaoping put forward the “offshore defense” strategy, noting: “Our strategy is offshore operations. We don’t reach out everywhere the way hegemonists do. The navy we are building is basically defensive.” “Our strategy has always been defensive. That includes nuclear submarines, which are also strategic defensive weapons.” Building on Mao Zedong’s thinking on naval construction, Deng Xiaoping proposed the objective and mission of naval construction, namely, to be “top-notch and capable” and “answer to the purpose.” As Deng Xiaoping once observed, “We must build a powerful navy with modern combat capability.” But, “facing a powerful hegemonist navy without proper strength will never do, either. The strength must answer to the purpose. We do not need that many things, but they must be top-notch, and they must be truly modernized.” In Deng Xiaoping’s thinking on naval construction and offshore defense, the Chinese navy had to be able to shoulder strategic tasks such as defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity, defending national maritime rights and interests, effectively responding to and containing local conflicts, wars and emergencies at sea, and maintaining a relatively stable surrounding maritime environment.  

邓小平提出了近海防御的海防战略思想。他指出:“我们的战略是近海作战。我们不像霸权主义那样到处伸手。我们建设海军基本上是防御。”“我们的战略始终是防御包括核潜艇也是战略防御武器。邓小平在毛泽东海军建设思想的基础上提出了海军建设的目标和任务精干”“顶用。邓小平曾指示, “建立一支强大的具有现代战斗能力的海军面临霸权主义强大的海军没有适当的力量也不行。这个力量要顶用。我们不需要太多但要精要真正是现代化的东西。邓小平关于海军建设和近海防御的思想要求中国海军应能承担保卫国家主权和领土完整、维护国家海洋权益、有效应对和遏制海上局部冲突、战争和突发事件保持相对稳定的周边海洋环境等战略任务。 

(iv) “Sovereignty belonging to China, shelving disputes, and engaging in joint development”  

(四)主权属我, 搁置争议, 共同开发 

In the face of territorial disputes rooted in history, Deng Xiaoping’s position was clear: The issue of sovereignty is not one that could be discussed, and the nation’s sovereignty and security must always be put first. Deng Xiaoping spoke explicitly about sovereignty issues with regard to both the South China Sea and the East China Sea, maintaining that “China has the greatest voice” on such issues. In order to defend the territorial sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands, in 1991 China began to send “Xiagongji 3” boats to patrol East China Sea waters, and supported the “Protect Diaoyu” movement of patriots at home and abroad. In the South China Sea, the Chinese government has constantly made the necessary declarations of sovereignty. On multiple occasions, it stressed that “the Spratly Islands have always been part of China’s territory. Any foreign encroachment on the islands in the Spratly Islands and any development or other activities in these areas are illegal and impermissible.” On March 14, 1988, to combat Vietnam’s constant encroachment on China’s maritime rights and interests, the Chinese army carried out very limited self-defense retaliation. That same year, the central government decided to establish a separate Hainan Province on Hainan Island in order to effectively manage the islands in the South China Sea. China established a permanent solar-powered lighthouse in the Xisha Islands in May of 1980, and it announced standard names for some South China Sea islands in 1983. A marine observatory was established in the Spratly Islands in 1988—the Yongshu Jiao Ocean Observatory. On May 22, 1983, the Peoples Navy arrived at China’s most distant southern ocean frontier—Zengmu Shoal [James Shoal]—to conduct patrols, and to hold unscheduled military exercises in South China Sea waters.  

