Beyond “Conventional Wisdom”: Evaluating the PLA’s South China Sea Bases in Operational Context

War on the Rocks – China’s Spratly Island outposts’ offer Beijing decisive information superiority against any challenger in the South China Sea. Their primary purpose is not military power projection and the deployment of weapons, but information power. The Chinese bases’ main contribution is to facilitate substantial command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnais­sance capabilities in the South China Sea.