I don’t think I need to say too much about this – it pretty much underscores everything I’ve been saying since this site began. Our Chinese friends have been very, very busy over the past 7 years, and their labors are starting to bear fruit:
China has secretly built a major underground nuclear submarine base that could threaten Asian countries and challenge American power in the region, it can be disclosed.
Satellite imagery, passed to The Daily Telegraph, shows that a substantial harbour has been built which could house a score of nuclear ballistic missile submarines and a host of aircraft carriers.
In what will be a significant challenge to US Navy dominance and to countries ringing the South China Sea, one photograph shows China’s latest 094 nuclear submarine at the base just a few hundred miles from its neighbours.
Other images show numerous warships moored to long jettys and a network of underground tunnels at the Sanya base on the southern tip of Hainan island.
The article’s link to the enlarged version of the satellite photo is messed up, so here is the real link:
The construction showed that China was “ramping up its operational capability” and developing a “blue water navy” that would challenge the dominance of the US in the Pacific, said Alex Neill, head of the Asia Security Programme at the Royal United Services Institute.
In the last 20 years China had gone from a coastal force to a navy capable of “exerting its influence far afield,” a senior Royal Navy officer said.
There are also concerns that Beijing has secretly developed a broad military strategy – including internet assaults and satellite strikes – that could allow it to take Taiwan with the US unable to respond.
Chinese defence expenditure is estimated by the Pentagon to be $50 billion (£25 billion) but analysts believe large chunks of the budget are “squirreled away” and it could be as high as $200 billion making it the second largest in the world after America.
The PLA is developing a strategy called the “sea denial campaign” which would prevent America intervening in any conflict with Taiwan, Mr Brown said.
It entails asymmetric conflict in which China would use cyber warfare and laser energy to wipe out communications. Anti-satellite missiles, potentially launched from submarines, would ensure that America was “blind” over the Far East. The Chinese have already proven that they have these capabilities as well as using espionage to remove military technology from the US.