There’s A Fleet Of ‘Fishermen’ Winning China’s Fight For Control Of The Seas

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Fishermen drive a boat next to fishing ships docked at a port to shelter from Typhoon Wutip in Sanya, Hainan province September 29, 2013. Picture taken September 29, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer Fishermen drive a boat next to fishing ships docked at a port to shelter from Typhoon Wutip in Sanya, Hainan province September 29, 2013. Picture taken September 29, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer
China is militarizing civilian fishing vessels to secure its sovereignty in the South China Sea and beyond.

The Maritime Militia, China’s Third Sea Force, is a paramilitary force masquerading as a civilian fishing fleet and engaging in “gray zone aggression.”

Commissar of the Hainan Armed Forces Department Xing Jincheng said Thursday the members of the Maritime Militia should serve as “mobile sovereignty markers.” He stated that this force is responsible for conducting “militia sovereignty operations” and defending China’s “ancestral seas,” territorial waters “belonging to China since ancient times.”

“I feel that the calm seas are not peaceful for us,” he said. “We have to strengthen our combat readiness.”

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The less-noticed Maritime Militia “is improving its operational capability,” the China Daily revealed in February.

The Third Sea Force has become much stronger “as a result of the country’s efforts to strengthen its maritime capabilities and safeguard its interests at sea.”

China has organized “realistic sea operation exercises for local militiamen to strengthen their combat capability,” enabling “the maritime militia to play a bigger role in drills organized by the [People’s Liberation Army] Navy,” the report explained.

There’s A Fleet Of ‘Fishermen’ Winning China’s Fight For Control Of The Seas

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