We will never really know how many submarines China actually has, let alone what types until they expose themselves.
A couple weeks dated, yet still relevant:
Hong Kong: Beneath the surface of the South China Sea off the tropical Chinese resort island of Hainan, an underwater tunnel guides submarines into a lair reminiscent of a James Bond spy movie.
From this pen the subs can venture in and out of the contested South China Sea hidden from the prying eyes of reconnaissance planes deployed by the United States Navy, which for the past half century has enjoyed almost unfettered access to the waters, say military watchers who cite satellite images of the area.
The fleet of diesel and nuclear-powered submarines reflects President Xi Jinping’s efforts to ensure the security of sea lanes vital for feeding the economic growth on which the nation’s stability rests. It’s also provoked discomfort among neighbours bruised by China’s approach to territorial disputes. Continue reading