面对历史遗留的领土争端邓小平的立场很明确主权问题不是一个可以讨论的问题国家的主权和安全要始终放在第一位。邓小平关于南海、东海的多次讲话都明确讲到主权问题认为在这些问题上中国最有发言权。为维护钓鱼岛列屿领土主权, 1991年中国开始派霞工缉3”号船在东海海域进行巡逻并支持海内外爱国人士的保钓运动。在南海中国政府不断进行必要的主权宣示。多次强调南沙群岛历来就是中国领土的一部分。任何外国侵占南沙群岛的岛屿以及在这些地区进行开发或其他活动都是非法的、不能允许的1988314为了打击越南对中国海洋权益的不断侵犯中国军队进行了极其有限的自卫还击。同年为有效管理南海诸岛中央政府决定海南岛单独设立海南省。中国于19805月在西沙群岛建立了永久性的太阳能灯塔, 1983年公布了南海诸岛部分标准地名。1988年在南沙群岛建立了第一个海洋观测站———永署礁海洋观测站。1983522人民海军到达我国最远的南部海疆———曾母暗沙巡航还不定期在南海海域进行军事演习。 

Deng Xiaoping, who stood firmly for resolving maritime territorial disputes through dialogue and negotiations, creatively put forward the new idea of “setting disputes aside and developing jointly.” During the process of normalizing Sino-Japanese diplomatic relations, Deng Xiaoping spoke numerous times about setting aside the Diaoyu Islands dispute, and about joint resource development issues. Deng Xiaoping first explicitly put forward the idea of setting aside the sovereignty of the Diaoyu Islands in October 1974. On the basis of setting aside disputes, in May 1979 Deng Xiaoping first raised the tentative idea of jointly developing marine resources, saying, “Let both parties discuss together and engage in joint development first, without involving territorial sovereignty issues.” When Deng Xiaoping was meeting with a delegation from the Georgetown University Center for Strategic and International Studies in February 1984, he pointed out, “In some international territorial disputes, it is possible to leave sovereignty aside and proceed with joint development first.” For issues of this kind, it is necessary to start by respecting reality, and look for a new path toward resolution.   

邓小平坚持以对话和谈判的方式解决国与国之间的海洋领土争端创造性地提出搁置争议共同开发的新思路。在中日邦交正常化的过程中邓小平多次谈到搁置钓鱼岛争议共同开发资源问题。197410邓小平首次明确提出搁置钓鱼岛主权归属的思想。在搁置争议的基础上, 19795邓小平又首次提出了共同开发海洋资源的设想, “先由双方商量搞共同开发不去涉及领土主权问题。” 19842邓小平在会见美国乔治城大学战略与国际问题研究中心代表团时指出, “有些国际上的领土争端可以先不谈主权先进行共同开发。这样的问题要从尊重现实出发找条新的路子来解决 

Deng Xiaoping’s new idea of “sovereignty belongs to China, set aside disputes, and engage in joint development” won precious time and a peaceful international environment for reform and opening up and for economic construction. It also became the basic policy for resolving the issue of national unification and the South China Sea and East China Sea issues. 


III. Xi Jinping’s maritime superpower strategy and practice  


Since the beginning of the new century, a period of strategic opportunity has been ushered in for China’s maritime endeavors. Great historic achievements have been made in such areas as the maritime economy, marine science and technology, marine culture, and building maritime power, laying a solid foundation for construction of a maritime superpower. Xi Jinping is the core of the Party’s new generation of leadership. As such, he has drawn on Marxist understanding and thinking about the seas and inherited the essence of the maritime thought of successive generations of CCP collective leadership, and taken into account the enormous changes in the development situation at home and abroad and the characteristics of the times. With scientific analysis and profound elaboration of the basic theory, practice, experience and problems of China’s development of maritime endeavors, he has put forward a series of new ideas, new perspectives and new assertions, forming a unique Xi Jinping maritime strategy focused on construction of a maritime superpower. Xi Jinping’s maritime strategy systematically sets forth the major theoretical and practical issues in constructing a maritime superpower, and is the continuation and development of the maritime thinking of the Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping and other generations of central collective leadership.  


On July 30, 2013, the CCP Politburo held the Eighth Group Study Session, on the theme of “constructing a maritime superpower.” Presiding over the group study session, Xi Jinping systematically laid out the roadmap and mode for building China into a maritime superpower: “We must focus on the overall development of the cause socialism with Chinese characteristics, take a coordinated approach to the two major situations, domestic and international, adhere to land-sea coordination, adhere to the development path of relying on the seas to enrich the country, using the seas to strengthen the country, harmony between people and the seas, and win-win cooperation, and solidly advance the construction of a maritime superpower through peace, development, cooperation, and win-win methods.” Xi Jinping raised the need to have greater concern for the seas, understand the seas, and have planned management of the seas, and push to make continuous achievements in maritime superpower construction. Xi Jinping’s report to the 19th CCP National Congress in October 2017 stressed “adhering to land and sea coordination, and accelerating construction of a maritime superpower.” Constructing a maritime superpower is an important component of the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.  


