Taming the Five Dragons?

China Consolidates Its Maritime Law Enforcement Agencies

Published in: China Brief, v. 13, no. 7, Mar. 28, 2013, p. 8-10

Posted on RAND.org on March 01, 2013

by Lyle J. Morris

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China's new leadership recently announced its intention to reorganize its separate maritime law enforcement agencies under one governing body. State Council Secretary General Ma Kai announced the changes on March 10 at the 12th National People's Congress as part of broad institutional reforms involving the Ministry of Railways, Ministry of Health and the Food and Drug Supervision Administration among others. The restructure represents an important effort by Chinese authorities to streamline a poorly-managed maritime law enforcement bureaucracy increasingly involved in China's maritime territorial disputes. The new measures should enhance the overall efficiency of the maritime law enforcement agencies by reducing redundancy improving response time, strengthening communications and bolstering overall command and control mechanisms. Questions remain over the precise authority of the revamped State Ocreanic Administration (SOA) versus the State Oceanic Commission (SOC )in coordinating Chinese maritime policy and strategy. The role of the Chinese military in influencing SOA policy and coordination also remains unclear.

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