TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Commenting on the Taiwan-U.S. coast guard cooperation memorandum of cooperation that will be signed today, a senior analyst at the Institute of National Defense and Security Research, Su Tzu-yun (蘇紫雲) said on Thursday (March 25) the agreement aims to counter China’s expansion and symbolizes the clarification of America’s strategy in the Indo-Pacific.
Su said that with the passing of its Coast Guard Law in late January, Beijing is attempting to strengthen its control over surrounding waters and the disputed islands in the South China Sea. The new law grants the coast guard “all necessary means” to stop foreign vessels, including the use of weapons aboard Chinese ships in the area.
In terms of organization, the Chinese Coast Guard is under command of the People’s Armed Police, charged with integrating internal stability, border defense, and coastal defense. It is actually a "party police force," CNA cited Su as saying.
The analyst said that part of the law violates international conventions. For example, it clearly stipulates that Chinese Coast Guard personnel can fire hand-held weapons, ship-borne, or airborne weapons without prior warning.
Su suggested that given China’s future projection of power in the South China Sea, East China Sea, and the Taiwan Strait, Taiwan can consider flexible countermeasures and use deterrence to deal with the threat of China's coast guard. This would include incorporating sonic weapons, non-lethal bombs, and traditional water cannons, which are all effective ways to counter Chinese ships, he said.