China Introduces Stringent Measures To Control Foreign Vessels
In an attempt to regulate foreign vessels, on Sunday, China declared new maritime norms warranting vessels transporting bulk oil, radioactive materials, chemicals, and other supplies to share a detailed report of cargos on their arrival into China’s waters.
The new regulations may add to tension if China enforces them in the South China Sea and Taiwan straits where the US (as well as its allies) conducts naval expeditions, challenging Beijing’s assertion regarding freedom of navigation.
Beijing claims that nearly all of the 1.3 million square-mile long South China Sea to be its sovereign territory. For a while, China has been building its military bases on the region’s artificial islands. This has been claimed by Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, and Taiwan.
Per a notice issued by China’s maritime safety authorities, operators of nuclear vessels, submersibles, and ships transporting radioactive materials and bulk oil, liquefied gas, chemicals, and other harmful substances have to share detailed information when they are on China’s territorial waters.
Besides these types of vessels, ships that could endanger China’s maritime traffic safety prescribed by laws should also follow the new regulation, which will be effective from 1 September 2021.
The vessels must report the call sign, name, current position, the next port of call, and the ETA. The names of cargo deadweight and ship-borne dangerous goods are required in the same report.
Chinese experts consider the introduction of maritime regulations to be a sign of enhanced efforts to safeguard the country’s security at the sea by deploying more stringent rules. These will help boost maritime identification capabilities.
The mention of submersible refers to spy devices discovered by several Chinese fishermen along China’s coastline.
The tension between the US and China over Taiwan and the South China Sea coupled with the growing discord over the origin of Covid-19, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Tibet has remained high after Joe Biden has taken over as the new president of the US in January 2021.
China’s Defense Ministry has termed the passing of two US naval ships via the Taiwan Strait to be provocative. Since Biden became the new president of the US, this is the eighth time the US naval ships have passed via the channel.