China is planning to loosen the coast guard rules on how to use force.
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
China has released a draft law that would allow the coast guard to use force to defend China’s waters and territory. This would mean that the coast guard could use their weapons if a non-Chinese vessel violates Chinese maritime law and remain non-compliant.
This draft law would most likely affect interactions in the South China Sea, where China has disputes over territorial claims with several countries. This new law would allow the Chinese coast guard to use their rifles if required. Fire would be directed above the waterline as much as possible. In an event that the case gets more serious, the coast guard is now also able to use their vessel’s cannons. This non-compliance includes vessels carrying out ‘illegal economic activities’ according to Chinese law, and obstructing law by entering Chinese waters.
There is more to it, as this means that China will now open fire at anyone ‘trespassing’ in ‘their waters’ in the South China Sea. The use of force is also meant to send a message to the United States Navy that regularly enter ‘Chinese waters’.
Us Navy War College Fellow Hunter Stires said
China is trying to tell other claimant governments that China means business.This is a signal not to challenge China Coast Guard operations in waters that are rightfully the exclusive economic zones of Southeast Asian nations.US Navy Collge Fellow Hunter Stires.
China is becoming more dangerous in the South China Sea and other regions where it believes it owns the territory. In an attempt to boost their claims, China built several lands on what used to be reefs, and than placed military equipment and even an airfield.
Recently, a US defense report released a document where it said that China’s navy is the largest in the World. The US navy now comes second. US navy still has a technological advantage over the Chinese navy, but this gap is decreasing every year, as Chinese vessels become more capable. China has lighter vessels than the US, and for this reason even though they have more vessels, the US navy has more tonnage, with 4.6 million tons. The US navy has 293 ships. On the other hand, Chinese Navy tonnage is 2 million tons and 350 ships.