“The power of the China Coast Guard is limited, but the power of the people is infinite,” said Chen Jiang, the president of Hainan Province Association for Development of Maritime Industry in the South China Sea at the body's inauguration ceremony on June 8, 2018, in Haikou, located on China’s southeastern tip overlooking the South China Sea.

With the aim of accomplishing Chinese President Xi Jinping’s goal of making the country a “strong maritime power,” the association was established with the approval of the central government. The Chinese Communist Party’s Hainan Provincial Committee and the provincial government founded it, calling on entrepreneurs and other people concerned to support organizing the fisheries industry and develop the maritime economy.

“The association will act in line with the government’s industrial programs. We will actively work to protect our rights and interests in the South China Sea,” Chen, also a member of the province’s political consultative conference, said at the ceremony. “In that way, we will change the South China Sea to become the sea of peace.”