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US-based Defense News says China ups Taiwan surveillance

WASHINGTON -- China has upgraded a key eavesdropping site in southeastern Fujian province opposite Taiwan, according to images taken by new commercial satellites, a U.S. weekly reported yesterday.

Defense News reported from Taipei that according to an analysis of the high-definition satellite photos, the facility on Dongjing Shan, near Daqiu village in Fujian province, has been upgraded and can now cover all of Taiwan and even a U.S. base in Okinawa.

With the recent release of high resolution imagery of Google Earth and TerraServer, electronic intelligence 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 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 Defense Studies Centre, as saying.

“It means that nearly all electronic signals emanating from Northern Taiwan are vulnerable to interception at this facility,” the report said.

Ball said the new facility enables China to enjoy 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 structural, weatherproof enclosures that protect radar antenna.

A U.S. aerial reconnaissance mission first spotted the coastal facility in 1965, and since then, the American and Taiwanese intelligence communities have been watching it closely.

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