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Draft policy paper sets new course for a maritime Taiwan engaged with the sea

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Premier Su Tseng-chang on Thursday said that the Legislature's passage of the Ocean Basic Act last November 1 along with the Ocean Affairs Council's (OAC) upcoming issuance of the draft National Ocean Policy White Paper demonstrate the government's ambition to steer the country toward sea-oriented ventures and realize Taiwan's future as a sustainable maritime nation that is secure, prosperous and ecologically sound.

The premier's remarks came after an OAC briefing on the draft white paper at the weekly meeting of the Cabinet.

As an island nation with abundant ocean resources, diverse ecosystems and nearly 2,000 kilometers of coastline, Taiwan is well positioned to make use of the sea, the premier said. The government is now preparing to introduce a new "salute to the seas" policy guided by the principles of openness, transparency, service, education and responsibility. The policy will encourage the public's embrace of the ocean, expand people's visions and perspectives, and ensure that every trip to the shoreline is a memorable experience.

Taiwan must explore from both systematic and policy perspectives how best to draw benefit from the ocean, Premier Su emphasized. Rather than seeking only to regulate and restrict as in the past, the government should tailor laws and regulations, adopt appropriate measures, and build suitable infrastructure.

Environments peripheral to the sea will be put in order and every inch of coastline managed by custodians capable of timely upkeep. Other efforts will include establishing a one-stop information service platform and setting out procedures for awards and incentives to lead the public and provide children with encouragement and education on a future engaged with the sea, thereby ensuring the sustainable development of the ocean.

After the white paper is published, ministries and agencies should review, revise and implement their governing policies and administrative measures in accordance with the Ocean Basic Act and the contents of the white paper. Agencies should use forward-thinking and innovative approaches to open a new chapter in Taiwan's maritime affairs and unlock Taiwan's limitless potential on the sea.

The white paper on ocean policy sets out a vision of creating a sustainable maritime nation that is secure, prosperous and ecologically sound. The paper describes six policy objectives to serve as the blueprint for the government's maritime policy:
1. Develop strategic regional thinking, defend Taiwan's maritime sovereignty.
2. Enforce maritime law, promote cooperation on regional security.
3. Ensure the ocean's ecological health, improve the quality of the marine environment.
4. Establish industrial development goals, encourage upgrading of "blue industries."
5. Create a culture of appreciation for the ocean, cultivate thinking as a maritime nation.
6. Encourage scientific development, strengthen academic research capabilities.

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