Crew members stand on the deck of the vessel “Haixun 01” of China’s Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) at Bo Aung Kyaw Jetty in Yangon. (Photo by Ye Aung Thu/AFP via Getty Images)
UPDATED 6:12 PM PT – Tuesday, August 31, 2021
Mainland China has attempted to tighten control over the disputed water in the South China Sea with new requirements for foreign ships. In a recent statement, officials in Beijing said international vessels must notify China’s Maritime Safety Administration when passing through the disputed region.
China added such ships must declare their name, position and call sign along with reporting any dangerous cargo they must carry. The move was deemed questionable by international law as the Philippines and Vietnam have territorial claims in the South China Sea.
China has also ramped up military presence in the disputed region.
“Now, the Air Force conducts patrols in the East China Sea and the South China Sea. It carries out missions in the West Pacific and conducts island patrols,” stated Shen Jinke, Spokemans for the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s Air Force. “…The officers and soldiers of the PLA Air Force will firmly safeguard China’s air security and national development interests.”
China’s new maritime regulations go into effect on September 1, but it remains unclear if international shippers would observe those rules.