The US Department of Defence has estimated that China will have five 094 nuclear submarines operational by 2010 with each capable of carrying 12 JL-2 nuclear missiles.
Janes Intelligence Review obtained the images after the periodical was given access to imagery from the commercial satellite company DigitalGlobe.
The development so close to the sea lanes vital to Asian economies "can only cause concern far beyond these straits," claimed the paper quoting Western military analysts.
Military analysts believe that China's substantial build up of its forces is gaining pace, put has remained hidden from the world in the build-up to the Olympics.
China has diverted much of its resources from the huge Peoples Liberation Army to the navy, air force and missile development.
Within the next five to 10 years, the Peoples Liberation Navy is expected to build up to six carriers that will also coincide with the Royal Navy's construction of two major carriers.The location of the base off Hainan will also give the submarines access to very deep water exceeding 5,000 metres within a few miles, making them even harder to detect.
So far China has offered no public explanation for its building at Sanya.