11/27/2020 Friday

Guarding Marine in “Peaceful China” Initiative

2021-01-01 15:04:00

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China boasts picturesque sea scenery along the coastline. Around the Changshan Archipelago, the black-tailed gulls are soaring through the cliffs. In central China, the Zhoushan fishing ground has witnessed the the bustling and vibrant atmosphere, where busy shuttles of the boats and ships come and go. And further south, the blue flames from the oil rigs in South China Sea illuminate the area.

The China Coast Guard (CCG) serves as the main force of maritime law enforcement. Over the past year, guided by the Xijinping Thought on Rule of law and on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, CCG has committed itself to enforcing laws for the people with their original aspiration and mission in mind, effectively safeguarding our national sovereignty, security, maritime rights and interests as well as strengthening the Peaceful China profile.

Enhance Peoples Sense of Security

The people are the foundation of a state, and only when the people lead a good life can the country thrive. For about a year, CCG has always kept people’s hopes in mind and fought for their interests in order to ensure people’s sense of fulfillment, happiness and security. A series of illegal and criminal offenses were punished, such as drug trafficking,organized crime by local mafia, and human smuggling, to maintain law and order. A number of essential cases were solved with 774 criminal cases cracked down, an increase of 14% over the previous year.

The efforts in anti-drug operations yielded remarkable results. CCG has deepened the crackdown in drug crimes and closely cooperated with national Narcotics Departments as it looks to conduct more investigation and block possible transport channels of drugs. In August, CCG, together with the Public Security’s Narcotics Department, uncovered a mass cross-border drug trafficking case, captured nearly a ton of drugs, ketamine and methamphetamine (crystal meth) in a ship. This is a major breakthrough in drug control of South China Sea.

Outstanding progress has been made in human smuggling. During the covid-19 response, CCG and the Public Security have jointly launched activities against human smuggling. The authorities have strengthened the investigation of key fishing ports, tightened patrols and control in key waters and intensified the investigation into suspicious ships to prevent the imported cases of the epidemic from the sea. In this situation, 25 smuggling cases were cracked with 224 people arrested. On August 23, under the unified leadership of the superior authorities, Guangdong Provincial Bureau cracked a case of crossing border illegally, seizing a speedboat and arresting more than ten suspects. The operation has helped to maintain the security and stability of Guangdong and Hong Kong.

The crackdown on smuggling has repeatedly hit new highs. Since the beginning of this year, CCG, together with relevant departments of the State Council, has closely monitored key waters given the smuggling characteristics of seasonal commodity, and carried out the “National Sword 2020” and “Guard” special law enforcement operation to regulate the smuggling hot spots in the Pearl River estuary with the help of the party-related affairs department and local government. 1046 smuggling cases of all kinds were handled, with 42,000 tons of refined oil, 34,000 tons of frozen meat, 65,000 boxes of cigarettes, 8,687 tons of refined sugar seized. Combined with groceries and foreign garbage, it is worth RMB 8.9 billion, up 62% year on year. In May, Fujian Provincial Bureau destroyed two smuggling gangs , seizing about 10,000 tons of refined oil worth RMB 50 million. In July, the Second Directly Subordinating Bureau of CCG seized more than 520,000 cartons of cigarettes in one operation.

Build Blue Economy Zone

Blue seas and white beaches are invaluable assets for maritime environment. Over the past year, the Coast Guard has targeted serious violations, including sea-sand mining, illegal fishing, marine and coastal project construction and submarine cable damaging, and organized maritime law enforcement meticulously to crack down on all kinds of crimes. 9652 cases were reported and solved, 97.8% growth over the previous year; 2061 administrative cases involving marine, fisheries and public securities were handled, representing a 66.9% increase year on year.

The law enforcement of fisheries has been strengthened regularly. Severe efforts are intensified towards illegal fishing operations and patrols in waters including the Beibu Gulf, China and North Korea and South Korea has provisionally agreed, are taken on a regular base. The Coast Guard, cooperated with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, organized special operations in key periods by carrying out the seasonal fishing bans of the “Flashing Sword 2020” initiative, improving the normal mechanism for law enforcement. The cooperation on foreign-related fishery law enforcement has been deepened as CCG continued to carry out the China-Vietnam joint fishery inspection on shared fishing grounds in the Beibu Gulf, the joint patrol with Korean Coast Guard in areas that both parties have provisionally agree with, and the patrol in the North Pacific smoothly. Throughout the year, 614 fishery administrative cases were investigated and solved, and 277 cases of illegal fishing of aquatic products were cracked.

Law enforcement for marine ecological and environmental protection has been fully carried out since April. The special law enforcement operation, coded “Blue Sea 2020”, is jointly launched by CCG, Ministry of Ecology and Environment, Ministry of Natural Resources, and Ministry of Transport, to handle serious problems that causes pollution and damage. Relevant departments have checked the marine environment, including marine engineering, marine dumping, oil platforms and island, for more than 3,500 times, with 65 illegal waste dumping cases cracked. As well, the first case that involves hunting red coral and poaching underwater cultural relics was solved since the Coast Guard at various levels cooperated with other departments, in which 113 kilograms red coral and 649 antiques have been seized. The authorities also investigated and handled 815 cases related to the sea-sand mining and 6.81 million tons of sea sand linked to the cases has been seized, up 231% and 140% year on year, respectively. The huge illegal mining cases, happened on April 27th and 28th, worth RMB 7.25 billion were cracked. In this operation, 2 clans of sea-sand mining has been destroyed involving 17 ships and 125 million tons of sea sand have been confiscated.

