Shandong speeds up construction of strong maritime province

(| Updated : 2019-07-17

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Shandong is making every effort to accelerate its development as a strong maritime province -- in line with the central government's goal -- along a dynamic path for the province to achieve high-quality development and be at the forefront of the country.

Shandong boasts 3,345 kilometers of coastline, accounting for one-sixth of the country's total, and has an offshore area of 160,000 sq km.

Moreover, Shandong is one of two provinces in China with large areas of rocky foundations and beach coasts. It also has abundant marine resources.

Local officials say Shandong has already attracted nearly half of the country's marine science and technology personnel and one-third of the country's marine academicians.

The Ocean University of China, considered the top institution in the marine and aquatic fields, is located in Shandong.

The province has 32 key marine laboratories at the provincial and ministerial level, which have undertaken nearly half the key maritime projects that were started during the 10th Five-Year Plan period (2001-2005).

There are 42 research institutes at or above the provincial level, the only national laboratory for marine science and technology, as well as national deep-sea bases, large-scale integrated marine scientific research vessels and other heavyweight national innovation platforms.

Officials said that since 2014, maritime tourism, the fishing tackle sector, yachts, sports and other industries in Shandong province have been organically integrated into new business models. These flourishing new marine industries have provided new kinetic energy for the region's economic development.

At present, the output value of marine industry accounts for some 20 percent of the province's total GDP.

Shandong is currently the only province in China that has three big ports with a throughput of over 400 million tons. It has advantages such as long coastline, good port resources and excellent geographical location that faces Japan, South Korea and northeast Asia.

Since Shandong implemented ten action plans for the construction of a strong maritime province, the total value of marine production has increased from less than 20 billion yuan ($2.9 billion) annually in 1991 to 1.55 trillion yuan, accounting for 20.27 percent of the country's total.

Meanwhile, it has made efforts to develop itself into a demonstration province for medical and elderly care services.

Specifically, it has promoted the construction of Jinan International Medical Science Center and the National Healthcare Big Data Northern Center. The building of the University of Rehabilitation Studies in Qingdao has been approved, and Qingdao has been chosen as the permanent site for the Global Health Forum of the Boao Forum for Asia.

The Qingdao Jiaozhou Bay Bridge has a total length of 36.48 km and a daily average traffic volume of 35,000 vehicles. Blue Whale 1, the ultra-deep-water semisubmersible drilling rig built by China Yantai CIMC Raffles Offshore, has conducted successful tests on exploiting combustible ice from the seabed.

Officials said that Shandong is now stepping up its pace on the road to building a strong maritime province.

In May 2018, Shandong provincial Party committee and the provincial government issued an action plan for Shandong to continue its evolution along that path.

According to the plan, by 2022 Shandong's marine science and technological innovation capability should be significantly improved. In addition, the plan projects that the proportion of marine research and experimental development funds to the total value of marine production should increase to more than 3.1 percent.

The expectation is that old and new drivers behind the marine economy should continue to be swapped over. The plan envisages that the added value of  strategic emerging marine industries should achieve annual increases of over 20 percent.

The total value of marine production should grow by more than 9 percent annually, accounting for about 23 percent of the regional GDP. Another aim is that the proportion of excellent water quality in offshore coastal waters should reach about 90 percent.

By 2028, the province's total marine production is targeted to exceed 3.87 trillion yuan annually, accounting for about 26 percent of the regional GDP. Shandong will aim realize its strategic transformation as a key maritime province featuring marine innovation advantages, an active market economy, a good marine ecology and improved core competitiveness.

Finally, the plan projects that by 2035, Shandong will grow into a strong maritime province with a developed marine economy, leading marine technology, excellent marine ecology, advanced marine culture and efficient marine governance -- all in line with the national strategy of building China into a great maritime power.


Containers carrying goods for export are seen in Qingdao Port, East China's Shandong province, on Oct 19, 2018. [Photo/VCG] 


A production base of CIMC Raffles, a maritime engineering equipment supplier in Shandong's high-end maritime manufacturing industry. [Photo provided to China Daily] 


Qingdao is a major development center and the home port for China's most advanced deepsea submersible, Jiaolong, which can dive 7,000 meters below the surface of the sea.  [Photo provided to China Daily] 


A view of Rizhao port in Shandong. [Photo provided to China Daily]