A report from the National Institute for Defense Studies shows that there is a “clear pattern of collaboration” between the People’s Liberation Army and several Chinese government bodies that enforce maritime security that might lead to stricter security patrol laws.
There have been several joint drills and exercises between the PLA and maritime law enforcement agencies in the past few months. The 2012 China Security Report shows that the Chinese military will most likely be deployed to several missions to enforce or protect China’s rights in the various territorial disputes it has going on with several of its neighbours like Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam in the East China Sea and the South China Sea.
The NIDS report warned that this inter-agency coordination can result in more aggressive measures that China might take should any of its maritime rights and interest be violated. They are cautioning Beijing to make sure that they should “be more accountable for the future direction of its maritime strategy based on international rules”. The PLA has already requested an “ocean basic law” which seeks to protect China’s territorial sovereignty.
But according to Masayuki Masuda, senior fellow at the NIDS Research Department, Beijing will not take any drastic steps like deploying personnel to the Senkaku Islands, unless provoked or the dispute escalates.
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