Draft law that allows China’s Maritime Police to use weapons on foreign vessels

China’s Sea Police Department drafts a law allowing the use of weapons on foreign vessels November 5 at 12:04 p.m.

A draft of the law that establishes the duties and authority of the China Maritime Police Department, which monitors the waters around China, has been revealed, and the use of weapons is permitted if foreign vessels that act illegally in the jurisdiction do not comply with orders to stop. There are concerns about the impact on Japanese fishing boats around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, which China claims.
China’s legislative body, the National People’s Congress, is debating the “Sea Guard Act,” which stipulates the duties and powers of the China Maritime Police Department, which monitors the waters around China, and released the contents of the draft for the first time on April 4.

The draft stipulates specific missions, such as having the authority to forcibly drive away or investigate foreign vessels that have illegally entered Chinese territorial waters.

On top of that, if foreign vessels are illegally active in the waters under China’s jurisdiction and do not obey stop orders, weapons can be used.

In addition to territorial waters, the target waters include exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

China has repeatedly invaded Japanese territorial waters off the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, claiming territorial rights, and has been tracking Japanese fishing boats.

China has been transfering the Maritime Police Department to armed police under the command of the military, and has increased the size of its vessels, which could further activate its activities in the future, and if legislation is enacted, there are concerns about the impact on Japanese fishing boats operating around the Senkaku Islands.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato “Watching with High Interest”

At a press conference in the morning, Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato said, “We have refrained from commenting on each of the bills and movements of other countries, but we would like to continue to pay close attention to developments in china’s Maritime Police Department, including this bill.”

On that basis, he said, “The government will make every effort to monitor the security around the Senkaku Islands and continue to respond calmly and firmly to China under the policy of firmly defending the lives, property, territory, territorial waters, and territory of Japan, including Japanese fishing boats.”