China would not confirm or deny the existence of a new underground nuclear submarine base off the southern island of Hainan, Reuters reported. Analysts from Jane’s Information Group said a satellite photograph showed the facility’s existence, and that such a base would be key to future plans of the People’s Liberation Army Navy. "China is going down the road of peaceful development. China’s national defense policy is defensive. Other countries have no reason to fear, or make a fuss about it and be prickly," Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a regular news conference. Jane’s said China’s concern about access to vital sea lanes in the country’s south had intensified because of its increased dependence on imported petroleum and mineral resources. Jane’s said the photo suggested a 20-year military build-up in the Paracel Islands had supported the base.
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