Beijing, Aug 4: China is building its second aircraft carrier base, said to the longest in the world, at its strategic Hainan island in the South China Sea to effectively deploy guided missile nuclear submarines.
Canada-based Asian security magazine, Kanwa Asian Defence Review, reported that China had completed basic construction work on a 700 meter-long dock at its sprawling Sanya naval complex in Hainan province in November 2014.
According to the report, the second People's Liberation Army Navy aircraft carrier base is able to service ships on both sides, allowing it to accommodate two aircraft carriers or other large ships at the same time.
China has currently one aircraft carrier, Liaoning, in operation and there are reports that it plans to have three aircraft carriers in the next few years to further its policy of sending the navy far from shores to safeguard the Chinese interests overseas.
Chinese researcher attributed Hainan's strategic location, its complete defence facilities and the effectiveness of deploying guided missile nuclear submarines as the major three reasons behind the decision to build the aircraft carrier base there, state-run Peoples Daily reported.
Ma Yao, a researcher with Shanghai International Studies University, said that Hainan was chosen as it is comparatively close to the three strategically important straits -- Malacca Strait, Lombok Strait and Sunda Strait, making it easier for its naval fleet's composition.
Ma also said the base can protect its comparatively weak oil passage to ensure its economic development. Hainan Island is also equipped with quite advanced defence facilities after years of development, providing enough support to the naval base.
Submarines are an inseparable underwater forces for naval fleet's composition, Ma said, adding that the South China Sea is the best place for submarines among all four seas surrounding China.
"The Hainan base is good for the effectiveness of navy's nuclear force with its deeper waters and wider rims. That is why China has in recent years deployed guided missle nuclear submarines in the South China Sea," he said.