Maritime Piracy and Security
Policy Conference in Beijing / China, May 12, 2014
On 12 May, 2014, the EU-Asia Dialogue and the Center for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea at the Institute of International Law of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences organized a policy conference of the cluster Maritime Security and Piracy in Beijing / People’s Republic of China. The conference “Euro-Asian Cooperation on Combating Transnational Organized Crimes by Sea” was attended by 55 participants. Participants came from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Chinese Ministry of Defence, ReCAAP, European Commission DG MARE, Delegation of the EU to China, National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom, Council of Europe, UNODC, Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency, Chinese Coast Guards, Dutch Coast Guards, Chinese People’s Liberation Army and research institutes in Belgium, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Singapore, South Korea as well as Spain.
The Chinese key note speakers made clear that the country wants to improve cooperation and that this should move ahead despite current territorial questions. This includes cooperation with its neighbours on search and rescue, piracy, law enforcement, disaster management, but also sharing of policy innovations as well as experiences with the European Union. Such cooperation requires a comprehensive framework with mechanisms and facilitated dialogue as well as time to build up confidence and enhance understanding for the other side. The first session concentrated on piracy. ReCAAP provided an update on the current situation in the area of its mandate which showed changing trends with regard to the nature of attacks and an increased frequency. The new Maritime Security Strategy was presented by the European Commission and it became obvious that this document can have a significantly positive impact on the cooperation with Asia. Further topics discussed included arms trafficking where North Korea has to potential to destabilize the region and drug smuggling. In this context the possibilities for improved controls of seaports and container ships were also of interest. The final session focused on smuggling of migrants and human trafficking by Sea.