- "Hong Kong cheers Olympic torch"
CNN International (May 2, 2008)
- "Bush betrays humanitarian pledge by going to Beijing Olympics"
Seattle Post-Intelligencer (May 1, 2008)
But this should be a major concern, too (first five paragraphs of a British news article):
- "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.
- "Of even greater concern to the Pentagon are massive tunnel entrances, estimated to be 60ft high, built into hillsides around the base. Sources fear they could lead to caverns capable of hiding up to 20 nuclear submarines from spy satellites."
"Analysts for Jane's Intelligence Review, a defense magazine, said that the secret base could allow Chinese subs to "break out to launch locations closer to the U.S.," according to the Telegraph. The base has immediate access to very deep waters, which would make launched submarines very difficult to detect." ("China Builds Secret Nuclear Submarine Base in South China Sea" FoxNEWS (May 2, 2008))
Whaddaya Mean, "Secret Base"?!"Secret submarine base" has a sort of dime novel/comic book ring to it, for me. I wondered what could be so secret about a base that had been located and identified.
It looks like much of the base is underground. It would be difficult, maybe impossible, to tell if there were no submarines inside, one sub, or 20. And that does make a difference, when it comes to security and military planning.
As I've said before, it's a mistake to focus strictly on the Middle East. The War on Terror may become - and may already be - a global conflict. And if that is the case, it will almost certainly have alliances as odd as that between "Aryan" Germany and sincerely non-"Aryan" Japan, a half-century ago.
I think that this submarine base is a clear indication that the Chinese government has a great deal more on its mind than just keeping awkward facts from leaking out during their Olympic Games.