The China Coast Guard (CCG) on Wednesday conducted a patrol in the waters surrounding the Diaoyu Islands, the first such mission since the CCG was placed under the leadership of the Chinese military.
The information was published on CCG's recently launched official account on Sina Weibo on Wednesday.
Diaoyu Islands patrol information used to be posted on the official website of the State Oceanic Administration.
As of press time, the CCG post has been shared 15,697 times with 148,722 likes.
"Such a patrol has strong political and military implications, since the Coast Guard is now under the direct administration of China's Central Military Commission. The patrol signals that the Coast Guard will now defend the country's marine rights jointly with the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Navy," Song Zhongping, a military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
The leadership of China's Coast Guard was transferred from the country's oceanic authorities to the country's military beginning Sunday.
Chinese observers hailed such development as it will enable it to play a bigger role in safeguarding China's core interests.
Such leadership transfer will not change China's principles and stance in sea-related issues, Ministry of National Defense spokesperson Wu Qian noted on Saturday during a press conference.
The Coast Guard will be responsible for fighting criminal maritime activities, search and rescue, and enforcing laws including maritime resource exploration, environmental protection, fishery management and anti-smuggling efforts, Xinhua News Agency reported in June.
Coast Guard ships will now be armed with powerful small diameter cannons instead of water cannons, with crews carrying firearms, Song said.
He added that Coast Guard will be stronger and more effective when dealing with illegal vessels and acts in the area.