Article 43


Sunday, May 04, 2008

Bad Moon Rising Part 27 - New Chinese Nuclear Sub Base Revealed


Satellite pictures reveal massive Chinese nuclear submarine base, says Pentagon

By David Gardner
Daily Mail
May 3, 2008

Photographs emerged last night that appeared to confirm fears in Washington that China is building a giant underground nuclear submarine base on a tropical island.

Pentagon chiefs are worried that the secret base near Sanya on China’s Hainan Island - which the Miss World beauty contests - could threaten Asian countries and America’s dominance in the region.

The satellite images reveal a substantial newly-built harbour which could hold a large of nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers.

The pictures, obtained by respected military magazine Jane’s Intelligence Review, have raised concerns that the Chinese have carved out a secret base straight out of the plot of a James Bond thriller.

They show vast tunnel entrances that are thought to lead to huge caverns capable of hiding up to 20 nuclear submarines from spy satellites.

Sanya is a fast-developing holiday resort that has hosted the Miss World competition since 2003. It is on Hainan Island, which is about 160 miles from the coast of Vietnam.

Jane’s Intelligence Review says the base has implications “for China’s control of the South China Sea and the strategically vital straits in the area, and underlines Beijing’s desire to assert tighter control over this region”.

One of the photos shows China’s latest 094 nuclear submarine at the base.

U.S. Defence chiefs estimate China will have five of the 094 subs operational over the next two years, each capable of carrying twelve nuclear warheads.

Jane’s said it would be “difficult to ignore” for America with the development coming so close to vital sea-lanes.

The secrecy around the build-up is likely to lead the U.S. to put more pressure on the Chinese to come clean with its plans and raises further questions about Beijing’s relationship with the rest of the world in the run-up to the summer Olympics.



Janes analysis of high-resolution commercially available satellite imagery from DigitalGlobe has allowed Jane’s to verify the existence of Chinas new nuclear naval base.

Janes Information Group
April 28, 2008

The confirmation of these strategic developments demonstrates the satellite imagery analysis capability recently acquired by Janes. Utilising commercially available satellite imagery, JaneҒs is able to combine imagery intelligence with its global network of contributors and in-house experts to offer unrivalled strategic and security analysis.

While China is displaying no overt aggression, Janes analysis of the DigitalGlobe satellite images shows that Beijing appears to be quietly building a major underground nuclear naval base, which could mean an increase in its strategic capability not only in the South China Sea, but also considerably further afield.

Jane’s can confirm that the satellite pictures show that China is constructing a major underground nuclear submarine base near Sanya, on Hainan Island off its southern coast. Although Asian military sources have disclosed this fact to Janes as far back as 2002, high-resolution commercially available satellite imagery from DigitalGlobe provides independent verification

The extent of construction indicates the Sanya base (also known as Yulin) could become a key future base for People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) aircraft carriers and other power-projection ships. In December 2007, perhaps in conjunction with a major PLAN exercise the previous month, the PLAN moved its first Type 094 second-generation nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) to Sanya.

This identification of an underground submarine base and the positioning of Chinas most advanced sub-surface combatants at Sanya could have implications for ChinaҒs control of the South China Sea and the strategically vital straits in the area.

Further satellite imagery suggests the construction of Sanya has been supported by a gradual military build-up in the Paracel Islands over the last 20 years and the transformation of the Chinese-occupied features in the Spratly Island group into assets that could support a range of military operations.

Christian Le Miere, e ditor for Janes Intelligence Review , commented:

“China’s nuclear and naval build-up at Sanya underlines Beijing’s desire to assert tighter control over this region. China’s increasing dependence on imported petroleum and mineral resources has contributed to an intensified Chinese concern about defending its access to vital sea lanes, particularly to its south. It is this concern that in large part is driving China’s development of power-projection naval forces such as aircraft carriers and long-range nuclear submarines.”

China has pursued this build-up at Sanya with little fanfare, offering no public explanations regarding its plan to base nuclear weapons or advanced naval platforms there.

For both regional and extra-regional powers, it will be difficult to ignore that China is now building a major naval base at Sanya and may be preparing to house and protect a large proportion of its nuclear forces here and even operate them from this base. This development so close to the Southeast Asian sea lanes so vital to the economies of Asia can only cause concern far beyond these straits.


Bad Moon Rising
Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4 - Part 5
Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8 - Part 9 - Part 10
Part 11 - Part 12 - Part 13 - Part 14 - Part 15
Part 16 - Part 17 - Part 18 - Part 19 - Part 20
Part 21 - Part 22 - Part 23 - Part 24 - Part 25
Part 26 - Part 27 - Part 28 - Part 29 - Part 30
Part 31 - Part 32 - Part 33 - Part 34 - Part 35
Part 36 - Part 37 - Part 38 - Part 39 - Part 40
Part 41 - Part 42 - Part 43 - Part 44 - Part 45
Part 46 - Part 47 - Part 48 - Part 49 - Part 50
Part 51 - Part 52 - Part 53 - Part 54

Posted by Elvis on 05/04/08 •
Section Bad Moon Rising
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