CHINA SECURITY: Are China’s New ‘Floating Islands’ Being Built for the Indian Ocean?

https://i0.wp.com/img.theepochtimes.com/n3/eet-content/uploads/2015/10/26/CCP_VeryLargeFloatingStructures_MobileBases-676x450.png

A concept for a “Very Large Floating Structure” mobile sea base is shown in a Chinese promotional video, which was posted online by naval defense industry magazine, Navy Recognition. The mobile base project was recently unveiled at the National Defense Science and Technology Achievements exhibition in Beijing. (YouTube screenshot)

 

The project is a “Mobile Sea Base” concept, using the fitting name of “Very Large Floating Structures” (VLFS). According to an Aug. 9 report from naval defense industry magazine, Navy Recognition, the Chinese regime’s VLFS project was publicly revealed at the National Defense Science and Technology Achievements exhibition in Beijing.

I poked fun at this project in a previous report, but its implications are actually rather serious.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) detailed its global naval ambitions in its May 26 military strategy white paper. It plans to discard “the traditional mentality that land outweighs sea,” according to the white paper, and will begin to “protect the security” of strategic sea lines of communications, as well as “overseas interests.”

“Strategic sea lines of communications” is a fancy way of saying global maritime trade routes, and includes the handful of shipping chokepoints around the world. As I detailed in a recent report, the CCP is hard at work—around all these strategic locations—signing deals that would give it access to, or control of, local ports.

The Chinese regime, on the other hand, has only one very old and rickety aircraft carrier, and while it’s negotiating port access with countries around the world, most of these deals are still around trade, and its warships are still largely unwelcome.

This is where the VLFS Mobile Sea Bases come into play. The CCP’s strategy to close gaps in naval power has so far taken the form of its man-made islands in the South China Sea. These give it stations where its ships can refuel and resupply, as well as airstrips to compensate for its lack of aircraft carriers.

Yet, the VLFS Mobile Sea Bases would solve all these problems. Since the bases float, very much like aircraft carriers, they would largely be immune to the legal controversies around the CCP’s man-made islands. And also because they float, they would be usable in the deep waters of the Indian Ocean.

Full article: CHINA SECURITY: Are China’s New ‘Floating Islands’ Being Built for the Indian Ocean? (The Epoch Times)

Comments are closed.