China to set up an “International maritime judicial centre”
(28 April 2016)
Zhou Qiang, the chief justice of the People’s Republic of China’s Supreme People’s Court announced Sunday 10th March that China will set up an “international maritime judicial centre” to protect the country’s maritime rights and sovereignty claims.
Zhou highlighted the already robust nature of China’s existing maritime courts: China has the largest number of maritime courts in the world, and has heard more maritime cases than any other country last year – around 16,000.
Zhou also spoke of the country’s “important strategies” to become a “maritime power.” As part of those efforts, he said, China’s courts will “serve and safeguard the implementation of national strategies such as the ‘Belt and Road’ and [making China] a maritime power and resolutely defend national sovereignty, maritime rights, and other core interests.”
According to Zhou, all cases involving the East or South China Seas that are heard by the future international maritime judicial centre will be used to prove Chinese jurisdiction and control over those regions.