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CMS - China Marine Surveillance

China Marine Surveillance is a maritime supervisory authority under the Ministry of Public Security. China has an ongoing territorial feud with Japan in the East China Sea and with Vietnam and the Philippines in the South China Sea, making surveillance of disputed maritime areas a priority. There has been speculation about possible reforms at the SOA, including plans to establish a unified command of the country's maritime security forces, a matter which was not addressed in the report due to sensitive security issues. Painted white with the English words, “China Marine Surveillance” emblazoned in tall blue letters across the sides of their hulls, CMS ships are named “Haijian-XX”, where XX is a number.

In early 2013 Captain James Fanell, a senior US naval intelligence officer, told a San Diego conference: "China Marine Surveillance cutters have no other mission but to harass other nations into submitting to China`s expansive claims." China Marine Surveillance, he concluded, " is a full-time maritime sovereignty harassment organisation."

The China Marine Surveillance (CMS) was created on 19 October 1998 as a paramilitary maritime law enforcement agency under the auspices of the PRC’s State Oceanic Administration (SOA). The State Oceanic Administration (SOA) is an administrative agency under the Ministry of Land and Resources for the supervision and management of sea area uses and marine environmental protection, safeguarding national maritime rights and interests according to laws and regulations, and organizing and carrying out marine scientific and technical research.

In October 2008, CMS Deputy Director Sun Shuxian declared that, “The [CMS] force will be upgraded to a reserve unit under the navy, a move which will make it better armed during patrols … the current defensive strength of CMS is inadequate”. CMS was one of the five Chinese agencies with law enforcement responsibilities along the coast. The others were the Coast Guard (aka Maritime Police in Chinese), a military force that patrols the coasts which is under the control of PAP. The Maritime Safety Administration handled search and rescue, the Fisheries Law Enforcement Command polices fishing grounds, and the Customs Service counters smuggling.

For a long time, China's maritime law enforcement forces were scattered among State Oceanic Administration of China Marine Surveillance, Ministry of Public Security of the border maritime police, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, Fishery, General Administration of Customs anti-smuggling police force and other law enforcement functions. The law enforcement process encountered violations within the purview of non-right treatment, the impact of law enforcement effectiveness. Each team is self-built wharf, ships, communications and security systems, resulting in duplication and waste of resources. And few teams repeat certification, repeat the inspection, high cost, low efficiency, increasing the burden on enterprises and the masses. Maritime law enforcement forces dispersed over the years had been trying to solve the problem but did not solve the old problem, the community attention.

“Haijing” of the Ministry of Public Security, “ Haijian” of the State Oceanic Administration of the Ministry of Land and Resources, “ Yuzheng” of the Bureau of Fisheries at the Ministry of Agriculture and “Haixun” of the Maritime Safety Administration of the Ministry of Transport and the maritime anti-smuggling force of the General Administration of Customs, all of which were under the State Council, had been conducting surveillance and other activities.

The CMS is responsible for law enforcement within the PRC’s territorial waters, exclusive economic zones (EEZ), and shores. China's Marine Surveillance ships represent an administrative law enforcement team under the organization's jurisdiction and that they carry out law enforcement and safeguarded China's due rights through administrative means, as well as abided by relevant international and domestic laws.

The State Council, China's cabinet, unveiled a 1.6-billion-yuan (245.9 million U.S. dollars) plan in 1999 to increase its fleet of 1,000-ton-plus sea patrol ships by 13 and add five patrol helicopters to patrol the nation's waters. The 13 new vessels were divided into three kinds: 1,000 tons, 1,500 tons and 3,000 tons, and successively launched into service, namely the East China Sea maritime surveillance 50,51, 46 and 66, the South China Sea 83, 84, 74 and 75, and the North Sea, 11, 15, 22, 23 and 26.

Chinese Maritime Surveillance (CMS) planned to commission 36 new cutters from 2010 to 2012 including seven 1500 ton class, fifteen 1000 ton class and fourteen 600 ton class "to better protect China's maritime interests". In October 2010, it is reported that China has formulated plans to build 30 law enforcement ships within the next five years in order to improve its law enforcement capacity to protect Chinese maritime interests. In the 2010s , China Marine Surveillance Corps developed a massive development plan through 2013, to receive 36 new vessels: fourteen 600 ton, fifteen 1,000-ton, and seven 1,500-ton. The department also prepared to receive 54 new boats. As of the end of 2005, the CMS was equipped with 91 patrol vessels and 4 aircraft. As of 2012 the agency had more than 400 vessels and more than 10,000 officers to safeguard China's sovereignty and maritime interests. At that time, CMS was planning to have 16 aircraft and 350 vessels by the end of 2015, and more than 15,000 personnel by 2020.

According to China Marine Administrative Law Enforcement Bulletin 2010 issued by China Marine Surveillance of State Oceanic Administration on 29 April 2013, in 2010 China Marine Surveillance had 188 marine surveillance ships and 23 marine surveillance planes for China's maritime rights and interests as well as the maintenance of law enforcement and monitored the foreign vessels and planes entering into the sea areas under China's jurisdiction. It was introduced that in 2010 China Marine Surveillance actively organized and started the relevant work of maritime rights and interests maintenance, sea area utilization management, marine environmental protection and island law enforcement in accordance with the relevant laws. During the year 2010, it dispatched planes 1,068 times and ships 13,337 times for marine surveillance, made 1,379 administrative penalties and decided the penal sum up to RMB 756.6421 million Yuan.

China Marine Surveillance Corps and the East China Sea Corps respectively in 2012 November 12 and November 14 received two 3,000-ton enforcement vessels, numbered 110, 137. By mid-2013 China Marine Surveillance possessed 283 cruising law enforcement vessels (including 27 vessels above 1,000 tons, 66 steel ships below 1,000 tons and 190 law enforcement boats), 10 marine surveillance planes, over 300 law enforcement vehicles and a large quantity of advanced law enforcement equipments of land, sea and air real-time transmission system, etc., thus realized the real-time maritime transmission of audio and video information and had the capacities of effective investigation, tracking, monitoring and disposal. China Marine Surveillance South Sea Command possessed 13 vessels and 3 planes, including 2 fixed wing aircrafts and 1 helicopter.

Larger patrol aircraft with longer ranges will be deployed by China's maritime security forces in three years, according to a report published 10 May 2013 by the State Oceanic Administration (SOA) in which it answered questions about boosting security and surveillance systems amid growing maritime disputes in the region. China Marine Surveillance, currently had six fixed-wing aircraft which are all short-range observation planes. The Harbin Y-12 the agency currently operates has a maximum range of 1,340 kilometers. The planes to be deployed in the future would have a range of 4,500 kilometers. By contrast, Japan introduced P-1 advanced maritime patrol aircraft into service in March. Designed by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, the P-1 has a range of 8,000 kilometers.

The major Chinese news portal Tencent reported in December 2012 that Beijing transferred two destroyers and nine other ex-navy ships to the surveillance fleet in an effort to “alleviate the insufficiency of vessels used to protect maritime interests.” Two of Beijing's newly-refurbished vessels are destroyers, with one each to operate in the East and South China Seas, with the others including tugs, icebreakers and survey ships. The destroyers, the Nanjing and Nanning, numbered 131 and 162 respectively, each had a displacement of 3,250 tonnes and had a top speed of 32 knots.

Yu Zhirong , a member of Beijing’s Research Centre for Chinese Marine Development, said, “The maritime surveillance team’s power has been greatly strengthened and its capacity to execute missions sharply improved, providing a fundamental guarantee for completing the currently arduous task to protect maritime interests.”

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Page last modified: 03-04-2014 15:30:38 ZULU