Maritime law enforcement agencies in China

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China operated several separate maritime law enforcement agencies. These services operated ships as well as their own small aviation units to assist their maritime patrol capabilities. These agencies were often referred to as the "Five Dragons".[1]In March 2013, China announced it would form a unified Coast Guard commanded by the State Oceanic Administration.[2]


Coast Guard[edit]

Emblem of the China Coast Guard

The China Coast Guard (CCG; simplified Chinese: 中国海警) serves as a coordinating agency for maritime search and rescue and law enforcement in the territorial waters of the People's Republic of China. The China Coast Guard was formerly the maritime branch of the Public Security Border Troops, a paramilitary police force under the leadership of the Ministry of Public Security (MPS). It is staffed by People’s Armed Police personnel and, as of 2009, consists of twenty regimental-level flotillas.[3]

CCG ships are named "Haijing-XX", where XX is a number.[4]

Maritime Safety Administration[edit]

The China Maritime Safety Administration (China MSA, Chinese: 中国海事局) was a government agency which coordinates maritime search and rescue in the territorial waters of the PRC. The CMSA is part of the Ministry of Transport.

MSA ships were named "Haixun-XX" or "Haibiao-XX", where XX is a number.[4]

Marine Surveillance[edit]

The China Marine Surveillance (CMS; Chinese: 中国海监) was created on 19 October 1998 as a paramilitary maritime law enforcement agency under the auspices of China's State Oceanic Administration. It was responsible for law enforcement within China's territorial waters, exclusive economic zones (EEZ), and shores. It was also charged with protecting the maritime environment, natural resources, navigation aids and other facilities, and carried out maritime surveys. In emergencies, it also engaged in search and rescue missions.[5]

According to a 2008 report in China Daily, CMS operated nine aircraft and more than 200 patrol vessels. CMS ships were named "Haijian-XX", where XX is a number.[4]

Fisheries Law Enforcement Command[edit]

The China Fisheries Law Enforcement Command (FLEC; Chinese: 中国渔政) was an organ of the Fisheries Management Bureau under the Ministry of Agriculture. It was responsible for the enforcement of laws concerning fishing and maritime resources in Chinese territorial waters and exclusive economic zones (EEZ). It was charged with protecting Chinese fishing vessels and personnel, resolving disputes in fishing activities, preventing illegal fishing, and protecting maritime resources.[6]

FLEC cutters were named "Yuzheng-XX", where XX is a number.[4]


The PRC's General Administration of Customs (Chinese: 中国海关) operated a maritime anti-smuggling force. Its ships were named "Haiguan-XX", where XX is a number.[4]


  1. ^ "Need for unified coast guard". Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  2. ^ - Articles - Nation merging maritime patrol forces
  3. ^ "China Coast Guard". Retrieved 22 August 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Feng (21 August 2010). "A more indepth look at Chinese maritime law enforcement". Information Dissemination. Retrieved 22 August 2010. 
  5. ^ "China Marine Surveillance (CMS)". Retrieved 22 August 2010. 
  6. ^ "China Fisheries Law Enforcement Command (FLEC)". Retrieved 22 August 2010.