(i) Adhering to the defense of national maritime rights and interests  


The seas are an important direction for China to defend and expand its strategic interests, and are a strategic space that must be fought for and protected. Xi Jinping stressed the importance of the seas for national sovereignty and security, as well as the need to resolutely defend national maritime rights and interests. The construction of a maritime superpower must take into account the upholding of both rights and stability, effectively protect national sovereignty and preserve the security and stability of border and coastal defenses, and build an iron wall of border and coastal defenses.   


Maritime strategic interests are related to national security and development. As Xi Jinping has noted: “We are both a continental power and a maritime power, and we have wide-ranging maritime strategic interests.” The seas hold an increasingly prominent position in the defense of the nation’s sovereignty, security and development interests. China has faced a complex and severe maritime security situation in recent years, and its maritime rights and interests face unprecedented challenges. To confront these threats and challenges, Xi Jinping stressed the core position of national sovereignty, security and development interests, and reiterated his rock-solid determination to defend territorial sovereignty, maritime rights and interests, and national unity. In December 2012, General Secretary Xi Jinping made an important speech during an inspection tour of the Guangzhou theater of operations: “We must fully understand the serious challenges facing China’s maritime security, heighten awareness of potential danger, as well as our sense of mission and sense of responsibility, and properly carry out targeted preparations for military struggle to uphold our maritime rights and interests.” Regarding the relationship between upholding maritime rights and interests on one hand and peaceful development on the other, Xi Jinping pointed out: “We must take the road of peaceful development, but never relinquish our legitimate rights and interests, and never sacrifice our core national interests. No foreign country should expect us to trade away our core interests, nor expect us to swallow the bitter fruit of damaging our sovereignty, security or development interests.” 


Overall planning to uphold maritime rights and interests. During the Eighth Group Study Session of the CCP Politburo in 2013, Xi Jinping noted that in order to defend the nation’s maritime rights and interests, we must strive to promote a transformation in the defense of maritime rights and interest toward an overall planning approach. We love peace and will persevere in taking the road of peaceful development, but will never relinquish our legitimate rights and interests, nor sacrifice our core national interests. We must have coordinated planning for the two overall concerns of maintaining stability and defending rights, adhere to the integrated defense of national sovereignty, security and development interests, defend maritime rights and interests, and enhance overall national strength to match. We must adhere to using peaceful and negotiation-based means to resolve disputes, and strive to maintain peace and stability. We must prepare well to deal with a variety of complex situations, increase our ability to defend maritime rights, build a powerful modern navy, “prepare well to deal with a variety of complex situations,” using multiple measures and initiatives and pragmatic advancement, so as to achieve marine rights to achieve the pursuit of progress within stability, and resolutely defend our maritime rights.  

统筹兼顾维护海洋权益。在2013年中共中央政治局第八次集体学习中习近平指出要维护国家海洋权益着力推动海洋维权向统筹兼顾型转变。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。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。要坚持用和平方式、谈判方式解决争端努力维护和平稳定。要做好应对各种复杂局面的准备提高海洋维权能力建设强大的现代化海军, “做好应对各种复杂局面的准备”, 多措并举、务实推进实现海洋维权稳中求进,坚决维护我国海洋权益。

The unity of defending maritime rights and interests and upholding world peace. At the Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs on November 28, 2014, Xi Jinping pointed to the need to coordinate the two overall concerns, domestic and international, coordinate the two overall matters of security and development, defend national sovereignty, security and development interests, create a more beneficial international environment for peaceful development, and maintain and extend the period of important strategic opportunity for China’s development. Xi Jinping emphasized that China must adhere an independent peaceful foreign policy, adhere to putting the development of the country and the nation on the foundation of our own strength, and unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development. Seeking out and expanding points of convergence on common interests by strengthening cooperation. While upholding our own maritime security and interests, we shall become an important force for upholding world peace and development. “We shall establish a global vision, better unify domestic development and opening up to the outside, link China’s development with the world’s development, combine the interests of the Chinese people with the common interests of all peoples, constantly expand mutually beneficial cooperation with other countries, take a more active posture in our participation in international affairs, jointly respond to global challenges, and strive to contribute to global development.”   


