Remarks by Ambassador Tian Qi Head of the Chinese Delegation and Permanent Representative to the International Seabed Authority At the Thematic Side Event Hosted by China Ocean Mineral Resources Research and Development Association (COMRA)


Madam President, Honourable Minister Ms. Johnson-Smith, 

His Excellency, Mr. Michael Lodge, Secretary-General and staff of the International Seabed Authority, 

Representatives of international organizations, 

Distinguished delegates, 

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon!

It is a great pleasure for me to attend this side event organized by COMRA. This year marks not the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, and the silver jubilee of the International Seabed Authority. We are very satisfied to witness the rapid development of international seabed affairs over the past 25 years, especially with the prospects of deep-sea mining on the horizon. In the past two years, in particular, under the leadership and coordination of Mr. Michael Lodge, the Secretary-General, and with the joint efforts of all parties, the Authority has achieved fruitful results in its various endeavors.

The people of all countries are connected by the ocean as a community of shared future. China advocates building a marine community of shared future, which is fully in line with the principle that"the international seabed area and its resources belong to the common heritage of mankind". Over the years, China has actively participated in international seabed affairs and contributed US$250,000 to the various funds and projects of the Authority to support the participation in meetings by developing countries. China will continue its deep engagement and contribute to international seabed affairs and support for other developing countries in participating in international seabed affairs jointly promoting the steady development of the international seabed undertaking.

The exploration contractors under the sponsorship of the Chinese Government have strictly fulfilled their contractual obligations and actively participated in ISA's work with respect to protection of the deep-sea environment and improvement of capacity building of fellow developing countries. In May 2018, the Chinese contractor COMRA and ISA cohosted the International Workshop on the Development of a REMP for the Northwest Pacific Ocean in Qingdao, China. The outcomes of the workshop form a valuable basis for the development of a regional environmental management plan in the related seabed area. Since 1998, COMRA and China Minmetals Corp. have provided training opportunities to more than 30 experts from developing countries to enhanced their capacity building. This coming Friday, the Assembly will consider a memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Natural Resources of China and the Authority on the establishment of a joint training and research centre. The core objective of the centre is to provide developing countries with a new training and research platform for deep-sea activities. It is my belief that the centre will better promote the participation of developing countries in international seabed affairs.

The Council, which ended its session last week, approved the application of Beijing Pioneer High-Tech Development Corporation for an area for polymetallic nodule exploration. The application contributes a reserve area of about 74,000 square kilometres to the Authority. I thank the Council and the LTC for their confidence and support. I'd like to assure you that Chinese Government will fulfill its sponsoring responsibility and Beijing Pioneer will also fulfill its contractual obligations for exploration and contribute its share to the cause of international seabed affairs.

Ladies and gentlemen, friends,

China is ready to work with all parties, in keeping with the spirit and principle of extensive construction and joint contribution for shared benefits, in a concerted effort to promote a scientifically sound balance between deep-sea mineral resources exploitation and deep-sea environmental protection, advance the implementation of the principle of"the common heritage of mankind" and advance the building of a marine community of shared future so as to make greater contributions to the common interests and well-being of humankind. I wish the side event success and ISA's 25th anniversary celebrations a great success!

Thank you.

(From Permanent Mission of PRC to International Seabed Authority) 2019/07/30