PULLING BACK THE CURTAIN ON CHINA’S MARITIME MILITIA


PUBLISHED: NOVEMBER 18, 2021, CSIS

Over the past year, the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative and the Center for Advanced Defense Studies conducted a study of China’s maritime militia using remote sensing data and open-source Chinese language research. The resulting report, Pulling Back the Curtain on China’s Maritime Militia, features the most comprehensive study to-date of the structure, subsidies, and ownership networks of China’s maritime militia in the South China Sea, as well as a methodology for identifying Chinese maritime militia vessels and a list of over 120 militia vessels thus identified.

The full report can be accessed here:

Pulling Back the Curtain on China’s Maritime Militia (full PDF download)

Translations:

Menyingkap Semula Tirai Tentera Maritim Cina (Malay Translation)

Vén màn sự thật về Dân quân Hàng hải Trung Quốc (Vietnamese Translation)

Executive Summary

Since completing the construction of its artificial island outposts in the Spratly Islands in 2016, China has shifted its focus toward asserting control over peacetime activity across the South China Sea. A key component of this shift has been the expansion of China’s maritime militia—a force of vessels ostensibly engaged in commercial fishing but which in fact operate alongside Chinese law enforcement and military to achieve Chinese political objectives in disputed waters.

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