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Rising waves of sea disputes

[ 2011-09-29 10:48]     字号 [] [] []  
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Authorities are addressing a significant increase in maritime disputes that have taken place along with the country's thriving shipping economy, a senior judge said.

Liu Guixiang, president of the No 4 Civil Court under the Supreme People's Court, said that in the first half this year courts at all levels received about 3,896 cases of first instance, a year-on-year increase of 28 percent.

Apart from economic development, Liu said other factors such as the financial crisis and China's policy changes also contributed to the growth of conflicts, as well as disputes over freight contracts and collisions.

"Overseas companies whose performances have declined since the financial crisis were sued because they failed to carry out their commitment in the contract," he said.

And some small domestic businesses who had only recently been allowed to deal directly with foreign companies lacked experience and legal knowledge of international trade, he said.

Recent years have also witnessed an increase of applications to establish a marine compensation fund, disputes over marine engineering projects and sailor's back pay.

Liu said labor conflicts started to grow after the country's Labor Contract Law was enacted in 2008, when the awareness of labor rights increased among sailors.

China's courts have received 780 cases of labor contract disputes in the first six months, taking up almost a quarter of the total marine cases.

Liu admitted judges are facing challenges since solving oceanic conflicts requires more professional knowledge than other judicial cases.

At least 20 judges in the country are selected to acquire personal experience about marine affairs for one to three months each year.


1. How many cases were received in the first half of this year?

2. What was the year-on-year increase?

3. How many judges in the country are selected to gain marine experience?


1. 3,896.

2. 28 percent.

3. 20.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Rising waves of sea disputes

About the broadcaster:

Rising waves of sea disputes

Lee Hannon is Chief Editor at China Daily with 15-years experience in print and broadcast journalism. Born in England, Lee has traveled extensively around the world as a journalist including four years as a senior editor in Los Angeles. He now lives in Beijing and is happy to move to China and join the China Daily team.