This paper aims to unearth the ways in which the Chinese government applies policies to govern the marine environment effectively. Co-word analysis, word frequency analysis and multi-dimensional scaling (MDS) were chosen to analyze the evolution of marine environmental policy. This paper focuses on the marine environmental governance policy of China since 1982, takes the five-year plan for marine economic development as the node, divides these policies into five stages: The germination period, the 10th Five-Year Plan period, the 11th Five-Year Plan period, the 12th Five-Year Plan period and the 13th Five-Year Plan period. The evolution characteristics of China’s marine environmental governance policy are analyzed accordingly and include the diversification of participants, changes from ex-post control to ex-ante control, diversification of policy tools, and expansion of governance scope. Finally, we elucidate the challenges regarding the formulation and implementation of China’s marine environmental governance policies in the future.
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