BEIJING, December 2, 2021 / PRNewswire / – The ships churned the water as they picked up speed, and under the bright sun the white hulls glowed as if they were burnished silver. The formation of Chinese Coast Guard ships and Vietnamese Coast Guard fleets sailed together and the crew lined up to greet each other.
The scene above was from a three-day joint cruise conducted by China and Vietnam in the Gulf of Beibu, held April 26 to 28, 2021. During the cruise, the Chinese and Vietnamese Coast Guard observed and recorded the fishing activities of both countries and helped the fishermen to acquire legal knowledge. Their efforts were aimed at safeguarding the regional order of marine production and strengthening bilateral law enforcement cooperation.
This was the twenty-first joint cruise conducted by China and Vietnam in the Beibu Gulf since 2006. Over the past 15 years, China and Vietnam have achieved considerable positive results through joint inspections of common fishing areas in the Gulf, mutual vessel visits, and exchange and communication programs for junior officers. The two countries have worked together on a variety of issues, including the establishment of law enforcement teams, bilateral maritime search and rescue cooperation, maritime counterterrorism cooperation and joint combats against crimes related to the drugs across borders.
The joint cruise was also a good opportunity for the young coastguards of the two countries to meet. “We sent crews on mutual ship tours and shared professional experiences. The atmosphere was very friendly and we found that we had a common concern to improve sea rescue capabilities,” said Zou Ning, a Chinese vice-captain on the joint cruise in 2017.
It is undoubtedly true that when it comes to managing the vast ocean, the Coast Guard’s maritime rescue capability is critically important to protecting the safety of people and national interests and joint cruises between China and Vietnam helped both sides achieve this goal. In june 2016, when a military plane and a coastguard plane from Vietnam crashed in the waters of the Beibu Gulf, the Chinese Coast Guard immediately dispatched seven ships to carry out the rescue mission.
The Gulf of Beibu was not peaceful in the past. Local pirates had severely disrupted the daily production and livelihoods of Chinese and Vietnamese fishermen. In recent years, as standardized Chinese Coast Guard cruise missions have been conducted in key areas, pirate activity has declined and gradually disappeared. Fishing boats from both countries can be seen from time to time along the route of the joint cruises. As the coast guard ships approached them, the fishermen waved to them.
Going forward, the Chinese and Vietnamese coast guards will continue to strengthen maritime law enforcement exchanges and cooperation and jointly maintain security and stability in the Beibu Gulf.
SOURCE China Ocean Development Foundation