(ii) Advocating peaceful development and win-win cooperation  


Xi Jinping has creatively put forward new concepts and ideas, such as the new security concept, the concept of building relations with neighboring countries based on friendship, good faith, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, the new type of major power relations and the community of common destiny for mankind, demonstrating the wisdom and responsibility of a great power that is self-confident, pragmatic, and developing peacefully.  


Asian security concept proposal. On May 21, 2014, at the Shanghai summit meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, Xi Jinping delivered a keynote address entitled New Asian Security Concept for New Progress in Security Cooperation. In it, he proposed and fully elaborated a “concept of Asian security that is common, comprehensive, collaborative and sustainable,” and advocated “innovating security concepts, building a regional framework for security and cooperation, and endeavoring to take a jointly constructed, shared and win-win path to Asian security.” China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development, pursue an open strategy of mutual benefit and win-win outcomes, and develop friendly cooperation with other countries based on the five principles of peaceful coexistence.  

提出亚洲安全观。2014521习近平在亚洲相互协作与信任措施会议上海峰会上发表题为《积极树立亚洲安全观共创安全合作新局面》的主旨讲话提出并全面阐述了共同、综合、合作、可持续的亚洲安全观”, 倡导创新安全理念搭建地区安全和合作新架构努力走出一条共建、共享、共赢的亚洲安全之路中国将坚定不移走和平发展道路奉行互利共赢的开放战略在和平共处五项原则基础上发展同世界各国友好合作。 

Elaborating the connotations of the “community of common destiny” At the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2015, the theme of which was “Asia’s New Future: Towards a Community of Common Destiny,” Xi Jinping elaborated four connotations of the community of common destiny: (a) mutual respect and equal treatment among nations, (b) win-win cooperation and joint development (c) a concept of security that is common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable, and (d) inclusiveness and mutual learning among civilizations. Xi Jinping proposed to “promote the security of all countries and the region through dialogue and cooperation, seek peace and promote security through cooperation, adhere to the settlement of disputes by peaceful means, and oppose the use or threat of force.” 


At the same time, China pledged to “unwaveringly adhere to its independent and peaceful foreign policy, adhere to the path of peaceful development and to an open strategy of mutual benefit and win-win outcomes, uphold the correct concept of justice and benefit, promote establishment of a new type of international relations with win-win cooperation at the core, and always be a firm force for maintaining world peace and promoting common development.” Xi Jinping stressed that in order to move towards a community of common destiny and create a new future, Asia needs to keep pace with the world’s progress and development, and promote the building of a community of common destiny for mankind by moving towards an Asian community of common destiny.   


Proposing joint construction of the “Belt and Road.” When Xi Jinping delivered a speech in September 2013 at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan entitle Promote Friendship Between Our People and Work Together to Build a Bright Future, he advocated the joint construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt, with points of successful experience driving development of whole areas, and lines of connectivity driving development of entire regions along the route, gradually forming regional cooperation on a grand scale. In October 2013, Xi Jinping first proposed the initiative of jointly building the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road in his speech at the Indonesian parliament. The “Belt and Road,” which is composed of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road, is a major innovation in national strategy, injecting new momentum into China’s economic growth, while also providing new ideas and solutions for the world’s peaceful development. The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative is not only a powerful impetus for promoting the development of China’s maritime endeavors and construction of a maritime superpower, but is also a new model for promoting regional win-win cooperation.  