Law enforcement of marine resources utilization has achieved initial results. A two-month special law enforcement operation, coded “Sea Shield 2020”, has been launched to strengthen the supervision of key projects, in which the techniques including land inspection, maritime patrol, and remote sensing have been adopted. Up to now, 39 administrative cases involving illegal land reclamation and island destruction have been handled, with the fine being RMB 35 million. In August, Zhejiang Provincial Bureau successfully handled a case of illegal sea area occupancy, fining RMB 26.45 million, a new high for sea use since the establishment of CCG. In April, CCG organized the “Deep Sea Guard 2020” operation for optical cable protection and uncovered two cases of damaging military communications, providing a harsh deterrent to illegal and criminal activities.

Enhance the Credibility of Maritime Law Enforcement

On January 1, Vessel Zhejiang Coast Guard 13526 is performing a boarding inspection in the jurisdiction sea.

“Excuse me, this is officer from Zhejiang Provincial Bureau. Here is my certificate. Please cooperate with the boarding inspection.” Said the officer. This is the first time that law enforcement officers have used the CCG certificate at work.

As the qualification of lawful maritime enforcement, CCG performs the duty by showing the certificate first, constantly strengthening the standardization and improving its ability and credibility to execute its duties in accordance with the law.

The mechanism of cooperation has been deepened continuously. In February, the Notice on the Jurisdiction of Maritime Criminal Cases, jointly issued by China Coast Guard, the Supreme People's Court of the PRC, and the Supreme People's Procuratorate, clarifies the division of responsibilities for law enforcement and and forms a mechanism for connecting the jurisdiction and litigation of criminal cases. CCG has accelerated the establishment of a cooperation mechanism with local marine-related departments and the judiciary, and signed 623 cooperation methods, thus featuring a law enforcement situation of information sharing and sea-land unification with concerted efforts. During the epidemic, a new cooperation pattern has been adopted involving foreign-related law enforcement where a “video conference room for international cooperation” is established. The authorities make practical cooperation with the Vietnam Coast Guard, the Philippine Coast Guard and Korean Coast Guard to enhance mutual trust in law enforcement effectively.

Steady progress has been made in building the law enforcement system. CCG has accelerated the construction of a legal system for maritime law enforcement, further clarifying the functions, authorities and supervision of the Coast Guard so that the division and coordination with other maritime departments would be more smooth. Besides, standardized training for law enforcement has been carried out. With three types of law enforcement sites leading the way, CCG shot demonstration films for law enforcement and case handling guidelines, introduced collective proposals, and issued rules and regulations on the use and management of law enforcement sites, further improving the law enforcement system.

The supervision of law enforcement has been more pragmatic and efficient. Since the beginning of this year, CCG has put importance on tracing source of problems and valuing public opinions as it seeks to strengthen the supervision of law enforcement, making it more open for retroactive investigation into accountability. Problems in law enforcement, such as non-standard enforcement procedures and high filling standard for criminal cases, have been taken real-time control. The authority has also adopted comprehensive measures for addressing prominent issues, including conducting special inspection, establishing lists, solving long-pending cases, standardizing procedures, building models, and strengthening supervision, to improve the comprehensiveness, accuracy and authority of supervision and ensure that power is exercised in a transparent manner.

Modernize the Capacity for Governance Vigorously

In March, CCG introduced the qualification exam for the law enforcement, clarifying the basic-level certification and upper-level certification. On July 25, it organized the first basic-level qualification exam for law enforcement. Over the past year, CCG has focused on the weak foundation of maritime law enforcement and accelerated construction and development, making significant progress in basic law enforcement work.

Basic guarantee for law enforcement continued to be strengthened. The authority has accelerated the standardization of maritime law enforcement at the community level and identified relevant regulations on the standard construction of Coast Guard Workstations to regulate and promote the renovation of law enforcement sites. The information-based construction of law enforcement has been accelerated and case handling systems have been developed, allowing cases to be updated on the computer. The 95110 has been extended to the Coast Guard Workstations of basic levels, which basically realize the four-level linkage of the platform and further improve the efficiency of reporting and handling cases.

Basic information on law enforcement has been continuously accumulated. Since the beginning of this year, CCG has initiated a thorough information gathering operation in different areas. It organized comprehensive investigation within its jurisdiction on the shoreline, docks, islands, and maritime enterprises and institutions for basic information, collecting 47,244 pieces of basic information in 12 categories, which helped improve the maritime law enforcement database. In the meantime, it has strengthened communication with relevant departments under the State Council and local maritime administrations, actively coordinated with them to introduce systems including the Automatic Identification System(AIS), the dynamic systems for monitoring fishing boats and submarine optical cables, enriching the information about maritime law enforcement.

The ability of law enforcement officers has improved steadily. The three-level law enforcement training mechanism has been deepened and specialized training, such as skill training for investigators, profession training for the coast guard workstation chiefs, and rotation training for front-line officers of law enforcement, has been delivered to further improve the quality of the Coast Guard law enforcement staff. The authority has tightened the qualification check and organized more than 6,000 people to take basic law-level enforcement qualification exams, fully implementing the system of working with certificates. The selection of professional law enforcement personnel has been more strict and a talent pool for maritime law enforcement has been established initially to promote the building law enforcement teams steadily.

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