General Liu also said the combined law enforcement agency would help avoid military conflict with Japan.
The Brussels-based International Crisis Group think tank warned in a report last year that China’s poorly coordinated and sometimes competing maritime agencies were inflaming frictions over disputed territory.
The four agencies to be combined under the single command are the China Marine Surveillance, the Coast Guard, the Fisheries Law Enforcement Command and the General Administration of Customs.
The fifth agency, the Maritime Safety Administration which is under the control of the transport ministry, was not mentioned in the official announcement.
“This is a good direction, but completing the task requires more,” Sun said.
Sun and other security policy experts believe Beijing needs to improve coordination between all government actors involved in maritime security.