| Global Times | 2012-6-12 0:50:00
By Yan Shuang
The Chinese public demonstrated a dearth of knowledge of the country's maritime territory, despite having strong opinions of its offshore rights in a recent poll conducted by the publishing house China Ocean Press.
The survey, which was conducted in 18 Chinese cities in northern, northwestern and eastern China, shows growing awareness of the country's maritime rights, but a lack of basic knowledge of oceanography.
Over 60 percent of the surveyed want China to strengthen its sea power and some 63.5 percent opposed the idea that "it is not worth fighting for China's rights on small remote islands."
Only 10.7 percent of those surveyed know China governs a maritime territory of some 3 million square kilometers, and just 13 percent know China's coastline is 18,000 kilometers long, according to the publisher which is under the State Oceanic Administration.
Most of those surveyed held a good impression of China's picturesque coastline, but 14 percent of respondents in coastal areas harbor anxiety over ocean-related disasters, a much higher rate than people from inland areas.
Most of the respondents do not think sea pollution is serious in China, but more than half of them agree that better supervision is urgently needed.
People from inland areas had greater maritime awareness than people living along the coast, with Chongqing Municipality, Panzhihua in Sichuan Province, Shenzhen of Guangdong Province topping the list of those with the greatest awareness.
Residents in Guangzhou have better oceanic knowledge than other areas on the development of coastal islands, maritime resource, environment, economy and disasters, the survey revealed, while respondents in Beijing were below the national average in knowledge of maritime issues.
Media reports of maritime spats between China and other countries is part of the reason for the growing awareness of maritime rights, Jin Yongxing, vice president of Shanghai Maritime University, told the Global Times.
"But China still trails behind in spreading general maritime knowledge. Japan and South Korea, for example, do a better job than China by stressing the importance of the ocean in elementary schools," said Jin.
By leaving a comment, you agree to abide by all terms and conditions (See the Comment section).