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China boosts maritime law enforcement capabilities

China's maritime authority has beefed up its law enforcement capabilities in order to further protect the country's oceanic rights and interests, according to an official document that was unveiled on Tuesday.

The document, which was posted on the central government's website, includes a rule regarding the duties and functions of the State Oceanic Administration (SOA). The SOA was restructured earlier this year along with several other government departments.

The rule, which was recently approved by the State Council, highlights the SOA's expanded duties concerning law enforcement and the protection of maritime rights.

The maritime police command, a department under the SOA, will be tasked with commanding and deploying marine police officers, according to the rule.

The maritime police has three branches, namely the North Sea Branch, the East Sea Branch and the South Sea Branch, with a total of 11 corps across China's coastal provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities.

The SOA is responsible for conducting law enforcement activities in waters that are under Chinese jurisdiction, the rule says.

Safeguarding maritime boundaries and dealing with criminal activity on the sea are among the SOA's designated duties.

The rule also says the administration is responsible for guarding the safety of key maritime areas and coping with emergencies.

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