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Strategies of police cooperation: comparing the Southern Chinese seaboard with the European Union

Crime, Law and Social Change

Published online on


A number of police cooperation strategies have developed around the Southern Chinese seaboard, which encompasses the coastal provinces of Mainland China, Taiwan, and the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau. Cooperation mechanisms in the region encompass intelligence sharing strategies and establishment of the Electronic Communal Information Sharing Platform (ECISP), common investigations, regular meetings, practitioner exchanges, and training. Although conducted on a regular basis, these cooperation strategies mostly lack a formally binding legal basis, relying purely on informal practitioner efforts at best supported by Memoranda of Understanding. Due to their historical independence all police forces involved in cooperation at the Southern Chinese seaboard have had to establish strategies to overcome legal, organisational and cultural differences. This region could therefore be compared to cooperation networks between sovereign nation-states in other regions. The historical development of Greater China’s highly informal, practitioner driven approach to cooperation is reminiscent of early forms of cooperation between the police agencies of states that are now members of the European Union (EU). This paper explores the development of both informal and formal strategies established among police agencies around the Southern Chinese seaboard and compares them with the EU to enhance the historical, political and legal understanding of the two regions.