A port in the Tanzanian town of Bagamoyo is a joint Sino-Tanzanian business project and any attempt to hype up its military purpose is meaningless, Yang Yujun, spokesman of the Ministry of National Defense, said Thursday during a press conference.
His remarks were in response to media reports on a $10 billion joint development agreement to be signed by China and Tanzania, as well as China's reported intention of making the port serve both military and civilian purposes.
"The project serves the shared interests of both peoples and is conducive to regional prosperity and development," Yang said.
The national defense ministry spokesman also noted Thursday that the Chinese military will beef up cooperation with the country's maritime law enforcement forces under the new State Oceanic Administration (SOA) in a move to better protect China's maritime rights and interests.
The military has established coordination mechanisms with marine surveillance departments, fishery administration departments and coast guard forces, Yang said.
The two parties have effectively cooperated in protecting maritime interests, said the spokesman.
Administered by the Ministry of Land and Resources, the SOA has integrated the functions of China Marine Surveillance, the coast guard forces of the Ministry of Public Security, the fisheries law enforcement command under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture and the maritime anti-smuggling police under the General Administration of Customs.