BEIJING, March 28 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese military will beef up cooperation with the country's maritime law enforcement forces in a move to better protect China's maritime rights and interests, a Ministry of National Defense spokesman said Thursday.
Spokesman Yang Yujun made the remarks at a ministry press conference in response to a question regarding the military's collaboration with the restructured State Oceanic Administration (SOA).
The military has established coordination mechanisms with marine surveillance departments, fishery administration departments and coast guard forces, Yang said, adding that they have effectively cooperated in protecting maritime interests.
Administered by the Ministry of Land and Resources, the SOA has integrated the functions of China Marine Surveillance, the coast guard forces of the Public Security Ministry, the fisheries law enforcement command of the Agriculture Ministry and the maritime anti-smuggling police of the General Administration of Customs.
In response to a question regarding the purpose of an ongoing Chinese naval training exercise in the South China Sea and the western Pacific Ocean, Yang said the exercise is a regular arrangement in line with the navy's annual training plan.
A four-ship fleet left south China's Hainan Province to begin the drill on March 19.
The training exercise is aimed at testing the navy's ability to conduct diversified military missions and enhance its fighting capacity, according to Yang.
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