Beijing: Amid escalating territorial disputes with its maritime neighbours, China on Friday put forward a framework plan on the South China Sea and its surrounding waters mainly to address the environmental and ecological concerns.
China`s State Oceanic Administration has published a cooperation framework plan on the South China Sea and its surrounding waters on fifth Oceans Day and the fourth World Oceans Day, state television said.
A new cooperation framework was announced to mark Oceans Day in China and the world. `Oceans and Sustainable development` is the theme.
China claims jurisdiction over two-thirds of the South China Sea and the move is aimed at promoting cooperation in the region, the report said.
Chen Lianzeng, Deputy Director General of State Oceanic Administration, said, "The cooperation is mainly in the area of the South China Sea and the Indian and Pacific oceans.
"Cooperation partners would be the relevant countries in this area, and also intergovernmental or non-governmental international organisations".
Chen says climate change in the South China Sea area has drawn increasing concern regionally, as well as globally.
What`s more, marine disasters pose great challenges to the countries surrounded by the South China Sea.
Therefore, the emphasis of the cooperation framework lies in oceanic and climate change, marine environmental protection, marine ecosystems and biological diversity, disaster prevention, study of regional oceanography and marine policy and management, according to the framework plan.
"To realise sustainable development, we will carry out significant and influential programs after the plan is brought into force," Chen said.
The plan was announced in the backdrop of escalating disputes over disputed islands with Philippines and Vietnam.
Other countries which question China`s claim in the region include Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan.