Intelligence: China Builds Yet Another Great Wall

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February 4, 2015: China is building a 22 meter (71 foot) high wall around its Dalian naval base in northeastern China to prevent people from taking pictures of what is going on at the base. It seems that new construction has resulted in unexpectedly tall residence being built near the base. The military recently got new laws passed to restrict the height of new buildings put up near military bases. Getting existing buildings torn down is too difficult (some of the owners are powerful locals) so up goes the wall.

Taking pictures of anything on these bases is illegal but with the proliferation of cell phone cameras trying to police that restriction is not practical. So is trying to keep those photos from showing up on the Internet. Those taking and posting the photos are proud of China’s rapidly growing armed forces but the admirals would like to prevent the United States and other potential enemies from getting so much information about maintenance and upgrades for ships that is done at naval bases.

The Chinese naval base at Dalian, a port city in the north (Liaoning Province) is in a key location, right next to North Korea.  The city of Dalian has seven million people and a booming economy. Like so many naval bases, built next to commercial ports before the economic boom began in the 1980s, are now finding themselves surrounded by new residential and commercial construction. This is a very practical problem for military airbases because the proliferation of tall buildings restricts how aircraft can take off and land. New laws address that problem as well. Of course, you have to get the laws enforced and the military is finding that shouting “national security” does not bring instant compliance like it used to.

 

 


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