China Builds New Military Base Near Japanese-Controlled Senkakus

China is building a large military base on islands near the disputed Senkaku Islands.

The base is being constructed in the Nanji Islands off the coast of China’s Zhejiang Province, about 300 kilometers (190 miles) northwest of the Japanese-controlled Senkaku Islands, which China claims and calls the Diaoyu.

Several large radar installations have already been built at high points on the main Nanji Island.

Land development is underway for building a heliport in the Nanji Islands in China's Zhejiang province in November. | KYODO
Land development is underway for building a heliport in the Nanji Islands in China’s Zhejiang province in November. | KYODO

The base is expected to enhance China’s readiness to respond to potential military crises in the area as well as to strengthen surveillance over the air defense identification zone it declared over part of the East China Sea in November 2013, Japan Times reported.

China’s new base purposely built to strengthen surveillance over its self-proclaimed air defense identification zone, which covers a portion of what Japan considers its own territory in the East China Sea, and enhance China’s ability to respond militarily to threats in the region.

The islands are near the Japanese island of Okinawa, which territory is for 3/4 covered by U.S. bases.

Japan is also building a surveillance center on Yonaguni Island to monitor activity around the Senkakus, which are administered by Tokyo but claimed by China and Taiwan.