BEIJING, March 12 (Xinhua) -- China has extended its maritime jurisdiction to cover all seas under its jurisdiction in an effort to resolutely safeguard the country's maritime rights and interests, said a work report of the Supreme People's Court (SPC) on Sunday.
This was achieved by the issuance of a regulation on judicial interpretation, said the report, to be delivered by Chief Justice Zhou Qiang to the fifth session of the 12th National People's Congress, noting that the regulation contributed to China's strategy of becoming a major maritime power.
According to the regulation in effect since last August, jurisdictional seas not only include inland waters and territorial seas, but also cover regions including contiguous zones, exclusive economic zones, continental shelves, and other sea areas under China's jurisdiction.
Chinese citizens or foreigners will be pursued for criminal liability if they engage in illegal hunting or fishing, or killing endangered wildlife in China's jurisdictional seas.
Zhou's report also said China's courts tried and concluded 6,899 cases involving foreign businesses, and more than 16,000 maritime cases in 2016.
The SPC stepped up guidance to maritime courts to improve their capacity and promoted international maritime law studies, in a bid to turn China into an international maritime judicial center.
In 2017, China's courts will step up trials of foreign-related business and maritime cases to serve the Belt and Road Initiative and the strategy of building China into a major maritime power, said the report.