China Coast Guard Crest
The Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) has issued incredibly detailed information on China’s Navy and para-military naval organizations in an unclassified form.
Perhaps most impressive is the PLA Navy Identification Guide which includes their coast guards. The sheer number of vessels in their coast guard type organizations is staggering.
The Diplomat offers their take on these new intelligence products. The author, “Andrew S. Erickson is an Associate Professor in the Strategic Research Department at the U.S. Naval War College and a core founding member of the department’s China Maritime Studies Institute (CMSI). He serves on the Naval War College Review’s Editorial Board.”
You can access all of these products here.
On page 45 of “The PLA Navy, New Capabilities and Missions for the 21st Century,” there is Figure 5-3, Regional Maritime Law Enforcement Comparison” which shows the relative size of regional MLE cutter fleets of six nations that have claims on disputed sea areas. It includes cutters on two classes, large (those over 1,000 tons) and small (500 to 1,000 tons). Cutters of less than 500 tons, like the Webber class are apparently excluded.
China has 205 including 95 over 1,000 tons,
Japan has 78 including 53 over 1,000 ton,
Vietnam, 55 including 5,
Indonesia 8 including 3 large,
Malaysia 2 both large,
Philippines 4 small.
South Korea was not included, but it does have a relatively large Coast Guard, approaching that of Japan in size.
By comparison, the USCG has I believe 39 large cutters and none that would fit the small category as defined here.