Beijing builds huge underwater spying hub in disputed seas

Beijing builds huge underwater spying hub in disputed seas, by James Fullerton.

South China Sea

Beijing is building a vast £230 million underwater spying network across the sea bed of disputed territory in the East China Sea and South China Sea, raising fears that President Xi is plotting to seize new land and expand his military presence.

China will create a huge surveillance hub with underwater cameras, sensors and radar that will feed information back to Shanghai. It is suspected that Beijing will use the information to monitor shipping traffic and scrutinise any attempts by its neighbours who dispute China’s territorial claims in the region to grab back land.

Beijing has said that the spying hub will give “round-the-clock, real-time, high-definition, multiple interface, and three-dimensional observations”. …

The new underwater development is expected to take five years to complete. Jian Zhimin, dean of the school of ocean and earth science at Tongji University in Shanghai, said: “Devices will be placed down on the sea bed through optical cables; in other words we’ll build a laboratory undersea to collect and send data back to us.”

In modern warfare anything can be destroyed — so hiding and knowing where the opposition are of paramount importance. The South China Sea is soon going to be much too dangerous for non-Chinese fighting vessels, including submarines.

hat-tip Stephen Neil