China authorizes Coast Guard to use force even in "contested" waters

As media attention focused this weekend on the aftermath of the Covid crisis, Joe Biden's first steps as the US Presidency and pro-Navalny protests in Russia, tensions in the Western Pacific have returned. their level before the political crisis which struck the United States in the presidential election. At the same time, there were 18 planes of the People's Liberation Army, including several H-6K strategic bombers and J-16 fighter-bombers, who entered the Taiwan Island air defense zone, causing the air forces of the independent island to be put on alert. At the same time, the US Navy deployed in the China Sea the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and its combat group, causing the intervention of the Chinese Navy, as of its air force. Note that the reports of clashes between Indian and Chinese forces on the Himalayan plateaus of Ladakh have been denied by both Chinese and Indian authorities.

But tensions have once again leveled off this weekend, because for the first time, Beijing Coast Guard units were officially given the right to "use all necessary means" to enforce Beijing's sovereignty over its naval space, including in the disputed areas of the China Sea. The Chinese Coast Guard have a large fleet of more than 140 ships, 120 of which weigh more than 1000 tons and more than 45 weigh more than 3000 tons. It even has the 2 most imposing coastguard vessels in service on the sea today, the Zaouthou class of over 10.000 tonnes. On the other hand, and like the majority of Coast Guard units, these ships are not designed for naval combat, and are generally very lightly armed, with light guns and machine guns.

The 3901 is one of two heavy 10.000-ton Zaothou-class offshore patrol vessels available to the Chinese Coast Guard.

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