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Qingdao [Ch'ing-tao / Ching-tao / Tsingtao]
3604'N 12019'E

Qingdao is the headquarters for the People's Liberation Army Navy's North Sea Fleet. In addition to its headquarters role, Qingdao is a major naval base, consisting of various training schools for aviators, submarines and administration.

The Naval Base at Qingdao provides administrative support and berthing facilities for significant numbers of North Sea Fleet units, including vessels such as destroyers. The installation is composed of the main naval base, located at the innermost of the large port facility moles, and the back bay berthing areas, which is generally used to berth auxillaries. Facilities at the main naval base include a large mole and a mooring basin which provide a total of 4 quays suitable for vessel berthing, a small support complex comprised of 10 buildings and POL storage including a large vertical POL storage tank, and 12 support buildings on the mole. The rail-served back bay berthing area consists of a long quay, a small floating pier, 4 support buildings and extensive open storage.

The Naval Facility at Qingdao, located on an artificial boat basin which had depths between 8 and 16 ft in 1948, is a minor patrol boat base, possibly associated with coastal patrol functions. Declassified intelligence reports from the 1960s identified the normal order of battle at this base to include Shanghai PTF, Swatow PGM, and Whampoa PGMs. Facilities include one finger pier, one large support building, and several small structures.

The Naval Dockyard at Qingdao is capable of performing major repairs on any vessels in the Chinese inventory. In the 1960s tht yard had also engaged in new construction, notably the Leichou AO. Dockyard facilities include one graving dock, two building/repairways, a building area, one T-head pier, three floating piers, three large fabrication buildings, one heating plant/foundry, and numerous storage/support buildings.

The first Chinese submarine base was established at Qingdao in May 1952. In 1954 a Submarine School was established at Qingdao to train submarine command officers and marines.

The Submarine Base at Qingdao is one of China's 3 major submarine bases. Facilities include three quays, one small mole, four floating finger piers, a probable heating plant, four probable barracks, a possible foundry, an auditorium, two possible administrative buildings, and at least thirty-seven additional support buildings.

The Chinese 1st Institute of Oceanology of the State Oceanic Administration is also located in Qingdao.

Construction of a hardened base for China's nuclear-powered submarines began in 1968 at an inlet near Qingdao, which is on the Shandong Penninsula coastline of the Yellow Sea. The project involved the removal of 810,000 cubic meters of rock and pouring 200,000 cubic meters of concrete. By the mid-1970s the underground shelter system was camourflaged and hardened against attack. The multiple shelters at this facility include equipment for servicing nuclear propulsion systems and loading JL-1 missiles.

[NRDC states that, according to declassified US Government documents, the Xia SSBN is deployed at the Jianggezhuang Submarine Base, which they indicate is located either at 3927'N 11909'E or at 3725'N 12149'E, coordinates that are confirmed by NIMA's GeoNet Nameserver as the only two such place names in China. The former location is almost certainly not the Xia-class homeport, as it is a rather great distance from Qingdoa on the northern coast of the Bo Hai Gulf near Tangshan, and would be more properly described as "near Beijing." The later location is on the southern coast of the Bo Hai Gulf, on the opposite side of the Shandong Penninsula from Qingdao. It would seem that the "Jianggezhuang Submarine Base" is the US Government nomenclature for the facility, rather than the location of the facility.]

Qingdao is an eastern Chinese coastal city located between latitude 3535' to 3709' and longitude 11930' to 12100'. The city faces the Yellow Sea on the east and south, and adjions the cities of Yantai, Rizhao and Weifang to the northeast, southwest and west respectively. The total area of Qingdao is 10,654 square kilometers while the urban area totals 1,102 square kilometers.

A downward slope from south to north characterizes the topography of Qingdao. There three major mountain ranges:the Daze Mountains lies in the north, the Jiaonan mountains sit in the south and the Xiaozhu mountain peak is 724,9 meters above the sea level. The Lao Mountains are in the southeast with the main peak 1132.7 meters above the sea level.

Qingdao has a northern temperate zone monsoon climate with the characteristics of a marine climate, such as moist air, abundant rainfall and four distinctive seasons. The annul average temperature is 12.2. The hottest month is August with an average temperature of 25 and the coldest month is January when the temperature averages 1.3.

Qingdao is the largest commercial port in Shandong Province, well sheltered, ice free and silt free. A high technology Industrial Park and an Economic and Technical Development Zone have been set up near the port, the increase in container trade is expected. Coal from Shanxi Province is exported through the port. Plans exist to convert Qingdao into a free port by the year 2020.

The Qingdao - Jinan railway connects with the Tianjin - Pukou and Lancun - Yantai railways and thus the national railway system. There is is a significant highway network linking the ports to all parts of the Shandong Province and beyond.

Export cargoes include coal and crude oil. Imports include metal ores, grain, steel, timber and fertilizers.

Cargo Handling Facilities

Max Vesssel Size
Cargo Handling Equipment
Container Seafrontage
1,77810.5 ~ 1350,000Yes
Bulk Cargo Seafrontage1,00010.3--
Breakbulk Seafrontage2,1509.1--
Barge/Small Craft Seafrontage----
Oil Terminal Jetties (No.)40212.5--
Port Services
Tugs9, max, output 3200 hp
Repair Facilitiesdrydocking & repair available
Othersa floating crane of 250 tons capacity
Approach Channel

Length22n miles8n miles
Depth at C.D. (metres)15 metres9 ~ 30 metres

High resolution imagery is available from two sources, including declassified CORONA imagery. As of 01 May 2001 Russian 2-meter resolution KVR-1000 imagery coverage was not available via the SPIN-2 service on TerraServer. As of 01 May 2001 archival Space Imaging IKONOS 1-meter imagery available on the CARTERRAT Archive includes at least one cloud-free scene of the harbor.

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