Yulin naval base on Hainan Island in the South China Sea is one of the most important strategic centers in the region and home to nuclear submarines with nuclear missiles on board.
The most intriguing feature of this structure is the mysterious underwater cave in the side of the mountain.
Until today, there has been practically no objective evidence of the entry of Chinese submarines into a structure hidden in the mountain, which could well be called a Chinese Balaklava.
Construction began by the year 2000, and though it is not yet complete, the sprawling complex reflects all of its 17 years of dedicated effort. Yalong Bay’s natural defenses — namely, of course, the big imposing mountain — must have caught China’s eye. The mountain itself now houses China’s sea-based nuclear deterrent, suitably sheltered under a few hundred feet of earth and stone. Still, prudently recognizing that geological advantages alone would not win the day, China constructed a large and formidable sea wall along the base’s border. Satellite photographs taken over the past 15 years tell a tale of gargantuan effort and expenditure. How these physical fortifications would fare against a coordinated wave of strikes from China’s adversaries is unclear.