China Coast Guard

China Coast Guard
Zhōngguó Hǎijĭng
Ensign of the China Coast Guard
Active July 2013 – present
Country  China
Allegiance Communist Party of China
Type Coast Guard
Role Coastal defense, maritime law enforcement, search and rescue
Size 16,296 personnel
Part of People's Armed Police
State Oceanic Administration
PAP Border Security Force
(under the Ministry of Public Security)
(until 2013)
Colours              Blue, White, Red
Fleet Multiple patrol boats
164 cutters
Director Vacant [1]
Political commissar Wang Hong
(concurrent Director of State Oceanic Administration)
Racing stripe
Aircraft flown
Helicopter Harbin Z-9
Patrol MA-60H, Harbin Y-12
This article is part of a series on the
Politics of the
People's Republic of China

The China Coast Guard (Chinese: 中国海警; pinyin: Zhōngguó Hǎijĭng; literally: "China Sea Police") serves as a coordinating agency for maritime search and rescue and law enforcement in the territorial waters of the People's Republic of China. It is currently the world's largest coast guard.[2][3]

The China Coast Guard was formerly the maritime branch of the People's Armed Police (PAP) Border Security Force under the Ministry of Public Security until 2013. In March 2013, China announced it would form a unified Coast Guard commanded by the State Oceanic Administration.[4] The new Coast Guard has been in operation since July 2013.[5] As of July 1, 2018, the China Coast Guard was transferred from civilian control of the State Council and the State Oceanic Administration, to the People’s Armed Police, ultimately placing it under the command of the Central Military Commission.[6][7]


The CCG is known to perform mostly coastal and oceanic search and rescue or patrols, including anti-smuggling operations. During wartime it may be placed under the operational control of the People's Liberation Army Navy.


Roles of the CCG are diverse but include:

  • Patrol of territorial waters and disputed territories
  • Anti-smuggling, anti-piracy
  • Maritime policing and ship inspections
  • Harbour and coastal security
  • Research and survey
  • Search and Rescue
  • Fisheries protection


The Chinese Coast Guard was not under an independent command until 2013. Formally they were part of the armed police, under the local (provincial) border defense force command. The largest operational unit of the CCG is a CCG flotilla, which is a regimental-level unit in China’s military administrative hierarchy. Every coastal province has 1 to 3 Coast Guard flotillas. Currently there are twenty CCG flotillas across the country:

  • Fujian
    • 1st Flotilla – Fuzhou
    • 2nd Flotilla – Quanzhou
    • 3rd Flotilla – Xiamen
  • Guangdong
    • 1st Flotilla – Guangzhou
    • 2nd Flotilla – Shantou
    • 3rd Flotilla – Zhanjiang
  • Guangxi
    • 1st Flotilla – Beihai
    • 2nd Flotilla – Fangchenggang
  • Hainan
    • 1st Flotilla – Haikou
    • 2nd Flotilla – Sanya
  • Hebei with 1 Flotilla – Qinhuangdao
  • Jiangsu with 1 Flotilla – Taicang
  • Liaoning
    • 1st Flotilla – Dalian
    • 2nd Flotilla – Dandong
  • Shandong
    • 1st Flotilla – Weihai
    • 2nd Flotilla – Qingdao
  • Shanghai with 1 Flotilla – Shanghai
  • Tianjin with 1 Flotilla – Tianjin
  • Zhejiang
    • 1st Flotilla – Taizhou
    • 2nd Flotilla – Ningbo


The Chinese Coast Guard conducts periodic joint-training sessions with other navies, including the US Coast Guard service.[8] The Chinese Coast Guard also participates in the annual North Pacific Coast Guard Agencies Forum in Alaska, along with US, Canadian, Japanese, South Korean, and Russian Coast Guards. As part of an exchange program, members of the Chinese Coast Guard service have been assigned to serve on U.S. Coast Guard cutters.[9]


The CCG has received quite a few large patrol ships that would significantly enhance their operations. Hai Guan (customs), militia, police and other services operate hundreds of small patrol craft. For maritime patrol services, these craft are usually quite well armed with machine guns and 37mm AA guns. In addition, these services operate their own small aviation units to assist their maritime patrol capabilities. CCG operates a handful of Harbin Z-9 helicopters, and a maritime patrol aircraft based on the Harbin Y-12 STOL transport.


In March, 2016, a MA-60H maritime patrol aircraft with CCG painting was published by Chinese media.[10]


Chinese Coast Guard ships are painted white with blue stripe and wording China Coast Guard in English and Chinese.

Typical Coast Guard ships include the 130 ton Type 218 patrol boat (100 boats), armed with twin 14.5mm machine guns, assorted speedboats, and few larger patrol ships. Up until very recently, the largest ship in Chinese Coast Guard service was the 1,500 ton Type 718 cutter (31101 Pudong).

In March 2007, it was reported that the PLAN had transferred 2 Type 728 cutter (44102, ex-509 Changde; 46103, ex-510 Shaoxing) to the Coast Guard and re-numbered them as 1002 & 1003. At the time these ships were the largest vessels in the China Coast Guard inventory.

In May 2017, it was reported that China had deployed the 12,000 ton China Coast Guard (CCG) 3901 cutter No. 1123 to patrol its claimed islands in the disputed South China Sea.[11][12] The CCG 3901 cutter is the world's biggest coast guard cutter, and is much larger than the U.S. Navy's 9,800 ton Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruisers and its 8,300-9,300 ton Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyers.[13] The CCG 3901 cutter is armed with 76mm H/PJ-26 rapid fire naval guns, two auxiliary guns, and two anti-aircraft guns.


  1. Deployment arrangement from State Council of the People's Republic of China
  2. Erickson, Andrew S. (26 February 2018). "Numbers Matter: China's Three 'Navies' Each Have the World's Most Ships". The National Interest.
  3. "China's Three 'Navies' Each Have the World's Most Ships".
  4. 关晓萌. "Nation merging maritime patrol forces - Latest News".
  6. – Articles – China's coast guard to be under military police NHK World, March 22nd 2018
  7. Tate, Andrew (June 26, 2018). "Control over China Coast Guard to be transferred to CMC". Jane's Information Group. Legislation passed by the National People’s Congress (NPC) on 22 June will implement changes announced in March that the CCG will come under the control of the People’s Armed Police Force (PAPF) and, ultimately, the command of China’s Central Military Commission (CMC).
  8. "Logon Form".
  9. "RealClearPolitics - Articles - U.S. Coast Guard Has Chinese aboard".
  10. "新舟60完成副油箱投放试验 可改装特种飞机_网易军事".
  11. Ryan Pickrell (2017-05-11). "China Sent A 'Monster' Ship To Roam The South China Sea". The National Interest. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  12. "南海区2017年度西沙海域海岛保护联合执法行动圆满完成". South China Sea Branch, State Oceanic Administration. 2017-05-04. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  13. Charissa Echavez (2017-05-12). "China Deploys World's Biggest Coast Guard Cutter CCG 3901 to Patrol South China Sea". China Topix. Retrieved 2018-02-02.

See also

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