倡议共建一带一路20139习近平在哈萨克斯坦的纳扎尔巴耶夫大学发表题为《弘扬人民友谊共创美好未来》的演讲时倡议共同建设丝绸之路经济带以点带面从线到片逐步形成区域大合作。 201310习近平在印尼国会发表演讲时首次提出共同建设21世纪海上丝绸之路的倡议。丝绸之路经济带与海上丝绸之路共同组成的一带一路”, 是国家战略的重大创新不仅为中国经济增长注入新动力也为世界和平发展提供了新思路新方案。21世纪海上丝绸之路倡议不仅是推动我国海洋事业发展、建设海洋强国的强大动力也是促进地区合作共赢的新典范。 

(iii) Vigorously promoting marine economic development  


The maritime economy is wide-ranging in coverage, including over twenty different fields such as development and utilization of marine biological resources, seawater utilization, the marine shipbuilding industry, offshore oil and gas, mineral resource development, marine transportation and shipping, and marine tourism. Forty years of reform and opening up have led China to form an open economy that is highly dependent on the seas, and an economic pattern of “quality imports and quality exports, with both ends [of the production-distribution chain relying] on the seas.”  


A developed maritime economy is an important support for the construction of a maritime superpower. From “implement marine development” in the Report to the 16th National Congress to “develop marine industries” in the Report to the 17th National Congress, and to making comprehensive deployments from a strategic height to develop marine endeavors, as called for in the 18th Report to the National Congress—“Improve the ability to develop marine resources, develop the maritime economy, protect the marine ecological environment, resolutely defend national maritime rights and interests, and construct a maritime superpower”—the maritime economy has become an important engine for China’s economic development and an important lever for opening up to the outside. It is also an important space for constructing a modern economic system.  

发达的海洋经济是建设海洋强国的重要支撑。从十六大报告的实施海洋开发到十七大报告的发展海洋产业”, 再到十八大报告从战略高度对海洋事业发展作出的全面部署———“提高海洋资源开发能力发展海洋经济保护海洋生态环境坚决维护国家海洋权益建设海洋强国”, 海洋经济已成为我国经济发展的重要引擎和对外开放的重要抓手是建设现代化经济体系的重要空间。 

Since the 18th National Congress, China’s maritime economy has manifested trends of progress, good momentum and excellence amidst stability, the industrial structure has been steadily optimized, and a large number of marine industry clusters have emerged, characterized by distinctive marine features, highly efficient industrial chain coordination, and strong core competitiveness. From 2012 to 2016, primary, secondary and tertiary industries in China’s maritime economy have developed rapidly.  


Output value of tertiary marine industries, 2012-2016 

2012—2016 年海洋三产的产值 

Data source: “Five-Year Achievements Exhibition,” units: RMB 100 million (http://dlfj5.cctv.com/tour.html, accessed on November 20, 2017).
数据来源:“砥砺奋进的五年大型成就展”, 单位:亿元 (http://dlfj5.cctv.com/tour.html, 2017年11月20日登录)

The maritime economy is an economy that integrates land and sea. As early as 2003, Xi Jinping systematically elaborated his thinking on the maritime economy, proposing that “the maritime economy is an economy that integrates land and sea,” and that we must “do a good job on this important matter of the maritime economy.” Xi Jinping noted that “to develop the maritime economy, one cannot merely talk about the seas in isolation.” We must “strengthen the linked development of the land-based and sea-based economies, so as to achieve resource complementarities, industry interaction, and layout interconnection between land and sea.” This is the inevitable law of maritime economy development. Since the CCP’s 18th Party Congress, the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core has firmly established the concept of land-sea coordination, fundamentally transformed the traditional concept of viewing the sea from a land perspective and using land to judge sea matters, and strengthened consciousness of modern maritime economy development, with multi-level, large-space and integrated use of land and sea resources, simultaneously elevating marine hard power—economic, military, S&T, etc.—and enhancing elements of soft power such as marine awareness and marine civilization. With coordinated promotion of China’s marine endeavor development overall coming from political, cultural, social, ecological civilization, and other areas of construction, the contribution rate of marine and related industries, and the marine (and port) economy, to the national economy and social development is constantly increasing.   

