Satellite Photos Reveal China Is Building Air Bases Near Taiwan

( New satellite images reveal that China has been beefing up three mainland airbases along its southeastern coast nearest Taiwan, leading some to believe Beijing may be stepping up plans to invade the island nation.

The construction work at the three bases in Fujian province would provide long-term logistical air support to the People’s Liberation Army Air Force, which repeatedly flew incursions over Taiwan airspace earlier this month.

The three bases, Longtian, Huian, and Zhangzhou, are all between one hundred and two hundred miles from Taiwan. Satellite images, captured by Planet Labs and published by military site The Drive, show work on aircraft shelters and reinforced munitions storage which began early last year and continued throughout the COVID pandemic.

Four aircraft structures at one end of Longtian Airbase are seen under construction. With advances in satellite imagery, these new structures would help keep China’s aircraft and their general readiness away from prying eyes. The images also reveal the construction of administrative buildings and what appear to be barracks.

The satellite imagery over Huian Airbase revealed the construction of three storage bunkers – likely for munitions — and minor runway extensions.

At Zhangzhou Airbase, there is visible construction of a third surface-to-air missile defense site. The base already had two surface-to-air missile defense sites.

The Drive also reports that the dedicated surface-to-air missile defense sites at all three airbases have also been actively rotating equipment and training.

China’s upgrades to its airbases suggest steps are being taken to boost the military’s operations capabilities, and improve the concealment of its assets and operations.

To successfully capture Taiwan, China would have to ship an enormous number of troops, plus their supplies, across the 80-mile Taiwan Strait. Such an operation would require the largest amphibious invasion in history – far surpassing the scale of the D-Day landings.

At the same time, the defenses in Taiwan to repel such an invasion are far superior to those Allied forces met on D-Day. What’s more, Taiwan’s coastline, unlike that of Normandy, is rugged with steep cliffs, leaving any potential invaders only 13 beaches suitable for landing. And those beaches have been effectively turned into killing zones.

If the Chinese forces do manage to make it ashore they would face roughly 175,000 highly trained full-time soldiers, as well as hundreds of thousands of fully-trained reservists.