China has upgraded a key eavesdropping site in Fujian Province opposite Taiwan, according to images taken by new commercial satellites, a US weekly reported on Monday.
Defense News reported from Taipei that according to an analysis of high-definition satellite photographs, an eavesdropping facility on Dongjing Shan, near Daqiu village in China’s Fujian Province, has been upgraded and can now cover all of Taiwan and even a US base in Okinawa.
With the recent release of high-resolution imagery by Google Earth and Terraserver, electronic intelligence (ELINT) specialists said they have spotted parabolic dishes not seen in previous lower-resolution imagery from non-classified sources.
“The new parabolic dishes indicate that the PLA [People’s Liberation Army] is intercepting electronic signals in a higher frequency band than a couple of decades ago,” Defense News quoted Desmond Ball, an ELINT specialist at Australian National University’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, as saying. “It means that nearly all electronic signals emanating from northern Taiwan are vulnerable to interception at this facility.”
Ball said the new facility gives China an edge in digital warfare and that Chinese fighters and vessels nearing Taiwan could use the information to engage in counter-digital reconnaissance.
Another unnamed specialist told Defense News that the new imagery revealed three new radomes, which are weatherproof enclosures that protect radar antenna.
A US aerial reconnaissance mission first spotted the coastal facility in 1965, and since then, the US and Taiwanese intelligence communities have been watching it closely.
The facility lies 804.5km from US forces on Okinawa, 563km from the digital information facility on Miyako Island in Okinawa Prefecture, 136.5km from the surface-to-air Sky Bow missile facility on Matsu (馬祖) in Taiwan’s Lienchiang County and 145km from the west coast of Taiwan proper.