China has issued new maritime rules and have asked vessels carrying radioactive materials, bulk oil, chemicals and a host of other supplies to report the details of the cargos upon their entry into Chinese waters. These new rules are aimed to regulate foreign ships, according to a report by PTI. These changes will take effect from September 1, the state-run Global Times quoted the notice from Maritime Safety Administration.
The new rules would escalate tensions if China strictly enforces them in disputed South China Sea and the Taiwan straits. The US and its allies have been conducting naval expeditions, challenging Beijing’s claims to assert the freedom of navigation.
China claims almost all of the 1.3 million square-mile South China Sea as its sovereign territory. China has been building military bases on artificial islands in the region also claimed by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
The notice was issued from China's maritime safety authorities over the weekend. Now, operators of submersibles, nuclear vessels, ships carrying radioactive materials and ships carrying bulk oil, chemicals, liquefied gas and other toxic and harmful substances are required to report their detailed information upon their visits to Chinese territorial waters.
In addition to these types of vessels, vessels that may endanger the maritime traffic safety of China prescribed by laws should also follow the new regulation.
Those vessels should report the name, call sign, current position and next port of call and estimated time of arrival. The name of shipborne dangerous goods and cargo deadweight are also required in the report, the report said.
Chinese experts told the Global Times they view the rollout of such maritime regulations as a sign of stepped-up efforts to safeguard China's national security at sea by implementing strict rules to boost maritime identification capability.
The reference to submersible reportedly refers to spy devices unmanned spy devices found by the Chinese fishermen in China’s coastline.
On Friday, the Chinese Defence Ministry termed as “provocative” the crossing of two US naval ships through the Taiwan Strait, in what the US Pacific Fleet described as a routine operation.
This was the eighth time the US naval ships passed through the channel after Biden became the president.