海洋经济是陆海一体化经济。早在2003习近平就系统阐述了他对海洋经济的思考提出海洋经济是陆海一体化经济”, 做好海洋经济这篇大文章习近平指出, “发展海洋经济不能就海洋论海洋加强陆域和海域经济的联动发展实现陆海之间资源互补、产业互动、布局互联”, 这是海洋经济发展的必然规律。党的十八大以来以习近平同志为核心的党中央牢固树立陆海统筹理念从根本上转变以陆看海、以陆定海的传统观念强化多层次、大空间、海陆资源综合利用的现代海洋经济发展意识既提升海洋经济、军事、科技等硬实力又增强海洋意识、海洋文明等软实力。从经济建设、政治建设、文化建设、社会建设和生态文明建设等各领域统筹推进我国海洋事业整体向前发展海洋及相关产业、临海 (经济对国民经济和社会发展的贡献率不断提高。

Improving marine resource development ability is an important focal point for promoting the development of the maritime economy. China’s marine economic development still suffers from imbalance, lack of coordination and unsustainability issues. Xi Jinping has spoken of the need to improve marine resource development ability, focusing on promoting the transformation of the maritime economy toward quality and efficiency, and promoting the transformation of marine development toward a recycling type of utilization. We must expand the fields of marine development, and let the maritime economy become a new source of growth. We shall strengthen marine industry planning and guidance, optimize the structure of the marine industry, raise the quality of marine economic growth, incubate and expand strategic emerging marine industries, raise the contribution of marine industries to economic growth, and strive to make marine industries a pillar industry of the national economy. Xi Jinping has emphasized the need to “increase the contribution rate of marine industries to economic growth, strive to make marine industries serve as a pillar industry of the national economy and contribute to the assurance of national energy security, food security and water resource security.”  


(iv) Accelerating construction of marine ecological civilization  


For many years, China’s marine ecological security has been seriously threatened by the impact of the extensive model of marine economic development. With offshore pollution increasing steadily and marine biodiversity declining sharply, marine ecological protection faces unprecedented urgency. Ecological civilization construction and ecological and environmental protection are related to the well-being of the people and the future of the nation, and they are causes with benefits for the present time and a thousand years to come. Xi Jinping has made holistic and forward-looking arrangements for marine ecological civilization construction, raised the need to protect the marine ecological environment and make an all-out effort to curb the deterioration of the marine ecological environment,“ so that people can eat seafood that is environmentally friendly, safe and worry-free, and enjoy blue seas, blue skies and clean beaches.”   

多年来受粗放型海洋经济发展模式的影响中国海洋生态安全遭受严重威胁近海污染日益加剧海洋生物多样性锐减海洋生态保护面临前所未有的紧迫性。生态文明建设和生态环境保护关系人民福祉关乎民族未来是功在当代、利在千秋的事业。习近平对海洋生态文明建设作出了整体性和前瞻性部署提出要保护海洋生态环境全力遏制海洋生态环境恶化的趋势, “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

Beautiful seas mean a beautiful China. Practicing people-centered, green development and prioritization of ecology, and incorporating marine ecological civilization into the general layout of marine development, while adhering to the principle that development and protection have equal importance, has reflected the full coverage of China’s ecological civilization construction with respect to the spatial layout of its maritime territory. We must make marine ecological civilization construction an important part of the construction of beautiful China, so that coordinated development of land and marine ecological civilization construction is achieved. We must combine pollution prevention and ecological restoration, and develop and utilize marine resources scientifically and rationally, as only then can the natural regenerative capacity of the seas be maintained. To promote the construction of marine ecological civilization, we must protect the seas as we would our eyes, implement ecological management of the seas, and promote green development.  


