The US Naval Institute’s News Service reports the availability of a new document, “Office of Naval Intelligence’s Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy, Coast Guard. and Government Maritime Forces 2022-2023 Recognition and Identification Guide.
You cannot actually read much of it on the USNI site, but you can download a copy here. You’ll need to expand it to read much of the information.
From a Coast Guard perspective, there are a couple things to note.
First is the sheer number of China Coast Guard cutters. China’s internationally recognized EEZ is less than 8.5% that of the US. Even if their expansive unrecognized claims were included, their total EEZ would be less than 20% that of the US. But according to the guide, they have over 200 cutters of 60 meters (197 feet) in length or greater (225 by my quick count). The US Coast Guard by comparison has 57: 37 patrol cutters, three icebreakers, 16 buoy tenders, and the barque Eagle.
Second, China has other agencies that apparently do coast guard work, that also have their own ships including the Sansha City Patrol, China, and the Maritime Safety Agency which, alone, has over 40 ships 60 meters or greater in length.
Cutter X would help.
Each coastal city having their own force is interesting. Perhaps it means locals can deal with local issues more quickly. But one issue I thought of is the history of China. One reason China in the 1800’s was unable to fight off foreign powers was military forces were: 1) not unified, but under individual local people of influence, and 2) geared more for internal control of the populous, than foreign battles.
I wonder if local city’s coast guard is part of an ununified force.
As for China having 200 CG ships, it would certainly allow them to escort their fishing fleets around the world.
My thought was that all those ships mean, they are ready to play bumper boats.
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