China to build secret South China Sea underwater ‘observation station’ to spy on passing ships in move that risks US wrath
Concerns growing that sensors will be laid on ocean floor to detect warships and submarines
BEIJING is building an underwater observation system across the disputed East and South China seas in a bid to military control the region, experts warn.Chinese officials are billing it as a peaceful maritime research facility for environmental purposes.
But others fear it’s really an undersea spy hub as part of biggest Pacific land and sea grabs since the Japanese invasions of 1930s and 1940s.
The £230 million project will take five years to build and is set to transform China into an ocean power.
Jian Zhimin, dean of School of Marine and Earth Sciences, Tongji University told CCTV: “The devices will be placed down on the seabed through optical cables, in other words, build a laboratory undersea to collect and send data back to us.”
But Carl Thayer, a security expert at the University of New South Wales told CNN China could use the network to lay sensors designed to detect warships and submarines.
He said: “This would be of direct concern to the United States and other regional states that operate submarines.”