China’s Vice Minister stresses the importance of shared responsibilities in meetings with shipping associations

Senior representatives of the member associations of the Round Table of international shipping associations, including INTERTANKO MD Peter Swift, met China’s Vice Minister of Communications Xu Zuyuan and other officials in Beijing on 28 July.  

The RT summarised many of the key issues facing shipowners, including the importance of maintaining and supporting international governance structures across the industry, with uniformity in legislation, administration and class procedures and port state control measures. The RT also emphasised the need for balance between effective regulation and self-regulation, and highlighted the increasing role for the Asian voice in the international maritime arenas. The RT representatives also covered inter alia specific issues related to recycling, future manning shortages, lifeboat safety, air emissions, the unfair treatment of seafarers and others, and the criminalisation of accidental pollution. 

In acknowledging a common interest in all of these topics, the Vice Minister stressed in particular China’s commitment to safe navigation, to the protection of the environment and to the rights of seafarers, and also underlined its support for international systems – principally through the IMO.  

He also highlighted the joint responsibility of governments and industry to ensure a common dialogue involving all stakeholders, and the joint efforts that would be needed to find and implement solutions on an international basis for the principal challenges facing the shipping industry. Using the following as examples, he spoke of the cooperation needed to address future manning and training requirements; China’s commitment to “occupational health and safety” in China’s recycling facilities; the importance of ensuring more support to ship’s staff; and the need for further dialogue on the technical, availability and economic issues associated with cleaner fuels for ships. He said the Ministry appreciated its strong relationship with the Round Table associations and looked forward to a continuation of these constructive interchanges. 

Contact: Peter Swift