Harmonious coexistence of people and the seas. At the conference to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the founding of Hainan Province and Hainan Special Economic Zone [in April 2018], Xi Jinping delivered an address saying we should “encourage Hainan to take a development path of harmony between humans and nature, and explore experience for constructing ecological civilization nationwide. We must strictly protect the marine ecological environment, establish and improve regional linkage mechanisms for land-sea coordinated ecosystem protection and restoration, and pollution prevention.” We must firm up the development path of harmony between people and the seas and win-win cooperation, establish a red line system for marine ecological protection, strengthen control of marine ecological red lines, implement the strictest of marine ecological and environmental protection systems, implement land-sea coordinated and comprehensive management of coastal waters, and effectively control, at the source, land-based sources of pollutants entering the seas. We shall improve the quality of marine development, and provide more and better marine ecological products, so as to meet the people’s needs for blue seas, clean beaches and safe seafood. We shall accelerate the establishment of marine ecological compensation and ecological damage compensation systems, carry out marine restoration projects, and promote the construction of marine nature reserves.  

人与海洋和谐共生。习近平在庆祝海南建省办经济特区30周年大会上发表讲话, “鼓励海南省走出一条人与自然和谐发展的路子为全国生态文明建设探索经验。要严格保护海洋生态环境建立健全陆海统筹的生态系统保护修复和污染防治区域联动机制要坚定人海和谐、合作共赢的发展道路建立海洋生态保护红线制度强化海洋生态红线管控实行最严格的海洋生态环境保护制度实施陆海统筹的近岸海域综合治理,从源头上有效控制陆源污染物入海排放。提升海洋开发质量提供更多更好的海洋生态产品满足人民对碧海蓝天、洁净沙滩、放心海产品的需要。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。 

Blue water and green mountains are mountains of silver and gold. Xi Jinping used the “two mountains theory” as a sweeping generalization of his thoughts on environmental protection issues. In September 2013, Xi Jinping said in a speech at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan: “We want both blue water and green mountains, and we also want mountains of silver and gold. While it is better to have blue water and green mountains than mountains of gold and silver, blue water and green mountains are themselves mountains of gold and silver.” Blue water and green mountains on one hand and mountains of gold and silver on the other reflect the dialectical relationship between environmental protection and economic development. As Xi Jinping pointed out, “We must correctly handle the relationship between economic development and ecological and environmental protection; firmly establish the concept that to protect the ecological environment is to protect our productive forces, and to improve the ecological environment is to develop those productive forces; more consciously promote green development, recycling-based development, and low-carbon development; and never sacrifice the environment in exchange for momentary economic growth.” To accelerate the construction of marine ecological civilization, we must adhere to land-sea coordination and regional linkage, put into practice the “fundamental national policy of conserving resources and protecting the environment,” imbed the concepts and actions for constructing marine ecological civilization throughout the process and in all aspects of maritime endeavor development, not only to meet the people’s growing needs for a better life, but also to leave blue seas, blue skies, blue water and green mountains for future generations.  

绿水青山就是金山银山。习近平用两山论高度概括了他对环境保护问题的思想。20139习近平在哈萨克斯坦的纳扎尔巴耶夫大学发表演讲时指出:“我们既要绿水青山也要金山银山。宁要绿水青山不要金山银山而且绿水青山就是金山银山。绿水青山和金山银山反映了发展经济与保护环境的辩证关系。习近平指出, “要正确处理好经济发展同生态环境保护的关系牢固树立保护生态环境就是保护生产力、改善生态环境就是发展生产力的理念更加自觉地推动绿色发展、循环发展、低碳发展决不能以牺牲环境为代价去换取一时的经济增长加快建设海洋生态文明就要坚持陆海统筹、区域联动践行节约资源和保护环境的基本国策”, 将海洋生态文明建设的理念和行动贯穿于海洋事业发展的全过程和各方面既满足人民日益增长的美好生活需要也为子孙后代留下碧海蓝天、绿水青山。 

