by Nicole Hao

01/17/21

The Chinese regime is building a base to design, test, and manufacture ground-effect vehicles (GEV) for the purpose of defending its territorial claims in the South China Sea, according to internal documents The Epoch Times obtained from a trusted source.

A GEV is a type of aircraft-ship hybrid that can skim over the surface of water (ocean or lake), ice, or flat earth.

Beijing claims most of the South China Sea as its own, even after a 2016 international tribunal ruled that such claims were unlawful; the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan have competing claims. Home to rich fishing grounds and potentially valuable natural resources, the waterway is also one of the world’s major shipping routes.

The regime has in recent years sought to bolster its claims in the strategic waterway by building military outposts on artificial islands and reefs.

Construction on the GEV base, located in the southern island province of Hainan, began in December 2017 and is slated to be completed in December 2020, according to reports sent by Yingge, the private company contracted to build it, to government authorities.

“Along with changes in the international situation, the issue of the South China Sea is becoming increasingly prominent. The [GEV base] project can play an important role in ensuring the safety of the water boundaries between China and other countries,” Yingge reported to China’s State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) on Oct. 27, 2017.

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