Chinese state media announced Wednesday that the nation’s coast guard will be placed under the command of the Central Military Commission, bringing it closer to the formal status of a military force.
Since 2013, the China Coast Guard has been a division of the State Oceanic Administration, which is under the civilian Ministry of Land and Resources. At the annual National People’s Congress last week, delegates voted to put the China Coast Guard under the People’s Armed Police Force. Since January, this military police division has answered directly to the Central Military Commission, a body chaired by President Xi Jinping. According to the language authorizing the reorganization, the move is required “to fully implement the [Chinese Communist] Party’s absolute leadership over the PLA and other armed forces.”
A Japanese government source told Nikkei that the transfer of the China Coast Guard into the military police is concerning.