IV. Conclusion  


Successive generations of Chinese leaders have attached great importance to maritime defense, maritime security and the development of maritime endeavors, and have formed distinctive maritime policies, maritime thinking and maritime strategies for each era based on the situation at the time. At the founding of the People’s Republic, in the face of the economic blockades and political pressures from the West, the armed provocations of the United States, and the clamor of the Kuomintang on Taiwan to counterattack the mainland, Mao Zedong laid down the strategy of “strengthening defense and consolidating maritime defense,” taking the coastal areas as the front line of maritime defense and the offshore areas as a natural barrier to protect national security, and with national survival and security as the overarching plan. Enormous changes in the international situation have taken place since the 1980s, and peace and development have become the themes of the times. The second generation of collective leadership implemented the policy of opening up to the outside, focusing on opening up coastal areas, going to the world by means of the seas, and promoting domestic economic construction by means of opening up to the seas. As the 21st century dawned, an unprecedented period of strategic opportunity for China’s development of maritime endeavors was ushered in. Xi Jinping, having correctly assessed the situation, put forward “building a maritime superpower” from a high strategic perspective, and made comprehensive arrangements to “accelerate construction of a maritime superpower,” launching a new journey of “relying on the seas to enrich the country, using the seas to strengthen the country, harmony between people and the seas, and win-win cooperation.”   

中国历代领导人都高度重视海防、海洋安全和海洋事业的发展根据时势形成了每个时代各具特色的海洋政策、海洋思想和海洋战略。建国之初面对西方的经济封锁和政治压力面对美国的武装挑衅和台湾国民党反攻大陆的叫嚣毛泽东以国家生存和安全为大计作出了加强防卫、巩固海防的战略部署把沿海地区作为海防前线把近海作为保卫国家安全的天然屏障。20世纪80年代以来国际形势发生了巨大的变化,和平与发展成为时代主题。第二代领导集体实行了对外开放的政策重点是开放沿海地区通过海洋走向世界通过开放海洋推动国内经济建设。进入21世纪中国发展海洋事业迎来了前所未有的战略机遇期。习近平审时度势从战略高度提出了建设海洋强国”, 并作出了加快建设海洋强国的全面部署开启了依海富国、以海强国、人海和谐、合作共赢的新征程。

The 19th Party Congress made a series of important political judgments such as that socialism with Chinese characteristics had entered a new era, clarifying the new historical position of China’s development. In the Report to the 19th National Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping noted the need to “adhere to land-sea coordination and accelerate construction of a maritime superpower.” “Constructing a maritime superpower” is an important component of the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, and is the essence of Xi Jinping’s maritime strategy, which has been developed on the basis of thinking on the seas by successive generations of collective leadership. Xi Jinping’s maritime strategy has laid out the grand blueprint for constructing a maritime superpower, outlined the “four beams and eight pillars” for constructing a maritime superpower, and specified the strategic key points for promoting the development of maritime endeavors. The Ocean Dream is an integral part of the Chinese Dream, and beautiful seas are an important element of a beautiful China. Accelerating the construction of a maritime superpower will surely promote China’s advance from a regional power to a global power, help China approach the center of the world stage and continue to make ever greater contributions to mankind, and thereby achieve the “Chinese Dream” of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. 

党的十九大作出中国特色社会主义进入了新时代等一系列重大政治论断明确了我国发展新的历史方位。习近平总书记在十九大报告中指出坚持陆海统筹加快建设海洋强国建设海洋强国是新时代中国特色社会主义的重要组成部分是在历代领导集体海洋思想基础上发展而来的习近平海洋战略思想的精华。习近平海洋战略思想描绘了建设海洋强国的宏伟蓝图勾画了建设海洋强国的四梁八柱”, 指明了推动海洋事业发展战略重点。海洋梦是中国梦的有机组成部分美丽海洋是美丽中国的重要内容。加快推进海洋强国建设必将促进中国从地区性大国向全球性大国迈进助力中国走近世界舞台的中央不断为人类做出更大贡献实现中华民族伟大复兴的中国梦 

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贾宇 (Jia Yu), 张小奕 (Zhang Xiaoyi). "The Maritime Strategy of Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping and Xi Jinping [毛泽东、邓小平和习近平的海洋战略思想初探]". CSIS Interpret: China, original work published in Journal of Boundary and Ocean Studies [边界与海洋研究], May 1, 2018

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