New Chinese Coast Guard Builds Fleet


On July 9, the Chinese Coast Guard was officially established with over 16,000 personnel and 11 flotillas/squadrons spilt between the Northern, Eastern and Southern commands. Earlier this month, various online images showed a large vessel under construction with its hull painted in the colors of the newly established China Coast Guard (CCG) bureau.

“Some 36 vessels, with many being over 1,000DWT, have been ordered and nearing completion, paid for by different provinces.”

IHS Jane’s analyst Alex Pape described the ship as a large support vessel, equipped with salvage and pollution control gear as well as a helicopter.

The addition of these new ships will drastically improve the CCG’s abilities to ensure maritime safety in China’s declared sovereign waters, as well as providing the CCG with improved strengths in ongoing territorial disputes. Currently, the new CCG has been used almost solely in maintaining a constant presence in the disputed waters in the East China Sea and South China Sea.

Images of larger 4,000GT class ships coming out of shipyards suggest that this routine will unlikely change, according to IHS Maritime Senior Analyst Gary Li.

“…the CCG can only exercise administrative enforcement powers without having the legal basis to actually seize vessels or arrest crews. Neither does it have a clear search and rescue function, which appears to still fall under the Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) under the Ministry of Transport.”

China already possesses one of the largest trading fleets in the world. To ensure the safety of these seafarers, the development of an efficient coast guard is a necessary and overdue move. However, with the majority of the CCG fleet reserved for participating in territorial disputes, and with legal jurisdiction remaining an issue, it is unlikely that the CCG will become a full-fledged supporter of maritime security for some time to come, adds Li.

Finally, IHS Maritime has successfully identified that 56 vessels have already been converted to China’s new Coast Guard bureau, with 22 of these ships categorized as ocean-going.






Leave a reply