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Thursday 22 Feb 2018 | 09:45 | SYDNEY
Thursday 22 Feb 2018 | 09:45 | SYDNEY

China's new submarine base



2 May 2008 11:00

This Jane's Intelligence Review exclusive featuring satellite images of a new Chinese underground submarine base is behind a firewall, so I haven't been able to read the whole thing yet. But given the kind of expertise Jane's boasts, I assume their analysis is more sober than that offered by the UK Telegraph. This claim is particularly laughable:

Military analysts believe that China’s substantial build up of its forces is gaining pace but has remained hidden from the world in the build-up to the Olympics.

Keep in mind, this comes in a piece describing the discovery of a new submarine base using open-source satellite imagery. True, there have been instances where analysts have been surprised by particular developments (such as as the Yuan-class submarine), but commercial satellite imagery and the online activities of Chinese military enthusiasts means China's build-up is a model of transparency compared to, say, the Soviet naval expansion of the Gorshkov era.

These enthusiasts, many of them strong and even rabid nationalists, are eager to see China muscle up to the US, and they have been watching and reporting on China's refurbishment of an ex-Russian aircraft carrier for years. They are getting increasingly frustrated at the pace of the project, and would think it most unlikely that '(w)ithin the next five to 10 years the Peoples Liberation Navy is expected to build up to six carriers', as the Telegraph claims.

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