Rise in China's sea level threatens economic interests

The sea level around China has witnessed an average 2.9 mm annual rise from 1980 to 2012, leading to more marine disasters and the country nearly 2.5 billion USD in economic interests, the government said today.

According to a report released by the State Oceanic Administration (SOA), sea levels along the coast in 2012 rose 53 mm year on year, a peak level since 1980.

"The East China Sea saw the biggest year-on-year increase of 66 mm last year. The increase in levels have posed threats to islets at lower sea levels which are likely to be submerged once sea water rises," said SOA official Wang Feng, adding that the country's maritime rights and interests are under threat.

The rising sea level has also aggravated damage caused by marine disasters, including storm surge, salt tide and coastal erosion, state-run Xinhua news agency quoted SOA as saying.

The direct economic losses caused by marine disasters in 2012 amounted to 15.525 billion yuan (USD 2.49 billion).

The disasters led to 68 casualties, said the SOA. The gross ocean production totalled around 5 trillion yuan in 2012, an increase of 7.9 per cent year on year, accounting for 9.6 per cent of the gross domestic product in 2012.

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