New Chinese Law Requires Foreign Vessels to Report to Maritime Authorities When Entering Waters

Asia & Pacific

China has long struggled to exert control over the large parts of the South China Sea it claims, including by erecting floating radar stations and dredging the seafloor to expand the waterway’s tiny islands. However, so have several other nations, many of which claim the same islands and waters.

Foreign vessels entering Chinese territorial waters will be required to report their ship and cargo information to the country’s maritime authorities if they’re carrying hazardous cargo or pose a threat to maritime traffic safety beginning on September 1.

According to the South China Morning Post, which viewed the agency’s recent notice on the changes, affected vessels include ships carrying radioactive material, bulk oil, chemical, liquefied natural gas and other toxic and harmful substances, as well as to all submersibles, nuclear-powered vessels, or vessels “considered a threat to the country’s maritime traffic safety.”

A separate provision that also enters force on Wednesday requires captains to implement “emergency response measures” if a crew member or passenger on their vessel is found or suspected of having an infectious disease that could pose a serious threat to the health of others. The law requires them to be put under quarantine and for the situation to be reported to maritime authorities, according to Xinhua News Agency.

Kang Lin, a deputy director of China’s National Institute…

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